Summer Field Trip in Japan
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Geography



Summer Trip Slide Show

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3 Week 3 Credit Trip
6 Week 6 Credit Program

20 May* to 1 July* Annually

21 Day Tour - Hokkaido to Kyushu
followed by
21 Days in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto
Geography Field Trips & Classes

*dates vary slightly each year


     Japan is one of the most influential nations in the world today, with a culture and history very different from our own. This summer program provides a wonderful opportunity for you to gain knowledge and insights that will aid you in your professional development.


     The Summer Field Seminar is built around the examination of the physical and cultural geography of Japan.  The trip is designed to cover various regions of Japan, examining physical and cultural differences and likenesses among outer regions and such well-known areas as Tokyo and Osaka.  Approximately 3-4 weeks of the trip will be held on the campus of IEC Kyushu Kokusai College in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto (near Nagasaki), Kyushu, and 3weeks will be spent using the rail system to travel between Hokkaido and Kyushu.  The field seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to conduct field studies and research on a variety of critical issues facing Japan's environment, culture and economy.  Students participating in the Summer Field Seminar Program will register in either a 1-3 hour course if they only participate in the rail tour portion of the trip, or a 6 hour course if they continue on to Yatsushiro..  

     Students will answer a set of essay questions pertaining to observations made along the way during the rail tour from Hokkaido to Kyushu, for the first part of the course.

     In Yatsushiro, under faculty guidance each student will carry out a field-based research project from a variety of topics such as urban development, agricultural problems, migration, high-tech industries, environmental problems and natural hazards, culminating in a final written report for another 3 hours of credit. Students in the past have selected topics from fields such as urban development, land-use policy, migration, high-tech industries, environmental problems, westernization, impacts of automobiles, linquistic differences, rural depopulation, and natural hazards.  A topic developed prior to the trip allows for more efficient use of time as well as giving an advantage on grant applications. Students will have the rest of the summer to complete the requirements for  the courses.

Prior Japanese language study is not necessary.

This course may be used to fulfill the general education requirement in international education. If taken for less than 3 credits, other credits from other courses must be used to obtain the 3 credit total.

E.A. site

Program Instructor:
     Todd Stradford, UWP Geography Department

     The program includes airfare, hotel accommodations, most meals in Yatsushiro, domestic transportation from Hokkaido to Kyushu and field trip costs. For more details, explore the links on the left.

For one student's appraisal of the trip click here

Shohinken, Yatsushiro.  Click for  other photos .
Shohinken Tea House, Yatsushiro, Japan

Click for Yatsushiro Links

Dr. H. Todd Stradford President Kazuaki Imoto
262 Gardner Hall Kumamoto Kokusai University
1 University Plaza 651 Hiokimachi
UW Platteville Yatsushiro-shi
Platteville, WI  53818 Kumamoto-ken T866
Phone: 608-342-1674 Phone: 0965-32-5430
Fax: 608-342-1427 Fax: 0965-32-0232  
University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Geography
Kumamoto Kokusai University, Yatsushiro

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