Compulsory education includes six years of elementary school and three years of middle school. Three years of high school education is not compulsory but most people still choose to attend. The institutions for higher education consist of career colleges which offer specialized training, junior colleges which offer two to three year specialized education, and universities. Graduate schools in major universities are highly recognized and many international students choose to study here.
Both public (overseen by nation, prefecture or city) and private schools are offered in Japan. The Japanese school year starts in April and ends in March of the following year.
Nursery or Daycare
Nurseries generally care for children until they reach the age of six. Nurseries provide daytime care, evening care, care for handicapped children, and holiday or part-time care. Nursery fees vary depending on the parent's income and the child's age.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is responsible for the Kindergarten curriculum since, in Japan, kindergarten is officially recognized as a school. Kindergarten welcomes children aged three to six and is established by national local communities or private educational foundations.
Elementary and Middle School
Children attend elementary school between the ages of seven to twelve; middle school continues for 3 years after elementary school is completed. To enroll your child in public elementary or middle school, you must consult with your local government education office. To enroll your child in a private school, you should contact the school directly.
In most cities, after your alien registration is completed, a school notification and guide for your child will be provided to you. If this information is not received in time for school registration, please contact your local government office. In public schools there is no charge for tuition and textbooks.
Successful completion of entrance examinations is required for admission into high school. Your middle school graduation certificate or proof of your nine-year school education from abroad will be required for registration. Special conditions may apply to graduates of international schools.
College and University
International students are accepted in great numbers in both public and private universities in Japan. A graduation certificate from a Japanese high school or the equivalent documents from your home country are required in addition to successful completion of the entrance exam. International Baccalaureates students may also be accepted. Contact the university for more details.
There are several international schools, ranging from kindergarten to high school, located in metropolitan areas. Contact the school for more details.
Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology