Embassy of Japan in Kenya



Embassy of Japan in Kenya also has been accredited to Eritrea, Seychelles and Somalia

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Joe Kinuthia: My Experience Studying and Living in Japan


Mr. Joe Kinuthia is a beneficiary of the Japanese Government Scholarship during the period 31st September 2013–March 2015. He joined Hyogo University as a Teacher training student, and in March 2015 he graduated upon successfull completion of the course.Currently, Mr. Kinuthia is a teacher of Sciences and Mathematics at Kilimani School in Nairobi, Kenya.


My experience in Japan

My name is Joe Kinuthia Wambu, I left for Japan on the Teacher Training program on 31sept 2013 for one and a half years.

My experiences in Japan were awesome and in different categories ranging from the environment, Japanese traditions and culture the food, language and the Japanese people.

My ambition to study in Japan begun a long time ago when I was in primary school learning about fishing between Kenya and Japan. I had a wealth of information about Japan and all I wanted was to have a first-hand experience of it.

I started my intensive Japanese course after induction from the Hyogo international hostel where I was to stay for 6 months while undertaking my Japanese language course. The sensei (lecturers), were of great help. I was the first Kenyan at Kobe University to study intensive Japanese course, because of this I realized that the university’s expectations and that of my fellow international students was very high.

Graduation at Hyogo University

Learning Japanese language was very strange but interesting. The Hiragana, katakana and kanji writing are basically the three ways of writing Japanese. Tutors were very helpful with the simple things and with time complex things. There were daily-tests on reading, writing and hearing and conversation, which formed the basis of our grading at the end of the course.

The Japanese people are very friendly and polite; they made my stay in Japan interesting and fun. Virtually every day was a learning experience for me. The Japanese culture which is centred on how human beings interact with the environment taught me many things and among the many things I learnt was taking care of the environment and being honest at all times.

The other experience was about food and mannerism. Japanese people have very yummy and nutritious food ranging from sea foods to different vegetables and fruits. The food is slightly different from Kenyan food. The sushi and different ramen (noodles) and okonomiaki (Japanese savoury pancake) and different sea foods were my favourite foods. Ocha (tea) green drinks, which is commonly referred as Japanese tea was also part of my daily food.

The Japanese people are friendly and have festivals throughout the year that are very educative and meaningful to our daily lives, were very instrumental in my stay in Japan. I travelled with the university students to many places all over Japan like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Okinawa and Hokkaido, among other places.

The onset of 2015 spring in Japan

Joe at a Ski resort in Hokkaido

The weather is good but winter was a bit cold for me. I therefore involved myself in a lot of sporting activities like skiing, swimming and ran the Tottori marathon. I for sure had a lot of fun during my stay in Japan.

My theme of Research was Comparative Education between Kenya and Japan during my studies at Hyogo University (the teacher training course takes one and a half year (6months intensive Japanese course and one year education research). I visited many different schools: elementary, junior and High school and many universities across Japan. My academic supervisor was also very supportive and everyone in the entire university supported me.

The universities in Japan are very organized and the libraries are very resourceful when it comes to researching and pursuing higher learning.

I take this opportunity to thank the Government of Japan and the Japanese Embassy in Kenya for enabling me aspire to inspire the learners in Kenyan school and make them acquire holistic education that will make them responsible citizens. And make our country better.

Finally I have started a Japanese Club at the Kilimanjaro primary school where I am teaching Japanese culture and language. I look forward cementing the mutual understanding between the two countries.

The scholarship covers entirely everything and monthly stipend is enough to keep you going and make life bearable in Japan.

Japan is very peaceful country and very developed.  It is very easy to live in Japan.