10 Best Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo Japan 2024

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Experience the best of Tokyo, where tradition and innovation converge, by studying at top Japanese language schools. Tokyo’s dynamic environment provides an immersive cultural and educational setting, making it a prime destination for language learners. Discover why studying Japanese in Tokyo offers an unrivaled opportunity to explore Japan’s heart and modernity.

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Introduction of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s vibrant capital, is an ideal place for students from Japanese language schools to dive deep into learning and living the Japanese language. This city offers a mix of traditional and modern culture, making it perfect for those seeking to study Japanese in a dynamic environment.

From the historic temples of Asakusa to the buzzing tech hub of Akihabara and the fashion-forward streets of Harajuku, Tokyo provides endless opportunities for cultural immersion. The city’s diverse food scene, blending Japanese and international cuisines, enriches the learning experience, helping students understand the culture behind the language.

With numerous top-rated universities and specialized language schools, Tokyo offers a high-quality educational environment. Students can practice Japanese daily, interacting with locals and exploring the city’s advanced public transportation system.

Housing options in Tokyo are plentiful, ensuring students have a comfortable place to live. The city is also known for its safety, making it a secure choice for international students.

Art lovers will find Tokyo filled with museums, galleries, and street art, showcasing both traditional and contemporary works. The city’s international events and festivals provide a broader cultural perspective, making Tokyo an excellent choice for students looking to study in Tokyo and immerse themselves in a multicultural learning journey.

Area
2,194 ㎢ (45th in Japan)

Population
14,040,732 people

Avg. Temperature
17.6℃ (13.7〜22.5℃)

Min. Wage
1,113 JPY/hr


Best Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo

1. ISI Japanese Language School

ISI Japanese Language School, with campuses in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagano, stands out as a premier Japanese Language School known for its holistic approach to language education. Catering especially to a diverse international student body, including those from Europe and America, ISI balances kanji and grammar with essential listening and speaking skills. The school’s curriculum fosters steady learning and includes cultural excursions to places like Disneyland and Fuji Q Highland, offering an immersive and enriching experience in the Japanese-speaking world.

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.

Location
2-14-19 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0075

Email
info@isi-global.com

Tel(Takadanobaba)
+81-3-5960-1335

2. Akamonkai Japanese Language School

Since 1985, Akamonkai Japanese Language School in Tokyo has provided high-quality Japanese education to over 20,000 students from 80 countries. As part of Arai Gakuen, it operates two campuses and offers intensive, diverse level courses tailored for university preparation and JLPT success. Known for its affordable courses, student visa sponsorship, and job support, Akamonkai caters to a global student body, fostering a multicultural environment. Its focus on rapid progress makes it an ideal choice for those seeking comprehensive Japanese language education.

WHY Akamonkai Japanese Language School

  • Intensive and Diverse Curriculum
    Akamonkai Japanese Language School offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum designed for rapid progress in Japanese language skills. The school provides a variety of course levels, from beginner to advanced and business Japanese, catering to different learning goals, including university preparation and JLPT examination success.
  • Multicultural Learning Environment
    With students from around 50 countries, Akamonkai creates a global learning atmosphere. This diversity ensures balanced exposure to different cultures and encourages students to use Japanese as their primary communication language, enhancing their practical language skills and international perspective.
  • Supportive Student Services
    The school is dedicated to supporting its students beyond language learning. This includes offering affordable course options, assistance with accommodation, and extensive support for job hunting in Tokyo and across Japan. Additionally, Akamonkai facilitates student visa sponsorship, making it a viable option for those looking to study and live in Tokyo for extended periods.

Location
6-39-12 Higashi Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo, 〒116-0014

Email
info@akamonkai.ac.jp

Tel
+81-3-3806-6102

3. 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.

WHY Intercultural Institute of Japan

  • Long-Standing Experience and Specialized Know-How
    Intercultural Institute of Japan, established in 1977, prides itself on over 35 years of experience in Japanese language education. This longevity has allowed the school to develop unparalleled expertise and methods in teaching, setting it apart from newer institutions.
  • Japanese Teacher Training Program
    The institute is among the 5% of Japanese language schools offering a teacher training program. This unique aspect allows prospective teachers to balance theoretical learning with practical experience, conducting trial lessons with real students. This approach ensures that both students and trainee teachers benefit from a hands-on, effective learning environment.
  • Global Network and Multinational Student Body
    Intercultural Institute of Japan boasts a substantial worldwide network, with affiliate schools globally. This network facilitates a smooth pre-arrival process for international students, including visa assistance. The diverse student community from over 50 countries provides a multicultural learning atmosphere, enhanced by exchange events and activities that encourage using Japanese in real-world scenarios.

