Study in Tokyo




To study in Tokyo is quite exciting and life-long experience for sure.  Here are some information regarding going to school in Tokyo!

Whether it’s elementary school or high school or university, most of the best schools in Japan are located in Tokyo.

In Japan, in general, people prefer to send their children to public schools since the educational standards are just as high as private schools, while they are almost free or at least very affordable to attend.

Especially for high schools, public schools offer a higher educational level compared to private schools since many students who couldn’t pass the test for public school admissions tend to go to private schools.

However, in big cities like in Tokyo, this common sense doesn’t apply.

Private schools are considered to be better, especially in the middle of Tokyo. This is illustrated by the fact that although Minato Ward, Meguro Ward, and Setagaya Ward are considered to be the upper class neighborhoods and are the most expensive areas to live, their public schools are not the best, because majority of children go to private schools in those areas.

There are many international schools in Tokyo and surrounding area to choose from. There are couple of Chinese international schools next door in Yokohama City as well.


Cost to study abroad in Japan

Full time Japanese language schools:

Tuition: JPY 150,000-250,000 for a three month course
Living expenses (including accommodation): About JPY 80,000-120,000/month


University study abroad in Japan:

Annual tuition for public university: around JPY 500,000 depending on school and major
Annual tuition for private university: JPY 1,200,000-2,000,000 depending on school and major
Living expenses (including accommodation): About JPY 100,000-120,000/month


Great schools in Tokyo

Local Schools in Tokyo

There are no resources available that give a ranking of local public elementary schools in Tokyo. However, the following is the ranking that shows which areas of Tokyo have the highest standard of education.

Areas in Tokyo that have the highest educational standards:

  1. BunkyoWard
  2. Musashino City
  3. Chiyoda Ward
  4. Suginami Ward
  5. Kunitachi City
  6. Koganei City
  7. Shinagawa Ward
  8. Setagaya Ward
  9. Kokubunji City
  10. MitakaCity

Source: Family survey conducted by

Note: Although it is legally possible to go to Japanese public school regardless of children’s Japanese ability, it will be extremely difficult to catch up classes if your child is not a Japanese speaker, since everything is taught only in Japanese. If you want your child to learn in Japanese public school, it is highly recommended to start sending your child to Japanese school at the age of six years old or younger (Grade 1 or earlier).

International schools in Tokyo

If your child is not a Japanese speaker and older than 8 or 9, it is much better to choose international school. There are numbers of international schools available in Tokyo and surrounding area including American, Indian, and Chinese international schools.

The popular, well-established international schools in Tokyo are:

  • American School in Japan
  • St. Mary’s International School
  • Nishimachi International School

If you are looking for a Chinese school, Yokohama Yamate Chinese School is located in Yokohama City, right next to Tokyo.


Top Universities in Tokyo

Because the entrance exams for private universities are not the same as the ones for public (national) universities, it is hard to compare theme directly in the same ranking. The following are the top public and private universities in Tokyo.

Top public universities in Tokyo:

University of Tokyo (ranked #23 in the world)
Tokyo Institute of Technology (ranked #141 in the world)
Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Top Private universities in Tokyo:

Keio University
Waseda University
Juntendo University
Tokyo University of Science
Sophia University (aka Jochi University)
Chuo University
Meiji University
Rikkyo University
Aoyama Sakuin University
Gakushuin University

Source: 大学偏差値.biz
Note: Level of each university differs from major to major. There are other great schools in Tokyo as well, depending on what major you choose.