According to this month’s (March 2008) Kids Esse publication, the estimated cost of educating a child from kindergarten/yochien (private), through public elementary school, middle and high school to university entrance point, is: 12,970,000 yen.

This estimate I think is very much at the low end and the cost would be far more for those living in the Kanto and Osaka metropolitan areas.

Anyhow, the breakdown of the costs of education from Kids Esse is as follows:

Kindergarten (yochien):

500,000 yen (two years of public kindergarten or yochien)

1,080,000 private kindergartens or yochien (note: public kindergartens are rare and few in number in Japan since preschool education is not considered compulsory)

Elementary school(shogako):

2,000,000 yen (6 years of public schooling)

8,240,000 yen (6 years of private schooling)

Middle school(chugako):

1,420,000 yen (3 years of public schooling )

3,810,000 yen (3 years of private schooling)

High school(koko):

2,160,000 yen (3 years of public schooling)

3,230,000 yen (3 years of private schooling)

University (daigaku):

4,290,000 yen (4 years of public university)

6,310,000 yen (4 years of private university)

The above estimates are national averages and rather conservative estimates I think.

Also the above figures do not factor in the cost of cramschool or juku which cost between 35,000 to 50,000 yen per month (for 4 hours X three or four days of juku classes)…according to a parent quoted in Japan Times, he paid 800,000 yen a year.

Nor do the above estimates include afterschool extracurricular activities (naraigoto). For which, you should factor in the monthly estimated costs (again they are on the low end for Kanto and Osaka metropolitan areas) below:

Swimming: 6,050 yen

Piano or other music classes: 6,951 yen

English instruction: 6,762 yen

Karate: 3,120 yen

Eurythmics or gym classes: 4,398 yen

Soccer: 4,110 yen

Math: 10,013 yen

Do you think the cost of educating a child in Japan is a sustainable expense for parents?