A survey of private schools in Japan (A – I)

* Asterisked schools are particularly famous local private schools in Japan. The more asterisks, e.g. *** the greater the prestige and reputation for quality. The reputation of a Japanese private school is judged mainly by its success in placing its graduates in the first-class universities. Sophia, Keio and Waseda are reputedly the most competitive, ie. difficult as well as popular ones to enter (2004 info). Private school attendance was attendance was 79% for kindergartens, 0.9% for elementary schools, 4% for junior high schools, 29% for high schools, 91% for junior colleges and 76% for universities (2002 statistics).

We produced this tentative and cursory survey on local private schools due to many requests for such a list.  The listing is not comprehensive but it is extensive. The list also focuses much on private schools with reputations for strong language immersion or instruction programmes as well as for their international orientation – where such information is known, it is indicated on the list. To follow up with your own research, and for further information, contact the Association of Private Junior and Senior High Schools in Tokyo at (03) 3263-0541.To enroll your child in a Japanese private school, you will need to apply directly to the school that you choose. Disclaimer: The list is based on a lot of hearsay and backed up by research from information available from the press or internet (where available). As such, the info below may not be reliable on all counts. Still the list is likely to give anyone looking into private schools for their children a headstart on their homework until such time when a better resource becomes known.


Website: http://www.nipais.com/sub3.html

3-4, Nijigaoka, Meito, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Phone:  052-… Email: info@nipais.com

The AIS elementary program follows a hybrid Japanese-North American curriculum, and is currently seeking accreditation from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Subjects include English language, Japanese language, Math, Science, Social Studies, Music, Physical Education, Life Skill, and Moral Education. All subjects, with the exception of Japanese language and Social Studies, are taught in English. Focused on gaining accreditation from the MEXT, AIS uses government-approved textbooks that have been translated into English. In addition, these texts are supplemented with textbooks form overseas. The AIS curriculum is challenging. In addition to the two language classes (English & Japanese) the 9-year curriculum has been condensed to 7 years, to allow Junior High students to put their energy into focused subjects, cross-subject studies and SAT preparation. The AIS kindergarten program draws on Montessori techniques to help foster independence and self –confidence and primary focuses on immersing the children in English and surrounding them with a large variety of stimulating activities filled with music, movement, stories, show-and-tell, art, math, observation, experimentation, and some introduction to reading and writing). Although the school was designed for Japanese students it has roughly 30% of its student body from overseas.





The private high school sends its students abroad and accepts students from abroad to help its students broaden their international horizons. It has regular exchanges with the following schools: Winchester College, a British boarding public school (founded in 1382 and located in Winchester, Hampshire) and Ningbo Li Huili Vocational High School, which has a Japanese department, in China in Ningbo City. In addition, some of the students go abroad to study every year through such non-profit agencies for studying abroad as YFU(Youth For Understanding), AFS(American Field Service), and PIEE(Program of International Education Exchange). The school also accepts foreign students through YFU.

CARITAS GAKUEN , Kawasaki, Kanagawa


CARITAS GAKUEN is a Catholic school was established by missionary sisters of charity from Quebec, Canada comprising Caritas Kindergarten, Caritas Elementary School, Caritas High School (offers young Japanese girls a curriculum program divided into the six-year integrated Junior and Senior levels) and Caritas Junior College – together the schools provide a complete education from the age of four to the age of twenty. English and French so that the students will gain familiarity with different cultures and become internationally minded. The school offers students a balanced language education, with Japanese and native teachers of both languages, emphasizing all four skills and an international outlook. All students, from the 1st year of the junior high to the 3rd year of the senior high, take regular conversation classes with native teachers. Both English and French are compulsory in junior high, and senior high school students have to choose one of them as their main foreign language.


Website: www.keiai.ed.jp

Yonban-gai dori, Chiba Prefecture 1522 Phone:  043-…

Students from Chiba visit Pittwater House School in Sydney in an exchange program. The school has its own gym fitness training room, pool as well as good PC facilities.


