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Short Term | UCF in Japan: Ultimate Kaiseki Cuisine and Culinary Culture
Hokkaido, Japan; Miyagi, Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Utsunomiya-shi, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer B
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer B
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Hospitality, Multi-Discipline Housing Options: Homestay, Hotel
Language of Instruction:
English Minimum GPA: 2.75
Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate Program Type: Short Term
Program Description:
Japenese SweetsJapanese ChefJapanese Cuisine

Faculty Contacts

Dr. Tadayuki Hara-
Mr. Jonathan Judy- 

Application deadline: February 9
Commitment deadline: February 16

Course Introduction: Study abroad in Japan

The purpose of this study abroad is to explore the traditions and cuisine of Japan. This class will act as a supplemental elective for Students attending The Rosen College of Hospitality Management as well as all of the University of Central Florida Students. This study abroad will also be offered to all Students attending Florida State Universities and colleges.

This program will offer students an opportunity to discover how the Japanese people live, eat and celebrate their food and traditions. Students will learn from Japanese Chefs how sushi and sashimi and other traditional Japanese dishes are created; by creating these delicacies themselves under the supervision of the Experts. We will

  • Visit Utsunomiya-Kyowa University for five days and work in the kitchens there as well as enjoy the food being prepared by chefs and students.
  • Visit local restaurants and tour their kitchens.
  • Visit a rural area for two days where we will work with chefs. We will also visit local farms in order to see how the foods of Japan are harvested and prepared with sponsorship from Ministry of Agriculture Fishery Forestry.

·         Conde Nast Traveler chose the 20 best cities in the world in 2016, and the No.1 City is Tokyo.

o    Conde Nast Traveler

o    We stay in Tokyo for two nights, then travel up towards Tohoku region (North-East), and cross into Hokkaido by High Speed rail

o    Hokkaido: the Lonely Planet Guides's 2016 No. 1 Destination in Asia.   

Program Courses:

  • FSS 3008: Culture & Cuisine (3 credits)
  • HFT 3700: Tourism Management may be offered simultaneously (another 3 credits)

Learning outcomes:

  • FSS3008: Culture and Cuisine
    • Explore and create traditional cuisines and dishes of Japan, including Sushi, Sashimi and other traditional Japanese meals.
    • Learn about the traditions practiced by the Japanese at their meals and the manner in which their meals are presented.
    • Understand the roots of Japanese cuisine and what influence it has had on western cuisine.
    • Gain experience and understanding of the ingredients, tools and equipment required to prepare Japanese food.
  • HFT3700: Tourism Management
    • Understand the basic supply and demand of tourism
    • Learn Importance of planning and managing tourism
    • Observe economic impact of tourism as an industry to drive local economy
    • Understand how history, culture, scenery and local cuisine can be utilized to attract visitors to tourism destinations.

Program Itinerary Example (subject to amendment) 

  • 7 July (Fri) 2017- Depart Orlando International Airport (*Do NOT purchase any airfare until instructed to do so by the program leader)
  • 8 July (Sat) - Arrival at Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
    Transfer to Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture
    Check in at accommodations: Toyoko Inn Tobu Utsunomiya-eki Nishi-guchi

·         9 July (Sun)- Excursion to Nikko Toshogu (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
Visit Toshogu Shrine, Nikko

·         10 July (Mon)- Classes Day 1
Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
Utsunomiya Kyowa University- Orientation
Culinary work at kitchen of the campus (Japanese Food 1-24)
Visit to Japanese kaiseki restaurant "Yasuno" for lunch (as visitors - included)
Formal tea ceremony and culture lecture (all materials included)

  • 11 July (Tue) - Class Day 2
    Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
    Utsunomiya Kyowa University
    Culinary work at the kitchen of the campus- Japanese Sweets (Special lecture – all materials included)
    Culinary work at the kitchen of the campus- Chinese Food
    Lunch: Chinese meal (included)
    Flower arrangement in the tea room of Utsunomiya Kyowa University, followed by Yukata (Japanese traditional clothes) wearing lectures (all materials included).
    Visiting Tobu Department Store: Introductory lecture on Sado/Kado (tea ceremony/flower arrangement)
    Dinner at Kaiseki meal for dinner at Ichihachi Arakawa Edo-Gozen
  • 12 July (Wed) - Class Day 3
    Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
    Utsunomiya Kyowa University
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Western Sweets (Special lecture)
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Japanese Food
    Visiting Nissan Motor Factory (producing Infiniti Brands, Nissan GT-R, Z370)
  • 13 July (Thu)- Class Day 4
    Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
    Utsunomiya Kyowa University 
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Chinese Food
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Japanese Food (Sushi)
    Lunch “Sushi” at University included
    Visiting Famous French Restaurant "Otowa" for dinner (included)
  • 14 July (Fri) - Class Day 5
    Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
    Utsunomiya Kyowa University
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Western Food (fish)
    Culinary Work at the Kitchen of the campus- Japanese Food (Soba Noodle and Tempura dishes)
    Lunch “Tempura and Soba” included
    Leave for Otawara-City, Tochigi-Prefecture for Green/Eco-tourism (30miles – one hour ride by bus) included
    Farm Stay (multiple farms nearby) at Otawara, Tochigi-prefecture
    Farm dinner (traditional Japanese meal) included
  • 15 July (Sat) – Otawara, Tochigi (or other rural area)
    Breakfast included in accommodation (all until 7/17)
    Harvesting and Culinary Lessons in rural area of Otawara.
    Lunch in Otawara
    Experience Za-zen Lessons (included)
    Experience Farming and Cultivating Organic Foods (or trout fishing - included)
    Farm dinner (traditional Japanese meal) included
  • 16 July (Sun) – Otawara, Tochigi (or other rural area)
    Breakfast included
    Fishing or catching natural trout in a river (included)
    Lunch (included)  together with trout you caught
    Transfer to Tokyo by JR Line to Ueno, then to Asakusa by Metro Ginza Line to Asakusa (tickets included)

