Our community was formed in 1999, from parents, educators, homeschoolers, researchers and just people interested in issues related to Education in Japan.  Our portal website and page is at EDUCATION IN JAPAN and we hold lively discussions and chats at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/edn-in-jpn/   where our hearth is, but this blog is the bubbling cauldron in which the freshly brewed “soup”, the distilled sum of all our ideas, inspiration, info, news and advice and wisdom.


In 1999, I began writing a series of e-newsletters called Homeschooling / Afterschooling in Japan with a subscriber membership of over 500; at the same time, for live discussions I also started a Yahoo discussion group called edn-in-jpn which survives till today and is most active.

In the same year, Katherine Combs, then a stay-at-home mum, who was homeschooling her kids began her website called Homeschooling in Japan. She was active in attending homeschooling seminars and organizing a series of homeschoolers’ meetings and outings. We got together, my newsletter-and-discussion group members and readers of her website, crossed paths. She became a member of my newsletter and offered space on her website so I uploaded my newsletters’ contents onto her website maintaining the newsletter pages. She used my yahoo-group to disseminate info about the homeschooling meetings so that our relationship was symbiotic.

However, when Katherine Combs returned to the US, the job of webmaster for the Homeschooling in Japan website was taken on by Angela Bartlett another homeschooling family now living in Nagasaki. Her website is still functioning and still goes by the name of Homeschooling in Japan, and still has a page that points to the Education in Japan page.

From 1999, the members of the Yahoogroup I started, voted to split into two groups, one that would focus on education in japan issues generally, covering all and anything related to education including homeschooling and afterschooling, while the other group would become an exclusive group focusing specifically on homeschooling nuts & bolts issues so to speak, and restricting membership to full time homeschoolers.

Then our groups parted ways, with Angela Barlett carrying on her website Homeschooling in Japan, while I continued running the Edn-in-jpn yahoogroup.

As mentioned above, the Education in Japan website and this community blog is now the collective resource of all our discussions, sharing, and networking. One last thing … this community blog has had another home as a 360.yahoo.com/askkawagoe blog which is removing here, on account of the host 360 blogsite closing down. The last surfer counter showed 96,094 hits as the inception of this blog.

Over the years, we have seen this group grow and address, I think, every educational issue under the sun, related to Education in Japan. Our information resources are deep and rich. Our ideas, perspectives and viewpoints are however never static, because as dynamic members of this online community, we are always changing and responding to the daily needs of our kids or students, and to the ever evolving educational scene in Japan. For live and intimate discussions though, you will have to join us online at our http://groups.yahoo.com/group/edn-in-jpn/.

Digitally yours,

Aileen Kawagoe

Editor-writer of the Education in Japan Community Blog

63 thoughts on “ABOUT US”

  1. Hello, I am trying to obtain information about a school in Zushi Shi, Kanagawas prefecture called Saint Maria. It is a pre-school thru six grade school. Please help!

    1. There are two schools you are possibly interested in:
      Sei (St) Maria Gakuen 6-8-47, Zushi Phone: 873-2050
      And then there’s:
      Sei Maria Kindergarten 6-8-47, Zushi Phone: 871-6337. Both are private schools, however, gakuen in the name usually implies an elite character.

  2. Hi!
    I am trying to find out information about my sons youchien here in OKinawa. For his class, I ghad to purchase a Yamaha keyboard (with an eye mask). I am assuming to learn to play without looking. Interesting! Can you direct me to some articles about this type of teaching- I have not been able to find any information about it- or what it is called in Japanese.

  3. My daughter is a dual US/Japan citizen living in Hawaii. I want to send her to high school in Nara (kashihara-shi) for a semester. Any ideas? Mahalo!

  4. Hi,

    i’m looking for a boarding school that teaches in English, in Tokyo preferably in Yokohama. Do you know any?

    Thank you.