Website: http://www.chibanichi.ed.jp/chibanic.htm

One of the high schools affiliated with Nihon University, the school has a long history as a boys’ school until 1998, when girls in the first year entered our junior high school. By 2003 the school had become coeducational. Its high school graduates are admitted into a lot of colleges and universities in addition to Nihon University. The school seeks to give its students a cosmopolitan outlook and to help them to become well-disciplined and well-balanced students. The curriculum appears to emphasize English language instruction see http://www.chibanichi.ed.jp/karikura2.htm.


Website: http://www.denenchofufutaba.ed.jp/

Denenchofu Futaba Gakuen in Tokyo has email and letter exchange programmes with girls in Dame Alice Harpur in Bedford. This exclusive private school (K – senior high) is famed for being Princess Masako’s alma mater.


Website: http://www.dokkyo-saitama.ed.jp/

Part of the comprehensive Dokkyo Gakuen private school system http://www.dac.ac.jp/ and affiliated to Dokkyo University See http://www.dokkyo.ac.jp/eg/outline/outline.htm




Website: http://www.intnl.doshisha.ac.jp/indexE.html

Tatara, Tanabe-cho, Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto 610-03

Doshisha was established by Niishima Jo in 1875 to “bring up people who could be the conscience of the state”. The website says they welcome and accept children of Japanese employed abroad, and help them adapt themselves to the change and expand their personalities.

The website also acknowledges that their ordinary domestic students “acquire broader sights and better international sense from mixing with these former foreign residents at classes”.

For a complete listing of all Doshisha University affiliated schools, refer to this page http://www.doshisha.ed.jp/english/index.html which also provides a contact email (ji-bnsho@mail.doshisha.ac.jp) for the schools.

*EIKO GAKUEN, Kamakura, Kanagawa

Website: http://ekh.jp/e/about/prf.html

Eiko Gakuen was established by the Catholic Fathers of the Society of Jesus in 1947 to fill what was then described as Japan’s “spiritual vacuum”. The school has grown into a full-fledged six year school with about 1000 boys. The grounds and buildings were formally part of the former Japanese Navy Base in Yokosuka but the school was moved to Kamakura, see location link http://ekh.jp/e/about/loc.html. The students who attend Eiko come mainly from the Kamakura-Fujisawa-Yokohama area in Kanagawa Prefecture. The competition for entrance is keen, only the best students of some 200 grade schools sit for the examinations and usually only one out of every three or four boys who applies is accepted. Eiko, precentage-wise, is counted among the ten best of the almost 4000 senior high schools in Japan.


Website: www.fukuokadaiichi.com (see also www.fukuokadaiichi.com/english/index.htm)

22-1 Tamagawa-machi, Minami-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka 815-0037

Phone / Fax:  092-… Email: director@fukuokadaiichi.com

The school’s Department of International Education offers students from English-speaking countries the opportunity for Japanese and overseas students to live and study alongside each other in the city of Fukuok. At any one time there are approximately 20 students from English speaking countries throughout the world, as well as over forty Japanese students living together in the school’s Guest House to attend the school for one academic school year. Scholarships are available.


A private Catholic school, Fukuoka Futaba School is one of and now there are five schools throughout Japan; Tokyo Yotsuya Futaba, Den-en Choufu Futaba, Yokohama Futaba, Shizuoka Futaba, and Fukuoka Futaba (The first school was founded in Tokyo … there are also schools in Singapore and Malaysia etc.)
Both the junior high school and the senior high have three grades each. The senior high school offers a science course for those who seek to pursue a career in the natural sciences such as a medical career or an engineering career, and a liberal arts course for those who want to study humanities and social sciences in a higher educational institutes, such as economics, law, or literature. During summer vacation about thirty students go abroad to attend an intensive English program. Every year the school accepts three to five students from abroad to study at the school. They are exchange students on the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, AFS(American Field Service), or other organizations. They not only learn Japanese but also enjoy Japanese culture, which is in many cases very different from their own.



