Social Studies Field Trips in Japan that Anyone Can Enjoy

 

During my grade school days in Japan, there was an extracurricular activity, called a “social studies field trip”, where I got to visit a local factory.

In recent years, more and more companies are actively accepting factory tours in order to create corporate fans, and field trips for adults are very popular. Such tours can easily be enjoyed, because they usually are free or cost only a few hundred yen.

 

I have primarily selected spots close to Tokyo.

Note that in some cases you must apply in advance, or there may be age restrictions or limits on the number of people in a group. Check with each site for details. Most websites are in Japanese only, but try to do the best you can.

 

Beer

Beer tastes significantly different depending on the country. Japanese beer is relatively easy to get used to for people from overseas.

Almost all beer factories allow beer tasting, so I recommend these tours for beer lovers.

 

KIRIN(Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture)http://www.kirin.co.jp/entertainment/factory/yokohama/tour/ 

 

ASAHI(Minamiashigara City, Kanagawa Prefecture) https://www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/kanagawa/

 

SUNTORY(Fuchuu City, Tokyo)http://www.suntory.co.jp/factory/musashino/

 

SAPPORO(Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture) http://www.sapporobeer.jp/brewery/chiba/

 

Japanese Sake

For Japanese sake, there is a huge warehouse called a sakagura (酒蔵) that you can tour.

 

SAWANOI (Oume City, Tokyo) http://www.sawanoi-sake.com/service/kengaku

 

KOYAMASHUZO  (Kita Ward, Tokyo) http://www.koyamashuzo.co.jp/kura.html

 

ISHIKAWASHUZO(Fussa City, Tokyo) http://tamajiman.co.jp/tour/

 

 

Soy Souce

You can also see how soy sauce, an integral part of Japanese cuisine, is made.

 

Yugeta Soy Sauce (Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture) http://yugeta.com/oukoku/contents/kengaku.html

 

Kikkoman Soy Sauce (Noda City, Chiba Prefecture)http://www.kikkoman.co.jp/library/enjoys/factory/pdf/eigo.pdf(English site)

 

 

Automobiles and Motorcycles

You can see the history of Japanese cars and motorcycles, and famous cars from the past. These tours should be irresistible to car and motorcycle enthusiasts.

 

TOYOTA(Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture)http://www.toyota.co.jp/jp/about_toyota/facility/toyota_kaikan/index.html

 

NISSAN (Several plant tours exist) http://www.nissan-global.com/JP/PLANT/

 

HONDA (Several plant tours exist) http://www.honda.co.jp/kengaku/index.html

 

MAZDA (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture)http://www.mazda.com/ja/about/museum/guide/

 

SUBARU (Oota City, Gunma Prefecture) https://www.subaru.co.jp/csr/factory-tour/

 

SUZUKI(Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture)https://www.suzuki-rekishikan.jp/

 

KAWASAKI (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture)

https://www.kawasaki-motors.com/kaze/prev/kojo.html(Regular tours)(English site)

http://www.khi.co.jp/kawasakiworld/(Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture)

(Kawasaki limits tours to motorcycle clubs only)

 

YAMAHA(Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture)http://global.yamaha-motor.com/jp/showroom/cp

 

Airplanes

The airplane hangars are incredibly impressive.

 

JAL (Oota Ward, Tokyo)http://www.jal.co.jp/kengaku/tour/

 

ANA (Oota Ward, Tokyo) http://www.ana.co.jp/cp/kengaku/index.html

 

 

Sweets

You can even buy gifts and souvenirs. There’s even a place that offers all-you-can-eat ice cream for free!

 

glico (Kitamoto City, Saitama Prefecture) https://www.glico.com/jp/enjoy/experience/glicopiaeast

 

calbee

(Hokkaido, Tochigi Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture)http://www.calbee.co.jp/factory/

 

AKAGI (Honjoo City, Saitama Prefecture) http://www.akagi.com/factory/index.html

*This is the manufacturer of the popular Garigari Kun ice cream in Japan.

 

chateraise (Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture)https://www.chateraise.co.jp/enjoy/02factory.php

 

unagipai(Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture) http://www.unagipai-factory.jp/tour.php

 

shiroikoibito(Sapporo City, Hokkaido)http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/english/

(English site)

 

royce (Chitose City, Hokkaido) http://www.royce.com/contents/english_rcw/(English site)

 

 

Miscellaneous

Cupnoodles-Museum

(Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/english/index.html(English site)

You can make your own original cup ramen, including drawing a picture on the container and choosing the ingredients.

 

Yamato (Oota Ward, Tokyo)

http://www.yamato-hd.co.jp/hnd-chronogate/visitortour.html

You can tour the latest facilities of a Japanese distribution company that delivers luggage quickly and accurately.

 

Railway-Museum (Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture)

 http://www.railway-museum.jp/en/index.html(English site)

This is a museum, so it is a little bit different from a social studies field trip, but it is a very popular spot for those who like trains.

 

Why isn’t LinkedIn used in Japan?

 

The column “Why isn’t LinkedIn used in Japan” is very popular.

・The company will think that you’re trying to change jobs if you register with LinkedIn. (In Japan, many people still assume lifetime employment.)

・Japanese people do not like to publicize their personal achievements and work experience. (Many people do not think in terms of their own achievements, but in terms of the achievements of their company or team.)

・In Japan, building personal relationships come first and this then leads to business opportunities. This is why people prefer Facebook.

