5 Best Japanese Language Schools in Okinawa Japan 2024

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Explore the finest Japanese language schools in Okinawa, where the rich heritage and natural splendor offer a unique educational journey. Perfect for those looking to study Japanese, Okinawa’s blend of culture and community life enriches language learning, making it an unforgettable experience. Discover why studying in Okinawa is unparalleled.

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Introduction of Okinawa

Okinawa, at Japan’s southern tip, stands out for its unique culture and stunning nature, attracting tourists with its beaches, coral reefs, and warm weather. This island’s rich history dates back to the Ryukyu Kingdom, influencing its traditions, music, dance, and arts. Okinawa’s culture, including the traditional “Eisa” dance and the local “Uchinaaguchi” language, sets it apart from mainland Japan.

The cuisine here is special too, featuring pork, seafood, purple sweet potatoes, and “goya.” These ingredients are part of a diet that supports long life, making Okinawa known for its residents’ longevity. Traditional clothing, “Ryusou,” worn during festivals, showcases vibrant colors and patterns.

Historical sites like Shuri Castle highlight Okinawa’s past. Family is central to Okinawan life, with many celebrations bringing relatives together, reflecting strong community bonds.

For those looking to study Japanese, Okinawa offers a unique environment. Japanese language schools here not only teach the language but also immerse students in Okinawa’s distinct culture and traditions. Studying in Okinawa means experiencing a different side of Japan, with opportunities to explore its natural beauty and historical depth.

Area
2,282 ㎢ (44th in Japan)

Population
1,468,634 people

Avg. Temperature
23.3℃ (21.1〜26.0℃)

Min. Wage
896 JPY/hr


Best Japanese Language Schools in Okinawa

1. ICLC Okinawa Japanese Language School

Founded in the year 1983, the International Center of Language & Culture Institute of Japanese Language (ICLC) proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest language school on the enchanting island of Okinawa, Japan. Notably, ICLC stands as a testament to global connectivity, as its diverse student body represents a rich tapestry of over 50 countries, fostering a vibrant multicultural environment.

Moreover, it is a yearly tradition for ICLC to open its doors to eager learners from nearly 20 different countries and regions, adding to the already eclectic mix of nationalities within its walls. Beyond catering to international students, the school extends its educational outreach to encompass business professionals and short-term course participants. Guided by their extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge, ICLC places a strong emphasis on personalized education, custom-tailored to the unique requirements and objectives of each and every student.

WHY ICLC Okinawa Japanese Language School

  • Cultural Enrichment
    In addition to Japanese language acquisition, ICLC offers students a captivating opportunity to form meaningful relationships with individuals from across the globe. Students can immerse themselves in diverse cultural experiences, adding a profound layer to their Japanese language studies.
  • Officially Recognized Courses
    ICLC is dedicated to providing education of the highest quality, with its courses accredited by the Agency for Cultural Affairs for Japanese teachers. These accreditations ensure that students receive a rigorous and well-regarded educational experience.
  • Diverse International Environment
    ICLC provides a learning environment that fosters international diversity, allowing students to enhance their Japanese communication skills while studying alongside peers from Asia, Europe, America, and various other regions around the world.

Location
2F Sunhills Tabaru, 1-4-1 Tabaru, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Email
iclc-okinawa@iclcjapan.com

Tel
+81-98-859-3881

2. SAELU Gakuin

Saelu Gakuin strongly upholds its motto, dedicated to turning your dreams into reality. Their unwavering commitment lies in assisting aspiring students in pursuing their education in Japan. What sets this school apart is its provision of genuine classes tailored for individuals who have no prior knowledge of the Japanese language, as well as those who are embarking on their first journey in Japan. Saelu Gakuin is a beacon of opportunity for those seeking to overcome language barriers and take their first steps toward academic pursuits in Japan.

WHY SAELU Gakuin

  • Versatile Course Offerings
    Saelu Gakuin stands out with its diverse range of three specialized courses, catering to different learning needs. Whether students are looking for an intensive long-term program, a shorter course, or even an option for families and residents in Okinawa, this school accommodates all who are enthusiastic about delving into the Japanese language and local culture.
  • Practical Japanese for Daily Life
    Saelu Gakuin prioritizes equipping students with the language skills and cultural knowledge essential for everyday life in Japan. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on practical Japanese that can be immediately applied, ensuring that students not only grasp the language but also gain insights into Japanese customs and culture.
  • Inclusive Okinawa Plus Program
    Beyond language learning, Saelu Gakuin extends its support to families of students and foreigners residing in Okinawa through the Okinawa Plus program. This inclusive approach enhances the sense of community and cultural integration, making the school a welcoming hub for learners from diverse backgrounds.