    Accommodation in Asakusa, Tokyo area*****[Meals will not be included in the tour from this point, but instructors will guide you to a place where we can have affordable ordinal meals for US$10 or less, unless majority agree to experiment more upscale, or you wish to go solo with prior permission of instructors. Meals are good in Japan even with a budget of $10 per person] *****

[Note: the following schedules’ details may be subject to change, while we are confident to travel to Tohoku and Hokkaido in 2017. Please check the page time after time]

·         17 July (Mon) - Free Day in Tokyo
Possible activities in Tokyo (schedule may vary: $10 train pass provided) 

o    Visit Harajuku and Shibuya - Epicenter of Japanese Fashion

Visit Edo Museum - Ryogoku and Sumo Westling Houses

Walk around Asakusa area

Visit Roppongi, Shinjuku, metropolitan urban area (Roppongi) (Shinjuku)

  • 19 July (Wed) – Miyagi-Prefecture.
    • Local explorations
    • Stay in Miyagi-prefecture




  • 21 July (Fri)  

Move from Niseko to Sapporo by JR train

o    Schedule to be finalized with a local host institution of Hokusei Gakuen University, established by an American missionary, Sarah Smith.  

o    Their web page is perhaps one of the best web pages of universities

o    Stay in Sapporo

  • 22 July (Sat) 

o    Schedule to be finalized with a local host institution of Hokusei Gakuen University

o    Stay in Sapporo

·         23 July (Sun)

o    Move from Sapporo to Hakodate

o    Stay one night in Hakodate

  • 24 July- (Mon) Departure (return) day
    • Bullet train (Hokkaido Shinkansen) from Shin-Hakodate Hokuto to Tokyo, then to Narita Airport
    • Narita Express to Narita Airport-  Flight out of Narita (NRT) airport around 17:00

Program Price (Estimated- Final pricing will be determine by final student roster and costs are subject to change) 

Program fee- $3,500
Airfare- $1,900 (Estimated around March 30, 2016)
Airfare - $1,900 (Estimated around November 2016)

Questions and Answers

Q1: What are included? And what are not covered?


  • All culinary and cultural program fees in the first week in Utsunomiya, including costs for tasting exclusive (expensive) meals (2 Japanese, 1 French).
  • All accommodations (2 or 3 sharing one room),
  • Transportation fees for planned trips by bus, buses within the cities, scheduled trips by JR trains, Metro, and JR Pass (One-week Green or two weeks ordinal – to be decided as we finalize our schedule)  
  • Entrance fees to tourism sites, such as museums.
  • breakfast & lunch from 7/10-7/17, dinner on 7/12, 7/14 – 7/16.
  • All accommodations except farm stay in 7/15 & 7/16 offer free high speed Wifi. (Free Wifi is not as often available as in Orlando, but some shops offer free). 

NOT included:

  • Any solo tours you may take with permission (we may be able to reimburse entrance fees to temples, shrines, museums in Kyoto)
  • Starting from 7/17 dinner, Breakfast, lunch and dinner 7/18-7/24 and lunch 7/25.
  • Not included = 8 dinners, 8 breakfast, 7 lunches (maximum, see below)

We are negotiating to include as many breakfast into accommodations, thus 8 breakfasts may become less.
Instructors may cover one or more meals, solely at the instructors’ discretion and subject to availability of the balance of budget as an educational occasion to learn about culinary and culture of Japan in the above period.

  • Any personal expenditure for snacks, gifts.
  • Communication fees to USA, including cost for a Pocket Wifi (rental recommended if you need internet all the time)
  • Skype is free to talk with your family and friends in USA, thus we recommend you to set-up accounts before leaving USA.
  • Costs for optional drinks (e.g. Alcoholic), optional foods are not included
  • Additional costs for single room (subject to availability, which is not guaranteed), in which case all the costs for single occupancy would be required, not the differences from multiple occupancy. 

