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ALC’s Eco Tours are essentially part of the Japan Discovery Program, but with a closer focus on the natural and human environment. Each are a minimum of 5 days long. The price of each averages 90,000 yen, with steep discounts available for early payment, or longer periods of study. You will have a lot of fun, and eat very well, but also learn things about Japan that are rarely reported on.
In 2014/15, the tours are scheduled for:
June 6th-10th – Mountains & Forest – 90% of Japan is mountainous, and most is forest. Great mistakes and great achievements have been made in forestry, and the short but fast flowing rivers provide hydropower & headaches for hydrologists and town planners alike. The itinerary includes National Parks, hiking on snow, dams and windfarms, sand dunes and awesome country food. Our focus will be on the mountainous areas of Nagano and Gifu in central Japan.
Course Code: ET0606
June 20th-24th – Nature & Faith – Religion in Japan and reverence for nature are closely associated. Shinto shrines are often located in places of incredible beauty, and ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries deep in the forests. The itinerary includes Mount Koya, Kifune-Jinja in Kyoto and Murou-ji in Nara, as well as a visit to Chichibu island on Lake Biwa. Our focus will be on key sites in Wakayama, Kyoto, Nara and Shiga.
Course Code: ET0620
July 4th-8th – Traditions & Technology – Japanese arts and crafts, high technology and applied engineering have common roots. The industrial robots of an auto plant, have much in common with the centuries old tradition of making Karakuri dolls. Our focus will be on Aichi, Mie and Wakayama, including the Kii Peninsula.
Course Code: ET0704
August 8th-12th – Tohoku Summer – One of Japan’s least developed regions, part of the Tohoku region was devastated by flooding caused by the March 11 2011 tsunami. After 1 night in Tokyo, we will visit Matsushima, Kessenuma and historic Aizu-Wakamatsu, with a focus on how the region is recovering from the shock of the tsunami, and the role of ecotourism in rejuvenating the local communities. Our focus will be on Tokyo, Fukushima and Miyagi.
Course Code: ET0808
August 14th-18th – Hokkaido Summer – A popular destination for Japanese people escaping from the hot and humid cities on Honshu and Kyushu, the relatively cooler Hokkaido offers much to see and do. We will focus on aspects of Hokkaido including habitat destruction, reforestation, the problems of trying to maintain a competitive agricultural base, and developing efficient public transport in a part of Japan that has a much lower population density. The island is also immensely beautiful, and the quality of local food and produce amongst the best in the world.
Course Code: ET0814
August 22nd-26th – Tokyo & Environs – Truly a Megacity, Tokyo is an engineering marvel. Much is made of the fact that this massive city is located on active earthquake fault lines, but it is also a city of waterways (both natural and man made), and severe flooding from snow melt (spring), rainy season (early summer) and torrential rain from typhoons (late summer/early fall) have long provided enormous challenges as runoff from the hinterland flows towards the city. We will also include the hinterland, visiting Nikko and Ramsar listed wetlands. Our focus will be on Tokyo, Tochigi and Gunma.
Course Code: ET0822
February 6th-10th – Hokkaido Winter – We commence with the Sapporo Snow Festival, but then visit active volcanoes, world heritage areas & national parks, onsens & the historic treaty port of Hakodate. The contrast between Summer and Winter in Hokkaido is more pronounced than almost anywhere in Japan.
Course Code: ET0206
To apply for the program, just decide which course you would like to study in, and then contact us for a quotation and for the full details of the itinerary. These programs may also be used to form the base of a personally customized itinerary or group program.