20 Best Japanese Language Schools in Japan 2024

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Wondering where to find the best Japanese language schools for an immersive learning experience? Dive into our guide to uncover Japan’s top institutions, where excellence in language education and cultural immersion combine, making it the perfect destination for anyone passionate about studying Japanese at its source.


Introduction of Japanese Language Education in Worldwide

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Around the world, learning Japanese is a growing trend. According to a survey by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) for the fiscal year 2021, there are 18,272 institutions globally offering Japanese language education, with 74,592 teachers and 3,794,714 learners. Moreover, 610,186 individuals are studying Japanese outside of formal school education, including language schools. This large number of learners and educators shows a worldwide interest in the Japanese language. Additionally, the Japan Foundation’s survey for the 2022 fiscal year found that 231,146 international students received a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to study in Japan. This highlights the strong desire of people from various countries to learn Japanese deeply, often by immersing themselves in Japanese culture and society through study programs in Japan. The world presents diverse opportunities for those interested in learning Japanese, from Japanese language schools to university courses. With millions of learners worldwide, the environment for studying Japanese is supportive and rich with resources. This global engagement with the Japanese language signifies its increasing importance and appeal across different cultures. The statistics from JASSO and the Japan Foundation underscore the global enthusiasm for studying Japanese and the extensive infrastructure in place to support this educational pursuit.

Best Japanese Language Schools in Japan

1. ISI Japanese Language School

Spanning across Japan with campuses in the bustling cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as in the serene Nagano, ISI Language School is a premier Japanese Language School renowned for its extensive international reach, especially among students from Europe and America. Distinguished from many academies that predominantly cater to students from Asian countries aiming for university entrance exams in Japan, ISI adopts a holistic approach to teaching Japanese. This strategy ensures a balanced focus not just on kanji and grammar, which are essential for reading and writing proficiency, but also on listening and speaking skills right from the outset. Learners at ISI are introduced to oral exams aligned with their class level, promoting a harmonious development across all language facets, invaluable for real-life interactions. The pacing of the curriculum is designed to facilitate steady learning without overwhelming the students. While the fees might be on the higher side compared to other schools, the value provided is tangible—students receive an abundance of study materials and participate in cultural excursions to iconic locations like Disneyland and Fuji Q Highland. For those looking to study Japanese in Japan in a balanced, immersive environment, ISI Language School offers an enriching experience that goes beyond textbooks, preparing students to engage confidently in the Japanese-speaking world.

Tokyo (Takadanobaba, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Shibuya), Nagano, Kyoto, Osaka



2. JaLS GROUP|Japanese Language Schools

Established in 2012, JaLS GROUP has been inspiring language learners with its heartfelt motto, promising a transformative Japanese language learning experience. This Japanese Language School has been consistently recognized as the “Best Japanese Language School” by various entities since 2015, a testament to its excellence in language education. JaLS prides itself on six foundational values: quality, family, flexibility, activity, facility, and community. These are not mere words but principles reflected in their approach to teaching Japanese. Moving beyond conventional textbook strategies, JaLS GROUP has developed original teaching methods and special curriculums tailored for short-term visitors in Japan who wish to learn Japanese effectively. Their pedagogy is output-oriented, focusing on practical usage and engaging content across a wide spectrum of topics, making learning Japanese not just educational but also enjoyable. With a commitment to quality and a welcoming community spirit, JaLS GROUP invites students from all corners of the globe to dive into the Japanese language and culture in an environment that feels like a second home. Missing out on the opportunity to study Japanese at JaLS GROUP would mean forgoing an enriching and enjoyable educational experience that stands out in Japan.

