What is your image of Tokyo?
The city is not just the center of Japanese politics and economy, but also the source of anime, pop culture, advanced technology, Japanese cuisine, and other unique aspects of Japanese culture. It is also worth stressing that Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics.
In the Global Studies in Japanese Cultures Program (JCulP), Japanese and Overseas Students study the values of Japanese culture in Tokyo for four years so that they can put their knowledge and skills to use on the world stage.
Students entering the program will have an opportunity to experience Tokyo during the Summer Olympic Games. We hope that you come and experience first-hand the advantages and appeals of studying in Tokyo.
In Tokyo, cutting-edge culture and traditions from Japan’s ancient past coexist, and the incredibly diverse cityscapes of the metropolis exhibit many aspects of Japan’s past and present. Many museums, galleries and art venues in the city also offer ample opportunities to experience Japanese culture at any time.
There is also a deep-rooted festival culture in the old neighborhoods of downtown Tokyo, where traditions come alive especially during the events such as the Sansha Festival and the Kanda Festival. Feel the atmosphere of unity as residents celebrate together during festivals, and enjoy the traditional lifestyle of downtown Tokyo. The old neighborhoods are also full of traditional architectures and crafts. See and experience the culture of Japan up-close in flower viewing, bonsai, traditional craftwork, Ukiyoe, kabuki, and Japan’s national sport, sumo.
Tokyo is also a dynamic site for music and theater arts, where artists from around the world come to perform operas, ballets, musicals and classical concerts, etc.
Deeply rooted in Japan is the spirit of hospitality, exemplified in practices such as the tea ceremony. Human interaction, however short they may be, is handled with a great deal of respect.
The spirit of hospitality, courteous service, and skills of master artisans can be experienced readily by visitors from overseas.
The crime rate is low in Tokyo, as well as in the rest of the country. The culture of mutual help also prevents chaos during natural disasters. For example, if you drop your wallet in Tokyo, it will most likely be returned to you. A total of approximately three billion yen found on the street or left behind is said to be taken to police stations every year.
Toyota, Sony, Honda, Canon, Bridgestone, Komatsu, Subaru, Hitachi, and other major Japanese manufacturers have their headquarters in Tokyo. Visit the Science Museum to see some of the most advanced technologies.
Tokyo’s tap water is clean enough to drink. The advancement of technologies has made high-quality water and clean air available in the city. Medical facilities in Tokyo also boast top-level services with advanced technologies.
Tokyo is also a trendsetting city. Many major cosmetics and beauty-product companies, such as SHISEIDO, also have their headquarters in Tokyo.
The beauty of Japan’s natural environment is marked by four distinct seasons. Tokyo is surrounded by the ocean, mountains, and rivers, and the area around Waseda University has many large parks rich in green. Students can enjoy the seasons through cherry blossoms in spring, fireworks in summer, beautiful foliage in fall, and the white snow in winter. Mount Takao located west of Tokyo has been featured in the Michelin Guide.
“Washoku,” or the traditional Japanese cuisine, has been designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is not only delicious, but also characterized by seasonal ingredients and beautiful presentation, prepared with traditional techniques and craftsmanship that represent one aspect of Japanese culture. Inexpensive but delicious dishes are also enjoyed as “B-kyu gurume” (B-class gourmet cuisine). Tokyo’s wide-ranging food culture is one of its greatest attractions.
With very limited land, Japan may not be able to compete with other courtiers in terms of housing space. However, room sizes should not be the main factor for measuring four years of your undergraduate experience. The main question should be: what types of environment would allow you to acquire unique experience and knowledge that you seek? Tokyo should no doubt be an excellent choice as a place to broaden your horizons and find new set of values.
The cost of living in Tokyo is not excessively high, and people from around the world live and work in Japan. There are over 5,000 international students studying at Waseda University.
The Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020. We hope that international students will participate in the event as a part of the host country, and share their knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and values with the visitors.