Yamasa Blogs

Hi there!

As an applicant to Yamasa, the Japanese school, I had a lot of questions. I have searched the net for information from third parties. Blogs are a good source of information when you want to learn about the student life at Yamasa. I have collected a short list of blogs from students. Navigating at yamasa.org can be hard sometime when you are looking for a very specific information. See because there is hyperlink everywhere, sometime I get lost. Also sometime there is information that look like outdated. But if you take your time, you soon find another page with the corrected information.

I have found interesting documents about Okazaki too. Okazaki City Hall published a booklet for visitors. Okazaki City Hall edited in January 2005, a guide in English about life in Okazaki. I have printed it and now read it sometime before going to bed. My site is still in an early stage. I know I should spend more time studying Japanese :-)

I started my blog a year ago. At that time I wasn’t sure I wanted to apply at Yamasa. I ordered the visa application kit in February 2005. The kit contained a prospectus and the paper forms. I must say that I was impressed with the prospectus, information was organised in a more interesting way. I have passed it over at my friend and relatives so that they could know were I wanted to go. Yamasa.org is way to intimidating for them.
By July 1st , I had completed it. Yamasa admission received it the next week. I was a bit early but I was sure about this project and I wanted to give me the best chance possible. Later in October I mailed in my Bank Statement. My application was completed. After that no news from Yamasa. In December they withdraw the visa application fee from my credit card. At that stage I did not knew if I was accepted at the school. Now I can tell that it was the case. The letter of acceptance they just send last week, state that I have been accepted at the end of November. We are now halfway thru March with 20 days remaining before I move to Japan. The wait was long for the Visa approval. I was very nervous because I had already left my job at the microprocessor foundry. No worries, everyone is accepted this year too!
I hope this will ease the concerns of future applicants. I was in Okazaki from April 3rd, to June something the next year  Then in Gamagoori from July to September for a total of 1 year and a half in Japan.

Update 2008: I finally cleaned the list a bit. I changed some comments and removed a lot of dead URL. What is it with people? Don’t erase parts of your life like that!

Update 2010: This is list still maintained. Changed the url to http://www.okazakijapan.com/yamasa-blog

Regards to my previous classmates.

Do I use Japanese at work after studying for 15 months? The good news is yes I do, technical documentations and procurements are done in Japanese. The study is ongoing.

Update 2011: New blog to the list, submited by owner. I think with new things like Facebook and Twitter, people don’t start blogs anymore to keep friends and family updated. It used to be cool to have a blog, is the art gone? Since Facebook is a closed internet, is this a return to the days of AOL and compuserve?

Update 2012: Usual yearly clean-up of the list. Thinking of archiving the sites since they disappear one by one. June: added a new blog.

Update 2013: Clean Up, lots of dead blogs again.

Update 2014: Just a check-up.


A tread a JREF intitiled “Alternative to Yamasa”
Not a blog and… It does not answers the question but provides great information on what to expect of the process, receiving the Certificate of Eligibility, the staff, Declan still alive, AIJP and SILIC, class size, language balance and more. Checked in 2014.

A Singaporean in Japan
A Review of Yamasa, as recent as 2011. You see that I have neglected this list in the past years. This is now showing in the first results.
It is interesting because it reviews a relatively new program, JBPP (Japanese for Business and Professional Purposes) that was not available during my time. – Checked in 2014

A tread at infamous GaijinPot
Yamasa Japanese School, Acceleration Program Quick Review; GaijinPot Forum is closing from october 15th 2013 so here is a copy of the review for archive purpose: – Checked in 2014

Hi all,

have any of you studied at Yamasa Institute’s accelerated program in Okazaki? If so I’m curious how you found the experience, the classes (class size, teachers, other students), dorms and the quality of your learning / improvement in general please.

