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Aichi Center For Japanese Studies - The Yamasa Institute
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Our students enjoy living in the historic castle town of Okazaki, just 30 minutes from the large city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan. The 3 major international airports are all conveniently located within a few hours’ train journey.

Okazaki is a safe and quiet city with high living standards. Tokyo has a daytime population of about 30 million people, while Okazaki has only 370,000. The town is prosperous with high tech industries including electronics, robotics, and motor vehicle (Toyota, Mitsubishi) manufacturing, yet it has retained its festivals and heritage. Okazaki is famous for fireworks, stonework, Buddhist altars and other traditional crafts. Many Japanese cities such as Tokyo and Osaka were almost entirely destroyed during WWII, but in Okazaki escaped severe damage, and most of the historic sites have been preserved, including dozens of temples and shrines dating back a thousand years. Our students can participate in the festivals and explore the castle and town by bicycle or on foot.

In short, Okazaki is safer, cheaper and quieter and more suited for study and a taste of the traditional Japan. It is also a low-cost city. Rents are less than half those of Tokyo, and prices in general are lower - from groceries and entertainment to our tuition fees. One look at our programs will quickly dispel any notion that studying in Japan has to be expensive.

Also, most students do not realize before they arrive that Japan has tremendous regional diversity. As well the advantage of avoiding high costs, Okazaki’s location makes it easier and cheaper to travel throughout Japan. While we recommend that every visitor to Japan should visit Tokyo and Osaka at least once, many students will quickly understand that visiting is more fun than enduring long daily commutes and high prices at a time when study is your main priority. If living in Tokyo is one of your objectives, then it is easier to learn the language in Okazaki first before moving to Tokyo for work or university study later. If seeing Osaka is one of your objectives, then it is easier to visit it.

Since most of Yamasa’s programs finish early on Fridays, you can be in Tokyo or Osaka long before sunset for a weekend trip. By contrast, if you study in Tokyo, there is no way you could do the same trip to Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Kyoto or the Japanese Alps in the same time. A central location is an essential base if you want to see and enjoy as much of Japan as possible while you are here. Japan’s 3rd largest city is just 30 minutes away – you have everything you need from shopping to nightclubs to cultural attractions.

Within Okazaki as well, Yamasa’s location offers excellent advantages. Our campus is just a seven minute walk from the main JR (Japan Railways) Okazaki railway station (on the main line between Tokyo and Osaka) and the nearest shinkansen station is just a 15 minute train ride. Restaurants, banks, historic temples, peaceful parks, major shopping centers, Minami Hospital and all Student Accommodation are within walking distance.

Bicycles are the best form of transportation, but you never have far to go to reach a bus stop. Success in learning Japanese will depend not only on classroom instruction and private study, but on the environment in which you live. In Okazaki your higher standard of living will make it easier to learn and more enjoyable while you do so.


Being in the center of Japan, the weather in Aichi is also far more pleasant. There is no need to endure the extreme winters of Hokkaido or the sweltering summers of Kyushu, Kyoto or Osaka. Choosing the right moment to come is just as important as choosing what to study, particularly if you want to combine your studies with travel or other activities in Japan.

Finally, being in a smaller city, it is easier to meet people and get involved in local activities. Yamasa puts considerable effort into the cultural activities program so that you have a chance to learn about more than just the language - you can take part in the culture and life of the city. Combined with a rich program of excursions, weekend trips and tours, in Okazaki you don’t just see a little of Japan. You experience the life of Japan.


Hattori Foundation
The YAMASA Institute

1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City
Aichi Prefecture, 444-0832, Japan
Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8111
Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8113
Email: admissions@yamasa.org

© 1992 - 2017 The YAMASA Institute