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If you have questions about this program, email the program leader listed below.

A Japanese Lived Experience: Northern Japan

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Tokyo, Kyoto, Sapporo, Nara, Japan
Course # SA 10203
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Past Dates
Summer 2019 07/03/19 to 07/24/19

Program Leader

Name Kristofer Chang Alexander

Enrollment Details: Enrollment Currently Closed

Program Description


Our program will return for Summer 2021


Discover the untamed wilds of Northern Japan this summer on a life-changing, three- week expedition. You’ll touch down in Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolitan area, before beginning your epic journey. Heading north along the east coast of Honshu island, you’ll savor history and culture. A speedy journey through the undersea Seikan Tunnel (courtesy of the lightning-fast Shinkansen Hayabusa) takes you to Hokkaido. As the first burst of summer warmth hits this sub-Arctic wonderland, you’ll survey some of the island’s most precious natural treasures, like the fluorescent Blue Pond of Biei and the jagged cliffs of Cape Kamui. Urban adventures include peninsular Hakodate, which is home to Japan’s most spectacular night panorama, and the prefectural capital of Sapporo, where seven brave Japanese explorers founded modern Hokkaido just 150 years ago.

After a week in Hokkaido you’ll hop a quick flight to Nagoya, the hub of central Japan. A three-day hike along the Nakasendo Way, a now-defunct trading route that was the lifeblood of Imperial Japan, introduces you to the terrain and traditions of the Japanese Alps. Your trip concludes with contrasting versions of the timeless Japanese onsen tradition: One a mountain hot spring filled with red-faced macaques; the other an ornate guest house (for humans) cradled in a wooded ravine.

This program focuses on culture, being present/mindful and connecting to nature. 
Japan Lived Experience: Nothern Japan (3 weeks, 6 credit hours)
Locations: Tokyo, Nikko, Sendai, Tashiroshima, Sapporo, and Jingokudani.
We also offer a 6-week/12-credit hour program that covers all of Japan (please see: Japanese Lived Experience: Northern and Southern Japan).

 You do not need to know Japanese to apply to the program (and this program does not teach students to speak Japanese).

Academic Credit

 6-credit hours in the summer (3 credits in the Spring)

In addition, students MUST enroll for a Spring Course titled Intercultural Development (Tuesday from 6-9pm).

The 3-credit hour course is required in order to do the summer study abroad.

Once students are accepted into the program they receive permission to add the course to their schedules.


We accept applications from all Undergraduate Majors

Students must complete a pre-interview questionnaire (which is available the first week of classes).

Then, students will be asked to meet the instructors. Students are interviewed because we have many more applicants than we have spots on the trip. 

We do not look for a specific type of student (we often accept students from all years in school, majors, and backgrounds). We look for insightful students who are interested in Japan's culture, nature, and willingness to engage in mindful reflection.

Program Cost


Application Deadline

A $500 deposit once accepted into the program.


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