As elite as it gets, this is the private school to which the Imperial Family and descendants of pre-war nobility typically send ther sons (the Emperor, the Crown Prince) and the late Emperor Showa are all graduates).


http://www.gka.jp/ and http://www.city.ota.gunma.jp

69-1 Nishi Hon-cho, Ota-shi, Gunma 373-0033.

Phone:  0276… Fax: 0276-33-7710 Email: info@gka.jp

A private elementary school with an English Immersion Education programme in addition to its kokugo mainstream course (goals are mapped out at http://www.gka.jp/eigotokku/sld006.htm). The new school ultimately aims to offer integrated primary, middle and high school education covering the full 12 years of education, was launched with a student body of 106 first graders and 59 fourth graders. The school has received much press attention, see the following articles: Gunma Pref. school pioneers English-language immersion http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/language/20050712TDY18001.htm; and In Pursuit of English / Private Schools Blaze Trails Source: The Daily Yomiuri, Feb. 7. 2005 URL: http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/LPRU/newsarchive/Art5543.txt

*GYOSEI GAKUEN in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Website: http://www.gyosei-e.ed.jp/index/main.htm

An expensive prestigious Catholic boys school was founded by French missionaries in the 19th century. A private comprehensive system from K – through high school.


Website: www.gis.ed.jp

Phone:  0438… Email: ask@gis.ed.jp


Website: http://www.katoh-net.ac.jp/GyoshuHS/index.htm

1361-1 Nakamiyo, Okanomiya

Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0011 Japan

The school is designated a SELHi* (Super Eng Lang High School) and features a six-year consecutive curriculum that delivers Humanistic education with English immersion programme. Students are prep’d for university entrance examinations. The school spells out help for coping with English immersion programme at its website http://bilingual.com/School/Newsletters/Immersion%20Newsletter%202.4.pdf *Designated Project School “Japanese who can use English” by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, & Technology


http://www11.ocn.ne.jp/~hakuryo/ and its sister schools OKAYAMA HAKURYO MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS, Okayama http://www1.harenet.ne.jp/~okahaku/ are private schools with sprawling premises.


Middle School http://www.hayato.ed.jp/index2.htm and Yokohama Hayato high school page http://www.hayato.ed.jp/sinior/index.htm feature the Hayato method.

The middle school for example has the rather interesting Project Adventure programme; an immersion programme at British Hills in Shirahama, Fukushima prefecture, a ski school in winter, as well as a free-reading time that begins at 8.30 am.

*HIROO GAKUEN (previously Junshin Girls’ School)

Website: http://www.junshin.ac.jp/en/, Hiroo-Azabu

Located in one of the most internationalized areas in Tokyo, HIROO has a long history of hosting international and exchange students. In 1973, MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology) appointed HIROO GAKUEN as one of the first designated schools for returning students who have studied abroad. This appointment was granted due to the school’s ability to provide a Japanese language program for students who lacked in their studies abroad. The school is so confident it seems that the school motto is “100% satisfaction after the admission, 200% satisfaction after the graduation” and it holds itself out as providing “the most efficient ways to educate the students to be promising persons”. JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) classes are offered not only to exchange students but also to students who had had education in the non-Japanese language environment. Advanced English courses are also offered to maintain and improve their English language skills. The school also provides special classes on Saturdays for students to improve their study skills for 3 major subjects; Japanese, English and Mathematics – a key selling point since one of the criticisms of public schools is that the decrease of schooling hours due to the yutori policy of giving more leisure time to kids to encourage creativity has resulted in declining literacy standards and international test rankings.



2-8-1, Kanihara, Kaita Cho, Aki-Gun, Hiroshima 736-0022

Native speakers teach English conversation (Oral Communication) once a week. They are from United Kingdom, America, and Australia. Recently, university entrance examinations have included listening tests, their English lessons have aided the students’ study tremendously. Native speakers also run on English club twice a week plus two-week homestays in Australia every year.  The school also arranges an annual visit to their UK partner Beckfoot School in March with reciprocal visits from UK students.

