This four week program will take place in the city of Kyoto, one of the major cities of Japan and the center of traditional Japanese history and culture. The city is located in west-central Honshu island with an estimated population of about 1.5 million people. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than one thousand years until the move of the Japanese emperor to Tokyo in 1868 and remains the center of traditional Japanese culture and Buddhism.
The city of Kyoto combines traditional Japanese history and culture with a modern economic and industrial importance. On the one hand, the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" comprise 17 locations that are considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The variety, historical span, and sheer number of these sites is unrivaled in Japan. In fact, about 20% of Japan’s National Treasures are located in the city of Kyoto itself which contains about 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and is visited by more than 30 million tourists every year.
Kyoto is also renowned for its traditional festivals some of which have been held for more than one thousand years. The three major festivals of the city are almost national events. The city is also the birthplace of traditional Japanese drama.
Traditional Japanese crafts are a major industry in Kyoto and the city is the leading center for the manufacture of kimonos and fine textiles and it also produces some of Japan’s finest sake.
On the other hand, Kyoto is one of the centers of the Keihanshin Industrial Zone, the second largest urban and industrial agglomeration in Japan. The key industries of the city are electronics and information technology and it is home to the headquarters of a number of major companies including Nintendo. Japan’s television and film industry is also centered in Kyoto.
Kyoto also offers a rich culinary tradition with specialties unique to the city including “Kaiseki Ryori” and the vegetarian “Shojin Ryori.” Kyoto is also famous throughout Japan for its Japanese sweets.
There are more than 35 institutions of higher education in Kyoto, including Kyoto University, one of the top universities in the world. Additionally, a number of American universities have set up centers in the city for students wishing to do advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies.
- Visas are not necessary for US citizens. Citizens of other countries should check with the directors or with the website of the Japanese embassy in the US.
- Internet access is available in all apartments. The apartments are furnished and have kitchens and laundry facilities.
- All meals are provided by the program.
- The cost of all the excursions listed below is also covered by the program.
- There will be additional short visits, covered by the program as well, e.g., to Fushimi Inari, Sanjusangen-do, Nishiki Market, Toei Kyoto Studio Park, and the Kyoto National Museum, all in Kyoto.
- Cell phones may be purchased or rented in Japan.
- Friday, May 10, 2013: Arrival in Kyoto.
- Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12: Orientation, tour of downtown Kyoto
- Monday, May 13, to Friday, June 8: Classes will be held daily during week days from 9 am to 2 pm.
- Excursions will be made on the weekends. The tentative schedule for the excursions is as follows:
1. Saturday, May 18: Trip to Osaka.
2. Sunday, May 19: Trip to Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, Nijo-jo, and Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto.
3. Saturday, May 25: Trip to Ise (Ise Jingu, Okage Yoko-cho) and Nara (overnight stay in Nara).
4. Sunday, May 26: Visit to Nara (Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Yakushi-ji, Toshodai-ji, Nara Park, Nara National Museum).
5. Saturday, June 01: Kifune Matsuri festival.
6. Sunday, June 02: Trip to Byodo-in, Ujigami-jinja, and Daigo-ji in Kyoto.
7. Friday, June 07: Trip to Arashiyama and Sagano.
- Monday, June 10, 2013: Departure from Tokyo.
For the current projected costs for this program, please click on the following link to the Fees for JMU Study Abroad Programs page.
Students will stay in furnished apartments for the duration of the program. All meals will be covered by the program fee.
For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.
Students must meet the minimum required GPA of 3.0 in order to participate.
**Completion of JAPN 102 or JAPN 111 is a necessary prerequisite for the program.
This program is intended for students who wish to complete their two-year language requirement in Japanese or who intend to advance in their Japanese language studies.