A cram school: Guide to navigating your way through the Juku Jungle


Navigating Your Way Through the Juku Jungle by Watanabe Reiko
(Read her essay Juku: The Other Face of Japanese Education System)

Academic jukus or cram schools can be roughly divided into the five categories below:A.        Yobikos or big cram schools specializing in entrance examsB.        General academic cram schools:1.     Cram Schools which prepare for the Daigaku-Kentei2.     Locally-based middle- or small-sized cram schools3.     Schools for salvaging dropouts or avoiding school children (free schools,etc.)

4.     Franchising cram schools

5.     Other miscellaneous types of cram schools


A         Well-known Yobikos (Big prep schools for entrance examinations)

The yobikos vie with one another to show up the number of students they can push through the thresholds of prestigious universities, high schools or junior high schools. There are many branch schools all over the nation, offering a variety of classes from math classes specially geared towards the School of Science of Tokyo University, to special English classes towards Sophia university. Such yobikos usually give lectures in big classrooms using their own original publications and textbooks. These schools not only give lectures but analyze entrance examinations and offer lots of information on them. They also conduct mock tests through the year for Center Shiken, examination of the National Center for University Entrance Examinations conducted by Monbusho (for details see the June issue of the newsletter) and for individual examinations conducted by each university.

Some of these yobikos have dormitories.

Yoyogi Seminar

Yoyogi Seminar has about 30 branch schools and 7 affiliated cram schools such as Yozemi Medical School, (towards medical and vet schools) (Address: 1-22-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Phone: 03-3404-4561), or Bypass School, specialist for Daiken and returnees’ entrance exams,
Tokyo School: Address:1-1-12 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051, Phone: 03-3497-5411, Fax: 03-3497-5392 Email

Osaka School: 11-32 Hiroshiba-cho, Suita-city, Osaka 564-0052 Phone: 06-6330-8111, Fax: 06-6330-3471).

Yozemi TV Net Phone: 0120-345-859. One course that might appeal to home-schoolers is Yozemi TV Net, by which students study at home using a satellite TV, SKY PerfecTV. It offers wide range of lectures from supporting regular school studies to ones especially towards Tokyo University’s entrance exam

A similar one is Flex Sateline course, broadcasting lectures in this school’s classrooms to its branch schools and students watch it in a special booth individually Phone: 03-3379-5221 Nine out of Yoyogi Seminar’s branch schools have classes for junior high school students now. Contact the head office for junior high classes. Phone 03-3404-4561

Yoyogi Seminar also conducts mock exams around the year and supply analysis and information on entrance examination. Another service called DO dispatches tutors for grade 4 students to adults in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama. Tuition rates are from 3,600 to 4,200 per hour with 20,000 yen for the entrance fee ( Phone: 0120-81-5910 (Toll-free)).

Head School: 1-27 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8559 Phone: 03-3379-5221


Kawaijuku has some 30 branch schools in areas from Kanto to Kyushu. It has special courses for students who wish to enter art universities Kawaijuku Art Institute: Tokyo School
Address: 2-1-7 Nakamachi, Musashino-city, Tokyo 180-0006 Phone: 0422-51-2581
Nagoya School: 2-1-10 Imaike, Tikusa-ku, Nagoya-city 464-8610 Phone:052-735-1596

Or for those seeking to study at universities in the U.S. and other foreign countries. Contact Kokusai Kyoiku Jigyo-bu: Phone: 03-3204-7581.

It also has special courses for professional qualification exams such as financial planners or stock analysts: Kawaijuku License School Phone: 0120-395949

This juku’s newly developed program is “Kawai-juku Success TV”, a satellite TV course. Students study at home with watching the programs by Kawaijuku and getting information on TV (8,000 yen for two subjects, 15,000 yen for 5 subjects per month). Students receive monthly magazine and Q & A service (Phone: 0120-598-554).

They sell CD-ROM Maths series (4,700 yen each) as well as various textbooks.

Kawaijuku Komaba-kou: 3-28-18 Uehara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0064 Phone: 03-3465-3581

Sundai Yobiko

It offers various types of classes for grade 4 to Ronin. A unique course of this school is VIDEO lecture course. In this course, students study English or Maths by watching videos with textbooks and answer tests and send them to the school. They receive graded answering sheets later. Each course costs from between 55,100 to 84,000 yen (including 10 to 18 video tapes)
Phone: 03-5259-3425.

