Japan 02.09.2010 - 15.09.2010


The aim of this trip is to let you experience how Japan deals with the current set of challenges in its economy, political system as well as its society. We will offer you opportunities to deepen your knowledge about specific aspects of Japan, for instance the role of the indigenous tribes in Hokkaido (called Ainu), recent social phenomena in big cities, or the future plans of the new (DPJ) government for Japan. Above all we hope to provide you with the tools to understand Japan and develop an eye for possible intercultural challenges.

Japan is a country that requires a very open-minded attitude from its visitors and some background knowledge if they intend to understand how the country is functioning. This trip is an excellent opportunity for that and hopefully also opens your eyes about your own cultural background. Eventually, understanding Japan has a lot to do with a certain attitude of how to see and do things.

This trip will not argue that Japan is more unique than other countries (as many book titles suggest), but look at certain aspects of contemporary Japan and try to explain them within their cultural, political and economical context. As for the period of rapid economic growth from the 1970ies until the burst of bubble in 1990, there is no single, simple explanation for such phenomena, but many reasons that add up in a given context to the current situation and results. For this reason a differentiated view on Japan is needed. This trip will provide some basics for that purpose and hopes to stimulate critical discussions with like-minded participants while at the same time letting you enjoy the beautiful side that Japan has to offer, such as the marvelous nature, the many delicious dishes, the temples from ancient times or the wonderfully relaxing hot spas. Mixing what has to be done and the pleasures is an attitude that is often taken in Japan and this is also how this two weeks will be organised accordingly: a lot of interesting information and insights along with a lot of fun, stimulating encounters and time to relax and think.