Language & Culture

Study Japanese through intensive language training and exciting activities. Explore vibrant Tokyo neighborhoods and stay with a host family in a different region.  

  • Art

  • Certificate

  • Culinary

  • Language


Land in Tokyo for orientation, where you will begin Japanese classes and practice writing systems like hiragana and kanji. Your language skills will develop through 60+ hours of direct exposure in formal classes, with host family interactions, peer-to-peer practice, and more. Because English is not widely spoken in Japan, you will have countless opportunities for immersion. You’ll also enjoy sushi and indulge in handmade noodles at the city’s famed ramen shops. You will learn what Tokyo’s exciting and unique districts have to offer, including anime and manga in Akihabara and the colorful fashion scene in Harajuku. 

Continue practicing your Japanese and deepen your understanding of culture and family life during your host community visit. Learn to cook homemade soba noodles or roll your own sushi with a family. Learn about Japanese history by visiting shrines and museums and take an excursion to Hiroshima to visit the historic Hiroshima Peace Park and Memorial Museum. 

At the conclusion of this program, students will earn a language certificate noting the number of hours of language training completed through formal classes and experiential learning. 


The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In Japan, you will learn: 


  • Japanese language 


  • Resourcefulness
  • Intercultural communication and understanding 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Adaptability 
  • Relationship-building 


  • Explore urban life by foot (lots of walking!) and learn to navigate the public transit system.
  • Temperatures and humidity are extremely high during the summer.  
  • Meat, seafood, rice, and noodles are staples of Japanese cuisine and will be difficult for vegan and vegetarian diets. Your homestay family will be very keen to share many traditional foods and local and regional delicacies with you, and their preparation and your enjoyment of these will be a source of pride for your hosts. Culturally, it is considered very rude to your homestay family to leave food on your plate during meals, so adventurous eaters are appreciated.  
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity will vary.
  • Japan is a conservative country regarding LGBTQ+ issues and you will find traditional gendered spaces, such as male or female only public/communal baths in the dormitories. We encourage students to approach the program staff for support on gender and sexuality questions and concerns. 
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diversity, Equity,  and Inclusion for further information. We take a collective effort for all students to have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders.
  • The Experiment program structure is rooted in experiential learning and cohort-based learning. The participant group experience is a major source of learning for Experimenters and is facilitated by trained Experiment group leaders.


Program Availability

Deadline Passed

Program Date

Jul 7 - Aug 2



Program Fee


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost


Departure City

Los Angeles

  • Certificate of completion
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders

Families or partner organizations are also responsible for arranging and paying for participants' domestic travel to the international departure/return airport in the U.S., whether flying, driving or by other means. By its nature, domestic airfare varies by airline, timing, destination, and availability.

I will never forget my trip to Japan with The Experiment! I've never felt so welcome in a new space and thrilled to keep learning. Whether it was exploring with my group, playing with my host siblings, eating amazing food, hanging out with local students, or attending language classes, every day was amazing!

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.

View Itinerary Details

Days 1-2

Orientation in Tokyo 

  • Get to know other members of your group while exploring diverse neighborhoods such as Shibuya and Harajuku. 
  • Make your way through the city by way of a scavenger hunt; navigate the city using public transportation; and sample Japanese cuisine. 

During this period, you and your group will stay in a dormitory-style youth center. 

Days 3-13

Thematic Focus in Tokyo or Osaka  


Depending on group size, Group 1 will continue to explore Tokyo. 

  • Become immersed in the Japanese language and culture through interactive small-group language classes. This includes placement tests on the first day followed by interactive lessons that you can apply by practicing during activities throughout Tokyo.  
  • Learn about the history and culture of Japan through site visits of historical significance such as the Meiji Jingu Shrine.  
  • Learn about Shibuya, the center of Japanese youth fashion and culture.  
  • An excursion to Kamakura to experience the cultural importance of temples and shrines.   
  • Learn about the daily lives of Japanese youth by visiting a local high school. 

During this period, you and your group will stay in a dormitory-style youth center. 


Depending on group size, Group 2 will travel to Osaka be based in the region. 

  • Become immersed in the Japanese language and culture through interactive small-group language classes. This includes placement tests on the first day followed by interactive lessons that you can apply by practicing during activities throughout Osaka. 
  • Learn about the history and culture of Kyoto through visits of famous temples and shrines. 
  • Visit the Cup Noodle Museum in Osaka and make your own cup noodles 
  • Learn about the daily lives of Japanese youth by visiting a local high school.  

During this period, you and your group will stay in a dormitory-style youth center. 

Days 14-15

Hiroshima Stay 

  • Learn about the history of Hiroshima by visiting the Peace Memorial Museum and Park .  
  • Take a ferry to Miyajima, an island in Hiroshima Bay and recognized as a World Heritage site. 

During this period, you and your group will stay at a hotel. 

Days 16-18

Homestay and Host Community Visit 

  • Visit a high school to interact with local students by lunching together and participating in their club activities.  
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with your group and learn about traditional Japanese culture. 

During this period, you will stay with a homestay family and in hostel accommodations near the host community.   

Sample host communities: Sagamihara, Yokohama 

Day 19-20

Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Tokyo 

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program. 

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a  hotel near Narita airport. 

Day 21


Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.


Allie Barnes

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Education: Earlham College
Experience in: Japan, Thailand

View Full Bio

Allie is a veteran leader, having had five wonderful experiences co-leading The Experiment’s Japan and Thailand programs. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Allie Barnes graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She spent her junior year studying at Waseda University while living with a host family in Tokyo, Japan. After college, she spent a year serving at a high school in Sitka, Alaska, as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Allie has a master’s in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute. She has also worked in The Experiment Office. A former English as a new language teacher, Allie currently teaches Japanese at a middle school in Louisville, KY. Allie jumps at the chance to explore more of the world; besides her trips to Japan and Thailand, she has also traveled to South Korea, France, Italy, Canada, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Allie loves to swim, dance, rock climb, hike, or just park on the couch with a good book or TV show.