15 Best High Schools in Japan for International Students in 2021

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15 Best High Schools in Japan for International Students in 2021

The Japanese educational system is one of the most influential agents of Japanese youth. If you want your child to study in Japan, getting the best high school for your child is the best thing to do.

If you lack the information and language skills on the best high schools in Japan for your kids, you’re just in the right place.

Here are 15 best high schools in Japan that welcome international students and provide them with adequate language and cultural support until graduation.

What are High Schools Like in Japan?

Do you want your child to study in Japan and you’re curious what high school is like or you’ve got an interest in the Japanese culture in high school?

Let’s take a look at the life of high school students in the Japanese public and private schools.

We grouped these life standards in categories ranging from entering School, life in the classroom, extracurricular activities, to life after school.

Going to School

A normal school day for a Japanese high school student can start at 6:30 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. if you have to travel a long distance to school by train and/or bus.

Japanese high school students don’t drive to school like their American counterparts. Many students have to walk or bike if their home is not too far from the school.

For such students, the school day begins at 8:30 am, so students can leave the house at 6:30 am. They’ll have to take a bus or be driven to school by their parents.

However, public transportation also offers the opportunity to socialize with their peers as some students sleep or study during their long commute.

School policies often require students to board buses and trains, leaving seats open for other passengers to show consideration.

Inside the Classroom

Once they arrive at school, students move to their respective lockers assigned to them to their shoes and other personal stuff.

A typical day at school begins at 8:30 a.m. with administrative tasks, such as taking attendance, posting, and assigning homework in class.

Students will spend most of the day taking different subjects throughout the day in their classroom. They only move to other parts of the school, such as the gym or the lab, when they have PE and science classes.

Students are expected to remain disciplined and calm during class hours, but the atmosphere can become lively during recess or lunchtime when they have the opportunity to socialize with their peers.

At lunchtime, students often spend time eating and chatting with each other in the main classroom, as most high schools in Japan do not have a general cafeteria or dining hall.

In most schools in Japan, students bring a box lunch from home, called bento boxes, which were prepared by their mothers earlier in the morning. While some schools offer meals to students.

A Japanese lunch box often consists of rice, fish or meat, eggs, vegetables, pickles, and sometimes fruit.

Going down to the dress code for students, you will find out that uniforms differ by school and region.

If you’ve ever watched Japanese anime or manga, chances are you’re familiar with kawaii Japanese high school uniforms.

Students typically have three types of uniforms: one for summer, one for spring and fall, and one for winter. The students wear a white blouse, skirt, high socks and, depending on the school, a bow or tie. In winter, they also wear a sweater and vest.

Male students wear dress shirts, long pants, and a vest or coat in winter.

At the end of the academic day, all students participate in o soji, the cleaning of the school. They sweep classrooms and hallways, empty trash cans, clean toilets, clean blackboards, and chalk erasers, and pick up trash on school grounds.

After o soji, school ends and most of the students disperse to different parts of the school for club meetings.

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to their unwavering commitment to academics, Japanese high school students also devote a large portion of their time to extracurricular activities in the form of clubs after school hours.

Clubs can range from sports clubs to cultural clubs and students can only join one club during their time in high school as they rarely change clubs from year to year.

Students are very involved in club activities as they must attend meetings and practices every day between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. after school, including on weekends and holidays.

Students in their final year of high school generally choose to withdraw from their club activities to focus on preparing for the rigorous college entrance exams.

Are there Public High Schools in Japan?

Japan has several public schools across all states.

Basically, elementary schools, colleges, high schools, colleges of technology, colleges, universities, and colleges in Japan are national, public, or private institutes.

Definitely, the level of education in private high schools is usually better than in public high schools. Yet, there are things done in Japanese public high schools that sets them apart.

In Japanese high schools, children go to school in a group, have healthy launches prepared by the school, children clean the school themselves (making them responsible at an early age), and so on.

During summer, several activities are organized by most public schools for their students. Also, activities like a marathon (long-distance competition) in winter makes the most out of the students.

Some public schools have a great number of volunteers who come to the classroom to interpret in English for children with foreign nationalities.