Sundai Linden School is for primary and junior high school students. There are 13 branch schools in Kanto area. Ochanomizu-kou: 2-1 Kanda-surugadai,Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0062
Phone: 03-5259-3131

Head Office: 1-5-8 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0062
Phone: 03-5259-3425

Toshin Yobiko

This school broadcasts lectures to its 800 satellite schools all over Japan and supports students via telephone, fax and the Internet. Students can take math training menu and other drills on the Internet through a service called Toshin Home Lesson. They can choose from one series of lectures to a whole package. Phone: 0120-104-531.

Students can also choose home-schooling course, Toshin D School. In this course, students study via a satellite TV, SKY PerfecTV. The tuition of a standard course for high school students is 120,000 yen per year plus 30,000 for entrance fee. There are other special courses for Center Shiken and individual university entrance examinations. Head Office: Address: 1-29-2 Kichijoji Minami-cho, Musashino-city, Tokyo 180-0003
Phone: 0120-531-104

Eikoh Seminar (from grade 3 to Ronin)

This is the one that runs Eikoh Internet School. It offers special classes towards famous junior high schools, high schools and universities. Its selling point is its rather small class size. It also has private teaching courses.
Phone: 0120-302-162


As for cram schools specializing in junior high school’s entrance examinations, Yotsuya-Otsuka and Nichino-ken are among the more well known ones.


The biggest cram school specializing in junior high entrance examinations.

It has 84 branch schools (61 of them are in the Metropolitan area) and they have classes for from grade 3 to 6. It boasts a large number of students who have successfully passed the entrance examinations of prestigious junior highs like Gosanke or the top three junior highs (mentioned above) and high level junior highs in Kanagawa. It also has private teaching courses called “Julius” geared for grade 1 to high school students
Phone: 0120-355-194 and Tutoring services
Phone: 0120-612-764 Phone: 045-473-2311


This is a special cram school towards the entrance examinations of prestigious private or national junior high schools. This school has 13 branch schools in Kanto area. Classes for grade 1 to 3 are called Little School. Children in Grade 1 & 2 go to the class once a week and ones in Grade 3 go to twice a week. This school has correspondence courses too. As for Grade 4 to 6, students go to the classes four or five days a week. There are special courses for the children who want to enter the so called top three junior highs: Kaisei, Azabu and Musashi for boys, and Ouin, Joshigakuin and Futaba for girls.

Nakano School: address: 3-49-1 Nakkano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0001
Phone: 02-3382-5111


B.        General academic cram schools

1.        Cram Schools which prepare for the Daigaku-Kentei

Note: The Daigaku-Kentei is a test sanctioned by the Education Ministry as a prerequisite for entering university where applicants do not have a formal high school diploma from a local public or private school. Some of the schools under this section have “free schools” attached to their titles but they are have a more academically oriented curriculum than the commonly understood type of “free schools”.

Hokkaido Daiken Academy (post junior high)
25 Kita 3 Jou-Nishi, Chuo-ku,
Sapporo-city, Hokkaido 064-0823
Phone: 011-631-8809 Fax: 011-613-0099

Daiichi Koutougakuin Sapporo school (post junior high)
3F Norute Plaza, 3-19-1Kita 9 Jou-Nishi, Kita-ku,
Sapporo-city, Hokkaido 060-0009

Tokyo Academy Sendai School (post junior high)
2F Beruza Sendai, 4-7-17 Chuo, Aoba-ku,
Sendai-city, Miyagi 980-0021
Phone: 022-263-0731

Tohoku Daiken Senmon Yobiko (post junior high)
4F Forest Sendai Building, 1-2-45 Kasiwagi, Aoba-ku, Sendai-city, Miyagi, 980-0021
Phone: 022-263-9771 Fax: 022-247-7642

Mito Koutougakuin (post junior high)
2-1-19 San-no-Maru,
Mito-city, Ibaraki, 310-0011
Phone: 029-225-3598 Fax: 029-225-3598

Kibougaoka Gakuin (15 – 20 year olds)
204 Baredo-ru Kuki, 6-1-53
Kuki-city, 340-0016
Phone: 0480-25-0785

Kawai Juku ECosmo (15 years old – )
4-20-3 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 151-0051
Phone: 03-3402-4614 Fax: 03-3402-4765

Shingakukai Yobiko (13 years old – )
2-23-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 151-0053
Phone: 03-3370-5195 Fax: 03-5454-2748

Yotsuya Gakuin Yotsuya School (15 years old – )
Yotsuya Gakuin Building, 1-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku,
Tokyo 160-0004
Phone: 03-3357-8081 Fax: 03-3357-8999

