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Summer Camp for Teens: Discover Little Tokyo
july 20-24, 2015

Step away from the classroom for a more interactive approach to language learning!  Learn Katakana (ex. ア、イ、ウ) and simple expressions in Japanese through fun activities such as exploring Little Tokyo and scavenger hunts.  For 14-18 year-olds with no prior experience in learning Japanese.

  • Dates: Mon., July 20 – Fri., July 24 (5 days)
  • Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm (3 hours)
  • Location: Little Tokyo, JACCC (Japanese American Cultural & Community Center)
    244 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
    See Location
  • Total hours: 15 hours
  • Fee: $180.00 (Class materials included)
  • Age: 14 -18 years old
  • Japanese proficiency level required: none
  • Class size: 12 people*   (*minimum of 4 people required)

Course Program

In class, students will:

  • Play games to learn phrases
  • Say Japanese greetings and expressions
  • Learn Japanese pronunciation
  • Write Katakana characters (ア、イ、ウ、etc)
  • Count in Japanese
  • Read real signs and menus in Japanese
  • Make a fun presentation about their favorite part of Japanese culture

During the Field Trips in Little Tokyo, students will:

  • Take an exciting walking tour with Japanese-American National Museum staff
  • Learn about Japanese and Japanese American history and modern culture
  • Interview native Japanese speakers at stores and restaurants
  • Find and read Japanese letters and words used at stores and restaurants

Hiroko Katsuta

“Learning Japanese is challenging, but also fun and exciting! Little Tokyo is an ideal location to enjoy Japanese culture and language.  I am looking forward to having an exciting and fun time with you!”

Born in Okayama, in western Japan, Katsuta received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and worked as a businesswoman in Japan for several years. She then obtained a master’s degree in Japanese linguistics from Portland State University, where she also taught first through fourth year Japanese for four years. She looks forward to inspiring her students to realize the exciting journey that is studying Japanese.

Michi Shimura

"Hello, Minasan. Japanese is not only a tool for communication. I believe you will also be able to discover new ideas and enhance the quality of your lives through learning Japanese. I am looking forward to seeing you in the classroom!"

Shimura was born in Kanagawa, Japan. She received a bachelor’s degree in Japanese literature at Otsuma Women’s University. At Columbia University she studied Japanese pedagogy, and received her master’s degree in Education from Meisei University in Japan.  She has been teaching for almost 20 years at various schools such as Clemson University, South Carolina, community colleges, and Japanese high schools. She has taught from beginner to native level students of different ages and ethnic groups.


The class was entertaining and informative about the Japanese language and culture. In the class, Japanese was used almost more than English, which was a definite plus to the experience. We learned how to read and write katakana.  Basic greetings were also taught to the class, for example, how to say hello, good evening, excuse me, and see you soon. I came to little Tokyo all the way from Phoenix and it was definitely worth the travel.



I’ve had a lot of fun, and have learned so much in this camp!  What would have taken me months to comfortably read and write katakana, took me five days!


I did try to study Japanese on my own, but was at first overwhelmed with the amount there was to learn. While that demotivated me, I still thought it would be for the best of me to be able to try my best at it, and the summer camp was pretty much the best program for it. I greatly enjoyed my time, and am able to say that not only did I learn a lot in my class, but it was a stepping stone for future knowledge of Japanese language and culture.


My daughter loved attending the Japan Foundation's summer camp. It was a unique opportunity for her to study the language and converse with native speakers in class and in the Little Tokyo community.   The students immersed themselves in the language and the culture in a creative and engaging environment.  It was so impressive to see how much fun they had and how much they learned in such a short time!  I highly recommend this camp for any teen interested in Japanese language or culture.

Terry Palmer (mother of Anabel)

My son has a remarkable experience last summer at the Japan Foundation camp for teens.   He could not wait to go each day.  The teachers were wonderful, and the activities were excellent.  At the end of the session, the teens gave a presentation of what they learned.   It was most impressive to hear them all speak Japanese phrases confidently!  I recommend the program very highly!

Natalie Dalschaert (mother of Taylor)

Article: Exciting Summer Camp for Teens
"Japan Connection" September 2014 issue

Read More>

Report: JF Nihongo Summer Camp 2013
by Colin Marshall (columnist)

I spent a few months of my adolescence struggling to teach myself Japanese, then put the subject down in frustration and didn’t pick it up again for a decade. Having received five straight days’ worth of immersion in Japanese language and culture, the kids attending the Japan Foundation Los Angeles’ JF Nihongo Summer Camp may well avoid that mistake.
Read More>


This event is already full. 
If you have any questions, please contact us. Tel:(323) 761-7510 or E-mail:

Rules and Policies

1. Cancellation and Refund

Cancellation and refund requests must be received by e-mail ( by the cancellation deadline in order to receive a full refund. No refunds will be issued after the deadline passes.

Cancellation Deadline: Friday, July 10, 2015

2. Cancellation by JFLA

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA), may cancel the course when necessary. Applicants will be notified in advance and receive refunds. The course contents are subject to change.

3. Rescheduling Classes

JFLA may change a scheduled class due to an unforeseen circumstance. In such a case, we will schedule a make-up class by discussing the optimal date with the class. We may cancel the course if the number of applicants does not reach the minimum number to start a class.

4. Course Availability

The course is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for the course will close once it is filled to capacity.

5. Late Registration

After the first class has been held, you may not enroll in the course.

6. Make-up Classes

You are responsible for your absence. There are no make-up classes or refunds if you miss a class. We will provide you with the materials for the class you missed, but do not offer private tutoring.

7. Waiting List

Once the class becomes full, applicants can be placed on a waiting list. If space becomes available, applicants will be enrolled in the class.