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Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Travel & Services Programs
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ICEP Japan

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Our YMCA partner in Japan is the Tochigi YMCA. Their main YMCA is located in the city of Utsunomiya, which is approximately two hours north of Tokyo by train. The group will stay in a house owned by the YMCA, where participants will sleep on tatami mats and have access to a kitchen to occasionally prepare their own meals. While in Utsunomiya, the group will spend about one week living with homestay families. Service work in Japan is well balanced between physical and social service. Past groups have helped run a relay race fundraiser, volunteered at the YMCA kindergarten, joined a river clean-up project, learned about local agriculture and volunteered through the Global Citizenship Project, and run activities at two summer camp programs for Japanese children. Cultural activities will include interaction with Japanese teens through a high school international club, a traditional tea ceremony, and excursions to Tokyo and Nikko, a popular hiking destination and home to many of the Japanese “Onsen’s” (baths).

Program Highlights

  • Connect with high school students at a local school’s international club
  • Try Japan’s unique cuisine, wear a kimono, and participate in a Japanese tea ceremony
  • Run activities and games with Japanese children at two different day camps
  • Explore Tokyo on an overnight excursion

Accommodations

ICEP Japan’s main base throughout the program is a YMCA house called Dojojyuku. Other accommodations on the program include dorm style housing in youth centers and cabins, a hotel, and private homes for their homestay. Participants will often sleep on futons and tatami mats in their housing. Please note, the exact number of nights in each location is subject to change.

35 nights total:

  • 4 nights CB/CCC
  • 1 night on plane
  • 6 nights homestay
  • 2 nights hotel in Nikko
  • 2 nights in youth center in Tokyo
  • 1 night local housing with Global Citizenship Project
  • 1 night cabins for youth camp
  • 18 nights Dojojyuku (YMCA housing)

Special Considerations

  • Japan has strict laws about letting injection medications through customs. Participants taking any sort of medication requiring an injection may have a very difficult time getting into Japan.
  • ICEP Japan is fully immersed in Japanese food culture (a lot of noodles and fish) – not a lot of American options are available. Food options can be limiting for strict vegetarians and fish products are used widely, even in broths.

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748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223
Tel: (413) 623-8991 | Fax: (413) 623-5890