Kon’nichiwa as we continue to give you a glimpse into our in-depth Japanese cultural immersion course which will take place over your first week on TravelBud’s Teach English in Japan program. By now you would have learned that the first week of our program is dedicated to maximizing our soon-to-be teachers’ potential for a life-changing cultural immersion in Japan. And in part 1 of this series we walked you through how we fuse Japanese cuisine and language together to provide a window into the ancient culture and traditions which, despite it’s ultra-modern society and developed cities, continues to root itself so deeply into everyday life in Japan.
As a quick recap, the first week of our Paid Teaching program in Japan is dedicated to providing our TESOL students with a strong foundation into Japanese culture before they set out to make Japan their new home for a year or more of teaching English at local schools. At the end of this week you’ll have developed a strong footing from which you can expand your potential for a cultural immersion in Japan which will reshape your perspective for years to come!
This is all made possible by our in-depth lessons on Japan’s rich history, culture, politics, geography, and language in conjunction with enriching and thrilling cultural excursions which take place throughout the week.
It’s now time to walk you through the rest of our week-long course which includes a visit to Nagoya’s ancient castle, the Tokugawa Art Museum, tons more lessons on Japanese cultural etiquette, history, and politics, and (yes, we’ve saved the best for last) a Sumo Wrestling match!
Explore an Ancient Castle and the surrounding area
The next step on your journey while adjusting to your new surroundings requires you to put on your comfy sneakers as we head out on a guided walking tour of downtown Nagoya and a visit to Nagoya’s ancient castle (the first of many you’ll likely visit during your adventures teaching English in Japan).
Nagoya Castle is one of Japan’s largest and most ancient castles dating all the way back to the Edo period (from 1603 to 1868), and one of the few remaining from the 1945 air raids. Combined with your history lessons, you will be completely enriched in Japan’s history after this fascinating excursion.
The guided walking tour of Nagoya will not only give you the opportunity to put your Japanese language lessons to the test, as you interact with local street vendors and visit shopping centers, but you will also explore parks, viewpoints and even visit an anime shopping centre. If you are into Japanese pop culture, you’re sure to catch a Pokemon or two!
Japan is known for having some of the safest and cleanest cities in the world which you will experience first-hand as you make your way around Nagoya with your course mates. Markets and local shops hold strong Japanese roots with influences from western cultures that can be seen in their lifestyle, art and food. And with your school placement potentially being in any of the major cities of Japan, this will prepare you for going on your own walking tour when you get to your placement – a safe and easy way to familiarize yourself with the sites, sounds and smells of your new surroundings!
Walk back in time to the Samurai Era at the Tokugawa Art Museum
As your first week in Japan draws to an end, we visit the Tokugawa Art Museum where you’ll immerse yourself even deeper into Japan’s history, culture, and ancient traditions while delving into an array of art dating all the way back to the 12th century. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or not, this excursion is guaranteed to broaden your mind. Picture an array of installations on Samurai arms and armour as you explore the ancient history of Samurai and Japanese art, and how the two have come to co-exist to create a historical art selection vastly different to anything you’ve ever witnessed before.
Get ringside at a Sumo Wrestling match
Yes, that was no typo. Ringside we go to watch a Sumo Wrestling match, just one of the many first-time experiences Japan will grace you with. And this one is bound to blow your mind! The ancient art of Sumo is a form of wrestling that is extremely popular in Japan. And Sumo is not only the national sport in Japan but is teeming with many religious traditions.
This is arguably the most surreal experiences of your first week of cultural immersion in Japan with TravelBud. You will see wrestlers drink sacred water and throw salt into the ring before the match commences while a Shinto shrine hangs above. And wrestlers enter the ring clapping as they summon the gods. If there’s one thing we can promise you without a doubt: this is one experience you’ll never forget as you gain yet another window into Japanese culture and ancient rituals which continue to root themselves into modern-day Japan.
By the end of your first week in Japan you will have acquired a solid foundation into Japanese culture, history and language, just in time to learn everything you need to succeed in the classroom as an English teacher. And by the end of your first month in Japan, you’ll head off to your placement more prepared and confident than you ever could be to excel in the classroom and have the most culturally rich experience imaginable teaching English in Japan.
Everything included in our in-depth course on cultural immersion in Japan
Here’s a recap of everything which is included in the first week of our Paid Teaching program in Japan:
- Tons of lessons from experts in the field on Japanese history, culture and society, geography, and politics
- 6 hours of Japanese introductory language lessons
- A variety of cultural excursions and activities which include a traditional Japanese cooking class, visits to Nagoya’s ancient castle and the Tokugawa Art Museum, a guided walking tour and welcome dinner, and a live Sumo Wrestling match
Teaching abroad is arguably the most culturally immersive travel experience out there but without a guided introduction into what’s a completely foreign cultural environment, many people who are fortunate enough to teach abroad sadly miss out in maximizing their potential for cultural immersion in Japan. This is why we dedicate a full week to provide an in-depth cultural foundation for all of our teachers.
In case you missed part 1
Did you miss part 1 of our guide through our cultural immersion week in Japan? No need to fret, you can read it all here.
Next up: A guided tour through TravelBud’s in-class TESOL course in Japan
Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll walk you through everything you can expect from our internationally accredited in-class TESOL course in Japan!