- written by: Lawrence Morello
Japan has a certain kind of mysticism about it. As one of the most beautiful countries in the world, it attracts tourists and students alike, making them believe that they will be part of something extraordinary. Most of the time those beliefs turn out to be true…
Japan is full of mesmerizing natural wonders. The mountains, the unique trees, the rivers and the seas, it is a naturally beautiful place with some of the most remarkable flora and fauna you will ever see.
At the same time, those who have a more metropolitan outlook can also find their fortune in one of the big cities. Japan can offer the best of both worlds, the beauty of Mother Nature and the technological advancement of mankind, with all of its convenience and practicality being on full display. Not just the country itself, but its native language is quite famous as well, luring in adventurous people from all around the world.
Studying a language abroad
Living in a specific country in order to learn its language is not necessary. Just because you live in America, you can easily learn Japanese and vice-versa. With that said, achieving those goals in the place where people actually grew up to speak that particular language holds several advantages. On top of that, those advantages are both practical and spiritual. See, speaking a language is not just about being able to express an intention or a feeling in a specific way. Language is more than just a way of expression, it is also an essential part of our culture, a way of life if you like.
If you can learn a language in the country in which it is spoken, you will develop a better (and certainly deeper) understanding of it. The other standpoint is a more a practical one, and probably a little bit psychological as well. A lot of us tend to procrastinate. If you want to learn a language in the country it is spoken, procrastinating becomes borderline impossible. Say you want to learn Japanese and you go to Tokyo. In that city, you will be confronted with the fact that you have to learn that language every hour of your waking existence.
Unless you are sleeping, you will be reminded of the fact that you cannot yet speak it. Anywhere you go, you’ll come to this realization. Whether you will have an errand to run or you’ll need to buy a new computer, you won’t be able to achieve your goals without practicing your language skills in the process. When you are confronted with this fact even during the most mundane tasks, you will find a new level of motivation that previously seemed inconceivable.
Everything is easier with friends
Once you develop some friendships, this is when the process can really gain traction. Say you enrolled into a Japanese school. Until you meet people and develop some friendships, learning the language in a fun way will be pretty much restricted to movies and music. Let’s be honest, not many of us enjoy the conventional way of learning. When we learn unconsciously while having fun, now that is an experience everybody wants. How can you achieve that, you ask? Finding friends is one of the better ways of doing it. They won’t just help you with learning the language with simply chatting, but you will likely develop relationships that will last for the rest of your life.
The Kyoto experience
The birthplace of many Japanese cultural traditions, Kyoto offers you a slice of the real Japan.
The country’s heritage is safely guarded in the city that served as the capital of the empire for more than a 1000 years.
A much more compact place compared to Tokyo, Kyoto is ideal for those who love nature and don’t want to live in the heart of a metropolis. There, you can learn Japanese in a more peaceful environment where there aren’t as much distractions.
Living in a huge city like Tokyo has its pros and cons. Those who love the swarming environment only a megacity can offer, will obviously love it. From a language standpoint, Tokyo will – without a doubt – offer more “sink or swim” moments.
Being surrounded by millions of people speaking it, in Tokyo one simply has to practice their language skills. Finding quality language teachers is also easier, although their sheer number could make the selection process tougher. All in all, if you like the vibe only a big city can offer, choosing Tokyo to spend some time in and learn Japanese is one of the better decisions you can make.