Hokkaido, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka



3. Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School

Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School, located in the heart of Kyoto, stands out as a premier institution for those looking to study Japanese. Embracing a philosophy that transcends national borders, it aims to nurture global citizens through an immersive education in Japanese language and culture. The school, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Tenjingawa River, offers a unique learning environment enriched by a diverse international student body. Its curriculum is thoughtfully crafted to meet modern demands, facilitated by a team of seasoned educators. Students benefit from comprehensive academic and vocational guidance tailored to their aspirations, whether pursuing higher education or career opportunities in Japan. The school’s comfortable dormitories and empathetic support services ensure a smooth transition to life in Japan. Additionally, Kyoto Minsai enriches students’ educational journey with a plethora of extracurricular activities, from participating in Kyoto’s traditional festivals to exploring the local culture, making it an ideal choice for anyone eager to study Japanese in a culturally rich setting.




4. JTIS|Japan Tokyo International School

Japan Tokyo International School (JTIS) offers a standout experience for those keen on mastering Japanese while delving deep into the country’s cultural heritage. Situated in Tokyo’s bustling center, JTIS transcends traditional language instruction by blending cultural insights and practical applications into its curriculum. Catering to a wide audience, from local language enthusiasts to international students and professionals, JTIS creates a vibrant, multicultural learning environment. This diversity encourages a rich exchange of perspectives, enhancing both language skills and global awareness. The school’s commitment to cultural integration is evident in its engaging exchange programs and excursions, providing students with firsthand experiences of Japanese traditions. With a dedicated team of certified teachers, JTIS ensures personalized education, tailored to meet individual learning objectives. The school’s approach to combining language learning with cultural experiences makes it an unparalleled choice for anyone looking to study Japanese in a dynamic, supportive setting.




5. Lexis Japan

Lexis Japan, nestled in Kobe—often celebrated as Japan’s most livable city—offers a blend of traditional and contemporary Japanese cultural experiences. This award-winning language school, recipient of the 2014 STM Star Award for ‘World Language School’, specializes in providing intimate class settings for both Japanese and English learners, ensuring personalized attention and enhanced learning outcomes. Known for its innovative and interactive curriculum, Lexis attracts students worldwide for education, work, and leisure purposes. The school stands out not only for its academic excellence but also for its comprehensive range of courses, including intensive Japanese, youth programs, and JLPT preparation, catering to a broad spectrum of learners. Located in the heart of Kobe’s cultural hub, Lexis boasts modern facilities and easy access to local attractions, facilitating both learning and cultural immersion. With a focus on real-world engagement, Lexis Japan creates a vibrant international community, making it a premier destination for those looking to study Japanese in a dynamic, immersive environment.




6. Akamonkai Japanese Language School

Since its inception in 1985, Akamonkai Japanese Language School has established itself as a cornerstone of Japanese language education in Tokyo, welcoming over 20,000 students from 80 countries. Part of the prestigious Arai Gakuen, Akamonkai operates across two campuses, offering intensive courses across multiple levels aimed at university preparation and JLPT preparation success. Renowned for its affordability, the school provides comprehensive support including student visa sponsorship and job placement services, ensuring a holistic educational experience. Its curriculum is designed for swift language acquisition, from beginner to advanced levels, including business Japanese, accommodating a wide array of student goals. Akamonkai’s multicultural environment promotes practical language use and cultural exchange among a diverse student body. With its commitment to student support in accommodation, job hunting, and visa matters, Akamonkai Japanese Language School represents an ideal choice for those aiming to study Japanese in a nurturing, dynamic setting, fostering both academic and professional growth.




7. ECC Japanese Language Institute

The ECC Japanese Language Institute, a key member of the ECC group since 1962, has distinguished itself in the field of language education, with a particular focus on fostering global communication and international peace. Known for its pioneering educational methodologies in both English and Japanese, ECC promotes a holistic approach to language learning. Under the guiding principle of “Beyond the Japanese Language,” the institute aims to empower students not only with comprehensive language skills—covering listening, speaking, reading, and writing—but also with the ability to navigate diverse cultural landscapes. This approach is designed to prepare students for a range of scenarios, from everyday interactions to professional and academic challenges. ECC’s curriculum is crafted to ensure a well-rounded development of language abilities, complemented by cultural immersion activities that enhance international awareness. With its innovative teaching strategies, including personalized learning and technological integration, ECC Japanese Language Institute stands as a beacon for students aiming to achieve fluency in Japanese and gain a global perspective.

