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Japanese Spirituality & Health through Cultural Immersion


This trip is ideal for any student who has an interest in health, religion, spirituality, or even better all three!  We will stay at Zen as well as Shingon Buddhist Temples in sacred mountains to experience spiritual cultivation.  We will also visit Shinto shrines and Catholic and Lutheran Churches to deepen our understanding of Japanese spirituality in diverse religious traditions.  For health content, students will stay at a hot spring to learn and experience hydrotherapy and Shinrinyoku (forest bathing) as well as participating in the mindful practice of tea.  


  • Visit temples, shrines, and churches
  • Explore spirituality in city life and in nature
  • Visit Tokyo & Kyoto
  • Participate in a tea ceremony
  • Immerse in the Japanese culture


Students participating in this program can enroll in in RS260*/TH537 Christianity in Dialogue with a focus on Religions in Japan or GS300 Japanese Language & Culture (1 credit Spring semester course).

*RS260 satisfies the Religious Studies Gen Ed requirement.

Faculty Leaders

Dr. Sachiko Komagata, PT, PhD, NBC-HWC, ACSM-CPE, is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrative Health & Exercise Science at Georgian Court University.  Before GCU, she worked in an acute care hospital in the suburb of Philadelphia and taught graduate programs part time at UMDNJ, Thomas Jefferson University, and Temple University.  She is a Certified Wellness Coach as well as an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist.  While she is originally from Japan, she has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia including England, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Italy, Spain, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines, Hong Kong, and Australia.  She loves eating food from around all corners of the globe and if you are lucky, you may find her cooking authentic food with her students on campus.  

Dr. Johann M. Vento, Ph.D. is a Professor of Religious Studies and Theology at Georgian Court University.  She teaches courses in Catholic theology, women and religion, and women’s studies.  Her primary research interests are political theology and feminist theology; violence, trauma, and healing; and inter-religious dialogue.  She has published articles in Horizons, Teaching Theology and Religion, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies, and in several edited volumes.  Most recently she co-edited Liturgy and Power, Orbis Press, Spring 2017 and Facing the World: Political Theology and Mercy, from Paulist Press, January 2018.  She spent her junior year abroad in Germany when she was an undergraduate and has since traveled extensively in Europe and India.  She has a passion for travel and for global education. 


Program Costs


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