2013 Japanese Winter Programs in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Intensive Japanese immersion, skiing on some of the world’s freshest powder snow, Susukino’s nightlife, brilliant snow festivals, historic sites, hot springs, winter sports and resorts & the most extensive wilderness areas in Japan. A winter Japanese program in Hokkaido provides the opportunity to not only improve your understanding of modern Japan and your language skills, but also your snowboarding or skiing!
There are currently two programs on offer during winter – Winter A or Winter B:
|Jan 9th – Jan 23rd||A||From 159,000 yen|
|Jan 9th – Feb 6th||B||From 229,000 yen|
The program is best suited to those who have studied at least 50-100 hours of Japanese. You can commence studies in Sapporo from January 9th with a total of 2 length options available, and combined the programs with either our Snow Festival and Snowscape tour package, or the “Skiing/Snowboarding & Onsen” package.
Sapporo winter programs involve four classes per day, each of which are of 45 minutes length.
Your textbooks are not included in the program fee, but can be purchased at the Institute along with additional learning materials. You will need a dictionary (either these can be purchased in major stores in Sapporo), something to write on and write with. The overall result is a program that balances serious study with the opportunity to relax, giving you plenty of time to explore the city.
The Sapporo Snow Festival will be held from early February with most events centered on Odori Park and the Susukino district. Since you are in Hokkaido, it is worth travelling as much as possible. Otaru City and Jozankei Onsen are good day trips from Sapporo. The historic treaty port of Hakodate would require at least an overnight stay as it is about 3 hours from Sapporo by train (as Hokkaido does not have a shinkansen), but usually the accommodation costs are actually cheaper than the train fares. If you choose the Snow Festival and Snowscapes” tour package, you can enjoy Hakodate, along with Noboribetsu Onsen and skiing enroute.
Minimum Entry Requirements:
For the winter programs the major consideration is your current level of Japanese. For January 9th, you need to have studied Japanese for approximately 50-100 hours, read/write hiragana/ katakana, read a minimum of 50 kanji.
Minimum age limit is 18 at the time of enrolment. There is no maximum age limit.
Places in the programs are limited and early application is advised. If you are unsure of whether your level is sufficient prior to application, please contact us.
Good insulation and heating is essential for comfort during the Sapporo winter, and the Institute and the various accommodations are well equipped. Compared to accommodation and office space in Tokyo and other southern areas, you will usually be warmer inside when in Sapporo. All classrooms have double glazed windows providing natural light, are well heated and include drying space for overcoats etc – essential during snowfalls. PC’s are available for checking email. Internet is available in the accommodations on request for all but late applicants. Photocopying facilities and a limited range of printing services are available.
Tips Regarding the Weather:
The winters in Sapporo City are cold, and cold weather clothing is essential. It is cold. Read that again. It is very cold. Unless there is a very early spring or abnormally warm winter, it should be about minus 4° Celsius or 25° on the Fahrenheit scale. Snowstorms are of course not uncommon.
It is not really possible to enjoy the city without spending a lot of time outdoors, so layer your clothing. Thermal underwear is a good investment. Make sure you have gloves or mittens, a warm hat, a hooded jacket (preferably windproof and water resistant). For footwear you need
shoes that don’t leak water, or preferably boots.
Make sure that whatever you wear on your feet, that your footwear has excellent traction. There is ice on the roads, pavements, steps and just about every other surface in Sapporo in February. Almost everywhere you go is going to be slippery, and even the locals experience falls.
You can easily obtain shoe spikes (either clip on or strap on) at the airport or JR Sapporo station, good shoe shops and even many of the souvenir shops, but for overall comfort boots are probably your best bet. If you arrive in Sapporo without good footwear, you may wish to visit an excellent outdoor shop called Shugakuso near “Kita-12-jou” (north street #12) station on the Nanboku (north south) subway line. They also run the Patagonia outlet just down the street.
Please choose a program that suits your needs and schedule – we hope you can join us and enjoy winter in Japan. If you are unsure of which program to choose, please write to us.