Our goal is to give our students reason to build their lives in Japan.
We aim to reach that goal through teaching Japanese language and culture.
When you move to a new country, it can be easy to stay in your comfort zone; Only talking to people who speak your language, or come from the same background as you. But to truly experience life in another country, you need to get to know its language and culture, so that you can get to know its people.
We want to break down the cultural and language barriers that stand in the way of expats enjoying their life here in Japan. To do that, we aim to make learning Japanese fun and enjoyable, so that your daily life can follow suit.
Our lessons don’t rely on textbooks and rote learning. Rather, we use learning materials as a foundation for your real-world Japanese skills. Then we build upon those skills with interactive lessons, workshops, and events in and outside the classroom.
When was the last time you made sushi with your teacher? When was the last time you practiced your sales pitch on a Japanese businessperson? At F2L, we want to integrate your Japanese learning into your daily life, to help you integrate and interact with Japan.
So we ask you to break out of your comfort zone, and start building your life in the real Japan with F2L.

The Start of F2L
A Message from the CEO

CEO

Ryoko Marumo

Thank you for visiting F2L! Here our philosophy is to make Japanese fun to learn. But for many, learning a language can seem daunting and not fun at all. So let me take you through my journey of how I was inspired to make it fun again, and to bring together like-minded people to create F2L, a platform where people can enjoy learning and teaching Japanese.

When I was young, I travelled between Japan and the US, and spent my Junior High and High School years in America. This was my first experience living in an English-speaking country, and because I was so young and thrown into a sink-or-swim situation, I picked up the basics of English in just a few months. It was so much fun to learn English through games and books, and I wanted to make new friends.

At that point, I didn’t think much about language as a career option, so when I came back to Japan I studied law, and then joined a bank. Unsatisfied with the career opportunities for women, I ended up in a few different jobs going back and forth between America and Japan. I gained a lot of experience in the business world, learning best practices and marketing strategies, and I played a major role in the sales and marketing of Rakuten in its early stages. But it wasn’t until I had children that my inspiration for learning struck.

It was hard to find a job as a mother of two, so I spent a lot of time volunteering and participating in community projects. I absolutely loved reading to children and seeing the spark of curiosity in their eyes as I read to them. So when I was asked to teach at a local juku (cram school), I was more than happy to help teach English. I went on to create my own curriculum, and then moved on to teaching Japanese. This opened up more opportunities, and I started teaching Japanese to the parents of some of the children, and their connections too. This was the start of my own client base. At that point, with my teaching certifications in hand, and business knowledge pushing me forward, I had almost no choice but to look into starting my own school.

Then the “I” became a “we”, and after finding like-minded people to spread the idea of making Japanese “fun to learn”, we started an online Japanese language platform where people could come to learn, not just about the Japanese language, but also about the culture and lifestyle so unique to Japan.

There are so many expats and international workers in Japan, but many have told us that they end up staying well within their comfort zones, only talking to other expats and never truly leaving their home country. Here at F2L, we want our students to break out of those comfort zones, and experience the real Japan: Eat Japan’s real food, experience Japan’s real culture, and live in the real Japan. We hope our courses and events can be just the first step to making that a reality.

Career

  •  After graduating from university, I worked in customer dealing at a major bank.
  •  After getting married, as a founding member of a multimedia startup company, traveled back and forth between Japan and U,S.
  •  I worked with top-level CG and commercial production companies in Hollywood, including Disney and ILM, and was involved in the production of car and beer commercials as a co-producer.
  • After accompanying my husband to study in Boston, I came back to Tokyo to be involved in all aspects of Rakuten’s startup, and created its first store management manuals.
  • After giving birth to first child, became a founding member of the women’s portal site “eSampo”, and was in charge of Business Development.
  • After the birth of her second child, I devoted myself to being a housewife while attending a study group of experienced volunteer storytellers from all over Japan, where I learned the importance of speaking to the heart of listeners.
  • When my eldest daughter entered elementary school , I became an English teacher, and eventually, curriculum planner at afterschool, and in order to make the most of my experience as a returnee and her longtime passion for education, I obtained certificats in English education for children and Japanese language education. In addition to teaching regular classes at a Japanese language school, I also taught science and social studies in English.
  • In addition to teaching regular Japanese classes at a Japanese language school, I also taught speech, academic writing, JLPT, TOEFL, etc. and started teaching English and Japanese on a freelance basis to businessmen and  children attending an American school.
  • I have incorporated drama and reading, language and Japanese culture activity programs into curricula to ensure efficient and in-depth learning.
  • I founded F2L Academy in 2021 spring to and I am now providing private lessons to business people and their families, training programs for embassies and corporations, and training programs for teachers. As F2L Academy, we will provide language services to bring Fun to Learn, Fun to Work!

Our Team

CEO

Ryoko Marumo

As a returnee who has lived in the U.S. since the age of 11, I know the benefits of education and culture from both of the world. Through 12 years of experience teaching Japanese and English, she I discovered a new way to teach language easily and accurately (F2L Method), and F2L Academy uses this method to accelerate communication skills and speed up the acquisition of Japanese through cultural understanding.