    1. You will have to check our short listing at Are there any Japanese boarding schools https://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/education-system-in-japan-general/are-there-any-japanese-boarding-schools/.
      Toin Gakuen in Yokohama was one suggestion.
      Other than this, look up A survey on Japanese private schools at the https://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/the-scoop-on-schools/ page . I am afraid you will have to do your own homework on each listed school to see whether dorm/board facilities are available – I had indicated in the listing though wherever I was able to find such information.

  5. Hi, This is a great site! I’d like to become more involved in the community. I’m currently based in the UK but will be returning to Japan next year – hopefully! I’m currently conducting research into how modern returnees use and maintain their English. If you can help me by pointing to my website and survey, I’d be very grateful.
    Thanks again for the great blog!

  6. hi!I’m Lorena and my hushband is japanese.We are thinking to move back to japan saitama.And i was looking for a international school and i happen to see your website.may i Know how much the school fee for primary 1 and senior high school?

  7. I am a thai student who wish to learn in japan. My japanese isn’t very strong. Can i apply for japanese public highschool next year. Will i be able to learn. What type of school should i apply to if i am aiming for japanese university.

    1. Try Tokyo International High School. It is the most well known school open to taking in foreign students:
      http://www.kokusai-h.metro.tokyo.jp/HPmaster/eg/indexeg.htm Apart from this school, look for schools that say they welcome foreign students, have special exemptions regarding exams, as well as “returnee”-friendly schools. There is a listing of such schools at the “directory” section of http://www.education-in-japan.info website. One such school is a private Japanese Meikei Junior and Senior High Schools (Website: http://www.meikei.ac.jp/index.html (only in Japanese)) that accepts returnees (kikokishijo) and foreigners. It is however a selective school.

    1. There’s Green Bear International Preschool & Kindergarten. amd there’s Columbia International School; also Beans International Preschool
      153 Matsugo, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken 359-0027
      Tel: 042-946-1911 Fax: 042-946-1955 (Grade 1 – 12)

      Montessori Academy of Saitama Shintoshin モンテッソーリ アカデミー さいたま新都心
      Omiya-ku, Saitama city, Tokyo 〒330-0855 さいたま市大宮区上小町637-2 Phone/fax: 048-642-0071 Email: info@montessoriss.com
      A Montessori School in Saitama Shintoshin area for age 0 to 12. Primary language of instruction is English; however Japanese instruction is offered upon request. Individual lessons and small group lessons are also available. Offers the following:

      Babies and infants to be English speakers
      Preschoolers to be bilinguals
      Montessori children to be bilinguals
      Preschoolers to be Montessori children
      Preparation for English preschools, International schools
      Bilingual children from bilingual families


      I don’t know how these schools are personally, so I can’t recommend them. I just know they are there. Also I hope you mean Soka city, Saitama, and not Soka Sapporo.

      (To KIV for later years, Yamamura International High School)
      Otherwise, check the international school or bilingual schools directories from the page:
      https://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/the-scoop-on-schools/ to see if you can get a nearby school.


  8. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    My name is Michael Kaplan. I am the owner and director of The American Guitar Academy. We have recently opened in Tokyo and would like to become involved with the community. We are interested in coming to your school to offer a variety of music involvement opportunities for your students, including guitar club, private lessons, group classes, and guitar ensemble.

    With so many students interested in the arts, especially in playing music, it would be a great asset for your school to offer guitar lessons and/or classes. I know that some of you already provide this. However, The American Guitar Academy would be a new and exciting addition to your current music curriculum. It will give your students the opportunity to express themselves in wonderful new ways.

    We only hire teachers with Masters Degrees or higher and many years of teaching experience. In addition, The Academy has over 20 years in the music education field. We can offer your students a rewarding learning experience that they will take with them the rest of their lives. We have had great success in the past and I am certain you will be pleased with what we have to offer your students.

    You can showcase your students by having them perform at school functions, as well as represent your school by performing at many different venues in Tokyo. These might include performing at museums, libraries, parks, art galleries, city halls, and malls.