Nichii Gakkan, Daiken Kouza (15 years old – )
2-9 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0062
Phone 03-3291- 2121 Fax: 03-3291-6886

Daiken ESundai Open School
3-28-12 Kanda Ogawa cho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0052
Phone: 03-5259-3444 Fax: 03-5259-3080

Asahi Koutou Gakuin (after finishing junior high)
7-13-6 Ueno, Taito-ku,
Tokyo 110-0005
Phone: 03-3843-0541 Fax 03-3843-0728)

Gakuryoku Kai
2F Sekiguchi Building, 1-29-7 Itabashi, Itabashi-ku,
Tokyo 173-0004
Phone: 03-3961-7511 Fax: 03-3961-4588

Chuo Koutou Gakuin
2-21-8 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino-city,
Tokyo 180-0004
Phone: 0422-22-7787 Fax: 0422-22-7731

Daiichi Koutou Gakuin Headquarters
3-2-20 Hongo, bunkyo-ku,
Tokyo 113-0033
Phone: 03-3818-3001 Fax: 03-5804-7950

Yoyogi Seminar Sendagaya Bypass School (post junior high)
1-1-12 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 151-0051
Phone 03-3497-0393

Daiichi Koutou Gakuin Tachikawa School (post junior high)
3-6-14 Shibasaki-cho,
Tachikawa-city, Tokyo 190-0023
Phone: 0425-26-0292

Yokohama Sougou College
7-15 Kinkou-cho, Kanagawa-ku,
Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 221-0835
Phone: 045-450-5191 Fax: 045-450-5192

Daiichi Koutou Gakuin Yokohama School (post junior high)
1F Niho building, 1-1 Daimachi, Kanagawa-ku,
Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 221-0834
Phone: 045-316-8401 Fax: 045-412-3365

Daiken Junbikou Weds (post junior high school)
103-103 Hirata-cho,
Hamatatsu-city, Shizuoka 432-8031
Phone: 0120-213-032 Fax: 053-451-6100 email

Kawai Juku Cosmo Chubu-chiku Cosmo Course (15 years old – )
2-1-10 Imaike, Chikusa-ku,
Nagoya-city, Aichi 464-0850
Phone: 052-735-1677 Fax: 052-735-1768

Goal Free Kobetsu Kyouiku Yobiko G.I.P. (junior high – ) Info at this Website
Gurintorando Building, 406 Shimo Maruya cho, kawara-cho Sanjou Noboru, Tyuukyou-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto 604-8006
Phone: 075-255-7272 Fax: 075-255-6128 Email

Kyoto Kokusai Yobiko (KIPS)
573 Uoya-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto 612-8041
Phone: 075-602-1700 Fax: 075-602-0534

Osaka YMCA Free School (Post junior high)
3-14-15 Nishi 9 Jou, Konohana-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka 554-0012
Phone: 06-6466-1166 Fax: 06-6468-3014

Kansai Koutou Gakuen (15 years old – )
203 Aoyama Building Honkan, 6-9-10, Kami Hon-cho, Tennouji-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka 543-0001
Phone: 06-6773-1505 Fax: 06-6773-5425

Rivasu Academy Shiyu-juku, Osaka School (12 years old- )
Nakajima 2 Building, 5-2-5 Nishi-Nakajima, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka 532-0011
Phone: 06-6308-5512 Fax: 06-6301-1220

Rivasu Academy Siyu-juku, Kobe School (12 years old -)
1447-1 Jounomae, Mikage-cho, Higashi Nada-ku, Kobe-city, Hyogo 658-0056
Phone: 078-841-5285 Fax: 078-822-3226

Daiei Daiken Juken Center (post junior high)
New Ootemachi Building, 1-1-20 Ootemachi, naka-ku, Hiroshima-city, Hiroshima 730-0051
Phone: 082-246-1411 Fax:082-248-7677

Hihon Career Up Seminar Yamaguchi School
2F Akimoto Building, 8-11 Takasago-cho, Ogori-cho, Yoshiki-gun, Yamgaguchi 754-0014
Phone: 0839-73-7660 Fax: 0839-73-7660

Utsunomiya Study Room (15 years old – )
1-2-29 Miyawaki-cho, Takamatsu-city, Kagawa 760-0005
Phone: 0878-35-5277 Fax: 0878-22-7314

Daiken Seminar (16 years old – )
655-5 Midoro-cho, Matsuyama-city, Ehime 791-0244
Phone: 089-976-2837

2. Local medium and small-sized cram schools

They usually help children to keep up with classes at school. This type of cram schools tends to have strong colours and policies of their owners and they pay careful individual attention to each student, providing opportunities for personal communication. Some of them offer face to face teaching or small group teaching. You could find info on these types ofjukus from the Yellow pages or brochures. The following site will also be helpful:

Zenkoku Juku Kyoukai (The Japan Juku Association):

The link above offers juku information all over Japan and gives some form of assessments on the jukus.

