6 Best Japanese Language Schools in Kyoto Japan 2024

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Embark on a journey to master Japanese in Kyoto, where tradition meets language learning. Discover the best Japanese language schools set against the city’s historical and cultural tapestry. Studying in Kyoto isn’t just education—it’s an immersion into Japan’s heart. Find out why Kyoto is the perfect place for your language adventure.


Introduction of Kyoto

Living in Kyoto offers a special chance to dive deep into Japanese culture while studying the language. This city combines old traditions and modern life, making it perfect for students at Japanese Language Schools. With its international vibe, Kyoto welcomes students from all over, providing a great place to meet people from around the world.

Kyoto is like a living museum, filled with ancient temples, beautiful gardens, and traditional activities like tea ceremonies and kimono wearing. These experiences make learning Japanese more than just textbook studies; they bring the language to life.

Food lovers will enjoy Kyoto’s unique cuisine, including Kaiseki dishes and traditional sweets, which also help in learning Japanese vocabulary. The city’s education system is top-notch, offering resources and support for international students eager to learn Japanese.

Kyoto’s safe and easy-to-navigate public transport, along with student-friendly housing, makes living and studying here comfortable. The city’s natural beauty, from cherry blossoms to autumn leaves, adds to the memorable experience of studying Japanese.

In short, Kyoto is an ideal place for learning Japanese, offering a rich cultural immersion, supportive learning environment, and a community where students can thrive.

4,612 ㎢ (31st in Japan)

1,468,000 people

Avg. Temperature
16.2℃ (12.1〜21.1℃)

Min. Wage
1,008 JPY/hr

Best Japanese Language Schools in Kyoto

1. Kyoto JaLS|Kyoto Japanese Language Schools

Kyoto Japanese Language School, known as Kyoto JaLS, is situated in Kyoto, the largest city on the island. It specializes in offering short-term Japanese language courses. Since its establishment in 2012, this school has been the recipient of numerous awards, gaining recognition for its excellence. Kyoto JaLS prides itself on being inclusive, welcoming students from all backgrounds, and providing a nurturing, family-like atmosphere.

The primary mission of Kyoto JaLS is to offer international students the necessary support for their success and to create wonderful, memorable, and profound experiences in Japanese culture. The school aims to inspire a deep love for the country, encouraging students to return for further studies in the future. Kyoto JaLS imparts six core values to its students, defining its commitment to their educational journey.

WHY Kyoto JaLS|Kyoto Japanese Language Schools

  • Academic Excellence and Flexibility
    Kyoto JaLS features a highly qualified teaching staff, small class sizes, and a proven curriculum, enabling students to work towards and achieve their language learning goals effectively. The school offers a range of courses and allows students to begin their studies on any Monday, providing flexibility in choosing the most suitable program for their needs.
  • Supportive and Welcoming Environment
    Students at Kyoto JaLS can expect to feel right at home in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The school prides itself on the care and support provided by its dedicated staff and teachers, creating a comfortable and nurturing learning environment.
  • Cultural Immersion and Networking
    The school offers students the opportunity to engage in cultural lessons and activities throughout the year, fostering an intense learning experience that goes beyond the classroom. Students have the chance to connect with peers from all around the world as well as local Japanese residents, enriching their cultural and social experiences.

2F Kyoto Fukutoku Building, 670, Tearaimizucho, Karasumadori-Nishikikojiagaru, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, 604-8152, Japan



2. ISI Japanese Language School

ISI Japanese Language School in Kyoto, part of a prominent language school group in Japan, caters to a diverse international student body. Established in 2017, the Kyoto campus offers a range of programs for students beginning their Japanese language journey, immersing in culture, pursuing higher education, or seeking employment in Japan. Known for its beautiful facilities and comprehensive curriculum, the school provides various courses, including university preparation and career-oriented programs, alongside numerous extracurricular activities and cultural events.

