There is so much to experience in Japan, but getting around without speaking the language can feel overwhelming. Everything from reading a subway sign to ordering from a picture-less menu can be a challenge. With SWAP's Japanese Language and Culture program, it's easy to learn Japanese to go beyond counting subway stations, have meaningful interactions with locals and get the experience you want in Japan!
Besides gaining a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, you'll be reading, writing and speaking Japanese in no time! You will arrive in Tokyo and spend your first 2 weeks immersing yourself in daily Japanese classes and fun cultural activities in the afternoons. All levels are welcome (even complete beginners)! The program stands alone as the perfect introduction to Japan or it can act as a gateway into a longer-term working holiday visa.
For your cultural activities, you can choose between traditional Japanese customs, such as a tea ceremony, Katana sword class, and learning calligraphy, or the modern activities option, which includes visiting a cat café or animation museum, dressing in your best cosplay, and learning to draw manga!
Attend an accredited and award-winning Japanese school in the heart of Tokyo! Language classes are taught by expert instructors in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The small class sizes (maximum 7-8 students per class, but averaging around 4) allow for personalized instruction and opportunities to practice with your teacher. With all of the hands-on help, you'll see your progress at bullet train speeds!
The conversational classes are divided into various levels, ranging from complete beginner to more advanced levels, so there is something for everyone. If you have never taken Japanese before, you are still welcome! Classes will show you essential communication techniques in structured lessons with a teacher, inside and outside the classroom. Studying Japanese in Japan also means you'll have the opportunity to practice what you learn in real-world scenarios. If you are a beginner, you will practice useful dialogues, such as asking for directions and shopping, so you can get the most out of your time in Japan! The afternoons are full of cultural activities that will take you around town to explore various aspects of Japanese culture - from traditional to modern - the choice is yours!
Classes can be extended beyond the 2 week program when you are in Tokyo.
Japan has a fascinating culture because it is a fusion of traditional and modern cultures, like no other place in the world. In Tokyo, you can start your day under cherry blossoms in a peaceful Japanese garden and end up in a adrenaline-fueling 6-storey arcade building (with a few sushi breaks in between!). Understanding Japanese culture goes beyond language, so in addition to taking lessons, you'll also get to choose 6 activities to complement your language classes and give you a first-hand understanding of Japanese culture. The best part is you get to choose between traditional and modern Japanese culture and decide how you get to explore Tokyo!
If you are interested in the culture that has shaped Japan for thousands of years, you can choose the traditional cultural activities option. Besides learning the language, you'll get 3 cultural experience classes each week to participate in cultural arts with other Japanese people. Some of the options you can choose from include: visiting temples, palaces, shrines, museums, participating in tea ceremonies, origami lessons, calligraphy, pottery, weaving and more! These activities will help you gain an understanding and appreciation for Japanese culture, while strengthening your bond to the community through active learning and participation.
Japan's culture has greatly evolved in the last few decades to create the colourful explosion of pop culture we see today. From the whimsical world of manga to the daring fashion of the Harajuku district, Tokyo is at the helm of Japan's pop culture scene and you get to experience it yourself! You will take 3 cultural experience classes each week to strengthen your Japanese language studies. Some activities you can choose from in the modern activities option include: visiting a cat cafe, animation museum, manga drawing, dabbling in cosplay and more!
We've been helping Canadians go to Japan since 1987, so over 29 years of Japanese adventure experience isn't the only thing you'll get on SWAP's Japanese Language and Culture program. You'll also get:
Your first 2 weeks are stress-free - all accommodation is included! You'll have your own private room in a guesthouse in central Tokyo, with shared living areas with other students and international travellers so you can keep practicing your Japanese. Being in central Tokyo gives you the freedom to explore your new surroundings in between classes with your new friends!
Your Japanese language school will organize a wide variety of activities to visit Tokyo, get to know your classmates and practice your Japanese skills! Some of the extra activities your school will organize include: city tours, historical walks, Friday night parties, weekend excursions and more!
Every week your school will offer a free tour of the city for new students, so you can find out the best places to visit, the most exciting restaurants, and the spots that all the locals go to! There are weekly outings to different local restaurants to experience Japanese cuisine with delicious options for the adventurous (and not-so-adventurous). Japanese movies are regularly shown at the school in a variety of genres and ranging from live-action to animated features. On the weekends, the school runs day trips to local festivals, shows and tourist spots. There are cheap group excursions to a local onsen (hot spring) to try Japanese-style bathing and even a weekend volcano trip, so you can experience everything Japan has to offer on your days off!
You can do both this Japanese Language and Culture program and our SWAP Japan working holiday program at the same time! Start your work and travel adventure in Japan off right with this 2 week culture package. Be supported for your entire working holiday by adding the SWAP Japan program for FREE!
Experiencing the unique and wonderful culture and language of Japan with SWAP is easy. You can register online here, or do it in-person by visiting any of these Merit Travel locations and talking to a friendly travel counsellor. The choice is yours and our staff will be there to help you either way!
Canadians ages 18+
Apply for SWAP's Japanese Language and Culture program at least 5 weeks prior to your intended arrival
SWAP's Japanese Language and Culture program only $1950 CAD! That includes 2 weeks of Japanese language classes, 2 weeks of accommodation in a private room in Tokyo, all textbooks and materials needed, 6 modern or cultural activities, plus SWAP's support!Take the 1st step ››