3. Cram Schools for salvaging dropout students or avoiding school children

Many of free-schools listed can be categorized in this group. They are usually small-sized and have a more child-friendly and less academic atmosphere.

4. Franchising cram schools

The strong selling point of the cram schools in this category is their original published materials. Among them, the most famous one is Kumon.


Kumon schools are not only well-established in Japan but have gained a foothold in foreign countries such as the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. They have a highly standardized system and systematized materials. Children usually go to the classroom twice a week and do some homework on the other days. Children study according to their own pace and at their own level regardless of their grade. Every child in a Kumon classroom is studying different materials. Each child mainly studies by oneself and will ask instructors when he or she cannot really understand the questions. Kumon not only emphasizes speed and accuracy in mathematical calculations but also encourages students to read good books too. Kumon itself has a publishing section and has produced quite a number of books. They have curricula ranging from 2 or 3 years of age to university entrance examination level.

They have courses for the Japanese language, English and math. The tuition is 6,300 yen per subject per month for primary students, 7,350 yen for junior high students and 8,400 yen for high school students. They have published various drill exercise worksheets, dictionaries and other materials such as a machine for English study and number skills. An English is available

Tokyo head office: (phone)03-3234-4401
Osaka head office: (phone)06-304-2611

Gakken Kyoushitsu

Gakken’s materials look more attractive than Kumon’s for small children; these may be good as supplementary work for school studies. Tuition: 8,000 yen for math and Japanese per month. Classes for preschool to grade 6 children. Head Office: Phone: 0120-889-100

5. Other types of cram schools

Besides cram schools mentioned above, there are specialty type schools offering science-curricula as well as services for supporting students by correspondence course. In this category, there are two famous companies: Z Kai and Shinken Zemi.

J. Z Kai

It was a very popular correspondence course for high school students. Recently it has started correspondence courses for junior high and primary school students too. Now it has also in-school classes. In fact, 57.8% of successful candidates of Tokyo University and 51.7% of those of Kyoto University last year used this correspondence course. As for junior high school course, it has started so called S Net Plus service using the Internet. Students can take mock tests on the internet and ask questions via e-mail. Such mock tests are marked and graded instantly and questions are answered within two days. If you are interested in this service, try this website
Head office Phone: 0559-73-7337

Shinken Zemi

Benesse’s well known correspondence course. Now it offers courses from 1 year old to high school students. In spite of its low tuition, its materials are quite good, visual and well-balanced including video tapes, science experiment kits and so on. Students can take a course which corresponds to their school textbooks. Its popular prep for primary school packages include Shinken Zemi and Kodomo Challenge series. Tuition: 18,396 yen per year for pre-school children, 28,752 to 56,880 yen for primary school children, and 56,880 yen for junior high students. As for high school students course, students can choose subject by subject; one subject 43,548 yen and 103,260 yen for 5 subject per year.

Phone: Primary school course: 0070-800-00-7777

Dorazemi is a course catering to second year and third year kindergarteners (attending local yochien). It features the popular Doraimon character and is a very visual learning program.

Science-oriented cram schools:

Leaders School Monolith, Higashi-Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture

The franchised cram schools of Monolith Inc., a Nagoya-based company, have introduced a full year’s worth of experiment-based programs for primary school students called “Kids Lab”. The aim is to help children cultivate an ability to think by themselves through experiments in physics, chemistry, biology and geoscience, helping make up for the decrease in science-related class hours at schools. Cost: 10,000 yen per month. Groups of up to 8 students: 1 instructor ratio. Source: Daily Yomiuri

Eikoh Seminar

The cram school is offering at 17 of its 250 schools, a Crefus course, a 1 year course for primary students that has children build a robot using a special kit codeveloped by toymaker Lego and the MIT. Monthly fee is 12,600-14,700 yen plus 31,500 yen for the kit.

See also Reiko Watanabe’s article “The Juku System: The Other Face of Japan’s Education System

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s