Location
2-4-4 Tomari Naha-city Okinawa Japan

Email
info@saelu.net

Tel
+81-98-943-3297

3. JCS Academy|Okinawa Japanese Cultural Study Academy

The Okinawa Japanese Cultural Study Academy, commonly referred to as JCS Academy, made its debut in 2011 as a distinguished Japanese language institution nestled in the heart of Naha City, Okinawa. Conveniently located, the school can be easily accessed, merely a brief 14-minute stroll from the Prefectural Office Station. JCS Academy prides itself on fostering a dynamic environment centered around human resource exchange. This entails not only equipping students with practical Japanese language skills but also facilitating the development of valuable networks that will serve them well in their future endeavors and daily life.

WHY JCS Academy|Okinawa Japanese Cultural Study Academy

  • Cultural Immersion
    JCS Academy offers more than just language learning; it provides an immersive cultural experience. Students have the opportunity to explore diverse cultures and fully engage in the customs of Okinawa. The school’s dedication to fostering international friendships and teacher-student relationships adds a personal touch to the learning journey.
  • Diverse Course Selection
    JCS Academy stands out for its extensive range of courses, boasting a total of nine options. This diversity allows students to select the course that aligns best with their individual preferences and learning objectives, ensuring a tailored and comprehensive educational experience.
  • Passion for Language Learning
    The school’s unwavering commitment to language education shines through in its passionate approach. Whether it’s cultural immersion, language acquisition, or building relationships, JCS Academy demonstrates a deep enthusiasm for helping students achieve their personal and academic goals.

Location
2-11-13 Kume, Naha-shi, Okinawa 600-0033

Email
jcs.ac.jp@live.jp

Tel
+81-98-862-0045

4. CCCC Japanese School

Founded in 1989, the Cross Cultural Communication Center Annexed Japanese School, or CCCC Japanese School, stands out with its distinct educational philosophy. It prioritizes small class sizes and a highly efficient learning environment, catering specifically to individuals with aspirations of pursuing higher education in Japanese universities and graduate schools. This academic-oriented approach makes CCCC Japanese School a preferred choice for those looking to advance their studies in Japan. Regarding its location, it’s worth highlighting that CCCC Japanese School holds the distinction of being the only Japanese language institution in central Okinawa. Situated strategically, the school offers a convenient 20-30 minute commute to Naha City, the capital of Okinawa. For those desiring a coastal experience, the nearest beach is a mere 5 kilometers away, easily reachable within a short 10-minute drive.

WHY CCCC Japanese School

  • Global Leadership Development
    CCCC Japanese School stands out for its commitment to nurturing a new generation of global leaders. By offering education in the Japanese language, Japan’s history, and culture, the school equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to promote Asia and the world on the global stage. The program also prepares students for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) and the EJU (Japanese College Acceptance for International Students) exam, emphasizing academic excellence.
  • Diverse Courses and Enriching Events
    The school takes a holistic approach to education by supplementing classroom instruction with immersive experiences. Students have the opportunity to visit historical sites and engage in meetings with Japanese and international residents, broadening their cultural horizons. With a comprehensive range of courses that cater to different timeframes, from short-term to long-term, and proficiency levels spanning introductory to advanced, the school’s offerings are adaptable to individual needs and goals.
  • Customized Learning
    CCCC Japanese School excels in providing tailored learning experiences. Students can choose courses that align with their specific requirements, whether they are beginners or advanced learners, ensuring that their educational journey is personalized and effective.

Location
4-13-8 Nagata, Ginowan, Okinawa, 901-2212

Email
ccccjapanese@gmail.com

Tel
+81-98-893-6467

5. Blue House Okinawa Japanese School

Blue House Okinawa Japanese School, where language learning extends beyond traditional classrooms, facilitating authentic connections and real-world experiences. This school offers more than just Japanese language instruction; it provides a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in local culture, establish enduring friendships with native Japanese speakers, and hone their conversational skills. The innovative Language Exchange program creates a platform for students to engage in meaningful conversations with Japanese friends, fostering a mutual exchange of language and cultural insights. At Blue House Okinawa Japanese School, the aim is to bridge the gap between textbook learning and real-world communication, opening doors to a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and a rich intercultural experience.

