JPN 160: Japanese Language, Culture, & History

Dates | Overview | Facts | Academic | Eligibility | Safety | Leader | Cost | Apply

Program Dates

(21 days, three-unit summer program) from May 29th to June 18th, 2014

Departing from San Jose on May 29th and arriving at Kyoto on May 30th

Departing from Narita Airport on June 18th and Arriving at San Jose on June 18th


Program locations are: Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, and Tokyo, Japan

You will:

  • stay in the home of Japanese host families in Kyoto (breakfast and dinner provided)
  • have lectures on the history of Japan, historic sites in Kyoto, and Haiku
  • participate in hands-on workshops for Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangement, “Temari” (a cotton ball wound with threads of many colors), and “Wagashi” (Japanese Sweets)
  • enjoy Bunraku at a theater
  • experience Zazen
  • participate in field trips to historic and popular sites (Horyuji, Todaiji, Byoudoin, Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji, Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, etc.) in Kyoto, Uji, Nara, Hiroshima, and Tokyo (2 nights, possible to extend at your own expense)
  • visit an educational institution in Kyoto
  • improve your Japanese language skills
  • deepen your understanding of the culture, history, and society


Please visit the CIA World Factbook Japan page for general information about geography, people, government, economy, transportation, and more.


This program is offered by the Department of World Languages and Literatures and all participants will be enrolled in the three-unit course (JPN 160 — Special Topics in Japanese Studies, which can be substituted for JPN 102 Japanese Culture). JPN 160 is certified as one of the upper division courses (fourth year level) at SJSU. If you are participating from other CSU campuses, please ask your program advisor if the class can be substituted for a course offered by your campus.

This program will partially fulfill requirements for a Japanese major or minor, as well as an International Business major with a minor in Japanese.Students not majoring or minoring in Japanese (no Japanese language skills required) are also welcome to participate in the program.


The Program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students from SJSU and other CSU campuses, as well as any other matriculated college students. All majors and minors are welcome to apply. No Japanese language proficiency is required, but those with no Japanese language skills can take a two-day survival Japanese course taught by Dr. Inaba prior to the departure.

Accommodations, Safety, and Visas

  • Students will stay with a Japanese host family in Kyoto. Breakfast and dinner will be provided.
  • Japan is a very safe country, especially Kyoto, where you will stay most of the time, is safer and more hospitable than other major cities in Japan.
  • There are contingency plans to deal with sick/injured faculty and students (i.e. medical insurance and medical evacuation as a part of SJSU study abroad medical coverage through CSU). The estimated cost is $50.00 per person (included in the fee).
  • No visas are required for the short stay in Japan.


Dr. Seiichiro Inaba (Clark 418K, 408-924-4593), SJSU Professor and Coordinator & Advisor of the Japanese Program, will lead the program. He is very familiar with Japanese culture, history, and society. Homestays will be arranged by Mr. Kazu Aoki, President of Canvas Gate, Inc. in Santa Clara, who has extensive knowledge of the region of Kyoto.


SJSU Special Session Tuition (3 Credits @250/unit)            $750

SJSU Program Management Fee               $200

Program Fee*      $4,010

*The program fee includes: round trip airfare (from San Jose to Japan) and one week JR Rail Pass (can be used for the Bullet Train), Homestay with breakfast & dinner, three-night hotel (one night for the arrival day with a single room, and two nights in Tokyo with a room shared by two), entrance fees (temples, shrines, and museums), class materials, and health insurance. Personal expenses (for lunch, shopping, etc.) are not included.

Total Cost of Program    $4,960 (based on 20 participants)

Participants need to pay for the $500 non-refundable deposit by the middle of March to reserve airline tickets and the total fee must be paid by the end of March 2014. If the participants are fewer than 20, the program may be cancelled or the program fee may be subject to change (e.g. $5,107 for 15 participants). The maximum number of participants is 30. You must notify Dr. Inaba if you will drop out of the program, and the entire fee may be charged after the reservation of your airline tickets.   You may have a single room in Tokyo for $50 extra and extend your stay in Tokyo at your own expense.


To apply, please download the Application Form (pdf) and submit by the deadline.

For more information, please contact the Study Abroad Office (Clark 543 or 408-924-6128) or Professor Seiichiro Inaba at Clark 418K.

Additional Information

Students’ Comments on the program and Pictures are available at