At Mori no Ike 森の池, our Japanese Language Village, you can experience both traditional and modern Japanese culture—even trend-setting Japanese lifestyles—all while learning and practicing your new language skills. You’ll experience an array of authentic cultural activities at Mori no Ike, from traditional music and crafts like taiko (drumming) and shodo (calligraphy) to martial arts and sado (tea ceremony). You’ll dine on traditional foods like udon and soba (noodles), tempura (battered meat, fish and vegetables) and gohan (rice). At Mori no Ike, you’ll be immersed in the culture of Japan while studying the unique language of Japan’s 130 million people.
From our flagship summer youth camps to family programs and adults-only sessions, Concordia Language Villages provides a lifetime of language learning and cultural adventure. Find the program that’s right for you!
Duration: 1 Week | 2 Weeks | 4 Weeks
Our flagship Language Village camps where language comes to life. A fully immersive cultural experience.
Duration: 1 Week
Daytime programming for young villagers ready to explore the Village experience without overnight stays.
Keep your Language Village experience going all year long with our Virtual Clubs, Classes and High School Credit programs.
Duration: 2 Days | 3 Days | 1 Week
Fun and learning for the whole family (and friends)! Enjoy culturally immersive activities, meals and tailored learning.
Choose from a variety of programming options including Conversation Hours, Classes and more, for ages 18+.
Training for military, healthcare and corporate clients, with customizable programming designed to bridge cultures and break language barriers.
A global outlook is important for success in the domestic and international arena. Concordia Language Villages offers customized corporate, government and military training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients.More Information
Need-based scholarships are available for Japanese summer youth immersion sessions through the Passport Fund. Scholarships are based on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependents and the length of the session.
Additionally, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education offers a $1,000 stipend for Minnesota students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at school.
Mori no Ike is located at Camp Minne-wa-Kan on the shores of Lake Andrusia, near Cass Lake, Minn. Cass Lake is located within the boundaries of the beautiful Chippewa National Forest, home to one of the largest populations of breeding Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. We are currently raising funds to build a permanent facility at our Turtle River Lake site.
Camp Minne-wa-Kan features classic log-cabin architecture, groomed swimming and canoeing beach, sports field, lakeside dining hall and a central activity building. Cabins house up to 16 villagers and staff in bunk beds. Bathrooms and showers are housed in a central building just a short walk from the cabins.
Read more about our professional staff at Mori no Ike, our Japanese Language Village.
Koyomi began learning Japanese as a villager at Mori no Ike, and has worked at Concordia Language Villages since 2003 in the Japanese and French Language Villages, as well as providing professional development to staff members from all languages. For her master's degree in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Koyomi conducted research with villagers at Mori no Ike. During the school year, she teaches English, ESL and Japanese at a boarding school in the Northeast.
Tamaki has worked with Concordia Language Villages since 2009 and has served as our Dean for Japanese programming during the second half of the summer since 2016. He holds a bachelor’s in East Asian Studies and Psychology from The College of William & Mary and a master’s in Japanese Linguistics from the University of Hawaii. During the school year Tamaki works full time as a Japanese language immersion teacher at a public elementary school in his home state of Virginia.
Kaylene Hideko Ruwart is co-dean of Mori no Ike (first half), the Japanese Language Village. Hideko started learning Japanese in the late 90s armed with a dictionary, highlighters and a whole lot of Sailor Moon songs. Through the years, she has been a villager, counselor, credit teacher, credit facilitator and assistant dean, as well as the unofficial Official Graphic Designer for Mori (and creator of mascot Kouta). Outside of the Concordia Language Villages, she works for college readiness programs AVID and TRIO Upward Bound and occasionally does graphic design and illustration work. When not working, she’s usually found reading sci fi-fantasy novels, writing one or drinking tea.
Kenia Akari Hara is the Lead Teacher for Mori no Ike's fall/spring virtual high school credit program. Akari first joined Concordia Language Villages in 2013 as a Credit Teacher and became Lead Teacher in January 2022. As a D.C.-raised global citizen with roots in Cuba and Spain and her heart in Japan, race, identity and hybridity have been a constant point of interest. She has a passion for teaching Japanese to students of all ages as a fun, fascinating and complex language and culture.
Shouya 翔也 (he/they) is currently a student of Japanese and Religion at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. They spend the few weeks of the year that they aren't in Minnesota in New Jersey with their family and many cats. The welcoming camp culture he experienced as a villager inspired him to grow into a leader striving to translate that same compassion through a virtual setting.
Magda Umi Fuller is a former El Lago del Bosque villager of 10 years and has worked at Mori no Ike since 2020, most recently as the two-week activity facilitator. She's excited to be involved with Concordia Language Villages again after seven years of living and working in Kanazawa, Japan. When she's not at camp, she enjoys visiting offbeat tourist traps, collecting strange GoogleMaps reviews and meeting new dogs.
Concordia Language Villages staff may speak a Village language, creatively teach culture, work and play hard. They also develop skills and qualities that will make them excellent employees in any field.