Q2: Do I need a passport? Visa?

Yes, we recommend passport with minimum remaining duration of 6 months at the time of our travel in July 2017.  If you have a US passport, that is all we need to comply, as US citizens are exempted from entry visa for Japan. If you have a non-US passport, please check if you would need a tourist visa to enter Japan. That can be verified by the Consulate General of Japan in Miami’s web page.

Q3: Is it expensive to do things in Japan?

Taxis are expensive though it is clean and safe. Food costs are not expensive as long as you can eat foods that locals eat.

4: What can we do if we miss American foods?

Pizzas are popular in Japan, though it is not the cheapest food. McDonalds are everywhere, and you will find KFC, Starbucks at most of large cities. Japan is famous for clean and safe 24-7 convenience stores, where you can buy any junk foods.

5: Do I need to study Japanese before the trip?

Not necessarily – unless you wish to impress the local hosts and people. Do not buy anything. You can find lots of resources for free.

Q6: Can we use our bank or credit cards?

Now you can use your bank card or credit cards at ATM machines at 7-11 (Seven Eleven) convenience stores to withdraw your money in Japan.
That way, you do not have to carry too much cash with you, though Japan is a still cash-based nation compared with USA.

7: How much Japanese yen in cash do you recommend us to carry?

Please bring some US$ cash. US$100, for example, can be converted into Japanese yen about Y10,000 (after handing fees). That cash would be very useful to carry with you in Japan. When you need more cash, you can simply visit 7-11 convenience stores you find very often in Japan. The ATM will allow you to withdraw Japanese Yen while the converted US$ amount plus fees would be charged against your bank account in USA.

Q8: Which course we are taking and how many credits?

It would be

·         FSS 3008: Culture & Cuisine (3 credits) provided by Food Service and Lodging Department &

·         HFT3700: Tourism Management (3 credits) of Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida.

They may be shown as restricted to hospitality and restaurant majors but with strategic collaboration with Study Abroad Office at UCF Internationalization Office, we make it as “CI” – Consent of Instructors to open them widely to students and public.


Q8: Can the course be taken by non-UCF students?

We are anticipating participation from other University systems in Florida.  We may open further to others with genuine interests in the subject topics and Japan in general.

Q9: Any advices on packing?

 Great question!  Please do not bring a large suitcase with two wheels, as trains and buses do not have huge dedicated spaces for large suitcases in Japan. A large backpack, or small-size four-wheeled bag which you can take with you into the airplane with your PC bag (sample photo shown) would make your travel through Japan by far easier.

Q9: Any Taboos in Japan?

 There are no particular cultural or religious taboos that you should worry as a foreign traveler. 

Taking this opportunity, however, we would like to remind you that you should NEVER open or eat any drink or food at any shops before you make payment at casher in Japan. That is considered as a theft and makes you look bad.  In general, please refrain from eating or drinking unless you are seated.

Q10: Any Manners that we should be aware?

It is an Asian nation but the first westernized nation in Asia through famous Meiji Restoration in 1868. Thus you do not feel many pressures to do or not to do certain things.  However, there are some tacit norms in the society, which are probably more like universal common sense, such as

·         Do not talk loud in the public places, particularly in public transport.

·         Do not talk in the cell phone in public transport, which is usually forbidden, while you can browse the smartphone without sounds.

·         JR Hokkaido has an interesting brochure for their non-Japanese passengers (see the attached photos)


Q11: Can you show me the map of where we will plan to visit in 2017? 

Yes, see the map with my memo.  

japan 3



[Finally, A Testimonial from a Student in Study Abroad Japan 2016]


I had the opportunity to study abroad in Japan for the 2016 Summer B semester. We experienced many aspects of Japan that most visitors don't get to see. One of the most memorable experiences was a traditional tea ceremony dating back hundreds of years. It was incredible to see the intricacy and precision that goes into such an event. We also stayed at a farmhouse in Otawara in rural Japan. Seeing how Japanese farmers live and work was a unique experience not experienced by most foreigners. It was nice to be surrounded by nature and mountains, away from all the noise of the big cities. I loved staying with our host family and I felt very welcomed by their hospitality.

We had the privilege of studying with the culinary students at the Utsunomiya Junior College Affiliated High School. I loved meeting the students, cooking meals with them, and learning from them. Utsunomiya is a unique town in itself that has both a modern and traditional feel. They even have a cafe where you can interact with monkeys and watch them do tricks! I visited many amazing cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, Utsunomiya, and Yamaguchi. Each city is different and has its own distinct culture. There are thousands of temples and shrines to explore, and each time you visit one you feel as if you're stepping back in time.

Studying in Japan was truly a life-changing adventure, and I definitely recommend experiencing it for yourself! --Carolann Fiore

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This program is currently not accepting applications.