    In conclusion, I hope that you consider adding guitar to your current curriculum and/or extracurricular activities. The American Guitar Academy can enhance your school’s reputation in the community, as well as broaden the educational experience of your students. Please take a look at our website theamericanguitaracademy.com and do not hesitate to call us at 080 4667 8242 or email me directly at michael@theamericanguitaracademy.com

    Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Warm Regards,

    Michael Kaplan

    Best Regards,

    Michael Kaplan
    phone: 080 4667 8242
    web: theamericanguitaracademy.com
    email: michael@theamericanguitaracademy.com
    address: 3-52-9 #201 Sendagi Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Japan 113-0022

    1. Kwansei Gakuin University (関西学院大学 Kansei Gakuin Daigaku) used to be all-male but it opened its doors to women in 1943, so that there are no longer any all-male colleges in Japan.

  9. All,

    I am interested in the higher education market in Japan and was
    curious if anyone on the list may be able to help. I am currently
    working in the education technology space and happy to provide more
    details or background.

    First, is anyone familiar with any private/for-profit universities in
    Japan, i.e., the Japanese equivalent to a University of Phoenix,
    Devry, Kaplan? Appreciate any insight or introductions that could be

    Second, similar interest in Japanese college book store operators,
    analogous to Follett or Barnes & Noble here in the US.

    Thanks for the help,


  10. Hi ,
    My name is Chenee Marie and I’m a regular reader of your blog and I thought you might like this piece my colleague just wrote. You can find it here: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/what-does-it-mean-to-be-intelligent/
    Please let me know what you think. And if you can feature it on your blog, I’d be really thrilled! I’m always on the look out for interesting conversation. 😀
    Looking forward to your reply,

    Chenee Marie Quia-Eo
    Community Outreach Specialist, Open Colleges
    | m: 09328504568
    | e: chenee.quiaeo@oc.edu.au
    | w: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au

  11. I am an experienced teacher in special education needs for teachers living in Fukuoka Japan for over 15 years. I have recently started up my own Learning and Support Center for children as well as Parents and Teachers in Fukuoka from 1st July, 2013. This is my BLOG with information about the Center. Please check it out and if you are interested please contact me for further details.


    Any conversations on development disorders and learning difficulties will be welcome too.

  12. Hello,

    I would like to ask you a question about scholarships i japan in English language..would you please send me an email so I can contact you..

    Thank you..

    1. Hi, you can post your question here, I’m not sure that I can answer them, but you can try. There are scholarship links to check out from the side-bar of the main portal page, or you can join and post your questions to the Education in Japan discussion forum.


  13. This blog/website is very terrible. There are too many error concerning Japanese culture and the suggusted schools from this site. I trusted this site and enrolled my kids in a school I found searching this webpage. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. Please do not trust the administrator or this site. When my children went to a school suggested , we learned that half of the suggested school system information was not accurate. I showed the information to the school principal and he was shock because the information seemed to be changed by???? Meaning, the program information was manufacuted by this site’s administrator for monetary purpose I think. If you are looking for a school for your children I advise you not to waste your time here. They care nothing about the community only themselves.

    1. First of all schools are not “suggested” but listed. We try to provide a comprehensive listing. Information provided are from public sources, news articles, for job descriptions by agencies, but mostly from the school websites and school administrators themselves. In the commentary sections, the comments are made by parents, students and teachers who have attended the schools themselves. As an administrator and a key contributor, I have not posted anything except on schools my own children have attended, and none of my comments have been negative, because they have had mostly positive experiences. As for monetary profit, this site makes not a yen, nor are there any ads. The information is provided for, and by, its several hundreds online forum community members, since 1999. If there is specific info or data that you feel is not accurate, then you should post specific details on the relevant page, to state your “opinion” as to why it is wrong, or provide the changes or correct details. Otherwise, the listings are but nothing more than signposts in a directory to let you know what is out there. Bear in mind, also that in a diverse community, people also have different opinions about a certain school, even when they have worked or attended it. Freedom of expression means you have the right to write what you think or to counter that information. Also information and data changes quickly, although we try to update the info, that is only possible with a website this size, that is only possible when others write in and there is no manpower to do anything other than input what is sent in or already available in the news or online. Again, we are NOT and never have been paid in any way. We list schools so that you know it’s out there, but the onus is on the parent to do their own homework and research on the school they are interested in, school visits and asking around. Finally, after more than 20 years, this the first time I have heard a complaint from a reader about this site. As I said, if there is something you are not satisfied about the specific school you are dissatisfied with, please post specifics, the good or bad, and why, and help make the information or data more accurate, instead of posting vague criticisms about a general service and information that has been collated and provided here by a community made up of parents and teachers themselves. If the world is a terrible place, then do your part to make it a better place. That is what a community is about.

