tokyo street with neon lights
Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Pop Culture: Anime & Manga

Program at Capacity | Contact CIEE to be Waitlisted

Arts & Culture



3 weeks



Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Enroll Now

Request Information



3 weeks



Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview

Explore two creative industries and create your own works in the pop arts and culture epicenter.

Anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics) have become global phenomena. What’s the draw for fans and creators? What makes them compelling and unique? Through interactive classes with professional artists and designers, experience these industries from up close. Try your hand at making your own characters and storylines. Then, team up with other Global Navigators to propose your own anime or manga project. 

Trace the evolution of anime and manga. Analyze tech advancements for creators and pop marketing campaigns. Visit art museums, anime schools, and cultural centers, and learn about careers available to young creatives in Tokyo. 

Soak up the streets of this futuristic city, with its otherworldly architecture, flashing lights, and groundbreaking fashion. Connect with local teens who share your love for otaku style. On weekend excursions, travel to Kawagoe, known as “Little Edo,” a former feudal-era castle town, and Yamanishi, home to Mt. Fuji. Whether you’re a pop art fan or aspiring creator, living in central Tokyo will be a whirlwind of excitement and provide plenty of inspiration to fuel your creativity.

The Take-Aways

Real-World Experience

Discover the history and development of anime and manga and develop skills to critique forms of popular media. Come home with a portfolio of creative work.

Credentials for Your Future

Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a portfolio to document your artistic ideas and to showcase your work in various media and techniques.

Lifelong Skills and Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and adaptability. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S. 


Hours Of Expert Instruction


Weeks Pursuing Your Passion


Life-changing Experience

The Destination
  • tokyo-store-signs
  • tokyo-food-making
  • tokyo-mt-fug

The Destination

Welcome to Tokyo, a vast, neon-lit metropolis made up of many different cities in one.

Tokyo's blend of retro, new, and cutting-edge modernity captivates teens worldwide. Temples, shrines, parks, and zoos contrast with high-tech art installations at exhibits and on the sides of tall buildings. Pop art fans delight in places like the Tokyo Anime Center and the Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo. Akihabara, the otaku district, is where anime, manga, retro video games, and cosplay coexist with niche cafés (like animal cafés with cats, dogs, owls, and even miniature pigs!)

With a population of around 14 million, Tokyo is a city of diverse worlds! There’s tradition in Asakusa and new trends in Shibuya and Harajuku. In Chuo ward, Tsukiji and Ginza are only a few blocks apart but are complete opposites. Throughout Tokyo, you'll find an abundance of things to do, including trying delicious dishes. Get ready to expand your palate with range of Japanese favorites, such as ramen, soba, yakitori, gyoza, and anything you can grill on a stick. 

Cultural Awareness

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Tokyo.

Daily Life

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Breakfast at the hostel 
  • Hands-on classes with expert instructors and professionals    
  • Lunch with your fellow Global Navigators   
  • Out and about for a cultural activity or workshop   
  • Dinner at the hostel or out in the community  


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites   
  • Quality time with friends

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.


Hostel, shared rooms with other Global Navigators

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

Settle into Tokyo and participate in Anime Week. Analyze the aesthetics and complexity of storylines. Collect ideas for your anime or manga project with your group. Take intensive Japanese classes. 

During Manga Week, design your own character as you work on your final project. Add your creations to your portfolio. Continue intensive Japanese classes. 

All you’ve learned comes together for your final week! Learn about careers in the two industries you’ve studied. Finish your intensive Japanese classes. With your group, present your project.

Program Blogs


An Exciting Weekend: Tsumami-Zaiku, Asakusa, and More!

By Isabella Melendez at CIEE

Things have been going by so quickly on this program and we can’t believe it’s almost over. Before things come to an end though, here is a quick recap of... keep reading


Anime Artist Academy, Shibuya, and Shinjuku

By Hailey Staples at CIEE

On Monday and Tuesday, our students split into small groups and were given the opportunity to put their drawing skills to the test. Students visited the Anime Artist Institute in... keep reading


An Afternoon of Hands On Gaming

By DeVante Allen (Love) at CIEE

Second week into the Anime, Manga, and Gaming program brought about a really fun afternoon to explore gaming from a hands on perspective. The first week students learned all about... keep reading


Sample Activities

hssa tokyo activities manga

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Discover Akihabara, the heartland of otaku culture, and spot your favorite anime, manga, and retro video games. 
  • Feel the magic of the Edo period, the final period of traditional Japan, at Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. 
  • Design your own anime character from scratch with guidance from instructors at an anime school in Tokyo. 
  • Experience the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, a buzzing teen entertainment hub. See the enormous, life-size Gundam statue, representing the science fiction media franchise. 
  • Visit the Kagenomori Art Museum, designed by world-renowned shadow puppet master Suiji Fujishiro. Enter an exhibition room in the basement where there is no natural light to highlight the unique aspects of shadow puppetry art.

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience.

What Students Are Saying

  • “It was fun and I learned a lot. I loved spending time in Harajuku, Shibuya, Yokohama, and Akihabara! 

    Jonathan W., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “Everyone should have a chance to meet a group of people who are likeminded. CIEE does a good job of connecting talented people together!”  

    Gabriela T., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “I loved hanging out with my friends and playing taiko in arcades all the time. I played so frequently that I now have marks on my hands from the sticks!” 

    Molly F., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “The program allows freedom to explore and meet new people. I loved my peers, my instructors, my Program Leaders, and the kindness of Japanese people.” 

    Zerah K., CIEE Global Navigator Alum



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us!


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2024 3 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Costs $6,250
Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Costs $6,250

What's Included

Interactive Classes


3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Jennifer Butler

Center Director

Jennifer is a long-time resident of Japan but originally hails from the US. She has an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Sheffield (UK) and a BA in International Studies (Japanese minor) from the University of Alabama.

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