Thank you


Initial Impressions on Yamasa

Hi Tim,

I am currently in the SILAC program for 5 weeks. Its great so far. Very good teachers. But your question was on Accelerate Program so what I can tell you from observation is that the Accelerated Program students seem to have the MOST homework in the evenings, finish about 4 chapters per week (if they are using Minna No Nihongo), and progress very quickly. They are in class 30 hours per week so I would have assumed that they would progress quicker than the other classes. As for your other questions:

Class Size: can range from 1-10 people. My class is only two people but the pre-intermediate class next to me has 10 people. It all depends on who matriculates that week. They give you a fairly extensive level evaluation then place you. You can also test out of levels if you go faster than your current classmates. Its pretty customer friendly. They go out of their way to place you as appropriately as possible but don’t keep you there if you learn quicker.

Teachers: Excellent! Aside from the great classroom experiences, the teachers are essentially available all day to answer questions, do additional homeword and just help you further. Really great support. The teachers are very good about solidifying target grammar points so by the end of the day, its ingrained. Do the homework, prep and review to realy get all you can out of the experience.

Other Students: I came in with 4 Swedish students who had solid intermediate level skills. We also had an American businessman and Taiwanese grad student who were beginners. After the level evaluation, we all go to different classes. There are about 200 total students in the school at this time. It varies and summer is the most packed. Nationalities vary.

Lodging: The lodging is convenient, cost effective and varied. Your budget and preferences will dictate which type you will like. I am in the Student Village and for short term students like me, its pretty ideal and turnkey. I just had to move in and get living/studying. No utensils to buy or anything. I ate locally for the most part.

Great school experience so far!

Good luck!


Baton au Japon : Review of Yamasa Institute, Okazaki
Indept Review of the japanese teaching methods. Yes, I kind of agree but at the same time, I think a balance of relaxation and seriousness is in order. When I had enough I just left to enjoy my spare 3 months. It depends what is your goal. Checked in 2014.

The Espelancer Chronicles
User Submited, chronicle his experience from July to August, 2012 in SILAC at Yamasa, Checked in 2014

Culture Vulturing Around
Submited to this list by the writer himself. Is in Okazaki for a 3 months stay. Very well written blog! Nice pictures too. * update 2012, back home. * Back Online, as reported by publisher – Checked in 2014

zennie’s web journal
Nice pictures from a short stay student in 2008, Still online 2014

Fred’s Website
French speaker studying for 2 years. Now at the end of his last year. 2012 – dead, will purge from list Owner reported that he started a new venture,  http://apprendrelejaponais.net/ Checked in 2014.

Ingrid in Japan
I am not quite sure but I think she is in N class in the AIJP program. She got absolutely great marks I heard. The site is still online but no news since August 2007. Checked in 2014.

Andy’s Jap blog
An other 2006 AIJP student: He is still working in Japan as of November 2008. Looks like at ECC. Does not update often his blog. I am glad to learn from him that the Nagoya immigration have moved to Tenpa-ku. Oups, that information is incorrect, I read his blog again, this is were he live… sorry For prospective Yamasa Student you should read his final review. Last entry dated of 2009. Checked in 2014

Lasses in Japan
Swenden-jin in Okazaki, was in my class from April to June ( full year cycle). 2012 – Too bad livejournal is not responding, will purge from list. Back and online. Checked in 2014

Jonathan’s Japan Journal
Story of a Houston man, who studied Japanese at Yamasa from April 2006 to March 2008. He studied so hard and was rewarded with a job using his Japanese skills. He is now back in the US and his blog is now mostly in Japanese. Check out the archive of his site. Checked in 2014 – Jonathan got a job in Nagoya!!!

