Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south. Coordinates: The kanji that make up Japan’s name mean “sun origin”, and it is often called the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan’s land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world’s tenth largest. Japanese make up 98.5% of Japan’s total population. About 13.8 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.[
Why Should you Choose Japan for Study?
If you want a rewarding, challenging and memorable study abroad experience, why not study abroad in Japan? With its unique combination of cultural tradition and technological innovation, Japan is one of the most fascinating regions in the world. Here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider making Japan your study abroad destination.
1. Receive a top-tier education
Japan has been at the forefront of scientific and technological modernization for the past several decades, so it’s no wonder that Japan boasts some of the finest STEM programs in the world. Students seeking to further their knowledge in robotics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and other fields of computer engineering should seriously consider studying abroad in Japan.
While Japanese universities are world-renowned for their exceptional STEM programs, there is also an abundance of excellent choices for liberal arts majors. Toyo University is one of the most internationally respected liberal arts colleges, offering exceptional academic resources for students dedicated to the pursuit of languages, history, literature or the arts. Founded in the 19th century specifically to offer comprehensive study in the philosophical disciplines, Toyo University specializes in Japanese language and culture immersion.
2. Become fluent in a difficult, yet highly valuable, language
Achieving fluency in Japanese will make you an incredibly valuable potential job candidate, not only in the United States, but also abroad. Being able to communicate effectively in Japanese will make you sought after by Japanese companies – many of which are incredibly interested in recruiting international applicants.
Even if you have studied the Japanese language rigorously in the classroom, you will never be entirely fluent in the language until you immerse yourself in it. Japanese is an exceptionally difficult language that can be a challenge for Westerners to learn, but surrounding yourself with native speakers will force you to think quickly and speak with confidence.
3. Become familiar with the customs and traditions
Did you know that lateness is considered the height of rudeness in Japan? Are you aware that while Japanese cuisine is heavily vegetable-based, vegetarian diets are uncommon? Learning how other cultures interact with one another can be highly valuable. Not only does it introduce you a new social philosophy, it helps you to successfully relate to people from different parts of the world.
Although you may realize that there are significant cultural differences between the Japanese and cultures of the West, you might not be able to effectively negotiate the sometimes tricky cultural terrain of Japan without having first lived there. The ability to understand and appreciate the culture can be extremely valuable to potential employers. If you can be integrated into a Japanese workplace seamlessly, you will be a highly attractive applicant.
4. Enjoy some of the world’s finest cuisine
If you love food, Japan may introduce you to an entirely new way of enjoying fine cuisine. While most of us in the West are fairly well acquainted with sushi, ramen and teriyaki, you may not be as familiar with traditional high-end kaiseki dining, or the homey pleasures of an Oden stew. You might also be surprised to learn that there is a highly inventive international culinary movement in Japan. Many of the finest restaurants in Tokyo offer a fresh twist on traditional French, Italian and Mexican cuisines!
5. Learn a wholly different cultural perspective
Living and studying in Japan will give you more than a glimpse into a new culture – it will help you to broaden your own horizons, and introduce you to an entirely different worldview. With thousands of years worth of history, tradition and culture, Japan offers students an invaluable opportunity to simultaneously learn from the philosophers, poets and historians of bygone years while developing a familiarity with, and understanding of, cutting-edge technologies.