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Private Schools for Expats in Japan

Submitted: February 2014

The private school option is regarded as the choice for parents who wish to enhance their children’s academic prospects. Some private schools in Japan are subsidised by the government. Many private schools offer six year programmes which encapsulate the elementary, junior and senior high school levels.

You can refer to the blog below for its overview of private schools in Japan:

In Tokyo, there is an Association of Private Junior and Secondary High Schools. You can contact this association at (03) 3263-0541for a list of schools or visit the online resource below to search for a private school. Please be advised that the website is in Japanese but you can use the Google Translate option in order see the available options:

Many of the private schools in Japan have a religious base, mainly Christian. These schools promote a well-rounded environment based on not only academic but moral education as well. In this regard, while some private schools are co-educational, there is a high number of schools which are single-sex.

Private schools follow the national curriculum of Japan with a greater emphasis on English language instruction when compared to public schools. This is in keeping with the goal of many private schools of producing “international” students. It has also been suggested that as most private schools adopt the integrated approach of providing for various schooling levels, this provides for a smooth academic transition. Furthermore, these schools aim to complete the national curriculum for junior and senior secondary levels (6 years) in 5 years in order to allow their students to have a full year to prepare for university entrance examinations. In this regard, private schools are considered one of the best guarantees to ensure university acceptance.

Before making a selection, you should speak with the staff of the school with regards to class sizes, activities offered, student/teacher ratios, amongst other issues.

The cost of private tuition varies depending on the institution in question. The average cost of tuition is ¥800,000($80,000US) annually.  Please be advised that you will also be required to pay yearly facility maintenance costs which can average ¥8,000 as well as an initial entrance fee.

Due the high competition for places in private schools due the high academic standards, it is recommended that you begin the process of selecting a school as early as possible, sometimes even before your arrival in Japan. You should contact the schools directly in order to determine the specific admittance requirements for that school. For an overview of the admissions process and fee structure at private schools, please see the links below (translation required):

Private schools are also well known for their encouragement of extracurricular activities. The cost of these activities will need to be taken into account in determining whether this option is economical for your family.

Private institutions are renowned for hosting international students from around the world. Your child will therefore have to opportunity to partake in a diverse school environment.



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