The island nation of Japan, located in the Pacific Ocean, east of China, N. and S. Korea, and Russia, was first documented in the first century AD. The development of the nation was influenced by surrounding countries and cultures as well as periods of isolation, followed by its success in several wars. Currently, Japan is one of the world’s strongest economic powers and is a constitutional monarchy with an emperor and parliament.  Despite Japan’s growing global influence in modern technology, it is undeniable that the country’s cultural traditions and customs continue to be practiced.

SAS participants in Japan have the opportunity to explore the unique aspects of Japan’s economic, philosophic, and religious systems.  Visits to monumental historical sites display the country’s war and post-colonial past, while sacred shrines, gardens and volcanic parks leave visitors awestruck with Japan’s natural beauty.

Source: CIA Factbook

Fast Facts

  • Language: Japanese
  • Population: 127,253,075
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
  • Currency: Yen (¥)
  • Capital: Tokyo

Things To Do in Japan

  • Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum
  • Engage with children at a YMCA-sponsored kindergarten and nursery school
  • Experience a home visit
  • Survey the densely packed buildings and cultural opportunities of Tokyo
  • Stay at a traditional ryokan
  • Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony