Upon arrival at Mori no Ike, you will pass through Japanese "customs" and be surrounded by the sounds, sights and flavors of Japan. First, you’ll choose a new Japanese name and exchange your American dollars for yen to be used at the village mise (store). Then you’ll find your cabin and settle into your new Japanese style うち (uchi・cabin). Our caring, friendly counselors will help you learn the words and phrases you need to say konnichiwa to your new cabin mates, ask them where they’re from, and figure out what's what in your new mura (village). In no time at all, you will feel like a part of the community, which is exactly what you will be as your entire time at Mori no Ike will be spent with other kids your own age who share your interest in making new friends, trying new things, and immersing themselves in the Japanese language and culture. Throughout your experience, you will be guided and supported by counselors who speak the Japanese language and culture and are an integral part of the fabric of the community.
Japanese is the official language of Japan, a world economic power with exports ranging from comic books to automobiles. Although Japan is the only country in the world to have Japanese as its official language, 127 million people around the world speak Japanese. There are significant populations of Japanese speakers in the United States, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. Because the Japanese language shares some characteristics with Korean and shares some written characters with Chinese, knowing Japanese can make it easier to learn other Asian languages.