    2. Please note that when school administrators submit information or updates we will always update them. So if the school administrator of whom you speak believes the information to be incorrect, then ask him to provide the writeup and we will certainly make the necessary changes.

  14. Hi, I am a PhD candidate in TN working as part of an international team looking at educational innovation in alternative school settings. Having worked and lived in Japan, I am fascinated by the free school movement and would like to gather info before getting boots on the ground. Your site provides a gateway to info & I would love more. Also, I have tried contacting a few schools without much success & wonder if you have any advice. Thanks in advance!

  15. Dear Heritageofjapan,
    Our school would very respectfully like to be placed in your website. We are located in Okinawa and we recently received our U.S. accreditation making us only the second school off-base to be U.S. accredited in Okinawa. We are revamping our website and our website is http://www.okinawainternationalschool.com. Thank you very much for your time.

    1. We will provide a listing on a special page under the “Scoop on Schools section” if you could provide a description of the key festures of your school, school program, school philosophy and methodology/pedagogy, fscilities, year established and anything you’d like to include to distinguish your school.

  16. Dear Heritageofjapan:

    We are currently arranging a lecture tour(NASA Spot Light) of Space Educator Nancy Fudge in Japan. It will be a 1.5 hour English presentation about America’s Space Exploration Programs that will include audience participation and demonstrations. It is a high quality lecture and has toured China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is for the first time being offered in Japan. We offer this service in hopes that it will inspire students to want to learn more about science and technology
    We are looking for an organization that can locate 10 to 15 schools that will host our lecture during October or November. Do you have any organization in mind?

    Manjun Dodge

    1. National Science Council is one possibility http://www.interacademies.net/Academies/ByRegion/SouthEastAsiaPacific/Japan/12952.aspx

      The same networks that coordinated the Christmas lectures:
      The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
      Higher Education institutions that co-hosting this event such as Tokyo University in 2011, Keio University and Tohoku University in 2012 and Tokyo University of Science and Nagoya University in 2013. Coordinated and spearheaded by the Yomiuri Shimbun probably has the best networks as it has experience organizing the Christmas lectures series see http://www.britishcouncil.jp/en/partnerships/stories/christmas-lectures

      There is the National Astronomy Youth Club of Japan as well JAXA (jaxa.jp) would be the other two obvious organizations that would likely to be interested.

      If you have the NHK or Yomiuri Shimbun involved, you would likely be able to gain interpretation services and high media coverage. With the education ministry (MONBUsHO or MEXT) you would tie in with their educational goals of enhancing science interest in the young, plus their obvious control and network of local schools. With the last group, you would align well with professionals in the same field with the same interests, and same educationals, so take your pick but i imagine each agency would have their own different blocks or redtape that you need to get around of. There is also the association of international schools if you wish to target an English-speaking only audience.

  17. Hi there,

    I am an experienced Speech-Language Therapist, currently working as an ALT in Matsusaka City. I was trained in New Zealand and have worked in Australia for three years.

    I am interested in volunteering my time for Speech Therapy services in the Mie area.

    Please contact me if you have any further information on avenues I can try or if you would like to discuss Speech-Language Therapy with me.

    Kind Regards,

  18. Hello, I need to send you an e-mail to update our group’s information as it is very outdated on your listings, but can’t find contact info.

