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Extended Campus Program

The aim of the Middle School's extended-campus trips is to broaden our students' learning in unique settings in the mountains, lake regions, cities and coastlines of Japan. Through this classroom-without-walls concept, our trips offer the students memorable experiences that make the curriculum come alive through each trip's diverse activities and expand their perspectives. Our students develop stronger bonds and friendships because of these trips, both with their classmates and their teacher chaperons and, of course, have a lot of fun in the process.

Grade 6 - KEEP


Grade 6 - Intermission

Our sixth grade students attended a three day program each fall at the KEEP center in the mountains of Kiyosato, east of Tokyo. KEEP, which stands for Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project, is a recreation complex set in dairy farming land among the Japanese Alps, with sweeping views of Mt Fuji on cloudless days. Our students explore this natural outdoor environment with the guidance of their homeroom advisors and the instruction of local park rangers.

Their program of activities includes hiking, building creative nature crafts with items collected in the adjacent fields and forest, milking a cow and making butter, eating lots of ice cream from the on-site dairy and enjoying some free time in the pasture, for sports and activities.

Cooperative and skill-building events are a big feature of the schedule and the night activities, run by our chaperones, engage the students in public speaking, dancing, fun team challenges and storytelling. The students and teachers had a great time learning about the outdoor environment and bonding with one another. » Report on this year's trip


In late January the 6th graders celebrate Japanese culture in an Intermission Program held on campus. Over three days, the students rotate through a program that focuses on learning about the unique culture of Japan, doing hands-on learning about Japanese cuisine and the arts.

Students worked on creating calligraphy, origami, paper boxes, traditional zori sandals and soba noodle dishes. They attempted to master karate moves with a sensei and they planned and practiced team games to share with Japanese school students, which was a feature of the third day of the program.

On this last day the students hosted an exchange with junior high school students from the Chofu Dai-ichi school, where they enjoyed a wide array of learning and bonding activities and games, including a shared lunch, that capped off the Intermission experience.  » Report on this year's trip

Grade 7 - Hiroshima


Grade 7 - Izu Peninsula

In late January the 7th grade students take a learning trip to Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima to focus on the important historical and cultural sites of those regions of Japan. They explored the most significant gardens, shrines and temples in Kyoto to learn about the history, religion and architecture of these spectacular cultural sites.

The second leg of the trip takes them to Hiroshima, where they spend a considerable amount of time in the Peace Park and the Peace Memorial Museum, experiencing first-hand what they’ve studied in their classes about WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb. A moving experience in the museum is a talk by Matsubara-san, a hibakusha, or bomb survivor. In the evening students read Sadako’s story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, and later together fold over 1000 cranes, which are presented at the Sadako statue the following day.

The final day of the trip is spent on Miyajima Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, touring and learning about Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, again fitting into their school curriculum about Japanese religions.


In the middle of May, we take the 7th grade students on a trip to a unique coastal community in Japan. We spend three days on the Izu Peninsula, in particular Yumigahama Beach near the coastal town of Shimoda, focusing on environmental and marine science.

Students explore the local tide pools and rock formations, looking for specimens unique to those landforms. They also snorkel in protected coves to study the underwater marine life. They challenge themselves with aquatic ocean activities like surfing and open-water sea-kayaking, which are always highlights since they are quite unique for many students.

With guidance from their chaperones, the students work closely together to create meals from locally-sourced food by taking turns in a camp kitchen. Evening activities like sand-castle building, friendship-bracelet making, and singing songs around a beach-side bonfire round out the experience. The Izu trip provides a collegial and bonding experience as a capstone to the students’ 7th grade year.  » Report on this year's trip

Grade 8 - Lake Sai / Tokyo Culture Days


Grade 8 - Skiing, Snowshoe and Snowboard Trip

The 8th grade Lake Sai Outward Bound trip takes place in October and aims to have students challenge themselves and strive for personal success, underscoring some of our school’s vision and values. Conducted on the shores of Lake Sai in the Fuji lakes region of Yamanashi prefecture, our students engage in rock climbing, raft-building, orienteering and team challenges.

The students also plan and cook their own meals over open wood fires. They develop teamwork and community in their small activity groups, which are led by an outward bound instructor and an ASIJ teacher. Evening team-building and group problem-solving games, in addition to a walk down to a local lake-side onsen (hot spring), round out the experience.

Coupled with the Lake Sai week is "Tokyo Culture Days," where students enjoy some of the cultural offerings of downtown Tokyo. These trips explore the Tsukiji Fish Market, Mirai-kan Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Edo Tokyo Museum, and Mori Art Museum. With the guidance of some course-directed learning questions, and self-created museum docent speeches, the students are exposed to an array of learning here in their own back yard. » Report on this year's trip


In the middle of winter, we explore the Japanese Alps with the 8th grade students, and take them on a trip to the Naeba resort in Niigata, for three days of snow-oriented activities.

There we first orient them to the skills and equipment of snow-shoeing, and then go out on an afternoon hike through both groomed and un-groomed trails. For the next couple of days, the activities are a choice of skiing or snowboarding.

While on the slopes they are both taught and chaperoned by experienced instructors from Canyons Outdoor Adventures and Evergreen Outdoor Center, as well as our own middle school teachers.

Students from all skill levels learn about the skills and techniques of these potentially life-long winter sport activities. The evenings are spent in a choice of games and activities centered on group bonding and fun.  » Report on this year's trip



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