Immersion in the native country is the best way to learn any language, but that is a step more for advanced students who need to bridge the gap to fluency. However, you can still get an early start. Within the US, there are domestic immersion programs and summer camps for children as well as college student programs such as the Concordia Language Villages, but look before you leap. Many programs will not allow communication in English and trying to force you to speak Japanese no matter what your language level is. Sometime immersion programs ignore the concept that adult beginning learners are past the language acquisition stage. You may need to ask yourself, “Should I take a university-level course that’s conducted completely in Japanese if I’m not yet fluent?” Don’t expect to cram to in order to catch up to a much higher language level.