Top 10 Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

By Lauren Sodabanh | Created November 27, 2020

This article serves as a guide on Japanese Lessons in Tokyo for all levels. This article is a part of our extensive series of guides on studying japanese.

Japan Switch | Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

Concerned about getting lost in Japan because you aren't so familiar with Kanji or Japanese in general? Living in Tokyo for a while and want to advance your Japanese? Looking for options that fit your budget and schedule? You have come to the right place! We did the research and compiled the top 10 Japanese lessons in Tokyo, so you don't have to do the digging!  

The guide is broken down to feature the top 3 beginner level lessons and the top 7 intermediate to advanced level lessons. Each school that is covered in this article will go more in-depth on the location, pricing, offerings, flexibility of classes, and so on! 

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    Benefits of Taking Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Less stress on everyday situations

    If you are visiting Japan for vacation purposes, you can get by with little to no Japanese. However, if you plan to live in Japan for a while, you are going to need a good foundation of Japanese in order to get through everyday situations. It's going to be challenging to navigate all around Japan if you're planning to go to places outside of Tokyo. Not a lot of Japanese people can speak English and so your Japanese skills are going to constantly be put to the test.


    It is best to first learn vocabulary and phrases that can get you through everyday situations like ordering food, asking for directions, and conversing with native Japanese people.

    Japanese Lessons in Tokyo | BFFTokyo
    Japanese Sushi
    Japanese Lessons in Tokyo | BFFTokyo


    The great part about taking Japanese Lessons in Tokyo is being able to have the option to do either on-site or online lessons. Although you may have a busy schedule, there are a lot of different schools that are offering lessons that accommodate your busy schedule. 


    Many schools also offer both private and group lessons. This gives you options to choose from according to your preferences and learning habits. If you are a person who is looking for interaction with other students and teachers, group lessons are the best option. However, if you want to have one on one sessions with a teacher who can give you direct feedback, definitely go for the private lessons. 

    Learn more about Japanese culture

    Learning Japanese will not only help you navigate through Japan but will get you the most out of cultural experiences and traditions! With Japanese, you are able to speak directly with native Japanese people and get to hear about their different cultural experiences. Hopefully speaking to lots of people will inspire you to want to explore more about Japanese culture!


    There is so much to see in Japan outside of Tokyo. I strongly encourage you to make the most out of your stay and challenge yourself by signing up for cultural experiences like wearing a kimono or learning about tea ceremonies!


    Check out this guide to Japanese culture to learn more about different aspects of Japanese culture that may be unknown to you! 

    Benefits to Learning with Professional Teachers

    Shortcomings of self-teaching

    Self-teaching can be very effective as you are able to learn at a pace that best suits you. However, this practice does have its limits when learning a language. While you can learn and master grammar, vocabulary, and reading, it is hard to practice speaking and listening when there isn't another person to practice conversing with. This is where a teacher might come in.


    Conversational and speaking benefits

    What's the point in learning a language when you are not able to communicate with others through speech? Having professional teachers can provide you with guidance that you can't get through self-teaching. You are able to pick up both pace and pronunciation when practicing speaking with a native speaker.


    It will also be a lot easier to learn grammar and expression when speaking with a professional teacher. Having this guidance can put you on the right track for learning things within your level of study.

    Community environment

    When learning in a formal classroom setting, you are able to learn with a group of other Japanese language learners. This setting can provide you with the morale and camaraderie that you can't get when self-teaching yourself a language.


    In this method of learning, you are also able to make friends with people of the same interests, making it a pleasant experience for you. Furthermore, you will have fellow classmates to converse with and practice your Japanese.

    Top 3 Beginner Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Japan Switch | Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    1. Japan Switch

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Japan Switch offers both online and in-person lessons. They offer group and private lessons as well, depending on your preferences! Each private lesson is 50 minutes long while group lessons are 100 minutes long.