WHY Blue House Okinawa Japanese School

  • Comprehensive Language Courses
    Blue House Okinawa Japanese School provides a well-rounded language education covering speaking, reading, writing, and grammar for both beginners and advanced learners. The school adopts a blended learning approach, combining traditional study materials with ample in-class speaking practice. Students also benefit from access to an exclusive online community, enhancing their language learning experience.
  • Flexible Self-Paced Learning
    The school’s self-paced classes cater to students of varying proficiency levels, allowing them to progress together. These classes involve group activities for speaking and listening practice, followed by self-study time with individual teacher support. Progression is determined through individual oral exams, ensuring that each student advances at their own pace. The classes also incorporate language exchange opportunities with Japanese-speaking students.
  • Unique Language Learning App
    Blue House Okinawa School offers a specialized app that complements the learning experience. Students can reinforce their learning through electronic flashcards, virtual quizzes, and interactions with native Japanese speakers. The app serves as a valuable tool for building and maintaining language skills. Additionally, the school’s conversation classes cater to those with limited study time, focusing on practical communication skills and pronunciation, making them an excellent fit for individuals interested in speaking basic Japanese. The school also hosts Social Nights, fostering a community-centered approach to learning and cultural exchange, where students and non-students come together to learn from one another and engage in authentic language practice with native speakers. This sense of community and authentic language exchange sets Blue House Okinawa Japanese School apart as more than just a language school; it’s a close-knit and supportive environment for learners of both English and Japanese.

Location
Miyagi 1-82, Chatan OkinawaYomitan-son Nakagami-gun 904-0113

Email
bluehouseoki@gmail.com

Tel
+81-98-893-6467


Popular Okinawa Dialect Phrases

  • はいさい・はいたい Haisai・Haitai
    はいさい (Haisai): This greeting, which is famous for meaning “hello,” is primarily used by men. はいたい (Haitai): Women use “はいたい,” which gives a softer impression. Please be mindful of using the appropriate version based on your gender.
  • めんそーれ Mensore
    This well-known dialect expression is equivalent to saying “いらっしゃいませ” (Welcome) and is often used in Okinawan shops. You can also use it to welcome guests to your home, meaning “ようこそ” (Welcome).
  • にふぇーでーびる Nifee-deebiru
    When you want to express gratitude politely, you can use “にふぇーでーびる,” which means “ありがとうございます” (Thank you). If you want to express thanks in the past tense, you can say “にふぇーでーびたん” (Thank you for what you did).
  • なんくるないさ Nankurunaisa
    This famous Okinawan dialect expression means “なんとかなる” (It’ll be okay) in a positive sense. Locals often shorten it to “なんくる” for convenience.
  • にーぶい Niibui
    “にーぶい” means “sleepy.” It’s a fun dialect expression that can also be pronounced as “にーぶいかーぶい.”
  • あきさみよー Akisamiyo
    “あきさみよー” is a versatile expression used in various situations. It can convey surprise, sadness, or a request for help. Understanding the nuances may be a bit challenging, but it’s a common expression in daily life.
  • あちゃーなー Achaanaa
    This expression is used to say “Goodbye” or “See you” when parting ways with someone. It’s a friendly and informal way to bid farewell.
  • わっさいびーん Wassai-biin
    When you want to apologize and say “I’m sorry” in the Okinawan dialect, you can use “わっさいびーん.” It’s a way to express regret or seek forgiveness.
  • くわっちーさびら Kwacchiisabira
    This expression is used before a meal and is the Okinawan equivalent of “Itadakimasu” in standard Japanese. It’s a way to show gratitude and respect for the food you are about to eat.
  • くわっちーさびたん Kwacchiisabitan
    After finishing a meal, you can use “くわっちーさびたん” to express thanks for the meal you’ve just enjoyed. It’s similar to saying “Gochisousama deshita” in standard Japanese.
  • まーさん Maasan
    When you find something delicious, you can use “まーさん” to express your enjoyment of the food. It’s a delightful way to compliment the taste of a dish.

Conclusion

Studying Japanese in Okinawa is an extraordinary journey that transcends language acquisition. This vibrant region, with its rich historical tapestry, cultural traditions, and breathtaking landscapes, provides a unique backdrop for language learners. The echoes of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the distinct Okinawan dialect, and the island’s emphasis on family and well-being create an environment that is not only welcoming but also deeply enriching. Okinawa is more than a place to study; it’s an opportunity to connect with a way of life that is both captivating and warm, offering a holistic cultural experience that extends far beyond the classroom.



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