Tokyo(Shinjuku), Nagoya, Kobe



8. Intercultural Institute of Japan

Nestled in the vibrant district of Akihabara, the hub for anime and manga culture, the Intercultural Institute of Japan offers a richly international environment for students eager to learn Japanese in Japan. Despite being a medium-sized Japanese language school, it boasts a diverse student body that truly encapsulates its international ethos. Recognized for its dedicated faculty, the school excels in delivering high-quality Japanese education, focusing heavily on grammar and supplemented with extensive exercise materials to reinforce learning. Praised by its students for the personalized attention from teachers, this school facilitates a swift learning curve for those looking to accelerate their Japanese language proficiency. While the tuition might be on the higher end, and does not include textbooks – which students need to purchase separately – the trade-off comes in the form of academic rigor and a nurturing learning environment. For learners looking to immerse themselves in the epicenter of Japanese pop culture while studying Japanese, the Intercultural Institute of Japan presents itself as a compelling option where one can dive deep into the language and emerge with a solid grasp of Japanese.




9. J Kokusai Gakuin|Japanese International School

J Kokusai Gakuin, part of the multifaceted Kokusai Tsuushin Group and nestled in the heart of Osaka for over 15 years, offers a unique and comprehensive Japanese language learning experience to students from more than 30 countries. This institution is dedicated to providing an inclusive educational environment, tailored to meet the diverse needs of its international student body. With a curriculum designed for all levels—from beginner to super advanced, including specialized courses like kanji—J Kokusai Gakuin ensures that every student, regardless of their background, finds a path to language mastery. Beyond language learning, the school offers access to healthcare services and professional development opportunities, thanks to its affiliation with Kokusai Tsuushin Group’s clinic and partner agencies. A vibrant calendar of community events and sports festivals fosters a strong sense of camaraderie and cultural exchange. Coupled with the unwavering support of its dedicated staff, J Kokusai Gakuin stands as an ideal destination for those looking to study Japanese in a dynamic, supportive setting.




10. GenkiJACS|Genki Japanese & Culture School

Nestled away from the urban intensity of Tokyo and Osaka, Genki Japanese School emerges as an excellent choice for those looking to learn Japanese in a calmer environment. With locations in Fukuoka and Nagoya, Genki provides an alternative Japanese learning experience in cities that boast their unique charms and a more relaxed pace of life. This Japanese Language School breaks away from the traditional enrollment pattern by offering flexibility that caters to the needs of its diverse student body. Instead of the rigid four-term enrollment system commonly found in Japan, Genki welcomes new students every Monday, allowing for a personalized approach to starting your journey to study Japanese. Whether it’s for a brief two-week course or an extended month-long dive into the language, Genki adapts to your schedule. The school’s innovative curriculum is specifically designed for international students who are eager to immerse themselves in Japanese culture while gaining language proficiency. With this tailored learning structure, Genki stands out as a top-tier institution for those wishing to study Japanese in Japan, offering a balance of high-quality education and cultural integration.

Fukuoka, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya



11. SNG|Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute

Located in the heart of Tokyo, just a stone’s throw from Takadanobaba Station, the Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG) stands out among Japanese language schools for its innovative approach to language learning. Dispelling the common critique of outdated teaching methods, SNG pioneers the “Ezoe Teaching Method,” which combines visual aids with physical gestures to make learning Japanese grammar an engaging and swift process. Celebrated for over four decades, this unique method has effectively empowered hundreds of students to enhance their Japanese language skills. At SNG, a variety of courses await eager learners; from short-term immersion programs perfect for quick learning sprints, to thorough preparation classes for proficiency tests like the JLPT and EJU. For those engrossed in the intricacies of Japanese characters, the dedicated Kanji course is a treasure trove of knowledge. Catering to the bustling lifestyles in Japan, SNG also offers flexible evening classes, as well as personalized private sessions. Aspiring to study Japanese in Japan becomes a reality at SNG, where traditional barriers in language education are broken, ensuring a comprehensive and practical approach to mastering the Japanese language.




