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Japanese from Scratch: Travel in Japan

The second workshop from our “Japanese from Scratch” series for beginners in Japanese language studies took place on the 29th of August 2012 at the Japan Foundation in London. This event was co-organised by the Japan Foundation and Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) and was designed to help people who are interested in travel to Japan.

The evening included useful tips and information about exploring Japan from Ms Yumi Takakubo from JNTO as well as presentations on three areas of Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone. After a break where attendees could speak to experts from travel agencies specialising in Japan, we moved on to language learning. The Japan Foundation’s Chief Japanese Language Advisor, Dr Seiji Fukushima, presented a session that taught basic greetings, kanji and helpful phrases to help attendees on their future travels. There was plenty of information on delicious budget food options, so now everyone will be able to recognise signs for Japanese soba, udon and ramen and know the etiquette for eating these noodles.

After working up an appetite for delicious Japanese food, it was time for the participants to sample some sushi and sake. Participants had the chance to practice their skills with chopsticks, while trying out their newly acquired Japanese with the other participants and members of staff.

This event had a diverse group of participants, from grandparents who were keen to learn Japanese to communicate with their grandchildren to martial art enthusiasts and even honeymooners keen to explore Japan together. One participant summed up the event by saying it was “educational, entertaining and lovely food!” Several participants commented that they would like even more time spent on language learning, so please watch this space for our next workshop and a chance to learn more Japanese!