Kyoto, Japan

Japanese Language & Culture

Summer 2022 Applications Are Now Open!
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Information for term Japanese Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

January 14, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: January 14, 2022
  • Dates: Jun 12 – Jul 9, 2022 (4 weeks)

Application Deadline

January 14, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: January 14, 2022
  • Dates: Jul 10 – Aug 6, 2022 (4 weeks)


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Step back in time in the ancient capital of Japan with the Imperial Palace, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and Zen gardens as your backdrop.

Take part in traditional tea ceremonies and Taiko drumming. Learn the art of making sushi, soba noodles or wagashi sweets. This immersive experience is all about soaking up the centuries-old Japanese customs and culture all around you. But don’t worry: For a taste of the here-and-now, you can still find popular shopping districts, video-gaming arcades and sidewalk vending machines selling unique products (from socks to pizza slices!) to round out the experience.

You’ll spend most mornings in Japanese language classes with native instructors, improving your skills and confidence no matter your level of proficiency. Creative cooking, calligraphy and haiku/tanka poetry workshops mix things up. Afternoons are for cultural exploration and practicing your language skills in real life – on the streets, in cafes and on expert-guided excursions to temples, shrines, palaces, museums and more. For a fully immersive experience, you’ll be placed in a homestay with a Japanese family where you’ll join in the daily routines and learn first-hand about local customs. Together you’ll prepare and share traditional meals, go shopping in markets, visit local sites or just hang out. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that opens your eyes, ears and access to the world — and one you’ll never forget.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

The Take-Aways

  • Language

    60 hours of instruction in Japanese by CIEE professors, spanning two or more levels

  • College Credit

    4 college credits may be used to apply toward your future college degree, to demonstrate your ability to do college-level work, or to test out of a language level in college

  • Certificate

    A certificate of learning in Japanese, and documented language growth through pre- and post-program testing

Location & Culture

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Japan’s most historic city remains the hub of traditional old-world culture — and a perfect place to study traditional art, architecture and history.

Did you know? Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 temples and 400 shrines.

While Tokyo is the official capital of Japan, Kyoto is often called the country’s “cultural capital.” With a wealth of well-preserved historical and religious landmarks (including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Kyoto is like a living, open-air museum — and a perfect place for studying Japanese language and culture.

Here you’ll see sacred shrines rather than skyscrapers; lanterns in place of neon lights. The narrow stone streets in the center are lined with old wooden houses, traditional teahouses, and quiet gardens. But all around you’ll find modern shops selling snacks (for your fix of Poky and Matcha Kit Kat!) and noodle or curry houses catering to hungry students.

Adventurous eaters will love Nishiki Market, which has over 100 food stalls and shops of its own. You can fill up on samples, skewers, gyoza dumplings, noodles and more noodles, and pickled everything! Mountains of rice-cake mochi and other wagashi confections come in all shapes and colors. Go for a grilled baby octopus on a stick if you dare!

Daily Life

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Daily Life

During our second week we visited Mitaka High School and got to meet Japanese high school students. We participated in some of their after school club activities...."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog posts above.

  • Housing

    Carefully Screened Homestay

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


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Sample Activities

  • Make sushi, soba noodles, mochi and more in Japanese cooking classes.
  • Practice the ancient arts of Japanese calligraphy, tea ceremony, and Taiko drumming.
  • Visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, where former emperors lived in high style. 
  • Climb to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, ascending Inari Mountain while passing through thousands of bright-orange torii gates.
  • Check out the Kyoto International Manga Museum and its collection of 300,000 comic books! See manga-related exhibits and read any manga (comic book) you like.
  • Eat up at world-famous Nishiki Market, or sample traditional tofu, yuba, and saikyo-yaki — Kyoto-style grilled fish.

Sample Day Trips

  • Head to the historical city of Nara to see eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple and the Kasuga Grand Shrine.
  • Visit Osaka, a thriving port city known for trendy shops, flashy signs, excellent eateries and youthful energy!
  • Take in gorgeous views on a daytrip to Kobe – an historic harbor city nestled between mountains and the sea. Look for the iconic port tower and its signature dish, Kobe beef.


Tour a traditional paper-making village in the mountains and craft your own samples of washi. The trip to this rural Kyoto Prefecture includes a picturesque drive to the Japan Sea.

From Shugakuin Imperial Villa, hike to the summit of Mt. Hiei, home to historic Enryakuji temple. From there, take in vistas of the whole Kyoto valley and Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances, covid-related measures and restrictions and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • All proficiency levels.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship Page.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.

Optional College Credit Fee

$150  Learn more 


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2022 4 weeks Jan 14, 2022 Jun 12, 2022 Jul 9, 2022


Summer Session II 2022 4 weeks Jan 14, 2022 Jul 10, 2022 Aug 6, 2022


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