Discover Japan

To ensure you get the most of your stay in Japan, the Japan Studies Program offers events and trips allowing you to explore Japanese culture, history and traditions.

Each semester has 2-3 exclusive field trips as well as an optional three-day excursion to Kyoto. There are also other events that JSP students can attend, such as a welcome party, international fair and university festival.

Prefer to go on your own adventures? Many students take advantage of the weekends to take trips by themselves, such as climbing Mount Fuji or attending cosplay conventions.

Japan is waiting for you!

Field Trips

From watching live Kabuki to seeing sumo wrestlers clash or even taking part in a local festival, each semester offers all kinds of new experiences. Ever wanted to learn about traditional Japanese paper? Or try making udon noodles? The program is constantly developing and planning new field trips to meet the needs of students. Below are a few of the field trips currently on offer.

Kawagoe walking tour

Get a taste of old Japan on the Kawagoe walking tour and really immerse yourself in the local culture. Kawagoe is a city famous for its traditional clay-walled warehouses called kurazukuri. During this trip, you will have the opportunity to wear a kimono and try a variety of traditional dishes. You can also learn how to make origami as well as a bamboo chopstick holder and bookmarks.

Asakusa and Akihabara field trip

Do you want to visit the old part of Tokyo in Asakusa or jump into the “Cool Japan” world of Akihabara? Decide which tour suits your interests, whether that’s temples and a sense of historical Edo, or pop culture like anime, manga and videogames!

Kawagoe elementary school visit

Each semester students get to visit an elementary school in Kawagoe. Discover Japan’s unique education system hands-on by playing games, singing songs and interacting with the children. You can even experience the lunches the kids eat!

Kawagoe Matsuri (fall only)

Ever wanted to participate in an authentic Japanese matsuri? Dating back to the 17th century, the Kawagoe Matsuri is held annually on the third weekend of October. During this festival, Kawagoe throngs with people as visitors come from all over Japan to enjoy the sights, sounds, and food of the festival. Neighborhood teams pull giant ornate floats, called dashi, through the streets of the old town. You too can take part by wearing a festival outfit (called a happi) and helping to pull the floats.

Elective Field Trips

Some electives may include other field trips offering hands-on experiences specific to courses. Last semesters, students visited such varied locations as a maid cafe in Akihabara, the Tokyo National Museum, and a famous buddhist temple.

Kyoto Excursion

Every semester students have the opportunity to visit Kyoto for a three-day excursion. Far from the fast pace of present-day Tokyo, this trip introduces students to an important historical and beautiful region of Japan. Participants take a guided tour of the ancient capital Kyoto for the first day and a half, and then are free for the rest of the time to explore Kyoto and the wider Kansai area, which includes Nara, Osaka, Kobe, and Ise. Always a highlight of each semester, students find this to be an experience they never forget.

The Kyoto Excursion is not covered by the program fees. Please refer to our Tuition and Fees page.

For more information, please refer to the Fall 2023 Kyoto Excursion Flier below.

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Kyoto Excursion Fall 2023 Flier Download

Erin Tokutomi | Oregon13055713_10206421107147196_142538044225556683_o

Kyoto Excursion was the most amazing opportunity, I saw so many things that I would never be able to imagine.