Location
2-20-9 Taito, Taito Tokyo Japan 110-0016

Email
incul@incul.com

Tel
+81-3-5816-4861

4. JTIS|Japan Tokyo International School

At Japan Tokyo International School (JTIS), you’ll find an exceptional platform for mastering the Japanese language and immersing yourself in the country’s rich culture. Located in the vibrant heart of Tokyo, JTIS is not just a language school; it’s a gateway to understanding the nuances of Japanese life and traditions. This institution is uniquely equipped to cater to a diverse range of students – from local residents seeking language proficiency to international professionals and students aiming to deepen their cultural understanding. JTIS’s curriculum goes beyond standard language teaching. It integrates cultural insights and real-life applications, ensuring that students don’t just learn Japanese in theory but also practice it in culturally relevant contexts. The school’s environment is a melting pot of global cultures, offering an unparalleled opportunity for students to interact, share perspectives, and enhance their global outlook while learning Japanese. Moreover, JTIS’s staff of certified, experienced teachers are committed to providing personalized attention and support. Their approach is tailored to meet individual learning goals and styles, ensuring that every student can thrive. Regular cultural exchange programs and field trips further enrich the learning experience, making JTIS an ideal choice for those seeking a comprehensive, culturally immersive Japanese learning experience.

WHY JTIS|Japan Tokyo International School

  • Diverse Learning Environment
    JTIS prides itself on its multicultural student body, creating a dynamic learning atmosphere where different cultures and perspectives converge. This diversity not only enriches the learning experience but also fosters a unique understanding and appreciation of global cultures, all through the lens of Japanese language education.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum with Cultural Integration
    Beyond conventional language lessons, JTIS emphasizes the importance of understanding Japanese culture and customs. The school offers a variety of cultural exchange opportunities and field trips, allowing students to apply their language skills in real-world settings and gain a deeper appreciation of Japanese traditions and societal norms.
  • Dedicated Support and Personalized Education
    With a team of certified and experienced teachers, JTIS ensures that each student receives the attention and guidance they need. Regular student-teacher interactions and customized lesson plans cater to individual goals and interests. Additionally, the school provides emotional and academic support to ensure a well-rounded and enjoyable learning experience.

Location
Hoshino Building 8-11-10 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 160-0023

Email
info@jtis.tokyo

Tel
+81-3-3363-2171

5. 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.

WHY SNG|Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute

  • Innovative Ezoe Teaching Method
    Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG) is renowned for its unique “Ezoe Method,” a teaching style that uses visual cards and physical gestures to simplify and accelerate the learning of Japanese grammar. This method, developed over 40 years, has proven effective for a diverse range of learners, including international students and those in specialized educational settings.
  • Diverse Course Offerings with Technological Integration
    SNG offers a wide array of courses, from short-term immersion and extensive JLPT and EJU preparation to specialized Kanji classes. They integrate technology effectively, using apps like VLJ for grammar and vocabulary enhancement, and providing online resources like video lessons for comprehensive learning outside the classroom.
  • Flexible Learning Options
    Catering to various student needs, SNG provides flexible learning schedules, including evening classes and private sessions, accommodating the busy lifestyles of students in Tokyo. This adaptability makes it possible for learners to balance their language studies with other commitments effectively.

Location
1st building, 〒169-0075, 2-9-7 Takadanobaba Shinjuku-ku Tokyo, Japan

Email
jimu_sng_1975@sng.ac.jp

Tel
+81-3-5273-0044

6. 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.

WHY COTO Japanese Academy

  • Diverse and Flexible Course Offerings
    COTO Japanese Academy, established in 2000, caters to a wide range of learning needs with its varied course offerings. These include part-time lessons, JLPT preparation, private lessons, and specialized courses like Nihongo Plus and Japanese for Business. The academy’s flexible scheduling accommodates different lifestyles, ensuring students can learn at their own pace and convenience, both in-person and online.
  • Small Class Sizes and Personalized Learning
    The academy is known for its small class sizes, with a maximum of eight students per class, fostering an environment of relational learning and personalized attention. This approach, combined with the use of their industry-leading, in-house developed course materials like ‘Nihongo Fun & Easy’, ensures practical and engaging language education.
  • Focus on Conversational Skills and Community Engagement
    A key feature of COTO Japanese Academy is its emphasis on enhancing conversational skills for both casual and professional settings. The school provides ample speaking practice opportunities and fosters a close-knit community atmosphere through events and online forums. This community-centric approach facilitates interaction among students, enriching their learning experience and aiding in overcoming language and cultural barriers.