Japan’s public schools have classes five days a week, Monday through Friday. There are also schools that have classes on Saturdays. In middle and high schools, there are six lesson periods per day, typically 50 minutes each.

Above all, most public schools in Japan create platforms for special schools to be available for children with physical/mental disabilities.

How Many Years is High School in Japan?

The Japanese school system is mainly made up of six-year elementary schools, three-year middle schools, and three-year high schools. Compulsory education lasts for 9 years up to elementary and junior high school.

Basically, high school typically takes three years in each of the following subjects: math, social studies, Japanese, science, and English.

Other subjects include physical education, music, art, and moral studies. All students at a single level study the same subjects.

Japanese students spend 240 days a year in school, 60 days longer than their American counterparts. Although many of these days are dedicated to preparing for annual festivals and school events such as Culture Day, Sports Day, and field trips, Japanese students still spend much more time in class than American students.

Is High School Free in Japan?

High school is not compulsory in Japan, and even public high schools charge tuition. But compared to many of the other costs parents pay to educate their children, public high school tuition is almost like a drop in the bucket.

There are no entrance exams or tuition fees in public elementary and high schools, and textbooks are distributed free of charge.

How Much Do High School Cost in Japan?

According to the Ministry of Education figures for 2006, the average public high school student paid ¥112,000 yen per year in school fees, which is certainly high for low-income families.

But at the same time, the average student in a public high school also paid ¥176,000 yen per year for cram schools or juku.

In total, parents pay an average of ¥520,000 yen per year in education costs for a child if he attended a public high school. This is about half the cost of private high school students, which is an average cost of ¥1,045,000 yen per year(including ¥785,000 tuition and ¥260,00 for juku).

On average, parents spend a total of ¥2.76 million yen per child for six years of elementary school if the child goes to a public institution and ¥8 million yen if the school is private.

Although, there is no tuition fee for public elementary and middle schools, there are many ancillary costs. This includes lunch, which is usually ¥40,000 per year, and kyoikuhi, or “training fees” for things like field trips.

There are additional materials (textbooks are free) that cost about ¥55,000 yen per year for elementary school and ¥130,000 yen for high school.

Generally, a public high school student spends ¥471,000 yen a year, while a high school student in a private school spends ¥1,269,000 yen.

But public students spend about ¥20,000 yen more a year on juku than private students.

Because almost all public high school students have to take high school entrance tests, while about half of private university students will enroll in high schools affiliated with their university (and some will even go to University).

Private schools are for-profit businesses, so it is against their interests to discourage students from continuing their entrance studies.

15 Best High Schools in Japan for International Students in 2021

In ranking these best high schools in Japan for international students, we considered three factors. They include:

Accreditation: This is one important factor for selecting the best high schools in Japan. We consider an accredited school better than non-accredited ones. Also, the type of accreditation matters in this selection.

Programs: The number of programs a school offer is essential. Some high schools just based on the general curriculum, while some go-ahead to hold cram programs and Saturday classes.

Tuition Fees: Public high schools are, of course, much cheaper than private ones. Tuition support is available to low-income families.

Private High Schools in Japan for Foreign Students#1. KAIS International School

Accreditation: Council of International Schools (CIS)

KAIS International School is one of the most innovative and distinguished international schools in Japan.

Conveniently located in central Tokyo, they have been serving the international community since 2006.

At KAIS, their students learn in small classes in a family setting, where they can develop their connection with others while exploring who they are as people.

With a low teacher/student ratio, students in classes naturally receive individual attention from instructors. This makes student in every class makes her voice heard. And no student, for whatever reason, sneaks out and misses a learning opportunity.

Their program covers all spheres of the high school curriculum, ranging from English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, etc.

International students pay a tuition fee of ¥2,700,133 yearly. This might seem expensive, but the fee you pay to attend a good school is not better than the value you will gain from the school.

However, international students still come to Japan to study there.

#2. Kaisei Academy

The Kaisei Academy is a preparatory boy private secondary school located in Arakawa ward, Japan.

The Kaisei Academy consists of a Junior High School (grades 7-9) and a Senior High School (grades 10-12) with approximately 900 and 1200 students, respectively.

