Where Should I Study Japanese in Japan?
A Comparison of Tokyo and Fukuoka
When deciding to study Japanese in Japan, students have to make a series of important decisions, but perhaps the first and most important of these is, where to study? Unless they have a personal reason for choosing a specific place, people often prefer to learn Japanese in Tokyo, or anywhere except Tokyo. Both of these are valid choices, with their own advantages and disadvantages. This article compares the reasons for choosing to study Japanese at a Japanese language school in Tokyo, and in Fukuoka.
First, a bit about Fukuoka. It is a bustling city of 1.5 million people, the largest in southern Japan, and often billed as the "gateway to Asia" because of its closeness to the rest of Asia, and its transport connections. It is not so well known outside Japan, but that situation is rapidly changing as it is regularly chosen as one of the best cities in the world on international rankings by Magazines such as AsiaWeek, Monocle Magazine and Newsweek. It is famous as a music city, a gourmet city, and one of the few cities in Japan with beautiful beaches close to the city center. And it's also home to Genki Japanese School, of course!
Here are some of the factors to help you choose which might suit you best. Many of them are subjective, based on the experiences of past students:
|Population||1.5 million||13 million|
|Friendliness||Very: people are talkative||Slightly|
|Ease of getting there||So-so: international airport, but not many direct flights from Europe/US||Very easy: direct flights from everywhere|
|Ease of getting around||Easy: transport network is simple, travel times are short||Not easy: transport network is complex, travel times can be long|
|Cost of living||Medium: Many things are often cheaper than you would expect||High: Rent in particular is expensive|
|Things to do||Good: It's a big city, so you won't run out of activities.||Great: You won't get bored even if you stay for a lifetime!|
|Cultural experiences||Good: GenkiJACS has a great programme for you to join||Great: Anything is available, for a price|
|Closeness of nature||Close: Beautiful beaches within the city, and mountains 20 minutes away||Far: Seeing nature is a day trip|
|Weather||Good: Warmer than much of the rest of Japan||Good: Also warmer than average|
|Safety||Great: Very low crime rates means you can worry about your study, not your safety!||Good: Crime rates are much lower than other big cities worldwide|
Of course, you're not limited to studying at just one location or the other! You can make great use of your time by splitting it between both our Tokyo and Fukuoka Japanese schools, for no extra cost!