Information for International Researchers


There are various international exchange groups and Japanese-language schools in the Tokyo area. You can find information about such groups at your local city office and prefecture office. They will also have information about that city/area and will be a great source for you to learn not only the language but also all about the cultural events, festivals, and other fun things that happen in your neighborhood.

1. Study Japanese on the Hongo Campus

The Center for Japanese Language Education (The Nihongo Center) provides an opportunity to learn Japanese for international students and foreign researchers. There are a variety of courses offered, so you can find a course that fits your schedule and learning needs.

The Center also provides support for our students to study Japanese outside the classrooms (individual tutoring sessions, invitation to Japanese culture, online learning etc.). If you are interested in these programs, check the website and contact the center directly.

General Course

This course meets in one to three sessions per week, so as to accommodate foreign researchers' busy schedules. The course includes general classes taught at different levels ranging from elementary to advanced, and classes focussed on specific skill areas, such as kanji and intermediate conversation.

Short-term Japanese Course

The Short-term Course, taught for two weeks, is designed for those students who are too busy to attend classes on a regular basis, or who arrived in the middle of a term.

Special Themed Seminar

This Special Themed Seminar will cover a specific topic for a set amount of days. Some sample topics include "hiragana," "katakana," Introduction to kanji (beginner)," "Writing emails in Japanese (intermediate to advanced)," "academic reading (advanced)," and "presentations in Japanese (advanced)." The topics offered are subject to change each semester.

2. Off-campus Japanese language courses/classes

International exchange associations, local municipalities, private-sector organizations and volunteer groups offer Japanese language classes free of charge or at relatively low cost. These classes are open to participation by anyone.

3. Learn about Japan

Japan has an incredible variety of museums, galleries, shrines and temples which can keep you occupied for many days. In Ueno-koen park, which located near the Hongo campus, there is a concentration of cultural institutions such as: Ueno Zoo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the National Science Museum. Some museums have discount tickets and free admission day.Tokyo Museums Grutt Pass is a value-priced admission ticket booklet to nearly 70 museums, parks, zoos and aquarium in Tokyo. The Grutt Pass costs 2,000 yen approximately. This pass is available at the museum counters, Tokyo Tourist Information Center, Kichijoji Store and many other places. Make sure you get the expiry date stamped on your pass when you use it for the first time. For any query or information on Grutt Pass, please visit their website.

Child education and school

Education in Japan consists of three years in kindergarten, six years in elementary school, three years in junior high school, three years in high school and four years in university (two years in junior college.) The nine year education in elementary and junior high schools, from 6 to 15 years old, is mandatory in Japan.

Elementary and junior high school

Since education at elementary school and junior high school is compulsory for Japanese nationals and permanent foreign residents, households with a child who starts school in the coming April receive a notice regarding school enrollment from the municipal office (city hall) of their area of residence by the end of January. After receiving the notice, they should begin necessary preparation for enrollment according to the notice. Non-Japanese nationals living in Japan may not always receive this notice, however, since they may not be subject to Japanese compulsory education. If you are a foreign resident and wish to have your child educated at a Japanese public school, you must apply for permission to enroll your child.

High school

Junior high school graduates may continue their education at high schools or technological high schools, which, however, are not compulsory and therefore requires the passing of an admission exam to enter. High schools generally offer a three-year program.

International schools

Several international schools are available in Tokyo. While many of them are operated in English, there are some schools taught in other languages.