Local area

ALC is located in central Japan in Aichi Prefecture. This prefecture is roughly halfway between Tokyo and Osaka, halfway between Mount Fuji and the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara. There are surf beaches all along the Atsumi peninsula, and good hiking opportunities in the hills and alpine national parks. The western part of the prefecture is highly urbanized, with the city of Nagoya forming the hub of what is Japan’s 3rd largest metropolitan area, and one of the world’s most prosperous.

Most of the eastern part of the prefecture is densely forested, with hidden valleys, and unspoilt forested hillsides stretching up into the southern alps. Travel to Ise, Hikone, Takayama, Mount Fuji and all of central Japan is fairly easy and affordable from here, including the alpine regions & ski-fields of Gifu and Nagano to our near north.

We provide an extensive study tour schedule that enables our students to explore a large part of central Japan affordably, including many of Japan’s cultural treasures and World Heritage sites. ALC has two locations in operation.

Center Locations:

Nagoya: Only the University & Graduate School Preparation Course is available here.

Our center in Nagoya is located a short walk from JR Nagoya Station. It is one of Japan’s most important economic centers, and through the ports of Ise and Mikawa bays ply approximately 50% of Japan’s seaborne trade. It is also the largest city between Tokyo and Osaka, and has just about everything a student would need, from incredible museums such as the Tokugawa Art Museum to shopping districts, famous gardens and historic sites, and vibrant nightlife. For sports enthusiasts, Nagoya is home to everything including professional baseball (Chunichi Dragons) and football/soccer (JLeague 1 Grampus), as well as hosting the Sumo Tournament for 2 weeks each July.

Considered a conservative place by many Japanese, it has also constantly proven itself to be one of postwar Japan’s most creative. Toyota Motor Corporation has close links, as do Noritake Fine China, and Brother. Nagoya was home to Japan’s first commercial radio broadcasts, TV tower (older than Tokyo tower) and has a thriving arts scene, and is where the Boston Museum of Fine Arts decided to locate their Japan base. Akio Morita, the co-founder of Sony, grew up here, and his family still manage their 400 year old sake brewing business. The Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid car, was also created here.

Rent in Nagoya is a little more expensive than in the area near the Okazaki center, but there are also more work opportunities (permit required). Transport connections are good, with Centrair International Airport only 40 minutes away. Nagoya Station, Japan’s largest by area, includes not only Shinkansen services (all shinkansen services stop at Nagoya) and all local JR lines, but also the extensive subway system and the extensive, as well as the privately run Kintetsu and Meitetsu railway systems. So it is easy to travel. Ise Jingu (the only shrine in Japan more venerated than Nagoya’s own popular Atsuta Jingu) is close by, as is Kyoto, Nara, Takayama, Mount Fuji and most of central Japan. Tokyo is just an hour and 40 minutes away on the shinkansen, so it is easy to visit for tourism or job interviews.

Okazaki: Most short term ALC programs are available here.

Our center in Okazaki, a satellite city of Nagoya (28 minutes away) but one with a very long and separate history, has just under 400,000 residents. ALC is located in a residential neighborhood near JR Okazaki Station. Okazaki was a castle town on the Tokaido road (predecessor of Japan’s modern day Route 1), which linked Kyoto with Edo/Tokyo via a vital bridge over the Yahagigawa. Japan’s Route 1 still passes through the middle of the city, and in many sections, the ancient pine trees that lined the Tokaido are still there. Okazaki was the birthplace and first stronghold of Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first of the Tokugawa Shogunate 1600-1868), there are many temples and shrines to explore, including several that are more than 1000 years old.

It is a very prosperous town due to local industries such as car manufacturing, robotics, machine tools and other research & knowledge intensive services and universities. Major companies such as Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi, SONY, Makita, Denso and Aisin have major investments here, and as real estate is cheaper than in Nagoya (just 30 minutes away), there are a large number of commuters.

The demographics of the city are also unusual for Japan, as it is a growing city, with many young families, a steadily growing number of schools, and roughly twice as many foreign residents as the national average.