Did you know you could go to England without leaving Japan? Well at least, you could go on a field trip to a replica medieval British town, complete with a Manor House, Craft House and a guesthouse. The town was designed and built by a British company with all materials imported from England to create an authentic look. As a result, there are authentic names of facilities, passages, and plazas, as well as finely detailed interiors and furnishings.
British Hills is however different from other country theme parks in Japan. It is today a themepark for the special purpose of studying English converation with all the bells and whistles and all English finery or trappings you could wish for.
British Hills was originally established in 1994 to provide students the opportunity and space for international training, by Sano Educational Foundation, the owner of a prominent Japanese language institute named Kanda Institute of Foreign languages and Kanda University of International Studies.
British Hills offers conversation lessons (at 3,700 yen per class), and various British cultural courses, such as calligraphy, scone making, and aromatherapy. Students are expected to study British culture while practising your English speaking and listening skills. All the classes are of course taught in English by authentic native speakers. Unique courses are provided at British Hills utilizing our knowledge and techniques from Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages which are long-standing and sound. They (British Hills website) say these training facilities are a unique place where students can experience living in a real English environment…but don’t get carried away…real Brits don’t live like this (i.e. sleep in Tudor manor rooms, do aromatherapy, calligraphy and bake scones all day!)
British Hills will to individuals and small groups too. So educational value aside, the place might be a summer vacation option for a family (do remember however that the facility is targeted at the Japanese market). Sprawling over 59.6 acres, British Hills is located in a forest, 1,000 metres above sea level in Hatori Natural Park, Fukushima. It is surrounded by well-known Japanese sightseeing spots, including places of historical interest, sports facilities, hot springs, lakes, and mountain streams. Those local tourist spots can also be taken in during a stay at British Hills.
Their rates are (from their website)32,000 yen (tax and service charge included) for a one night stay for two days, 4 classes, 4 meals, and 46,000 yen (tax and service charge included) – Two nights stay for three days, 6 classes, 6 meals.
Visit their website British-hills.co.jp for more information.
1-8 Aza Shibakusa Ohaza Tarao
Approx. 40 min by car from Shin-shirakawa station
BH Shuttle bus available
British Hill’s also caters for:
“Japanese Struggle With English”
British Hills is “located in Teneimura, 115 miles north of the capital, the institution – completed in 1994 for $70 million – teaches English with a heavy dose of atmosphere.
Students live in Tudor-style accommodations and have the opportunity to speak English while hanging out at the Falstaff Public House.
Students pay for the extras. Prices for a weekend of classes run around $400, while longer or more elaborate courses – including gourmet food – can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.” — Source: “JAPANESE STRUGGLE WITH ENGLISH” Associated Press Article by Joseph Coleman