Location
3F, Iidabashi Building 4-9-4, Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0072

Email
info@cotoacademy.com

Tel
+81-3-6261-4515

7. 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.

WHY TCJ|Tokyo Central Japanese Language School

  • Extensive Experience and Diverse Student Body
    Tokyo Central Japanese Language School (TCJ) boasts over 30 years of experience in Japanese language education, catering to a diverse student population from about 65 countries. It offers comprehensive courses ranging from beginners to advanced levels (JLPT N1 and above), with a focus on practical language skills including business Japanese. TCJ’s curriculum covers reading, listening, speaking, writing, and specialized vocabulary for business contexts, catering to both domestic and international students, including online learners.
  • High-Quality Teaching and Curriculum Development
    TCJ maintains exceptional teaching quality, drawing from its Japanese language teacher training program, one of the largest in Japan. The school carefully selects teachers from hundreds of trained graduates annually, ensuring highly skilled and motivated instructors. TCJ’s competency model for Japanese language teaching and regular class monitoring ensure consistent, high-quality education. The school’s commitment to teacher training and feedback-driven improvement is a key aspect of its educational approach.
  • Customized and OUTPUT-Based Learning Approach
    The school prioritizes OUTPUT-based lessons to enhance communication skills and cross-cultural understanding. TCJ’s curriculum is designed to improve all four Japanese language skills comprehensively, supporting students in achieving various goals, from daily communication to business collaboration and JLPT preparation. The curriculum includes classes focused on language literacy, communication, and social understanding. Additionally, TCJ provides flexible scheduling, learning styles, and payment methods, tailoring the learning experience to individual needs and preferences.

Location
4F, 34 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0016, JAPAN

Email
info@tcj-nihongo.com

Tel
+81-3-3354-5001

8. GenkiJACS|Genki Japanese & Culture School

Genki Japanese and Culture School (GenkiJACS) in Tokyo is an award-winning language school, known for its innovative approach to teaching practical Japanese for daily life and work. Situated minutes from Shinjuku Station and nestled in the serene Hanazono Shrine grounds, GenkiJACS offers a diverse range of courses, encompassing traditional and pop culture, alongside conversational Japanese. The school’s commitment to immersive learning extends to arranging various accommodations and hosting numerous cultural and social activities, making it an ideal choice for a comprehensive Japanese learning experience.

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.

Location
Hanazono Bldg 3F, Shinjuku 5-17-6, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

Email
tokyo@genkijacs.com

Tel
+81-3 6457 3554

9. Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture

Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture in Tokyo, near Suidobashi Station, is renowned for its holistic approach to language education. Catering to a multinational student body, the school offers diverse courses, including conversation, intensive, and practical options, as well as online classes. Beyond language learning, Kudan emphasizes Japanese culture and history through various activities and events. The institute also supports students with accommodation, job searching, and higher education guidance, fostering a comprehensive and enriching educational experience.

WHY Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture

  • Comprehensive Course Offerings and Accommodations
    Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture offers a wide array of courses, including intensive, conversational, and specialized courses like manga. Additionally, the institute provides homestay accommodations, facilitating deeper immersion in Japanese culture and language. They also offer airport pickup services, ensuring a smooth arrival for international students.
  • Experienced Teaching Staff and Multilingual Support
    The school boasts a team of experienced professionals skilled in teaching Japanese to foreign students. With staff proficient in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, the institute offers effective and informative counseling, ensuring comprehensive support for every student’s educational journey.
  • Cultural Immersion and International Environment
    Kudan Institute emphasizes cultural experiences through various school activities and collaborations with local volunteers, universities, and high schools. This approach provides students ample opportunities to make Japanese friends and learn about diverse cultures. The school’s international student body from over 35 countries fosters a unique environment where Japanese serves as the common language, enhancing both language skills and global awareness.

Location
Teitomisaki Building1F, 2-7-10, Kandamisaki-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Email
info@kilc.co.jp

Tel
+81-3-3239-7923

10. 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.

