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Alternative Ways to Learn Japanese in Sydney

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by Gwen Lee (subscribe)
Staff at, a language school in Sydney teaching adults and children Japanese and other Asian languages.
Published March 4th 2016
Photo: Joi Ito CC BY 2.0

Learning something new is always exciting! Getting acquainted with another culture is no exception. Japanese is a popular Eastern culture that has triggered many interests. You may have come across this culture many times in your life and do not realise it. Think of the time when you go to a sushi bar and order sashimi. The words sushi and sashimi are Japanese. You may have watched Keanu Reeve's movie 47 Ronin. Ronin is another Japanese word which means a samurai who has no master.

Like Mark Twain once said, "Don't let your schooling interfere with your education." There are many creative ways for you to learn Japanese as an adult.

Study Japanese with private lessons

The most obvious one is to learn the language. You can search YouTube for free Japanese lessons. Once you are ready for a real study, you can enrol in interactive lessons with a private teacher.

Watch Aikido

If you are not a studious type and prefer a physical activity, why not try Aikido, Japanese art of self-defence founded by Morihei Ueshiba. It is said to be the gentlest form of martial arts available today and is suitable for women and men alike. In Aikido, there are no offensive movements, only defensive movements. Through learning Aikido, you will learn about Japanese philosophy, Zen, as well as the martial arts itself. There are many Aikido dojos available in Sydney. Choose one where it is convenient for you to attend.

Visit Ryokan

If you are looking for some indulgence or a short-break, visit Ryokan Gojyuan in Balmain. In this Japanese style inn, guests will be served typical Japanese hospitality which includes kaiseki dinner. Guests can also enjoy traditional Japanese bath house accompanied by traditional Japanese music.

Ikebana courses

Feeling arty? You can unleash your creativity through Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Since Ikebana was developed by Buddhist priests back in the 14th century, it is no surprise that the art pays much emphasis on spiritual practice. Ikebana is a relaxing activity and can be considered as a form of meditation. Ikebana classes are available from beginner to advanced.

Ikebana exhibition

If you just want to enjoy the art without actually performing it, you can attend an ikebana exhibition held in the Sydney Royal Botanic Garden.

Join Kaiseki cooking class

A food enthusiast? Luckily in Sydney, not only are there plenty of Japanese restaurants, there are also plenty of authentic Japanese cooking courses available. For people who are already experienced with Japanese culinary, Kei's Kitchen runs kaiseki cooking classes. Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese meal that usually consists of 9 courses and originated in Zen temples.

If you want to learn how to make various Japanese nibbles, sushi, or ramen, click here. Classes are also available for children.

sushi, japanese food
Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0

You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn about Japanese by doing one or more of the activities above.
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Why? Learn about Japanese language and culture
When: Anytime
Where: Sydney
Cost: Prices vary
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