12. ICLC|Okinawa Japanese Language School

Established in 1983, the International Center of Language & Culture Institute of Japanese Language (ICLC) in Okinawa stands as the island’s oldest language school, embodying a legacy of global connectivity and cultural diversity. Each year, ICLC welcomes students from nearly 20 countries, contributing to a dynamic, multicultural learning atmosphere. This institution is celebrated for its commitment to personalized education, offering tailored programs that cater to the varied needs of international students, business professionals, and short-term learners alike. ICLC prides itself on cultural enrichment, allowing students to forge deep connections across cultures while pursuing Japanese language proficiency. The school’s courses, officially recognized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs for Japanese teachers, maintain the highest educational standards. With a diverse student body and a history of excellent JLPT pass rates, ICLC Okinawa Japanese Language School is a prime choice for anyone looking to study Japanese in a richly international environment, ensuring a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.




13. Meiji Academy

Founded in 2014 in Fukuoka, Meiji Academy distinguishes itself as a forward-thinking Japanese language school, conceived by an international team of young graduates. Recognizing the hurdles of studying abroad, Meiji Academy prioritizes a student-centric methodology, standing out from traditional institutions. The academy is renowned for its small class sizes, typically hosting 3 to 5 students, to ensure a highly personalized learning journey. Meiji Academy’s hallmark is its adaptability; offering flexible start dates, students can commence their education any Monday throughout the year, accommodating various schedules outside the peak summer and beginner intakes. Catering to a broad spectrum of learners, from absolute beginners to those at JLPT N1 level, the academy tailors its courses to meet individual learning objectives. With a strong emphasis on personalized service and a flexible, customized study schedule, Meiji Academy presents an unparalleled opportunity for those aiming to study Japanese in an environment that champions tailored educational experiences and cultural immersion.




14. KAI Japanese Language School

KAI Japanese Language School has cemented its reputation as a leading institution for those wishing to study Japanese in Japan, with a significant student population hailing from North America and European countries like France, Italy, and Spain. Catering to a diverse array of learning needs, KAI offers an assortment of courses including a comprehensive general course, a practical conversation course designed to enhance daily communication skills, a business Japanese course tailored for professionals, and flexible online courses for remote learners. This Tokyo-based Japanese language school is at the forefront of technological integration in education, having pioneered the KAI Digital Learning System (KAI⋮DLS). This innovative system enhances the learning experience by providing original digital materials and equipping each student with an iPad, facilitating a modern and interactive approach to learning Japanese. In addition, the school’s commitment to personalized learning is evident through its provision of private classes, ensuring students can learn Japanese at their own pace and convenience. As a result, KAI Japanese Language School stands out as an excellent choice for students who prioritize a cutting-edge educational environment and a comprehensive curriculum to learn Japanese effectively.




15. TCJ|Tokyo Central Japanese Language School

Tokyo Central Japanese Language School (TCJ) stands out as a distinguished learning center in the heart of Tokyo, offering a multifaceted approach to learning Japanese. Celebrated for its 30-year history, TCJ attracts students from over 60 countries, providing tailored programs for various goals, including business communication and academic advancement. Its Student Visa Program is segmented into specific tracks for graduate school aspirants, university students, vocational learners, and those on a job hunt, offering precise guidance to suit each student’s ambitions. TCJ also meets the demands of local residents with flexible daytime and evening classes for adults and children, as well as personalized private tutoring, accommodating the bustling lives of professionals. The school’s online courses further widen its reach, inviting international students to learn Japanese virtually. TCJ’s innovative structure caters to those who need a more adaptable schedule than the conventional 4-5 hour daily sessions typical of Japanese language schools in Japan, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals seeking a balanced, efficient path to language proficiency.




