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Second Year Japanese in Kyoto

Location

Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Himeji, Tokyo, Japan

Program Description

Students will complete one entire year (six credits) of second year Japanese during the first four weeks of the five-week program. This intensive course will meet four days per week, and for five hours each of these days. There are numerous attractions in Kyoto, which has been ranked as the No. 1 World's Best City by Travel + Leisure magazine, including hundreds of temples and shrines. The city of Osaka is a short train ride away and provides other attractions, such as the Nipponbashi shopping district (a smaller version of Tokyo's Akihabara Electric Town). All sites are accessible via the extensive public and private transportation systems (buses, subways, trains, and taxis).

During the program, students will visit historical, cultural, and religious sites of the city of Kyoto, which remains the historical, cultural, and religious center of Japan, and can enjoy in its numerous restaurants and shops the rich culinary tradition of Japan in general and Kyoto in particular. The program also includes a one day trip to Osaka, a two day trip to Nara (another ancient center of Japanese culture and the capital of Japan during the 8th century), and a five day trip to Tokyo. The trip to Tokyo includes visits to the most famous and important locations of the city, including the districts of Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ueno.

Location Description

This five week program will be centered in the city of Kyoto with visits and/or stays in the cities of Osaka, Nara, Himeji, and Tokyo. Kyoto is one of the major cities of Japan and has been ranked as the No. 1 World's Best City two years in a row (in 2014 and 2015) by Travel + Leisure magazine. 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.

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. 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.

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. Kyoto also offers a rich culinary tradition with specialties unique to the city, including vegetarian cuisine, and it is also famous throughout Japan for its Japanese sweets. Japan’s television and film industry is also based in Kyoto.

Director

Yuho Nemoto | nemotoyx@jmu.edu | Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Aram Shahin | shahinax@jmu.edu | Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Accommodations

Students will reside in shared furnished apartments with wifi/internet access and full kitchen and laundry facilities.
Housing accommodations are located close to supermarkets and restaurants.
Public transportation (train stations and bus stops) is easily accessible.

All meals will be covered by the program.
Students will be allocated a meal stipend to cover all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
There will also be a number of group meals covered by the program.

Additional Items to Consider

- 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 group excursions (travel and admission fees) 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, and Toei Kyoto Studio Park, all in Kyoto.
- Cell phones may be rented in Japan.

Tentative itinerary:
- Arrival in Kyoto.
- Orientation, tour of downtown Kyoto
- Classes will be held four days per week from 9 am to 3:30 pm (including lunch break and other breaks) for a total of sixteen days.
- The tentative schedule for the excursions is as follows:
1. Trip to Osaka (including visit to Osaka castle and Ota-Road [a mini Akihabara]).
2. Trips to Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Nijo castle, Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji, Nanzenji, Kyoto National Museum, and other locations in Kyoto.
3. Trip to Nara (overnight stay in Nara). Visit to Todaiji, Horyuji, Yakushiji, Kohfukuji, Kasuga Taisha, Nara Park, and Nara National Museum.
4. Trip to Arashiyama and Sagano.
5. Trip to Himeji, including visit to Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Mountain.
6. Multiple day trip to Tokyo, including visits to Akihabara, Asakusa, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ginza, Tokyo Bay Area, and Tsukiji Fish Market.
- Departure from Tokyo.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisite: JAPN 102 or JAPN 111 or their equivalent or permission of instructor

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now 

Application Deadline

Dates


All dates are tentative and subject to change

Courses

JAPN 212: Intensive Japanese II (6 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.

Cost