      1. Dear Kawagoesan,

        I too need to send you an updated version of the details of my Special Education Cee Bee Center in Osaka because I have now relocated the center in Takarazuka Hyogo near Osaka and also want to change other details in the contents of my message there. I tried sending you mail to the above address you have written
        but it does not go through and gives an error message. Kindly check this and let me know your correct email address so that I can send you the recommended changes as necessary.

        Thanks and regards.


  19. Dear Kawagoe san,

    Thank you for your message above. Could you please put in these new details below instead of the ones in my previous post.

    Thank You

    Cecil Burton

    THE CEE BEE CENTER has moved from Fukuoka to the Kansai area and is now based and located in Takarazuka (Hyogo Pref.). from July 2014. with a view to HELPING families with SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS CHILDREN in the KANSAI AREA..

    THE CEE BEE CENTER (Communication, Exercise, Emotions, Behaviour and Effective Education), is a SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPORT CENTER FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENT DISORDERS AND LEARNING DIFFICULTIES WHO HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS.. We provide BILINGUAL services primarily in ENGLISH and also JAPANESE if and when necessary which include Consulting, Counselling, Assessments, IEP’s, and various kinds of Education and Therapy.

    We also have started a Kansai Special Education Support Group which is a discussion forum that will meet and discuss relevant Special Education topics in order to help and address the problems that children and parents face on a regular and daily basis at home, school and elsewhere with their child, This group will meet up at least once a month starting from October 2014. Please check the link below for details of this SPED Meet Up group.

    We also provide full day education (and therapy) classes and after school support classes for children with Special Education Needs at our Cee Bee Center School. Please check our Blogs and contact us directly for more details.
    Cecil Burton
    The CEE BEE Center
    1-16 Mikasa-cho,Takarazuka-shi
    Hyogo Prefecture 665-0863
    Tel: 090-2859-7075
    Blog http://ameblo.jp/ceebee (日本語)
    Blog http://ameblo.jp/theceebeecenter (English)
    SPED Meet up group

    Kansai Special Education Support Group 関西特別支援教育グループ

    Takarazuka, JP
    156 SPED Members

    PLEASE NOTE:  I do not want to waste anyone’s time including my own, so I am being very forthright in stating my purpose of starting this group in clear terms.  I would only l…

    Check out this Meetup Group →


  20. Hi, Thanks for your website and the hard work behind it. Do you know of anyone homeschooling in the Wakayama Prefecture, specifically the Tanabe area? Thanks.

  21. Hello Mrs. Kawagoe,

    Thank you for such a passionate blog about education in Japan, two of the things I love.

    I am an experienced PYP educator and administrator with a M.S. in Elementary Education. From my research, it seems Fukuoka International School is the only IB PYP school located in all of Kyushu.

    After searching your site and the web in general, may I ask directly: do you know of any IB PYP schools on the isle of Kyushu, in Fukuoka in particular?

    I plan to return to Kyushu in the coming year and hope to connect with any PYP schools that may exist or are beginning to explore the IB route.

    Thank you again and looking forward to any info that may be available.

    -Duane Black

  22. Hello
    I am writing from St Peters Anglican College.We will be hosting Ashiya students in July August. I am looking for 6 Japanese pen pals to write emails to my year 9/10 students. 高校一年生Can anyone help me.
    Louise Morgan

    1. Hi Louise,

      If you are looking specifically for Ashiya students you need to write to the school directly. This is only a general educational info blog site. If any high school student will do, then I will forward your request to our online discussion forum. However, in this case, please leave a contact email address.

      Aileen Kawagoe

  23. Aileen, hello! I am very happy to find this great source of information and also, as a montessori teacher and a person who really loves and appreciates Japan, wanted to ask you about some organizations or particular schools with volunteer programs in this field. Thank you for your time!