・The following reason was also given: “Japanese people do not tend to draw a clear line between public and private matters. So they can talk about both their private lives and work on Facebook.” However, I think it’s more than just that.

The problem is the people who seek to employ workers.

Human resource departments, staffing agencies and corporate hiring managers also use LinkedIn, but except for large corporations, many hiring managers in Japan are also responsible for labor management, general affairs and administration, so they avoid direct recruiting because it’s a lot of extra work.

Not only that, there’s no real reason to put much effort into using LinkedIn, because even if hiring costs could be lowered by using it, companies don’t value it very much and it wouldn’t have much impact on salaries anyway.

 

If you do not prepare, you will lose money!

 

You may already know that “it is better for you to take lesson with preparation.”

 

But, there are not so many people who are always preparing well.

I think this is a very wasteful thing.

Because it is not a school nor a lecturer but a learner who lose by not preparing.

Not only time but also money.

 

Let’s think about what each lesson will be in the following three patterns.

(1) With complete preparation

(2) With little preparation

(3) Without preparing at all

 

(1) With complete preparation

In the lesson, the lecturer will explain only “what students have prepared but did not understand”. And the lecturer uses all the remaining time for exercises with high learning effect such as applied practice and role play. In addition, lecturers can explain things not written in textbooks, and can also customize exercises according to the environment and preferences of learners.

 

(2) With little preparation

In the lesson, the lecturer can explain what is written in the textbook and can use a little time for practicing high learning effect such as applied practice or role play.

 

(3) Without preparing at all

In the lesson, the lecturer must explain each vocabulary and grammar one by one and must use all the time for them. They cannot teach whole contents what they planned and they have to resume from the middle in the next lesson.

 

 

I will quantify and describe the above three patterns so that you can imagine. (*These figures are hypothetical, as it is aimed at simplifying the story, there is a possibility that it is not accurate.)

 

In each of the above cases, we assume the amount that you can learn in one lesson as follows.

(1) 150

(2) 80

(3) 40

 

And assuming that the total amount you have to learn in order to finish a course is 2000, the number of lessons required for each case is as follows. (In case a lesson progresses according to learners’ proficiency level)

(1)13.3 lessons

(2)25 lessons

(3)50 lessons

 

And assuming that one lesson is 10 US dollars, the necessary cost to complete the course is as follows.

(1) $ 133

(2) $ 250

(3) $ 500

 

In other words,

The person of (2) has to pay 1.875 times the tuition fee of (1).

The person of (3) has to pay twice the tuition fee of (2).

The person of (3) has to pay 3.75 times the tuition fee of (1).

 

Everyone wants to save both time and money, right? That’s why I recommend preparing well. Moreover, those who prepare well can do applied practice and customized exercises, which has the effect of making the lesson fun.

 

Which would you prefer, “Cost-effective good and fun lesson” or “Cost performance bad and boring lesson”?

 

 

Japanese television programs for business people

 

I want to tell you about Japanese television programs for business people working in Japan.

 

<Business News Programs>

 

  • モーニングサテライト (Morning Satellite)

TV Tokyo, Monday-Friday, 5:45 – 6:40

http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/nms/

 

This program covers economic news every morning.

The program primarily covers what happened in the American market during the night in Japan, and what’s happening in the Japanese market.

 

  • 日経マーケットアイ (Nikkei Market Eye)

TV Tokyo, Monday-Friday, 6:40 – 7:00

http://www.bs-j.co.jp/marketeye/

 

This program mainly focuses on experts discussing issues not covered in Morning Satellite.

 

  • ワールドビジネスサテライト (World Business Satellite)

TV Tokyo, Monday-Friday, 23:00 – 23:58

http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/wbs/

 

This program is probably watched by more business people in Japan than any other program. It covers a broad range of topics from market information, to new product information, and includes special features.

(By the way, J-OS was discussed on this program.)

<Documentary Programs>

 

  • プロフェッショナル仕事の流儀 (Professional Work Fashion)

NHK, Monday, 22:25~23:14

http://www.nhk.or.jp/professional/

 

This show focuses on the life of one business professional every week, including the person’s troubles, setbacks, and thoughts. The program is popular with people who sympathize with the lives of business owners and workers.

 

  • 未来世紀ジパング (Future Century Japan)

TV Tokyo, Monday, 22:00 – 22:54

http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/zipangu/

 

This show discusses topics such as how Japan is viewed overseas, overseas markets that will grow in the future, and ventures in Japan trying to succeed overseas.

 

  • ガイアの夜明け (Gaia Daybreak)

TV Tokyo, Friday, 22:00 – 22:54

http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/gaia/

 

This program covers companies and people taking on challenges.

The industry and topic being covered changes each week, but many people watch it.

 

  • カンブリア宮殿 (Cambria Palace)

TV Tokyo, Thursday, 22:00 – 22:54

http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/cambria/

 

This program was created by Japanese novelist Ryo Murakami. It welcomes business owners, politicians and other   important people as guests, and talks about their activities, achievements, failures, how to succeed and other topics in an interview format.

 

  • がっちりマンデー!! (Gatchiri Monday!!)

TBS, Monday, 7:30 – 8:00

http://www.tbs.co.jp/gacchiri/

 

This program covers one topic each week from a financial and economic perspective.

Often discussing familiar companies and products, the format is easy to understand and the program is popular among people of many ages.

These programs are also good for listening practice, so check them out.

 

 

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