Learn More About Our Program

There are two plaques commemorating the Sister City relationship between Kumamoto in Japan and San Antonio, Texas. These two plaques are located at the Kumamoto Garden at the SA Botanical Center.

Transform your knowledge of the world and of yourself through a summer exchange program to Japan!

Purpose: The scholarship is designed to foster broader world vision, leadership skills and to develop committed, long-term stakeholders in the community’s relationship with Japan started by the late Mrs. Naoko Shirane over 30 years ago. This program introduces students to the Japanese people, their history, culture and the industries impacting our community. The 14-day educational and cultural program acquaints 8 to 10 high school juniors with Japan's iconic cities, plus a week of homestays with families on Kyushu Island in conjunction with partner World Campus International.

The scholarship covers round trip airfare, ground transportation, lodging, food and entrance fees while in Japan. Following the tour, the Foundation provides letters of recommendation to accompany students’ college applications. The Foundation and San Antonio Education Partnership convene a seminar on scholarships and financial aid. Students are expected to promote the program during senior year and attend Japan America Society San Antonio events. All applicants must currently be a US citizen, and a junior in a high school located within Bexar County, Texas who expects to enter senior year in the fall of 2023. Each student is responsible for purchasing a valid US passport, travel insurance (approximately $60.00), a small gift for host families and any additional personal spending money while in Japan. The dress code and luggage requirements are detailed at the end of the application.


  • Personal Essay
  • Letter of Recommendation from Guidance Counselor, Teacher, Administrator, and one non-relative.
  • Character – courteous, mature, flexible
  • Interested in submersion experience in Japan: experiencing Japanese food, ceremonies, language, travel, homestay and working for the success of the group
  • Willingness to prepare using rigorous reading materials on Japanese history, economy, trade, and culture provided t0 the students, and attendance at orientation meetings.
  • Upon return to San Antonio: Be a willing exchange
    representative, speaking to groups of interested families and students, and interface with visiting Japanese student when in San Antonio.
  • Upon return, write a one-page article on your experience to be published on the Shirane Foundation website, school papers, and newspapers.

October 1st call for applications. Deadline: January 8, 2023

Announcement of 2023 Scholarship Recipients: March 3rd, 2023

Overview of the Trip:

(some changes in the order of city visits may take place)

  • Wed. June 7- Depart San Antonio
  • Thurs. June 8- Arrive Tokyo.  Visit Tokyo Sky Tree 
  • Fri. June 9-Meeting at Toyota Motor Corporation, visit Mega Web, visit Keimei Gakuen High School, visit the Shirane Family Tomb.
  • Sat. June 10-Tourism Day: Imperial Palace Grounds, Asakusa District-Senso-ji Temple; National Museums, take Shinkansen to Nagoya.
  • Sun. June 11-Sightseeing day in Kyoto, Shinkansen to Nagoya
  • Mon. June 12-Meeting with Aichi Prefecture Governor Ohmura, visit Toyota Memorial Museum
  • Tues. June 13-Shinkensen to Gamagori to visit Kaiyo Academy High School, transfer to Fukuoka City
  • Wed. June 14-Toyota Lexus Factory Tour, Shinkansen to Hiroshima Memorial Park & Museum.
  • Thurs. June 15-Students begin program with World Campus International and Homestay family. 
  • Fri. June 16-World Campus International/Homestay family
  • Sat. June 17-World Campus International/Homestay family
  • Sun. June 18-World Campus International/Homestay family
  • Mon. June 19-World Campus International/Homestay family
  • Tues. June 20-World Campus International/Thank You Event, final night with Homestay family
  • Wed. June 21-Noon Farewell to World Campus International.  Shinkansen to Kumamoto Sister City tour. 
  • Thurs. June 22-Depart Japan: Early Shinkansen to Tokyo. Board flight to U.S.
  • Fri. June 24-Arrive San Antonio.

We make a difference by what you give

Donate Form

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Billing Details

Donate quickly and securely with Stripe

How it works: A Stripe window will open after you click the Donate Now button where you can securely make your donation. You will then be brought back to this page to view your receipt.

Naoko Mitsui Shirane Foundation

Donate Form

Donation Total: $100 One Time