Students come from everywhere Tokyo area and the world at large.

Most importantly, the Academy is glad to welcome international students with a variety of talents, interests, and perspectives regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity.

Admission to Kaisei is very competitive and applicants are selected on the basis of entrance exams.

Historically, almost all Kaisei graduates are admitted to the most prestigious universities in Japan, and between 40% and 50% of them attend the University of Tokyo annually.

#3. Horizon Japan International School

Tuition: ¥1,800,000 – ¥2,100,000

Horizon Japan International School serves students from preschool through high school and is an IB World School.

HJIS is fully accredited by two of the world’s leading accreditation organizations: the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the United States.

The school’s mission is to develop each student by providing an outstanding international education for overall success in a caring and courageous environment from early years through to university entrance.

Hence they offer the following programs, such as;

  • PYP Early Years
  • IB PYP
  • IB MYP
  • IB DP
  • English as an additional language

#4. International Christian University High School

International Christian University High School describes itself as one of the best private high schools in Japan.

It is located on the campus of the International Christian University (ICU) in the city of Koganei, in western Tokyo.

More than 65% of its students are national students, while the remaining 35% are international students from different races and countries.

All classes are taught in Japanese, except those taught by English speakers.

ICUHS is a designated “Super Global High School” under a government program that aims to encourage leaders capable of playing an active role on the international stage.

Upon admission in April 2019, ICUHS accepted applications from 80 students during the first year, including a small number of international students.

Costs for a school year included, among other things, an entrance fee of ¥330,000 and an annual tuition of ¥591,000.

ICUHS also has great accommodations for both indigenes and international students.

#5. Otsuma Tama Junior and Senior High School

Accreditation: Accredited

Located in Tama City, Otsuma Tama Junior and Senior High School is a private secondary school for girls.

This private girls’ school in Tama city, west of Tokyo, makes a handful of places available to international students each year.

Otsuma is a six-year coeducational high school. Therefore, your admission process is done at the seventh-year level.

Through the different aspects of school life at Otsuma Tama, such as school events, student body, and club activities, they help stimulate students to think critically, value fairness and discipline, and change things.

The three years of junior high school focus on developing basic academic skills, while learning to cooperate with your peers. These are the years in which students develop their interests and the basic academic and social skills acquired during these years broaden their future possibilities.

The next three years of high school are very preparatory for college, allowing students to get closer to their dreams. With an intimate orientation in school and career, we help our students achieve their goals.

Please contact the school directly for information on fees and applications.

#6. Kanto International Senior High School

Accreditation: Accredited

Tuition: ¥52,500 (Monthly)

Kanto International School is a private coeducational high school with three learning pathways: General Education, Foreign Studies, and Performing Arts.

Foreign students are only accepted in the Japanese culture course in the general education stream.

For the 2020 school year, there were openings for 20 students who applied as returnees or international residents out of an annual total of 360 students.

The Department of Education has designated Kanto International as an “English Language Super High School”.

These schools emphasize the study of English and are responsible for developing such programs, as well as conducting practical research to create effective collaborative links with colleges and universities.

Located in Shinjuku, Kanto International had an application fee of ¥25,000, enrollment fee of ¥240,000, other entrance fees ¥234,200, uniform fee of ¥200,000.

Average annual building/education fee ¥47,200 (may differ depending on year and course). Monthly tuition fee ¥52,500 (depending on year and course).

#7. Waseda University Senior High School

Accreditation: Acrredited

Waseda University High School was established in 1949 on the Waseda University campus, based on the pre-war Waseda University High School.

The goals of the school are to promote the goals of independence, citizenship, and a focus on life skills.

High school students are exposed to an extensive yearly schedule of extracurricular activities and study tours. This permits them to develop the academic and personal skills necessary for smooth progress in high school.

Included in their program for high school is a required second language.

Currently, students can choose between German, French, Chinese, or Russian.

After experiencing a wide range of subjects in the first year, students choose between a humanities course or a science course for the last two years of high school.

Also, the school can boast a wide range of extracurricular activities, which make up a large part of student life.