David Chart’s Japan Diary
Long entries about life in Japan. Recently bought a flat, I must say I am impressed. Studied for a year and a half at Yamasa. Worth reading from the beginning. See my japan links section for more explanation about this blog. Update 2012 – Go to http://www.davidchart.com/ for the most recent stuff. Checked in 2014

Yamasa Teachers Exposed
Report that this page is outdated: here Since the page is still online, I might just keep it for the sake of archiving. Can you believe that page is still online in 2012!? Checked in 2014

Monkey Pen
Don’t think LiveJournal users are safe from me, sooner of later I will find your blog and read it! This blog contains the usual, life at Yamasa, Nagoya trips and exploited gaijins… Still no activity since 2006. Checked in 2014

They have not updated their site since August. Brenda was at Yamasa this summer. They provide us with some good pictures of the school, and of brenda ;-) The site tells the story of a young couple who lived in Japan for some years. But they have returned to America now. A must see. Checked in 2014 – Over a decade online, whois shows the domain name was registered in 2003…

Went to Okazaki for 3 months, was in Tokyo too. Long text entry about Okazaki, first impression and so on. Last entry on September 2007. 2012: slow loading but still online. Checked in 2014

A homeless blog
Taiwanese guy who studied in the U.S is now at Yamasa. Again an interesting blog. Been there for 2 months. Last sudden update in September 2008. Checked in 2014

Studying in Japan 2005 with Peter Donohue.
Experiences studying in Japan from September through November of 2005. He went there for the third time! He ends his blog with a link to this list. Checked in 2014

Peter Donohue also went to Japan in 2003
to continue his study of the Japanese language at Okazaki Japan, Yamasa.

Dead 2014 – Looks like Peter is trying to update his site from HTML to WordPress. I will check back later.

Peter Maydell
I think he is very brave; he leaved his flat witch he owns I think for long studies. The interesting part is the present time has he return to his old life. He is still taking Japanese courses. Last update 2009, Checked in 2014

Mystic journeys
For a guy who did not like blogging, he gave us a very good one. Nice picture of Nagoya, Okazaki, and Yamasa. He bought enough anime to load the bookshelf entirely. Not updated in a long time! – Checked in 2014

Grant’s Journal
Funny, a guy who did the same thing as I am about to do, leave a good job to go to Japan. Except that I am leaving for a year, not 3 months. IT professionals need to take breaks. Please take care of yourself and avoid depression, now that your trip to Japan ended. He did the SILAC class. – Checked 2012, Online 2013

I hate variable, pointers, programming and Visual Basic. Scroll down a bit to see the Yamasa Part. Not a long part, but worth taking 30 secs. Even Microsoft techies are into Japanese. Dead 2014


Update dec 2010, still blogging. Update dec 2008. After working for almost a year at the international office of Yamasa, she returned back home. Ah one of my favorite. A girl again. This blogs starts January 2005 and continues as of October. Shopping in Tokyo, Aichi World Expo, cooking and bitching are the commons subject of the blog. This girl is lazy, read report on studies. :-) Checked in 2012, last entry in 2011 from Hong-KongOnline 2013 YES, learning Korean? – Checked in 2014.

elzkitten’s journal
Once in Yamasa now an intern at the American Embassy. Update dec. 2008 Leaving Japan Update 2010, its like its another person’s blog. Teacher for a while for AEON

Checked in 2012, Online 2013 Checked in 2014, will remove not relevant.

What does a vegan do…
Was sharing in the summer of 2005, a room in Yamasa dorm + a homestay. Beware of the epileptic choice of color. Update 2008 warning about the color still in effect. Update 2011: LiveJournal being kind of dead soon, I would not be surprised if this blog was deleted in the future. The writer went to Thailand in recent years, the new blog is here http://pangolintango.wordpress.com/ Checked in 2014

Hey, you have a blog about your trip to Japan and Yamasa? Let me know in the comments! It helps others who are on the fence about studying Japanese at Yamasa. Many thanks!

6 thoughts on “Yamasa Blogs

  1. Hey,
    I found your site very useful when I was thinking of applying to Yamasa and the links to all the different blogs was really great. I arrived here just a week ago and am going be here for three months and will be updating my blog during that time. If you still update this part of your site and want to put a link to my blog here, then please do.

    The address is http://donsimon89.wordpress.com – I’ve only written three posts since arriving in Okazaki, but hopefully I’ll be writing a lot more, I’m normally quite good at keeping it updated.

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment, much appreciated.
    I will ad your blog to my list as I find it a very interesting read.
    Enjoy your stay in Okazaki.


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