WINTER COURSE

Experience the amazing snow of Northern Japan, and learn Japanese!
Akita Prefecture is a region with one of the highest snowfalls in the world.


Dates:

February 3rd - 28th, 2020
(4 weeks)


 
 

 

COURSE DETAILS:

  • Japanese lessons from Monday to Friday, 9AM - 12:30PM

  • Learn Japanese in an authentic Japanese classroom

  • The course is focused on learning practical conversational Japanese to help prepare you for real life situations

  • Organised activities/events after classes and on some weekends for students to practice what they have learned in class in real life

  • Many opportunities to immerse in the culture and
    to interact with the locals


Festivals

Towada Winter Festival: All month long

Held at Lake Towada, highlights include a fireworks show overnight, lots of festival stalls serving food, and a kamakura (igloo) bar where they serve drinks in ice glasses.

Amekko-Ichi (Candy Festival)

Over 400 year old festival. Legend says that people who eat the candy sold at the many stalls will not catch a cold for the rest of winter. In addition to the traditional candy stalls lining main street, there are food vendors, performances, an Akita dog parade & more.

Mochikko-Ichi (Mochi Festival)

Small festival where local Mochi makers gather to sell their traditional sweets. Held in front of the Taiko Museum which holds the largest drum in the world.

Snow Candle Street in Ani

To make the best of the huge snow drifts, the villagers come together and craft small igloos called kamakura and decorate them with candles.

"Naked" Festival

Participants wear only Fundoshi (cotton thongs) as they run at night to purify themselves in the nearby river. Both men & women participate (women wrap their chests with cotton sheets).


Activities

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Snow Monsters of Mt. Moriyoshi

One of the only 3 places in Japan where ice coats trees to form giant, otherworldly sculptures. What makes this different is that you can take in the amazing views and ride a gondola to the top! See the Sea of Japan on the way.

Farm Stay

Meet the locals, experience and learn about their way of life

Learn about the local culture & cuisine

Cook meals together with the locals and laugh all night long!

Meet the Akita dogs

Meet and play with the adorable Akita dogs as you learn about the history and legends surrounding the breed.

Onsen trip

Visit hidden onsens where the locals go.

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Traditional Tea Ceremony + Kimono

Experience a traditional tea ceremony while wearing beautiful kimono!

Meet & interact with High School Students

Many community events organised!


Bento box making (Magewappa)

Have a seasoned artisan teach you how to make your very own wooden magewappa bento box, that is made out of the Japanese cedar tree in Akita.

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Japanese manners lesson

Learn traditional manners, such as how to hold chopsticks properly, and be deeply rooted in the culture.

Pottery Class

Make your own hand-made creation at the local pottery club.

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Kabuki Theater

Tour one of Japan’s oldest kabuki theaters


PRICE:

Total for the 4 week course: 320,000 JPY (2961 USD)
(Not including flights and accommodation)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES:

  1. Towada Winter Festival

    Held at Lake Towada, highlights include a fireworks show overnight, lots of festival stalls serving food, and a kamakura (igloo) bar

  2. Farmstay (1 night)
    Meet the locals, experience and learn about their way of life. Cook meals together with the locals and laugh all night long!

  3. Visit hidden onsens

    You will never not go after experiencing a Japanese hot spring in Winter.

  4. Traditional tea ceremony
    Learn the ancient practice and appreciate the moment in the beautiful samurai house.

  5. Kimono wearing
    Learn how to wear and take spectacular photos in kimono.

  6. Meet & interact with local high school students
    A special opportunity for exchanging conversation and making friends.

  7. Bon fire night
    Warm up with the amazing fire!

  8. Owl cafe
    There is a local owl cafe right near the school, to interact with the mysterious birds.

  9. Snow Monsters + Mount Moriyoshi
    Take in the amazing views and ride a gondola to the top!

  10. Japanese Manners Class
    Learn the hidden codes and become deeply rooted into the culture.


OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

There are so many attractions in the area, it will be difficult to do all within 4 weeks! We can also organise the below:

Rail park ride

  • Get the chance to ride a real diesel locomotive.

    Skiing / Snowboarding

  • February is the best time for skiing. There are several ski areas within easy driving distance. Courses for everyone from first-timers to hardcore backcountry skiers.

    "Naked" Festival (starts at midnight)

  • Participants wear only Fundoshi (cotton thongs) as they run at night to purify themselves in the nearby river. Both men & women participate (women wrap their chests with cotton sheets).

Calligraphy Class

  • Learn to write beautiful kanji

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Private movie screening

  • Rent out a retro movie theater to watch a movie of your choice on the big screen.

    Japanese Cooking Lessons

  • Learn to cook authentic Japanese meals from a local.


ACCOMMODATION:

Japanese sharehouse (limited availability)

  • 20,000 JPY (189 USD)/per week single room

  • 13,000 JPY (123 USD)/per week for shared rooms

  • Hotels may also be arranged (depending on availability).
    Hotel price starts from 40,000 JPY+ per week.


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