Travel Guide for Elderly Tourists from Japan by Emi Murayama

created on Jul 31, 2015 modified on Jun 24, 2016 08:27


Japan is the country with the longest life expectancy. This means that there is a large population with an abundance of leisure time. An increasing number of Japanese senior citizens enjoy their leisure time by traveling overseas. Although neighbor countries like South Korea and Taiwan have recently become popular, Hawaii maintains an unshakable popularity as a travel destination.

Information about Hawaii as a travel destination is abundant in Japan. While traditional print and broadcast media continue to regularly feature Hawaii, the internet has become another important source of information about food, souvenirs, and tourists attraction. Despite the abundance of these resources, they are not always easily accessible for many elderly citizens.

Japanese of the dankai generation (born between 1947 and 1949) make up a large part of the population, and are now considered as “elderly” (citizens 65 and older.) Given their leisure time and financial resources, it is likely that more and more elderly Japanese will be visiting Hawaii. Therefore, there is a great demand for travel guides catering this demographic.

In this project, students will first learn about the rapid growth of the elderly population in Japan. Having gained a better awareness and understanding of this population, students will learn about the needs of elderly Japanese tourist by conducting interviews with them. After analyzing the results of these interviews, each group of students will create a video clip containing information they believe will be particularly useful to elderly Japanese traveling to Hawaii. The video clips will eventually become accessible to the public through travel agencies in Japan and the internet.

Through this project, students will enhance their linguistic as well as socio-cultural knowledge. They will also develop their linguistic skills by carefully designing interview questions and by using the most appropriate expressions during the interviews and in their final products (i.e., video clips.)

National Foreign Language Resource Center

Language: Japanese

Subject Area(s): creativity, communities, society, language and literature

Instructional Context

Product Target Culture:

Target Audience Description:
Elderly Japanese (vacationing in Hawaii)

Heritage Learners:

Audience Location:
Hawaii & Japan

Product Description:
Student will create video travel guides to Hawaii, which contain information specifically useful to elderly tourists from Japan.

Audience Role:
(1) Informants (interviewed by students) & (2) Viewers of final product (i.e., video travel guides)

Language Proficiency

ILR Scale Reading:
1 2

ILR Scale Listening:
1 2

ILR Scale Speaking:
1 2

ILR Scale Writing:

ACTFL Scale:
3 4 5

World Readiness Standards

Making Connections
Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives

Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives
Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives


Language comparisons
Cultural comparisons

School and Global

21st Century Skills

not specified

Project Sequence Overview

Preparing for the Project

1. Preparing for the Project - Students watch an online PowerPoint presentation by Hawai'i Tourism Authority. more detail

Launching the Project

1. Things about Elderly Population in Japan - Students read culturally authentic texts (online) concerning the elderly population in Japan and issues regarding that arise when they visit Hawaii. more detail

2. Need to Know Discussion - Students will have a "need to know" discussion based on the Driving Question previously presented by the instructor more detail

Managing the Project

1. Preparing for Interviews - Students will work in a team of 3 to 4 people in order to prepare for their interviews with elderly Japanese tourists. more detail


1. Interview with Elderly Japanese Tourists - Students will conduct interviews with actual elderly Japanese tourists. more detail

2. Creating a Video Travel Guide - Based on their interviews, students will create a video travel guide for elderly tourists from Japan. more detail