16. ARC Academy Japanese Language School

Boasting campuses in the prime locations of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, ARC Academy Japanese Language School ranks among the premier institutions for those looking to study Japanese in Japan. Particularly noted for its Osaka campus, ARC Academy is often recommended for its inviting environment and the city’s lower living costs compared to Tokyo. Ideal for learners who prefer a less frenetic lifestyle while immersing themselves in the Japanese language and culture, ARC offers a rigorous academic experience with a heightened emphasis on attendance and punctuality, maintaining a strict 90% attendance policy to ensure student commitment and progression. The curriculum is intensive, with a strong focus on mastering kanji, which is both challenging and rewarding for serious students. As you learn Japanese at ARC Academy, expect a demanding yet supportive environment that pushes you to achieve proficiency in the language, making it a top choice for dedicated learners aiming to make significant strides in their Japanese language journey. Whether you’re planning to pursue higher education in Japan, engage in business, or simply enrich your cultural understanding, ARC Academy provides the structured and disciplined approach that is essential for success in mastering the complexities of the Japanese language.




17. COTO Japanese Academy

COTO Japanese Academy, situated in Tokyo’s dynamic center, has been a beacon for over 8,000 students from around the globe since 2000, offering small, flexible classes tailored for each individual. Renowned for its engaging conversation-focused curriculum, the Academy accommodates learners at all levels, from beginners to advanced. Specialized programs like Nihongo Plus and Japanese for Business are designed for rapid mastery, with the latter preparing students for the Japanese business world in a comprehensive two-month course. COTO extends its educational reach through one-on-one lessons that can be taken at home or in the office, demonstrating a commitment to adaptable, practical learning. This award-winning institution prioritizes a conversational skillset that enables students to navigate both casual and professional interactions with confidence in their Japanese language abilities.




18. Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture

Situated in Suidobashi, Tokyo, the Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture may be smaller in scale compared to its peers, yet it stands out for offering a highly personalized learning experience, a characteristic often associated with smaller schools. This approach allows for close attention to individual student needs and greater flexibility in administrative matters, such as payment plans and addressing unexpected issues. However, Kudan sets itself apart with its rigorous academic environment, which demands a considerable investment of time in study beyond the classroom. The institute’s intensive curriculum is designed for those who are eager to immerse themselves fully and learn Japanese at an accelerated pace. For prospective students aiming to study Japanese in Japan with a singular focus on rapid progression, Kudan offers an excellent environment. On the other hand, those seeking to balance study with work or prefer a more leisurely pace might find Kudan’s demanding nature less suitable for their situation.




19. TJLEC|Tokyo Japanese Language Education Centre

Positioned at the forefront of Japanese language education, the Tokyo Japanese Language Education Centre (TJLEC), also known as the Japanese Language School of the International Students Institute, is highly distinguished and supported by the Japanese government via JASSO. This prestigious institution not only facilitates an intensive Japanese learning experience but also serves as a gateway for admission to Japanese universities, with graduation conferring the necessary qualifications. TJLEC is committed to offering comprehensive programs like the graduate school and university preparation courses, with a curricular emphasis that extends beyond language proficiency to include a deep dive into Japanese culture and fostering international exchange. Nestled in the vibrant Shinjuku district, TJLEC’s accessibility is unmatched, conveniently surrounded by Okubo Station, Shin Okubo Station, and Higashi Nakano Station, with Shinjuku Station just a brief 20-minute stroll away. Despite its compact campus, encompassing merely two buildings—one housing the dormitory and office, and the other dedicated to academic pursuits like classrooms, a library, and a cafeteria—TJLEC boasts ample amenities. The dormitory is equipped with communal kitchens, refrigerators, and well-maintained sanitation facilities on each floor, ensuring a comfortable stay. For those looking to study Japanese in Japan, TJLEC presents an unparalleled opportunity to learn Japanese in an environment that’s as focused on academic excellence as it is on cultural immersion.

20. Human Academy Japanese Language School

Human Academy Japanese Language School, established in Osaka in 1987 and subsequently branching out to Tokyo in 1991 and Saga in 2015, is a prestigious institution for those aiming to learn Japanese in Japan. With a rich history and a diverse student body, this Japanese Language School offers specialized courses that stand out in the market, such as the Nursing Care Japanese Training program. This course is particularly pertinent given the high demand for healthcare professionals in Japan, providing students with a clear path to employment. In addition, for those aspiring to teach the language, there is a tailored program to cultivate future Japanese language educators. Human Academy not only boasts years of experience in catering to international students but also a commitment to equipping them with practical skills and knowledge for their future careers in Japan.