WHY ISI Japanese Language School

  • Innovative Teaching Methodology
    ISI Language School maximizes students’ Japanese language skills through a unique educational system that combines classroom learning with real-life context. Utilizing original teaching materials, the school’s communication-oriented classes, led by experienced teachers, focus on enabling students to express themselves effectively in Japanese. This approach, emphasizing fun and a sense of accomplishment, includes videos of familiar situations and tailor-made supplementary materials for developing speaking, presentation, and writing skills.
  • Rich Extracurricular Activities for Cultural Exchange
    The school offers an array of extracurricular activities aimed at fostering cultural exchange and enhancing language skills. With over 3,000 students from more than 50 countries, ISI provides ample opportunities for international interactions, deepening students’ understanding of Japanese and global cultures. These activities allow students to improve their overall Japanese language proficiency in a multicultural environment.
  • Comprehensive Support and World-Class Facilities
    ISI Language School ensures a seamless learning journey from enrollment to graduation with professional staff offering pre-enrollment counseling in 11 languages. The school’s campuses, located in central city areas, boast state-of-the-art facilities including study rooms, libraries, and student lounges, all designed to enhance the quality of learning. Additionally, the school’s recognition by international organizations and awards highlights its commitment to providing top-notch language education.

6-6 Nishinokyo-Ryomachi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8497



3. Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School

Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School, nestled in the historic and vibrant city of Kyoto, is dedicated to cultivating global citizens through Japanese language and culture education. Emphasizing interpersonal connections over national boundaries, the school offers a dynamic environment for international exchange and understanding. With students from various countries, the curriculum is designed for contemporary needs, supported by experienced teachers. The scenic setting by the Tenjingawa River enhances the learning experience, fostering a global community committed to peace and mutual understanding.

WHY Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School

  • Comprehensive Academic and Vocational Guidance
    Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School provides tailored guidance for students aspiring to pursue higher education or employment in Japan, ensuring they receive the support and direction needed to achieve their goals.
  • Comfortable Living Facilities and Supportive Environment
    The school offers well-equipped dormitories, catering to the comfort of international students from around the globe. Coupled with empathetic and culturally aware counseling services, students are well-supported in adapting to life in Japan.
  • Rich Extracurricular Experience
    Students at Kyoto Minsai have the opportunity to engage in various extracurricular activities, including participation in Kyoto’s traditional events and experiencing Japanese culture firsthand, which deepens their understanding of Japan beyond the classroom.

88 Saiinyasuzukacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 615-0051



4. GenkiJACS|Genki Japanese & Culture School

Genki Japanese and Culture School (GenkiJACS) in Kyoto, honored with the prestigious Star World Language School award, provides a unique Japanese learning experience. Nestled near the historic Gion district and the scenic Kamo River, the school is an ideal setting for cultural immersion. Students benefit from a curriculum that combines top-tier language instruction with real-world cultural experiences, set in an environment rich in Japanese history and tradition. This award-winning approach makes GenkiJACS a standout choice for comprehensive Japanese language education.

WHY GenkiJACS|Genki Japanese & Culture School

  • Small Class Sizes
    GenkiJACS boasts the smallest class sizes among accredited Japanese language schools, with a maximum of 8 students per class, allowing for personalized attention and effective learning.
  • Tailored for Western Students
    With 90% of its students hailing from the US, Europe, and Australia, GenkiJACS customizes course content to meet the specific needs of Western learners, enhancing the overall educational experience.
  • Flexible Scheduling and High Quality
    GenkiJACS offers flexible start dates, enabling students to begin their studies any Monday throughout the year and to choose the duration of their course. The school is government-accredited and internationally recognized as one of the few Japanese language schools accredited by the International Association of Language Centres. Additionally, it has been awarded the prestigious title of Star World Language School, signifying its commitment to excellence in language education.

Hayashi Bldg 2F, Shimizuchō (Kawaramachidōri), 454-1, Shimogyō-ku, Kyōto-shi 600-8025, Japan



5. KILC|Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language

The Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language (KICL), nestled near Ginkaku-ji Temple in Sakyo-ku, offers a comprehensive program focusing on practical Japanese language skills, cultural immersion, and global networking. With courses in Visual and Character Design, Comic Illustration, Interior Design, Fashion, and Handmade Studies, KICL provides students opportunities for real-world experience and collaboration with companies. Its close ties with Kyoto University of the Arts ensure robust support for students’ academic and professional aspirations, fostering highly skilled and creative individuals.

WHY KILC|Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language

  • A Place to Learn Useful Japanese
    Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language offers a level-based promotion system, tailoring education to each student’s proficiency. The learning experience extends beyond the classroom, providing practical and engaging language activities.
  • A Place to Build a Global Network
    The institute is a hub for international connections, offering students the chance to interact with peers from various countries, Japanese students, and local community members, fostering a diverse and enriching network.
  • A Place to Experience and Rediscover Japanese Culture
    Students are immersed in Japanese culture through hands-on experience programs. Utilizing the resources of Kyoto University of the Arts and Kyoto Institute of Design, the institute allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the various cultural facets of Japan.

