Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountains and national parks, besides thousands of shrines and temples.
The country is a densely populated with around 127 million people. Tokyo is the capital and is its biggest city. Japan is a timeless place, uniquely blending ancient traditions with a very modern way of life. From the ancient temples of Kyoto to the modern architecture of Tokyo, the country is a feast for the senses.
From the neon lights of Tokyo, to tropical beaches to the south and breathtaking snow-capped mountains to the north, the country provides rich cultural experiences and breathtaking scenery.
There are many cultures and traditions in Japan that need to be respected, especially regarding indoor manners and footwear. For instance, there is a clear line between inside and outside, and indoor and outdoor slippers. These rules not only apply to most Japanese homes but also in many traditional ryokan, some restaurants and the indoor sections of many temples, castles and other historic buildings. Japan also has many traditional sports such as sumo, judo, karate, aikido and kendo.
Experience first-hand these rich cultures of Japan with a traditional homestay, living with a Japanese family and immersing yourself in everyday Japanese life.
There is also the option of participating in a full academic year program or semester-long program. Whether you stay in a city or in the country, you will gain an enriching experience in an exceptionally safe and secure country.
Japanese cuisine offers a vast variety of regional and seasonal dishes as well as international cuisine.
Rice is Japan’s most important crop and is the primary staple food of the Japanese diet. A bowl of cooked rice is a central part of traditional Japanese meals.
Sushi is the most famous Japanese dish outside of Japan and one of the most popular dishes amongst the Japanese.
In Japan, sushi is usually enjoyed on special occasions, such as a celebration. Tofu, udon and soba noodles, tempura, sashimi and ramen are also traditional Japanese foods.
There are many different ways to travel around Japan including train, ferry, bus, car and air.
The most efficient way to travel is by train which is fast, efficient, reliable and can get you just about anywhere.
Discount rail passes make train travel very affordable.
From January to March the country experiences cold days. During this time the snowy mountains are ideal for ski enthusiasts. June and July is the rainy season and many people visit to experience the autumn foliage. The weather in April and May is generally fantastic, with August being hot and humid. The infamous cherry blossom season is from late March to early April.