Once you come to Japan, you will hear these Japanese greetings more often than you’d ever thought before. Even you are a Gaijin (Foreigner), Japanese people always give a friendly greeting in their own language.
Well, we believe that you may have many kinds of experiences like those stated above. The most difficult problem when you come to Japan as a visitor, student or business person is to understand Japanese language. Most people are conscious that Japanese language is not easy to master. It takes time to understand the basic alphabet, and even more to learn the complex “Kanji”. Furthermore, it is often surprising for foreigners that only few native Japanese people are able to speak English. Even though they may understand English, they mostly use Japanese language in their daily lives, even when speaking with foreigners.
Some foreigners, especially student, complains about their difficulty learning Japanese. You will find that there are a number of language learning centers in each district and many islands throughout Japan, where you can learn from beginner level to advanced. However, we can’t ignore the high costs, especially for students. The language gap is another obstacle while living in Japan, as there is a strong need to understand the basic Japanese language, or at the very least, basic conversation.
Is it expensive to learn Japanese?
No, it’s not so expensive anymore! In western Japan there is Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, famous for both its modern and traditional atmosphere. Kyoto is a student-friendly city that caters to the basic needs of students, especially for foreigners who want to learn Japanese. At Kyoto City International Foundation, in the South-East of Kyoto, students can learn Japanese in private classes at an affordable price, often as cheap as 50 yen per meeting! Some volunteers, often retirees, have a passion for teaching foreigners Japanese language and culture. They are usually very kind and patient, and they can speak English fluently!
To begin, all you need to do is to head to Kyoto City International Foundation a 50 yen ticket from the counter office. No reservation needed! After you’ve paid the fee, the officer will give you a paper card. Go directly to the third floor, and look for the ‘volunteer room’. In the volunteer room, you will see some friendly locals, who will give you a sheet of paper to be filled out with your personal details. Furthermore, they will determine your class level and who will teach you at that time. After around 1 1/2 hours, give the paper card to the teacher and you’re done! You can now learn Japanese language easier and cheaper than you ever thought before.
Besides providing the volunteer to teach you Japanese, Kyoto City International Foundation is also famous for an area known as “Kokoka”, which provides an indoor and outdoor lounge area. This lounge is quite cozy and comfortable for study and talking with friends. On the second floor you can access the library, which holds many kinds of books, and of course you can find lots of book relating to Japanese language and travelling around Japan.
Unfortunately, Kyoto City International Foundation is not open every day. They are closed every Monday. Japanese class schedule is available at 10.30-12.00 from Tuesday until Saturday, at 13.30-15.00 in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and the last class is from 19.00 – 20.30 in Wednesday, Thursday and /Friday. This schedule will be available until March 2016.
It is easy to get into the location?
Here is an affordable way to get there:
- By bus: From Kyoto station take bus number 5 or 100, get off in Okazakikoen Bijutsukan or Heian Jingumae bus stop, then walk around 10 minutes to the location
- By Train: From Kyoto station take Karasuma Subway Line and stop in Karasuma Oike station, then change your train to Tozai Subway Line and stop in Keage Station then walk to the location around 7 minutes.
Kokoka or Kyoto City International Foundation also gives opportunities for people to learn about others culture and build a relationship with their fellow students. At least once a month, they will offer you different kind of activities and exhibitions, like tours to forests, winter fair and many more. They attract participants from many countries to join and share the experience with other participants with different backgrounds. It will enrich your experience and make you learn about cultural differences in fun and interactive ways. So now it’s easy and cheap to learn Japanese in Kyoto! The more you know about the place you live, the more you can enjoy your life. Enjoy Japan!
|Name||Kyoto City International Foundation|
|Address||2-1 Torii-cho,Awataguchi, Sakyo-ku Kyoto|
|Access||[map]2-1 Torii-cho,Awataguchi, Sakyo-ku Kyoto[/map]|
|Opening Hours||9:00 - 21:00 Closed on Monday|