Sainsbury Institute – Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo 5th Winter Programme in British Archaeology and Cultural Heritage


 The Winter teaching exchange programmes are two-week programmes designed to give both Japanese and European undergraduates an opportunity to examine various aspects of cultural heritage and archaeology outside of their home country. Developed by the Sainsbury Institute for the study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, in collaboration with the Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo, the Winter Programme allows Japanese undergraduates from the University of Tokyo and European students to engage in cultural exchange, developing an understanding of the UK heritage landscape and its practitioners.

The Winter Programme was developed in 2016 to allow Japanese students to explore archaeology and cultural heritage in the UK as a five-year series to complement the Summer Programme that had already been established in 2014 by the University of Tokyo, in conjunction with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. This will be the last programme of the series.


 The programme allows participating students to examine various aspects of cultural heritage and archaeology in the UK by experiencing it firsthand, including visiting key heritage sites and institutions, and engaging with a range of experts. The main aim of the programme is to provide foreign undergraduate students with practical experience outside of their own country, and to enhance their understanding of global approaches to heritage, allowing them to look at the characteristics of Japanese and British culture and history from a variety of different angles, and deepen their understanding of them. Participating students engage with new ideas during the tour, learning and thinking about the place that they are visiting, and engaging with themes such as the effects of tourism on heritage, or the ways in which different museums display their content.

In addition to the educational aspect of the programme, another key aim is to foster international cultural exchange. Students within the UK are invited to participate in order to provide visiting students with an opportunity to interact and exchange with their peers, and create a more fully rounded experience. This also represents an opportunity for these UK and other international students to gain experience of engaging with students from another cultural context and considering cultural heritage in a wider global perspective. Through having conversations with those from different cultural background about culture and heritage, participants can think about alternative approaches to these issues, and communicate with their contemporaries from abroad.

Programme contents

The programme consists of a two-week tour of major sites and institutions in the UK.

The Winter Programme is held from 5th to 14th February 2020. This year our focus is on the prehistoric sites and landscapes associated with the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage site, and will include special access to sites, museums and heritage organisations, and lectures by a range of distinguished specialists. In 2020, the Winter Programme forms part of the UK-Japan Season of Culture, and is the precursor to a year of Japan-related activities at the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes, and the Stonehenge World Heritage Visitor Centre.

Foreign undergraduates participating in the programme are joined for the whole two weeks by students from universities within the UK, providing constant opportunity for cultural exchange. After the tour participants write a report of their experiences during their tour.

Application process

Undergraduates from any discipline may take part in the programme.

Accommodation, food, entry to sites and museums, return transport from London to Salisbury and travel during the programme are all provided at no cost to the participants. Successful applicants will be expected to join the whole programme, and to engage fully with the students and staff from the University of Tokyo. This year the programme will be led by Professor Simon Kaner and Dr Andy Hutcheson from the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

Applications, comprising a one page CV and a 300 word statement on how you would benefit from participating in the programme should be emailed to (with Winter Programme Application in the subject box) to arrive by 12:00 midday on Monday 16 December. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 20 December.

Reports on previous Winter Programmes are available below. Participants will be responsible for providing their own appropriate outdoor clothing.

2019 Report

2018 Report