Senior Curriculum Planning and Coordination

Tomoko Goto

I have been involved in teaching, curriculum planning/ Blended educational materials inside and ouside Japan.I strive for supporting students and teachers so that F2L Academy provides lessons where “you learn and practice Japanese you would want to use immediately after each class”., and where “teachers can maximize their values and experiences”! 

Senior Curriculum Planning and Coordination

Rina Okada

I have always enjoyed learning foreign language ever since childhood but when I went to US to study and met friends learning Japanese so earnestly, I decided that one day I would become a Japanese teacher. After several years of business experience in tourism, I acquired certificate for teaching Japanese.I make my effort in delivering Japanese ICT materials and lessons that are easy to understand and practical for students.
I will continue to support students and teachers so they can learn and teach with fun and introduce such motivat programs provided by F2L to the world!

Crossborder Marketing Manager

Cassie Lord

Marketing Manager

Tatsuki Nakamura

Teachers

Kaori Ueki

I have been involved in Japanese language education since 1993. I have taught foreign students at Japanese language schools, vocational schools, and universities, business people at foreign-affiliated companies, and individual foreigners, using teaching materials tailored to their needs.
In April 2011, I was appointed as the head of the Business Japanese Course at The Naganuma School – Tokyo School of Japanese Language, a position I held until September 2020.
Based on my experience and knowledge through teaching, I have co-authored seven books, including a collection of questions for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and a textbook on business Japanese.
Although I have retired from active teaching, I would be happy to continue helping the Japanese language education community in any way I can.

Manami Tominaga

・An MBA qualified, senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in sales and management in international companies, consistently performing beyond expected standards in business development and exploiting commercial opportunities to secure competitive advantage and achieve business objectives.
・Ability to operate and communicate at all levels in Japanese and English in a global, matrix management, multi-cultural environment.

Hidenori Aoki

Since 2011, I have been teaching at Japanese language schools, especially business Japanese. In the meantime, I have taught business Japanese for three years at universities and Japanese language schools in Taiwan as well. Classes can be held in any particular format, such as class or private. I have also taught private classes according to the students’ job descriptions.

Kyoko Homma

After working as a high school teacher and cram school teacher, I have been involved in Japanese language education for a long time. Recently, I have been teaching advanced speakers, which makes me think again about what kind of language can reach the heart. To learn a language and culture is to rediscover your own culture and find yourself anew. Through encounters with people from various countries and backgrounds, we have been able to improve each other. With this pride, we will work to bring out the hidden power of each individual.

Mana Hartman

Branch Relations Specialist. Tokyo Toyopet Headquarters, Toyota. Tokyo, Japan. 1994-1997.Interacted with branch managers to resolve questions related to quality control.
Managing Director. Izawa Corporation. Tama, Japan. 1997-2014. Oversaw contracting, accounting, and marketing strategy for a karaoke business generating $800,000 in annual revenue.
Actress and singer and Dancer. Wakakusa Agency. Tokyo, Japan. 1974-1982. Appeared on stage in musicals and in commercials, television specials, and movie voiceovers. 27years experience in the entertainment industry.
I am married to an American, gave birth in Germany, and experienced parenting in the United States. I have overcome language and cultural barriers and raised my son to be bilingual (JLPT N1) and multicultural. My strength is communication, and I want to help develop a multicultural society.

Kuniko Kondo

I have 15 years of teaching Japanese experience at various language institutions such as Japanese language schools, universities in Japan and U.S., and U.S. embassy. I worked for a patent attorney office and language schools as an administrative assistant for eight years in total. Also, I studied at university in U.S. So, I always see Japanese society and culture from two perspectives; inside and outside. I would like to share whole my experience and thoughts with Japanese language learners and learn better communicative skills in Japanese language together.

Toshiaki Ishizuka

I had been a member of the Global Insurance Company over 40 years. From 1985 to 1990 as a representative of this company, I had stayed in New York. During my assigned period,
I had worked with more than 100 associates, a lot of American insurance brokers and agents. Through my valuable experience, I leaned and recognized the difference between Japanese and American business customs. It would be very helpful to teach Japanese to foreigners especially to busine

Michiyo Nishitani

I am a people person, and I work with a lot of people.
As a diving instructor, I have dived in the oceans of Japan and other southern countries, and the language, customs, and culture I have encountered there have reminded me of the beauty of Japan and the Japanese language.
When I was working at resorts in Malaysia and the Philippines, I welcomed guests from all over the world. I reconfirmed to myself that even if there is a language barrier, we can understand each other if we put into words what we need to say, what we want to say, our feelings and thoughts without fear.
What I can say from my past work experience is that I can continue because it is fun and enjoyable.
The more fun you have learning, the more fun you will continue to have, and the more fun you will have, the more the words will be absorbed into your mind and heart. Smile, Japanese!