Activities at Japanese Language Schools
Foreign students always keep fond memories of their studies in Japan. One of the main reasons for that are the activities outside of the school premises. Japanese culture is so rich and so unique that all language schools include numerous activities in their curriculum. This way, students get a taste (figuratively and sometimes literally, as Japanese food is important in this culture) of Japan. So what do Japanese Language Schools have to offer in terms of activities? For have reviewed what our schools propose – it will also be the opportunity to briefly discuss some Japanese customs. Culture first and foremost is highlighted by the activities at Japanese language schools. Socializing, sports are also important part of it. And simply fun, for the sake of it.
Activities at Japanese Language Schools by season
Skiing (only for Honshu and Hokkaido cities)
Wearing kimono: wearing a kimono is not a easy as it may be seem to be. Students get to experience it and see how they look in such wonderful dress.
Sumo wrestling: foreign students attend one of the famous sumo tournaments in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Another must-see event in Japan.
Factory or “Kaisha” (company) tour: students can discover the business world in Japan.
Setsubun festival: it marks the end of winter and is actually celebrated in February.
Sichifukujin: “7 Gods of Good Fortune tour”, the discovery of the 7 lucky gods, as per Japanese mythology.
Rice cake making: mochi is fun to make, and it is delicious.
Snow festivals: especially in Hokkaido, these are always fun and beautiful spectacles.
Hanami (Cherry Blossom): students enjoy gorgeous sightseeing and get to relax with their friends. Picnic and simply enjoying one’s time.
Disneyland: situated in the Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo; although it is not a cultural activity, it is a key attraction for students!
Rice planting: agriculture is an important part of Japanese culture as well. And rice is Japan’s most important food.
Home visit: for the students who have not chosen homestay, it is the opportunity to get familiar with Japanese housing’s specificity. For example, they may see for the first time a kotatsu (a Japanese heater).
BBQ party: yakiniku, the Japanese way. Or Western barbecue. The most important thing is socializing and making new friends.
Mount Fuji climbing: only in August is it possible to climb the Mount Fuji. One can experience breath-taking views from the top of this sacred place.
Fireworks events: all summer long, Japanese people enjoy hanabi.
Summer festivals (natsu matsuri): every week, one can attend a different summer festival and dance on the rhythm of the “taiko”.
Star festival: on July 7, Japanese celebrate Tanabata, when Orihime, a princess and Hikoboshi, a prince, in love with each other, can meet. Each is represented by a star, Vega and Altair. On that day, the custom is to write wishes on small pieces of paper and hang them on bamboo branches.
Sports festival (undokai)
Halloween: believe it or not, it has become … tradition in Japan. Sort of.
Tea ceremony (can be any season): this will surely be the topic of a specific article. Tea ceremony is an expression of Zen Buddhism. One must experience such a gathering to experience an essential piece of Japanese culture.
Obviously, activities vary from schools to schools. Local festivals and events are a big part of activities offered by language schools. For example, the Kawagoe festival (flower festival in the Saitama prefecture) in October. Or the Sapporo snow festival (or Tokamachi festival in Niigata) which brings thousands of tourists every winter. Those are events that international students in the area will surely enjoy. Local monuments (such as castles, parks etc …) make also for interesting visits.
Studying in Japan is a fascinating experience. It is enhanced by great events organized by schools. Learning can definitely be fun too and Japanese language schools always make sure of that.