WHY KAI Japanese Language School

  • Innovative and Student-Centric Approach
    KAI Japanese Language School in Tokyo is guided by an ideology of supporting students’ self-realization through innovation. The school continually adapts to the evolving needs of its students, exploring and implementing new teaching methodologies to offer a dynamic and effective learning experience.
  • Focus on the Value of Foreign Perspectives
    KAI emphasizes the unique value that foreign students bring to the Japanese context. The school encourages students to embrace their cultural identity and contribute positively in diverse settings, particularly in Japanese companies, fostering internationalization and mutual understanding.
  • Holistic and Inclusive Learning Environment
    The meaning of ‘KAI’ encompasses openness, comfort, understanding, and innovation. Reflecting these values, the school aims to provide an environment where students learn Japanese language skills and effective communication methods, promoting encounters and interactions with people from around the world, in a setting conducive to mutual understanding and personal growth.

Location
Miyuki Bldg. 3F, 1-15-18, Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan Z/C, 169-0072

Email
admission@kaij.co.jp

Tel
+81-3-3205-1356


Popular Tokyo Dialect Phrases

In Tokyo dialect (Tokyo-ben), there are two distinct types: “Yamanote Kotoba” and “Edo Kotoba”.

  1. Yamanote Kotoba
    Yamanote Kotoba has become the basis of standard Japanese. Originally, it evolved from the language used daily by the upper classes during the Edo to Meiji periods. It features highly developed expressions of honorific language, including some respectful terms and unique accents not commonly found in standard Japanese.
  2. Edo Kotoba
    Edo Kotoba is known for phrases associated with native Edo residents. Nowadays, the use of Edo Kotoba is declining and can mainly be heard in period dramas and Edo-style rakugo (traditional Japanese storytelling). Its features remain in the everyday speech of a small portion of individuals born in downtown areas before the middle of the Showa period.

Phrases

  • マジ maji
    “Maji?” is commonly used by young people and means “really” or “seriously.” It gained popularity among high school girls in the 2000s and is now widely used across different age groups.
  • ~さ sa
    While often associated with Okinawan dialect, the ending “~さ” is also prevalent in Tokyo. It’s typically used in phrases like “あのさ… (ano sa…)” or “実はさ… (jitsu wa sa…),” particularly in starting difficult conversations.
  • ~じゃん jan
    Used at the end of sentences to mean “it is, isn’t it?” or “right?” It spread from Kanagawa to Tokyo, becoming a part of Tokyo dialect. The male equivalent is “~じゃね (jane),” both conveying the same meaning.
  • すげー sugee
    Meaning “awesome” or “amazing,” this word, originally Tokyo dialect, has become common nationwide and is often featured in anime and manga.
  • おっかない okkanai
    Translating to “scary” or “frightening,” this phrase is widely used in Eastern Japan, especially around Tokyo.
  • しょっぱな shoppa na
    This expression means “from the beginning” and has been in use since the Edo period. It’s a derivation of “はなっから (hanakkara),” meaning “right from the start.”
  • しょっぱい shoppai
    Meaning “salty,” this term is often used in Tokyo, where many don’t realize it’s specific to the Tokyo dialect and not standard Japanese. In contrast, “karai” in Kansai dialect can mean both “salty” and “spicy.”
  • ~だべ dabe
    Frequently used by a certain celebrity on TV, this phrase is part of Tokyo dialect and not just Kanagawa. It’s akin to “~だよ (dayo),” meaning “it is,” and is also common in the Tohoku region, with a slightly different accent.
  • おてんとうさま otentousama
    This term refers to the “sun” and is used in a respectful and affectionate manner. It originates from phrases like “お天道様が見ている (Otentousama ga mite iru),” implying “the sun (god) is watching.”
  • 水菓子 suika
    Historically referring to fruits in the Edo period, “suika” is still used by older generations in Tokyo to mean fruits, as opposed to sweets like jelly or water yokan.

Conclusion

Studying Japanese in Tokyo is an adventure in cultural and linguistic immersion. The city’s diverse environment, combined with its world-class educational facilities, makes it a top destination for students worldwide. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, engaging in the bustling city life, or participating in various cultural festivals, Tokyo offers a comprehensive and enriching experience for learning Japanese. For anyone considering a Japanese Language School, Tokyo is not just a place to study; it’s a place to live the language and culture, making it highly recommended for a truly immersive educational journey.



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