Guide to Learning Japanese in language schools in Japan

Japan responds to globalization by opening its doors to foreigners. The Japanese language takes a new role for people coming in to take part in the various aspects of life in Japan. Thus, language schools are beneficial tools in the long run especially for those who wanted to stay in the country.

Table of Contents

  1. The relevance of Japanese language
  2. Guide to Japanese language schools
  3. Key reminders
  4. Summary

The relevance of Japanese language

Japan is home to many unique experiences and activities that cannot be experienced in any part of the world. Japan offers a minimalist and simplistic culture that is shaped by years and years of a great tradition. Not only that, but Japan also offers a very sophisticated way of communication through Nihongo, the Japanese language.

In every field of activity in Japan, may it be enrolling in a school, looking for employment in Japan, or even if you are simply a tourist who wants to enjoy everything that Japan has to offer, learning the local language can give you a great advantage! Many universities and schools that accept foreign students require Japanese language proficiency before the students can be admitted to the school as most of the classes are taught in Japanese. Being fluent in thelanguage also gives you an edge, especially if you are applying for employment in Japan. Like academic institutions, some companies also require you to pass a Japanese Language Proficiency Test as part of the employment procedure. Lastly, knowing Japanese will make every day life in Japan that much easier.

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is a standardized test for any individual who would want to check their language proficiency for the Japanese language. This test is usually required for academic and employment purposes for foreign nationals who want to enroll in Japanese institutions or be employed in Japan-based companies. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test tests your Japanese reading comprehension, language knowledge, and listening. It now consists of five levels of certification and has no expiration date. Many language schools offer to help its students get to certain levels with their instruction.

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test

Guide to Japanese language schools

Since there are many advantages to learning Nihongo when entering Japan, several institutions offer academic courses for you to learn the Japanese language easily! Most Japanese Language schools are located in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities like Kyoto and Fukuoka. Whether you’ll be visiting Japan for a short or long duration, Japanese language schools offer either short-term or long-term courses to fit your busy schedule. Japanese language courses range from weekly classes to a 2-year long program, depending on your needs and schedule. 

Because of the demand to learn the Japanese language for various reasons such as academic, employment, and even personal development, there are many Japanese language schools for you to choose from that offer the same credible services aside from the ones mentioned below. The three schools below are only samples of Japanese language schools, but there’s more to choose from! 

Japan Tokyo International Language School

Japan Tokyo International Language school offers courses for those staying in Japan for short term visits or those residing in Japan for long-term purposes. This school also offers basic Japanese language courses to advanced or expert Japanese courses that mix both foundational aspects of the Japanese language and the Nihongo language application through conversations. 

A 1-week crash course in the Japanese language can be provided for individuals who are staying short-term in Japan or for those with short-term visas or working holiday visas. Japan Tokyo International Language School can also offer language courses for less than a week on a case-to-case basis. The tuition fee for the short-term Japanese course is about 25,000 yen per week.  A Japanese language course of up to two (2) years is offered to those staying long-term in Japan. 

※ Japan Tokyo International School, "For those with short-term visa & working holiday visa"
※ Japan Tokyo International School, "For those with short-term visa & working holiday visa"

Genki Japanese and Culture School

Genki Japanese and Culture School offers a comprehensive Japanese language course that has both in-person and online modalities. What’s great about this school is that it offers a rolling course calendar, which means that you don’t have to wait for the start of the school year to enroll in a course as they have several simultaneous classes going on. They also believe in a specialized educational program for you where you can only learn a higher language level once you have mastered the basics or the foundations. This school is most suitable for individuals in Japan on a long-term basis as their shortest Japanese language course is at five weeks! 

The registration fee costs about 11,000 yen, and the materials and books fee costs another 11,000 yen. The accommodation placement fee depends on your location as they have branches both in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. These would range from 10,000 yen to 20,000 yen. 

※ Genki Japanese & Culture School,"Core course"
※ Genki Japanese & Culture School,"Prices & Payment"

Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute 

Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute offers a wide array of language courses, which are short term classes perfect for tourists visiting Japan, preparation classes for JLPT and EJU, evening classes for individuals who have school or work during the day. Shinjuku Japanese language institute also offers private lessons for anyone interested where these private classes range from the basics or foundations of Nihongo to business Japanese language, and expert or advanced language courses. Aside from student-centered courses, this school also offers teacher training for anyone who wants to be certified to teach the Japanese language. 

For a full three-month language course program, the tuition fee ranges from 35,000 yen to 215,000 yen, excluding textbooks. Saturday classes cost 68,000 yen plus a one-time registration fee of 15,000 yen. Evening classes cost 83,000 yen, excluding textbooks and other materials. Some payments can be paid in a lump sum or divided into installments.

※ Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute, "Course"
※ Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute, "Prices" 

Check out our other article highlighting 5 other language schools in Tokyo. 

Introducing 5 Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo[With Personalized Messages]

Key reminders

Indeed, being fluent in more than one language can be beneficial for you. If you are planning to visit or stay in Japan, learning the language can be advantageous for you because it can be easier for you to travel to places in Japan. In that case, it can be easier for you to communicate with the locals. You do not have to rely on google translate and other translation books for you to be able to communicate. 

In selecting your preferred language school, consider factors such as location, cost, and the class schedule they offer. Lastly, some programs support students such as with employment agreements and scholarship programs, so make sure that you communicate with your school or employer whether this is included in your contract. 

Some examples of the scholarship programs are the following:

  • Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students

  • Kyoritsu Maintenance Scholarship Fund (for students from Asia)

  • Takayama International Education Foundation Scholarship (for students from Asia)

  • LSH Asia Scholarship (for students from Asia)

  • Private scholarships from the language school itself

The requirements of these scholarship programs, which will vary depending on the school, generally are:

  • Must be a full-time student

  • Have a great attendance rate

  • Have excellent academic records and character

Please check with each scholarship to see additional requirements. 


Whether you are visiting Japan to experience the culture for a week, or you’ll be residing in Japan for a year or so, it is better to learn the language of the locals for a smoother travel experience. Consider enrolling in the Japan language schools above so you can learn the language faster and maximize your stay in Japan. 

For more, please read our other article:

How to choose a Japanese Language School: Introducing what it costs and
4 things to look out for!

You don't have to worry alone anymore A Q&A community about Japan

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