HIROSHIMA SAN-IKU GAKUEN, Daiwa, Hiroshima http://www.san-iku.net/html/english/

A Christian co-ed private boarding school comprised of a 6-year integrated Junior High School and a Senior High School run by the Seventh Day Adventist church. It is part of a nation-wide system of Adventist Day schools, that includes 5 kindergartens, 10 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools and one college. Accredited by accredited by the Prefectural Board of Education as a school catering for Japanese returnees, the school provides them with a smooth transition back to a Japanese educational system. It is located in the breathtaking surroundings of an evergreen forest on top of one of the many mountains of the Hiroshima prefecture near the town of Daiwa. Among the school’s strengths are its offerings of high standards of English language studies, leading up to TOEFL testing.

HOSEI UNIVERSITY chain schools

http://www.hosei.ac.jp/english/affiliated_schools/index.html and http://www.hosei2.ed.jp/js/js-index.html (in Japanese)

A school chain that includes Hosei U First Junior and Senior High, Hosei U Second Junior and Senior High and Hosei Girls High School. The schools conduct many international student exchanges. The school offers an exciting approach to English instruction and the use of multimedia, see http://www.hosei2.ed.jp/js/js-index.html



A comprehensive school system (K – college). The school has a bilingual guide on school functions and its homestay programmes. http://www.hosen.ed.jp/english/index_english.html



Integrated six-year private high school curriculum that includes six hours of English language instruction per week per level.

IAI GIRLS JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Hakkodate city, Hokkaido http://www.iaijoshi-h.ed.jp/english/newpage/newpage1.htm


Website: http://www.icu-h.ed.jp/about_us/index.html (Japanese) http://www.icu.ac.jp/english/info/highschool.html (English page)

1-1-1, Higashi-cho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8503, See access map here
Phone:81-422-33-3401  Fax:81-422-33-3376

International Christian University High School was founded in 1978 and is dedicated to the principles of the Christian faith and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The purpose of the school is to educate young people by providing them with the academic and social skills needed for making decisions based on eternal values, while cultivating a discriminating intelligence necessary for becoming responsible citizens of the world. About two thirds of the student body are students returning to Japan with valuable educational experiences abroad. Classes are divided according to achievment levels. The whole curriculum is directed towards both high academic and high moral standards and is designed to prepare its graduates to proceed to a broad spectrum of first-rate universities. Students who show outstanding results in academic studies and school activities are recommended to ICU (ICU is Japan’s oldest and largest US-styled liberal arts college).


Website: http://www.yamanotegakuen.ed.jp/iyk/e_about.htm

15, Yamanote 2 Jo 3 Chome, Nishi-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido, 063-0002 Phone:  011-641-2191  Fax: 011-644-2004 Email: English@yamanotegakuen.co.jp

Established since the sixties as a Japanese school, the school changed its emphasis on instilling the idea of “internationalization” into the minds of kindergarten children with the hope that they would be able to take on a leadership role in their communities. It offers practical English classes by a full time native speaker who also uses it throughout the day to create an environment where practical English can be acquired naturally.

Private schools in Japan (J – P)

Private schools in Japan (R – Z)

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19 thoughts on “A survey of private schools in Japan (A – I)”

  1. About ICU High School An interesting point is that it is the only private high school in Japan established with public funds, or so I was told. The mission was to support returnees as at the time the high school was established they were flooding back to Japan and something had to be done on their behalf, as the public school system wasn’t really equipped to deal with them. Priority in admissions very much goes to returnees for that reason–it is part of their mission. A condition is that the student was abroad by necessity because the parent(s) were (so boarding students who were abroad alone don’t qualify). The parent must prove that they were full time students or full time employed/working abroad for a minimum of 6 months–yes only 6 months is enough.

    Students who apply from international schools have to take the regular entrance exam, unless they were returnees. It used to be they would have had to return to Japan within I think 3 years of having been abroad, but the latest I heard was that it was increased to within 5 years. Thus a student could be abroad with his/her parents, return to Japan and perhaps to an international school from Grade 4, and then still apply to ICU as a returnee. Like any other Japanese high school I have ever heard of, the student must be 15 by April 1 in order to enter, though, and no exceptions are made.

