Appeal of Graduate school that graduates and current students talk about (Dr. Seiichiro Saihara)

Course of International Tourism Studies, Graduate, Seiichiro Saihara

I wanted to try to look at travel not just as a business, but as a science.

Q. Why did you decide to study at graduate school? What was the sequence of events that lead to this decision?

I was 53 when I entered graduate school. I think it was because until then, I had worked at a travel company (JTB), and I wanted to try to look at travel not just as a business, but as science.


Q. Why did you choose Toyo University Graduate School?

I was considering Toyo University or XX University. However, I felt that there was more liveliness at Toyo University. The fact that they had an extraordinarily strong Ekiden team at the time might also be a reason. Also, as I worked in Osaki at the time, the fact that the university was close to work was also a significant factor.


Q. Has there been anything you have noticed or realized studying at graduate school?

It is a bit of a cliché, but I was made to become aware that graduate school is a place where you are not taught by someone, but you learn by yourself. It was also particularly good that I realized what was obvious at JTB was not always obvious in the rest of the world.


Q. What is the appeal of graduate school?

The fact that I could learn with people outside my company, and young people from the same generation as my children. Also that I could talk frankly with the graduate school faculty. It may be due to my age, but I have almost no recollection of talking with teachers individually when I was at university (over 30 years ago), so this might be why I particularly felt that way.


Q. What has been difficult during your time as a graduate student?

It goes without saying that writing a thesis while working was quite demanding. Even though I had work the next day, there were many times while writing my thesis that it would already be 3 am before I noticed. At new year’s, when my family was watching Kohaku Utagassen, I would be working away on my computer by myself. However, it didn’t feel that tough.


Q. What is the research topic of your thesis or content of your classes?

During the Master’s Program, I had classes two times a week, and I would rush to class after work. My research topic for the Master’s Program was Landing-style Tourism. Apart from my job at my company, I assisted with the support of regional development by tourism as a Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant, so I made use of this experience when writing my thesis. My topic for the Doctoral Program was Customer Satisfaction in Tourism Resorts. In the Doctoral Program, there are no set classes. Instead, once I had made a certain level of progress with my thesis, I would have it looked over by my professor.


Q. What is your vision for the future? What is your ideal future self? Is there a specific path you would like to follow?

Currently, I am in charge of tourism in the Business Administration Department at Kanto Gakuin University. I am also involved with regional development as a DMO (Destination Management Organization) advisor of Kanagawa Prefecture. In the future, it would be good if I can increase regional development support a little.


Q. What is your schedule for a typical day or week currently?


Class Preparation


Class Preparation


Meetings at the University


Lessons at University (1st to 4th period)


Lessons at University (2nd to 3rd period)


Day off


Often teaching how to study to become a Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant at institutions outside of university


Q. Please freely write any messages you have for those who want to research international tourism studies.

I decided to go to graduate school after 50, but I think it would have been better to have gone a little earlier. When you are even slightly younger, you have more physical strength, and your mind is more flexible. Also, most of all, you have more time after study, and therefore the opportunities where you can make use of your research will increase. If anyone is wondering whether to go to graduate school or not, I would recommend they start the application process immediately.



Doctor of International Tourism Studies
Associate Professor at Kanto Gakuin University Faculty of Business Administration
Graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Agriculture in 1980 and joined Japan Tourism Bureau Co. Ltd. (Now JTB) after. Since around 2009, has been supporting regional development as a
Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant.

Entered Toyo University Graduate School in 2012 and completed the Doctoral Program in 2017. Has been in current role since leaving JTB in 2017. 


(Listed content as of March 2020)