2-116 Uryuyama Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8271 JAPAN



6. KLA|Kyoshin Language Academy

Kyoshin Language Academy in Kyoto, part of the renowned Kyoshin Group, is one of ten schools spanning Japan, offering a unique approach to Japanese language education. With a commitment to nurturing globally competent individuals, the academy provides a wide range of courses, including specialized programs and short-term summer classes. It emphasizes not just language proficiency but also cultural immersion and global understanding. The academy’s strong support system extends beyond academics, encompassing career guidance and local community exchanges. This holistic approach, combined with a robust network of schools from Tokyo to Kyushu, positions Kyoshin Language Academy as an exemplary institution for international students seeking an in-depth and diverse Japanese learning experience.

WHY KLA|Kyoshin Language Academy

  • Original Method “Reaching”
    Kyoshin Language Academy (KLA) employs the “Reaching” method, an original teaching approach grounded in brain science, to enhance students’ Japanese language skills and overall personal development. This method focuses not only on language proficiency but also on shaping students into well-educated and respected individuals, preparing them for future success beyond the academy.
  • Learn Through “Experiences”
    KLA emphasizes experiential learning by hosting various events like Speech Contests and Writing Competitions. These events allow students to apply and showcase their language skills learned in class. Additionally, regular cultural events introduce students to both traditional and contemporary aspects of Japanese culture, deepening their understanding through hands-on experiences.
  • Safe and Secure Support Systems
    Striving to be the safest and most secure Japanese language school in Japan, KLA has established a specialized team and safety measures. The support system covers everything from assistance upon arrival in Japan to help with government procedures and part-time job searches. Significant emphasis is also placed on providing mental support to international students, ensuring their comfort and security during their study abroad experience.

272 Bando-ya cho, Gojo agaru, Muromachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto 600-8439



Popular Kyoto Dialect Phrases

  • どやす doyasu
    • This term implies being scolded or reprimanded, often used to describe a situation where one is criticized by someone in authority. It’s more familiar among the older generation in Kyoto and not widely known among the younger populace.
  • きばる kibaru
    • This phrase means to exert effort or to persist through challenging situations. It’s often used in contexts where someone is trying hard to overcome difficulties or pushing themselves to their limits.
  • ほっこり hokkori
    • While typically associated with feelings of warmth and comfort, in the Kyoto dialect, it paradoxically expresses tiredness or exhaustion. It’s used when someone feels drained or worn out, often after a long day.
  • こちょばい kochobai
    • Equivalent to feeling ticklish, this term is a regional variation common in Western Japan. It’s used to describe the sensation of being tickled or the playful act of tickling someone.
  • ぶぶ漬けでもいかがどすか? bubuzuke demo ikaga dosuka?
    • This phrase is a polite and indirect way to suggest that it’s time for someone to leave. It’s a culturally unique way of signaling the end of a meeting or visit.
  • いけず ikezu
    • Translating to “mean-spirited” or “mischievous,” this word is often used in a light-hearted or teasing manner. It’s typically employed in playful scenarios or to describe someone who is being slightly naughty or cheeky.
  • お○○さん o-xxx-san
    • This is a respectful and affectionate way of referring to objects and animals, adding “o” and “san” to denote politeness. It reflects the gentle and respectful nature of traditional Kyoto speech.
  • おおきに ookini
    • Commonly understood as “thank you,” this versatile phrase is used in various contexts in Kyoto, including as a greeting, agreement, or farewell. It’s a multi-purpose expression conveying gratitude, acknowledgment, or parting.
  • おこしやす・おいでやす okoshiyasu, oideyasu
    • Both phrases mean “welcome” or “come in.” “Okoshiyasu” is slightly more formal and conveys a stronger sense of hospitality and cordiality.
  • ほな、さいなら hona, sainara
    • A casual and friendly way of saying “Well then, goodbye.” It’s used informally and typically in casual or familiar settings.


In conclusion, studying Japanese in Kyoto is more than just an academic endeavor; it’s a holistic cultural experience. The city’s historical significance, combined with its modern amenities, creates a conducive learning environment that goes beyond textbooks. Students not only learn the language but also live it through everyday interactions, cultural practices, and the city’s timeless beauty. Personally, I believe that for anyone serious about mastering Japanese, Kyoto presents an invaluable opportunity. The city’s immersive environment nurtures not just language skills but also a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and history, making the learning journey as enriching as it is educational.

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