    A fair number of their graduates go to ICU, but I don’t think nearly as many as may go to Keio University from Keio High School, for example. In any case, their college placement record I am sure is good overall.

    — S.P.

  2. l am a high school teacher seeking for an opportunity to teach in a reputed english speaking private school in any of the major city in japan.My specialty areas are ;civics education,moral education and socual studies.Please i need you assitance.Thank you.

    1. Please note this website only contains listings of schools for the Education in Japan online community. It is unconnected with any particular school and as such we do not entertain any job-related requests. Please write directly to the schools in question that you may be interested in.

  3. I have taught English at school and college level for about 20 years now. I hold Masters degree in English but I am not native speaker. However, I am fluent in oral and written English. My desired interest is to teach English at Japanese school or college! Please help!

  4. Hi,
    Thank you for the information. Could you please enlighten me on the kindergartens in Japan?? Additionally, please provide me a list of kindergartens in Japan. IIt would be really helpful

    1. A list of kindergartens in Japan would be impossible, there are far too many. What any interested resident in any town or city normally does, is to go down to their town hall or city hall, to the kyoiku-inkai education counter, where they will give you a list of kindergartens or childcare centers (according to your request) in your town ward/city.

      1. Thank you so much for the information. Additionally, I wanted to know whether the private or public kindergartens in Japan operate in chain basis i.e. multiple number of branches or all the kindergartens are different altogether?

  5. There are a few famous schools that have branches, mostly those belonging to comprehensive pte school systems, or deriving from famous methodologies like Steiner, Montessori, free schools, forest schools, etc. But these are few and far between and are not monster chains, on the whole, there is a great diversity of locally founded kindergartens in Japan. In the childcare center businesses, large chains tend to be more visible.

  6. Thank you for your reply. Can you please name a few of the kindergartens and childcare centres of such kind?

  7. Hello!
    I was wondering if someone could recommend me a summer-boarding school of some sort? I’ve always wanted to goto japan, and this summer my mom says I can go if I can organize a plan. I am going into 9th grade next year, and I am a girl. Uniforms or not, I’m fine with either. Could someone direct me to some options? Thank you so much!


  8. Hi
    My name is Loh Lin Khuan (Lin) and I am a senior principal of a kindergarten in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The name of the school that I work in is call Tree Top House. A group of us about 18 will be in Japan sometime in mid October for a break and I was wondering whether we could visit any kindergarten or elementary school, preferably if it’s a Montessori school but even if it’s not, we would love to be given the opportunity to visit schools all over the world. Every year, I will visit different schools and thus far I have visited schools in Perth, Australia, Taipei and a school in China. You can look us up on facebook. We also have our website but we are going to revamp it very soon. Looking forward to hear from you.
    If our group is too big, you can also allocate us a number or put us in contact with someone. Thank you
    Warm regards

    1. This is only a listing, we are not affiliated with any particular school. You should use the information provided on this blog to get in touch with a kindergarten of your choice, and put in your formal request with the school authorities. A.K.

  9. Hello,

    My name is Ramona Olalau from Romania and I’m an English teacher for seven years now and I’m interested in working and living in Tokyo, Japan.
    Although I am a Univetsity Teaching Assistant, my teaching experience in also with younger students. I had the opportunity to work with each level (kindergarten, elementary & high school, ubiversity and language centre) in different places, abroad as well.
    I studied the Philology (one university and two master degrees) and also I attended some Cambridge courses like FCE, CAE, IELTS, BEC.
    I have of course, a teaching certificate.
    I hope to get the opportunity to work with you.

    Best regards

  10. Thank you very much for such a beautiful & knowledgeable blog.
    My name is naveen. We want to visit few English medium schools in Japan along with a group of Indian school leaders. We want to visit classrooms, interaction with faculties etc in schools hours. we are planning this program in the first week of February 2015. I will be great if you can sugest us few local schools in Tokyo or help us anyway. Mu Mail id : naveensharma94166@gmail.com


    1. I can’t really suggest any, but you can read the stories of various schools in the “Scoop on Schools” section (see header menu) and then write in to those schools that interest you.

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