"This course was a real lifesaver for my first time in Japan. I was especially thankful to those of you who shared your own experiences with being a minority in Japan. I was so nervous about standing out in a country that is, for the most part, racially and culturally homogenous (...) and I can’t articulate how special it was that this course didn’t overlook those identities." - Japanese Culture Course Grad Phoebe


Why Take ITA'S Online Japanese Culture Course?

Prepare for your transition to your new life as an English teacher in Japan with ITA's exclusive 10-Hour online Japanese cultural orientation course for English teachers

Designed especially for new English teachers by experts with years of experience in Japanese education, this 10-hour online course provides a broad introduction to life and culture in Japan, will enhance your understanding and appreciation for your new home, and make adjusting to the basics of daily life much easier.

What will you get out of this course?

  • A 10-hour interactive deep dive into Japanese culture, etiquette, and tips to help you gain confidence for adjusting to daily life.
  • Training in Japanese etiquette to ensure you can effectively navigate cultural differences in the classroom and in daily life.

  • Gain insights into issues related to identities and diversity in Japan, including matters affecting expatriate women, LGBTQ+ people, and BIPOC.

  • Get insider tips and insights into how to live in Japan like a "local" in all aspects of daily life from shopping to dating.
  • Have a safe space to discuss your questions and join a community of fellow soon-to-be ESL teachers in Japan.
  • This course is self-paced so you can complete your coursework according to your own schedule and convenience.

Learn from Japan Experts

Created by a team of travel writers, anthropologists, and e-learning specialists, the Japanese culture course content is constantly updated & reviewed to ensure accuracy.

Enjoy Permanent Access to Our Resources & Community Platform

Once you enroll in your Japanese culture course, you have unlimited access and can refer back to the course content at any point. You can also use the Community platform to connect with other teachers and cultural enthusiasts abroad in Japan, ask questions, and join monthly meetups.

Receive a Certificate of Completion

The Japanese culture course comes with a completion certificate to recognize your achievement - a great addition to your resumé.

Japanese Culture Course Structure

Japanese Culture Training Course Content

This Japanese Culture Course includes 6 modules based on the following topics.  It is self-paced so you are able to complete your coursework according to your own schedule & convenience. 

Japan at a Glance

Get to grips with Japan at first glance. Discover what principles are considered important, like punctuality, using real-world examples. You’ll also cover topics like work ethic, social life, values, communication style, and family dynamics.

Regions of Japan

This section looks at Japan’s towns, cities, and regions, and considers how rural and metropolitan life differs.

Japanese Customs and Etiquette

This module is where you’ll get loads of practical advice on how to interact confidently and respectfully, without causing offense or making clumsy faux pas.

Adjusting to Life in Japan

Learn what to expect from the inevitable rollercoaster that is culture shock in Japan. Learn how to identify it and adjust effectively, using personal advice and tips from ex-pats who’ve been through it themselves.

Becoming a Local

Get to know Japan and the people well enough to be considered a ‘local’. In this module, you’ll learn about nightlife, where to meet people and make friends, and common hobbies and interests.

Identities, Diversity & Inclusion in Japan

Learn about the history as well as the present experiences of local and expat women, LGBTQ+ people, and BIPOC to help you better understand the workings of Japanese society, and make you aware of your own position.

Japanese Training Course for American English teachers



Additional Course Features

Additional Course Features

With interactive learning materials, a friendly course guide, flexible learning options, and a module dedicated to diversity and inclusion, this course offers a learning experience that caters to individuals from diverse identities and learning styles.

  • 6 Comprehensive modules, each covering key aspects of the culture that you must know before arriving.

  • Exclusive videos featuring our Japanese course guide, Erika.

  • Unique images with captions for further description and information.

  • Key Tips and Did You Know points to further prepare you for what to expect and how to handle it.

  • Optional subtitles in all videos.

  • Video interviews with locals and ex-pats sharing their first-hand experiences.

  • End-of-module assessments to measure your progress and test your knowledge.
Community Platform Access

Community Platform Features

Our exclusive Online Community enables you to stay engaged and get answers to your questions, even after you've completed your online culture course.

Travel Tips and Advice: The forums and groups on the platform are great sources of cultural tips and advice. Ask questions and get advice from experienced English teachers and travelers.

Messaging: Find people within your group to directly message or click on their profile icon to message them from the chat. The platform not only has safety features included, but also includes a “prompted-greeting” feature designed to help members kick off the conversation!

Access Anytime: Join groups on the platform that are focused on specific topics or destinations. This gives you the chance to connect with others who share the same interests and travel goals.

Community MeetUps: Participate in community online meet-ups and connect and talk through current and upcoming parts of your journey. 

Experts at Your Fingertips: Gain access to the Community team and the Community ambassadors who are happy to share tips and their personal experiences related to intercultural communication, identity, transition, and facing other challenges of living abroad.