Brief History of Japanese Language Education

The journey of studying Japanese has deep roots going back to the Meiji era when the first language schools opened to improve international talks. This effort laid the foundation for a rich tradition of language education.

The 1980s saw a global boom in interest in the Japanese language, driven by Japan’s growing economy and fascinating culture. This led to more Japanese language schools to satisfy the international desire to learn Japanese.

The creation of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) was a key moment, offering a way to measure Japanese language skills globally and showing Japan’s dedication to sharing its language.

Today, Japanese language education offers a wide range of courses, from quick lessons to deep, immersive programs. These schools are crucial for teaching not just the language but also the cultural subtleties of Japan. Learning Japanese in Japan has evolved to focus on both language skills and cultural understanding. Schools often include cultural activities and community involvement, giving students a direct experience of Japan’s rich culture.

For those wanting to study Japanese, Japan provides a unique setting where learners can dive into the culture through everyday life and practice their language skills in real situations. Whether it’s joining a tea ceremony, exploring Tokyo’s neon streets, or participating in a local festival, studying Japanese in Japan is as much about experiencing the culture as it is about learning the language.

Procedures of Study Japanese in Japan

For international students looking to study Japanese in Japan, the first big step is picking the right school. After that, there’s a bunch of important steps to take, like getting a student visa, finding a place to live, and setting up their new home. Luckily, many schools help students with these things.

When students get to Japan, they usually have a welcome session that tells them all they need to know about living there. Studying in Japan isn’t just about learning in a classroom; students can also get jobs or internships. This not only helps improve their Japanese but also teaches them skills useful for their future jobs. Working part-time or doing internships, especially in places that value Japanese language skills, can be really good for students’ careers.

When looking for a Japanese language school, it’s smart to choose one that helps with everything from visas to learning Japanese well. Some schools even help with the paperwork needed for a student visa. Finding a place to stay can include options like school dorms or private apartments, and schools usually guide students in this area too. To get used to living in Japan, schools might offer lessons on things like using public transport or Japanese manners.

Living in Japan gives students lots of chances to practice Japanese outside class, like in language swap meet-ups or at local festivals. Many students work part-time jobs, which helps them use their Japanese in real-life situations and supports them financially. Jobs could range from working in cafes to teaching English.

Overall, with the right support from their language school, the journey of learning Japanese in Japan can be a big adventure and a great experience for students from all over the world.

Key to Global Career Opportunities with Japanese Proficiency

Learning Japanese in Japan is not just about getting better at the language; it opens many doors for students from other countries. Jobs in Japan are a clear option, but knowing Japanese is also a big plus for global companies where Japanese is important. This is especially true in areas like international work, teaching, and travel jobs, where Japanese skills are really useful. In a world that values speaking more than one language more and more, Japanese is an important language to know.

Studying Japanese in Japan does more than just teach you a new language; it helps you grow into a more global-minded person. In today’s world, where different cultures come together, understanding and speaking Japanese is a big advantage. The education you get from Japanese language schools will keep opening new paths for students as the world changes. This way, learning Japanese in Japan with the help of Japanese language schools is not only about language skills. It’s also about understanding different cultures and preparing for a world that’s getting more connected, offering endless opportunities for those who study Japanese.


The journey to learn Japanese in Japan is a rich tapestry woven with academic learning, cultural experiences, and personal growth. Choosing the right Japanese language school marks the beginning of this unparalleled adventure. With each lesson, character, and conversation, students not only enhance their linguistic abilities but also build bridges across cultures. As they step out of the classroom and into the workforce, their proficiency in Japanese and firsthand experience of Japanese culture become valuable assets in a globalized job market. This adventure, beginning with the critical choice of school and culminating in a myriad of career opportunities, is not just about education; it’s about becoming a global citizen in today’s interconnected world.

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