Most students participate in club activities and can choose from about fifty different clubs, including cultural, arts, and sports activities.

Around 1,800 children are currently studying in this free and enjoyable environment and they are proud that many of our graduates are actively involved and serving in various fields around the world.

#8. Tokyo Gakuen High School

Tokyo Gakuen High School was known as Tokyo Commercial High School between 1939 and 1973.

Due to the changing times of the society that was built around the school, the name was changed from a commercial high school to a private high school with conventional courses.

The school is an all-boys-only school and was birthed in a public-private initiative.

Public High Schools in Japan for Foreign Students#9. Kokusai Senior High School – Tokyo

Accreditation: International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC)

Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School, commonly known as Kokusai Koko, is the largest among all public and international high schools.

Located in Komaba, Meguro Ward, the school welcomed 25 foreign students upon admission in April 2017 and around five in September.

It describes itself as one of the top 10 Tokyo metropolitan high schools. Of the six designated schools for international students, only this one has a full website in English.

Kokusai (the Japanese word for international) emphasizes developing students’ language skills and an international perspective and offers a wide variety of language courses, including French, German, Spanish, and more.

Students can register twice a year, in April and September. The school also operates the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, which teaches primarily in English.

This course accepts a maximum of 25 Japanese and foreign students per year. One of the best features of the school is that it supports foreigners with special Japanese lessons and places them in all classes (including math, science, and languages) according to their skill level.

The school is very international, with returnees from all over the world and foreign students.

#10. Tokyo Metropolitan Asuka High School

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Asuka High School is located in Oji, Kita Ward and describes itself as having a higher number of teachers than other schools, allowing it to organize smaller classes divided according to their ability in English, math, and Japanese.

It offers subjects according to two main learning pathways: international culture and art and life studies.

Asuka High School describes itself as someone who is actively seeking international exchanges, partly through a study trip to Australia in her second year.

The school generally accepts 20 foreign residents when it starts in April and three in September, out of an annual showing of around 130 students.

#11. Fuchu Nishi High School

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

This school in Fuchu, west of Tokyo, prides itself on its deep teaching.

Organize small classes divided according to students’ abilities and use computer and communication equipment for teaching.

The emphasis is on information technology in its first year program and a science and humanities component beginning in the second year.

Fuchu Nishi had 15 places for foreign students in its April start for the 2017 school year and three in September.

#12. Minamikatsushika Senior High School

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Minamikatsushika Senior High School in Tateishi, in the Katsushika district, generally accepts 15 non-Japanese students on its admissions in April and three in September.

They have small classes of 20-30 students in many subjects and distribute math and English lessons according to students’ abilities.

Organize optional extra study classes on Saturdays.

For more information on the school’s enrollment requirements, click below.

#13. Tagara High School

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Tagara High School generally admits a total of 20 international students in its April admissions; six in their general training course and 14 in their foreign culture course.

Located in Hikarigaoka, Nerima Ward, Tagara teaches Japanese culture and traditions in third grade.

#14. Takenodai High School

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

This school is based in Higashi-Nippori, Arakawa district, and generally accepts 15 foreign students in its general education course in April and three more in September.

It organizes extra voluntary study courses after school, on Saturdays, and during vacation periods, and provides a self-study room after school.

Here is more information about the applications.

#15. Keika Gakuen

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

This institute in Hakusan, in the Bunkyo district, includes a high school for boys and a high school for girls.

At the beginning of the 2020 school year, the boys’ school had 10 places open for returnees in each of the lower and upper secondary sections.

The school also offered a small number of inter-semester places in the returnee category, where he noted that nationality was not a problem, thus opening that category to foreign students.

Each school charges an admission fee of ¥250,000 yen and monthly tuition of around ¥34,000 yen, among other fees.

Conclusion

Many Japanese people recall their high school days as beautiful memories that they will remember for the rest of their lives. That is why, parents stil choose to send their chiild to Japan to study.

If you’re in search of the best high school in Japan for internationa students, then the above list is for you.

References

  • savvytokyo.com – 10 Japanese High Schools That Accept Foreign Students
  • schoolnyk.com – A Day in the Life of a Japanese High School Student

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