Learn Japanese through community activities at Akita Inaka School


One of the best ways to learn a foreign language is by taking part in practical activities and being a part of the community. Akita Inaka school in Kosaka town, Akita Prefecture, in Japan’s Tohoku region, does just that.

Not only do you learn useful Japanese in the mornings, you can enjoy the beautiful peaceful nature of the countryside after lessons. Explore the local area during your free time and use your Japanese by joining in local festivals, pottery classes or sporting events which are organized by the local community.

Now is a great time to take advantage of the course, especially for foreign families living in big cities in Japan and who are unable to go abroad due to the pandemic. Why not check out the warm hospitality and beautiful nature of Akita, and learn Japanese at the same time?


Rich in nature, visiting Kosaka is like stepping into a Ghibli movie with its breathtaking surroundings. It is beautiful any time of the year and the quiet environment is perfect for learning.


People from all around the world can apply to learn Japanese at Akita Inaka school. The two-week courses — ideal for families or groups — focus on learning practical conversational Japanese, with mini lessons on local culture. Activities are offered after school and on weekends.

The family or private group course (for up to six members) is designed for those who would like to tailor various activities with more personalized Japanese lessons. You can also choose the dates to take the course (with some exceptions). In this way, it creates an opportunity for the group to become more involved in the community, getting to know Japanese families and their culture.


Lessons take place in an authentic Japanese classroom from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The course is focused on learning practical conversational Japanese to help prepare you for real life situations. Events are organized after classes and on some weekends so students can practice what they have learned in class in real life.


Activities include hiking, railbike ride, cooking Japanese food, visiting hidden onsens, interacting with Japanese students and residents, cycling through the beautiful mountainous scenery and rice fields, woodcraft/wood burning, fruit and vegetable picking, playing with Akita dogs, pottery, calligraphy, wine-tasting tour, kabuki and visits to beautiful natural scenery such as Lake Towada and Oirase Gorge. Optional activities include kabuki theater, tea ceremony and trying on a kimono in a traditional samurai house, making bento boxes, pottery and calligraphy and a wine-tasting tour.




The next courses are in winter 2021 (Feb 1-26). Highlights are the Towada Winter Festival, a one-night farm stay, onsen visit, tea ceremony, kimono wearing, bonfire night and a visit to snow monster sculptures at Mt Moriyoshi. Optional activities include skiing and snowboarding.

Here is footage from the 2020 winter course.

Total cost for the 2-week course: 770,000 yen. Transport to/from the Odate Noshiro Airport provided, transport to/from the school provided, transport for all the included activities provided.

The price above does not include flights and accommodation.

A Japanese style tatami house in the center of town is available for 100,000 yen during the two-week course for a group of up to six people.

For other courses, please click here.

To apply, click here.

© Japan Today

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770,000 yen plus 100,000 accommodation for two weeks? A bit pricey, methinks.

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People from all around the world can apply to learn Japanese at Akita Inaka school.

Sounds super - if they can miraculously get a flight to Japan do the foreign applicants get exemption from the 2 week quarantine?

Total cost for the 2-week course: 770,000 yen.

With cost of getting there / accomodation on top of it...yep, absolute bargain.


-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You'd be surprised, just because you cannot afford that 3 bedroom apartment in Central Tokyo, does not mean others can't. Let the market forces decide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You'd be surprised, just because you cannot afford that 3 bedroom apartment in Central Tokyo, does not mean others can't. Let the market forces decide.

Fair enough...and if they are succesful , kudos to them for doing it , because the profit margin on this program would be huge ( with costs being essentially just a teacher' salary & classroom and organizing a few activities ).

Still, at least they are pro active in trying to create some business / self employment opportunities and I can appreciate that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nice. Certainly beats my life in Tokyo. Avoid zombie stares, avoid shoulder bump or push in back if walk to slow, enjoy perpetual fart odor on subway, prepare face for door slam by person in front who can't be bothered to acknowledge another human being.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The facility they are using is an elementary school that closed in 2013 but now operates as some kind of community center/facility for the disabled. That little story itself is quite representative of inaka.

They have started this up with tragic timing due to Covid-19 closing the border, so good luck to them.

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Not sure how old are people leaving such comments or who they are and where they live but for sure they have no kids/family and are either in their early 20s or cannot afford any holiday at all. I have been living in Tokyo for over 4 years with my family (4 kids and a wife). Although we live in a 3 bedroom apartment (provided by my company so I dont pay for it), it seems like living in a can. Each holiday (no matter where) costs me well over $10,000 every year for no more than 2 weeks (plane tickets are almost half of that if travelling overseas). If I want to travel domestic in Japan, hotel itself is at least $400 per night for a family of 6 (and more if I want to stay in a traditional ryokan with nice tatami rooms) = over $5000 already. And that is only accommodation, no private teaching, no activities, no local interaction. My wife is doing selfstudy at home as she has no time to join any school. All the schools I have contacted do not provide family lessons for 6 (mostly due to kids in different ages and levels - and I am not surprised as to handle 4 kids is not an easy way). Living in Tokyo has nothing to do with real Japan and when I say to neighbours "Ohayo" they look at me like I am an idiot. Having opportunity to go for a holiday with all my family, to learn the language and a culture and experience all that its impossible to experience in Tokyo for a fracture of a normal holiday price sounds great not only to me but probably to all families like me living in Japan.

And whoever you are Marcelito - you have obviously none idea about much in life or business. I would recommend you to open such school yourself and to make that "huge" profit. Given the difficulty of finding staff in a countryside, logistic problems, renovating houses (such beautiful house I would never be able to find to stay with my family at), it sounds to me like the school makes little profit if any at all (if you join their normal 2 weeks course it will cost you $2300. So if its a family of 6 = $13200 - already much more than the private course with more hassle than the normal course). Some people should learn the math before making such ridiculous comments. Not to mention cost of company running such as accounting, lawyers, insurances, office rental, cars, equipment, bills, etc etc.

I am so happy that someone had an idea of creating such great opportunity for people like me with families who live in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agree Michael! Sounds a bargain for a family. Even with only 2 kids, each holiday cost well over $10k for a normal family. Funny reading comments above - obviously they have not experienced family yet, nor have any understanding about life :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is genius! Something way better than my typical family holiday and much more memorable! The photos are so cute! (cost wise its way less than my 2 kids holiday alone each year). Thank you for creating such wonderful opportunity and sharing with us!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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