  24. Hello!

    Hope, I´m in in the right place and you find well this enquire.
    I live in Brazil and have 2 children, 7 and 11 years old. Both do not talk english and neither japanese.
    There´s a professional opportunity to move to Yokohama city but my concern is about adaptation of my sons in japanese school.
    As per my investigation, there´re public school, private school and international school options.
    Internation school seems to be the best option in terms of adaptation but I do not know if can afford to pay.
    Private school requires exams in japanese or english so is not an option for them.
    And public school accepts foreign children but think will be very difficult for my son to follow after talking to some japanese colleagues.
    Anyone knows if is avalaible educational support for foreign children to adapt firstly and then starts a japanese school?
    I heard about “kokusai kyoshitsu”… does anyone know about this program?
    Or any other suggestion for school option in Yokohama area?

    Thanks in advance.

    All the best,


  25. hello I am Mazni, from Malaysia. now I am doing diploma in early chilhood education. I need Japanese primary curriculum module for my research. based on my survey, I find out that primary/preschool curriculum in Japanese is Hoikuen. so, I hope you can help me.. The module of preschool curriculum that published by Japanese nation module. Thankyou 🙂

  26. Dear Administrator,

    Hello! I hope you are doing well. I am writing from Shinagawa International Scool (The former school name is Jingumae International School). We will appreciate if you could replace the old information about Jingumae Int. Exchange School with the new information below? Thank you so much.

    Kind regards

    Tekin Kemal
    Admissions Manager

    Shinagawa International School

    Shinagawa International School is an IB PYP accredited school situated between Shinagawa Seaside and Aomonoyokochou stations (5 min walking distance from each of them). SIS campus has ​​preschool classes (Ages 3 and 4), a kindergarten and a primary School​ (G1-6). The school was established in 2007 in Shibuya Ward but moved to the current premises at the end of June 2018.

    Email: shinagawa@sistokyo.jp
    Tel: 03 6433 1531
    Fax: 03 6433 1532_
    WEB: Shinagawa International School – http://www.sistokyo.jp
    Address: 4-8-8 Higashishinagawa, Shinkan Bldg.Shinagawa-ku
    The Nearest Stations: 5 min. from Shinagawa Seaside Sta. or Aomonoyokocho Sta.
    Educational Programs : Preschool / Kindergarten / Primary Gr.1-6 (coed) 3-12 yrs
    School Buses: Available
    Parking: None
    Maximum Number of Students: 180

    Other Notes: Summer Program available

    About Shinagawa International School

    SIS offers a holistic and student-centered approach in an environment that embraces diversity and creativity.

    As an IB World School, SIS aims to put students at the center of their own learning from an early age. By nurturing students’ curiosity and self-motivation, SIS provides the groundwork children need to become better learners at school and for the rest of their lives. The IB curriculum’s “programs of inquiry” tackle themes related to identity, expression and organization in society in a trans-disciplinary way – combining communication, creativity, and science. For example, a project about the self may involve a lesson on the parts of the human body. Creating a drawing or model of the body uses artistic skills while labeling the body and understanding its functions use language-based and science-based skills respectively.

    Each student has a portfolio of their own work, and they have complete control over what they include in it. This portfolio acts as a physical reflection not only of the student’s academic work but also their personal accomplishments, which appear as memos attached to various pages. These accomplishments include doing well on tests, but can also be as simple as an improvement with regards to timekeeping or handwriting. Through this, students come to understand the value of hard work and their own potential for personal growth.

  27. I’m Rituparna Misra, from India.
    I’m looking for a job opening in teaching Art&Crafts and English.
    Kindly, let me know the procedure.

  28. Hello,

    Does anyone know of any special education services or ABA therapy for autism/behavioral therapy in Ota, Gunma province?

    1. My name is Cecil Burton and I’m being living in Japan for over 23 years helping and providing support, education and therapy for special needs children including autism, and training for parents and teachers. I live in Takarazuka-Shi but can also provide live online video support and therapy for parents along with with their special needs child. If you are interested in talking to me then first check my website and contact me through there. http://www.theceebeecenter.com

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