Access Your Online Course: Access your Japanese culture course via the community platform. This means you can easily switch between your Community circles and your culture course lessons.


Who Should Join This Japanese Cultural Course?

This 10-hour cultural orientation course is designed primarily for English teachers but is open to anybody planning to move to Japan to live, work or study. You are welcome to take it simply out of interest as well!

This orientation program is ideal for you if  you are looking to:

  • Gain a foundational understanding of Japanese culture & etiquette before moving to Japan.
  • Experience a smooth transition to your new life as an English teacher in Japan with guidance from experienced teachers & experts.
  • Join a community of fellow expatriates & ESL teachers that provides a safe space and community to turn to when you have questions or face challenges while teaching abroad in Japan.
  • Gain the confidence to successfully manage the cultural differences teachers will face in day-to-day life and at work.
  • Broaden your knowledge & enhance your cultural intelligence (CQ).
  • Maximize the cross-cultural experience of living and working as an English teacher in Japan.
  • Eager to demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to ongoing professional development.

NOTE: If you are enrolled in ITA's TEFL Course in Nagoya, Japan, or the Teaching English in Japan Job Placement Program, this cultural orientation course is already included in your program.


Bundle a TEFL Course & Save

If you’re not yet TEFL certified, consider bundling this online Japanese Culture Course with our 11-week part-time or 4-week full-time Online TEFL Certification Courses.

Standard Tuition for this course is $299 $249 if you bundle. 

Benefits of bundling include:

  • Save Money! When you register for both an ITA TEFL course and this online Japanese Culture Course, you’ll save an additional $70. Existing ITA students and alumni will also enjoy a $50 alumni discount on this course.
  • Combine award-winning TEFL training to prepare you for teaching English classroom with this exclusive orientation course to prepare you for your daily life outside of the classroom
  • Learn from the Best: Both our ITA standard TEFL courses and the Japanese Cultural Online Course are developed and taught by experts at the top of their field.
  • If you take an ITA standard TEFL Certification Course, you will receive lifetime Job Search Guidance to help you gain employment teaching English in Japan and in 80 countries worldwide. 



Online TEFL Course, as Rated by Goabroad.com


Strong Alumni Network in 80+ Countries

Level 5

Internationally Accredited TEFL Certificate


Job Search Guidance and Support from Your Personal Advisor

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Course Dates & Registration

IMPORTANT: Before enrolling, we strongly recommend that you are concurrently enrolled in an accredited TEFL certification, are already certified, or have experience teaching ESL. Not yet TEFL certified? Get in touch with us. You can bundle our TEFL certification course with this specialty course and save an additional $70. 

International TEFL Academy's Lifetime Job Guidance and support, access to our alumni community, and our high-quality accreditation are only available to students and alumni of our online and in-person standard TEFL certification courses.

We also invite you to read our registration procedure and terms & conditions. Note that all students will be charged a small processing fee per course/program purchased.

BUNDLE & SAVE: Get $70 OFF your culture course if you bundle with a standard TEFL course


The Preparation You Need to Succeed as an English Teacher in Japan

Even the most experienced teachers and travelers face challenges when moving to a new country, including culture shock and even loneliness. That's why ITA offers this exclusive 10-hour online cultural orientation course: to help you make the most of your teaching experience and to prepare you for a smooth transition to life in Japan. 

Avoid Culture Shock

Gaining a foundational understanding of Japanese culture will help you avoid the culture shock many teachers experience when arriving in a new country. 

Stand Out from Other Teachers

For potential employers, this also demonstrates a commitment to ongoing professional development and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide the best education for your students.

Prepare Yourself for the Classroom

With an entire module dedicated to what to expect when living abroad in Japan, gain specialized insights and learn from fellow teachers about school etiquette, getting along with colleagues, and the work culture in Japan.

Ready Yourself for Daily Life in Japan

Getting tips from experienced locals will make your transition to daily life in Japan much smoother. Our team will provide guidance on how to handle those awkward or challenging situations that can arise when adjusting to a new culture.

Download Culture Course Guide

Ask ITA's Director of Academics

Sarah Kalert, Head of Academics at International TEFL Academy.
Sarah has a Master's in English - TEFL/TESL and has taught English abroad in Chile.

I don't have a TEFL certification from ITA - can I still enroll in this Japanese culture course?

YES. This 1-hour online course is open to those planning to teach English in Japan, os those who just want to learn more about Japanese culture and etiquette.

Can I take this course on my own schedule?

Yes! This course is self-paced so you can complete your coursework according to your own schedule and convenience.

Can I take this Japanese Cultural Orientation Course at any time of the year?

Yes.  The course is offered and operates throughout the year. 

How far in advance do I need to enroll & save a place for my desired course date?

For this course, you need to enroll at least one week in advance in order to save your spot.

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