    The textbooks used in these lessons are inexpensive yet cover essential topics that will enhance your Japanese conversation skills. Their Japanese lessons are mostly focused on beginner-level Japanese, so if you have an intermediate or advanced level of Japanese, this option would not be the best for you. 

    This is a good alternative for those who are looking to make friends as they learn Japanese. Japan Switch built 3 awesome communities that each focus on learning, cultural experiences, and events in Tokyo.

    These are great communities to join if you're looking for people of the same interests to explore Japan with. Each community will go out and engage in different activities such as making udon noodles, making origami, or even hosting international parties with both Japanese and foreign students at Japan Switch.

    Check out Japan Switch if you're looking to join these great communities and take Japanese lessons in Tokyo!  


    Japan Switch has the most affordable Japanese lessons in Tokyo. Each lesson starts at 3,300 yen with tax and does not require you to sign a contract or pay for fees. Unlike Japan Switch, most language companies require students to pay an entrance fee.


    Classes are offered in both the morning and afternoon. For the Shinjuku branch, they are open from 9:30 am-5:00 pm and online classes are 9:00 am-1:00 pm. 




    2. Genki Japanese Language School

    Location: Shinjuku


    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Genki offers both group and private lessons either online or in-person. They also offer long-term courses which are perfect for those who are looking for intensive courses on the Japanese language. In addition, they feature 6-hour Japanese lessons focusing on conversation, traditional culture, and pop culture. 


    The conversation lessons are awesome for real-life conversations as you cover situations like calling a movie theater for showtimes, ordering sushi for delivery, making reservations over the phone, etc.  


    The traditional and pop culture lessons are immersive lessons that focus on particular aspects of Japanese culture. Some classes feature cultural experiences like Japanese traditional art, Kimono wearing, manga drawing, Japanese cooking, and so much more! 



    Group online lessons are 120,000 yen a week. Private online lessons are about 4,000 yen a week and include a free trial lesson to see if the teaching format is the right fit for you. As for the conversation and cultural lessons, these are 10,000 yen a week. 



    Group online lessons are held from Tuesday to Friday. There are 8 lessons a week, meaning 2 lessons a day that is 50 minutes long. 

    Private online lessons are held from Monday to Friday.

    The cultural experience classes have a fixed schedule of every week on Saturday. Classes are flexible and can be booked all year round! 

    3. Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute

    Location: Shinjuku


    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute offers both in-person and online classes. They cater to all Japanese language levels. For each level, they offer private lessons, evening lessons, group lessons, intensive courses, and special lessons that feature business Japanese, tourism business Japanese, and teacher training.


    This is an awesome option if you are looking for intensive or short/long term options for learning Japanese. Many flight attendants who are looking to learn Japanese often choose this school as each class caters to their irregular schedules. 


    This language school is unique in offering extracurricular activities for its students. Their extracurricular activities range from sports to activities involving pop culture, nature, or traditional experiences.


    The school prides itself in immersing its students in great learning experiences tied with activities that engage them with Japanese culture and traditions. Definitely look into this school if you are looking for bonding activities to make friends with fellow Japanese learners!  



    This language school is more on the pricier side of the 3 options listed above. There is a registration fee of 1,500 yen. Private lessons are 6000 yen and 7,000 yen after 6 pm. Group lessons are 49,500 yen for 30 hours worth and must be bought at this price in order to take group lessons.


    For more information regarding their intensive courses and other classes, feel free to check out their prices on their website



    Group lessons are 3 hours a week and span to 3 days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at fixed times. Check their website for specific times on group lessons. Private lessons are flexible to your schedule.


    If you want to do an hour or 3 hours a day, the school will accommodate their resources for you. Therefore, if you are in Tokyo and have a busy schedule, I definitely recommend Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute.



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    Top 7 Intermediate-Advanced Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Coto Academy | Japanese Lessons In Tokyo

    1. Coto Academy

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Coto Academy offers part-time lessons, group or private lessons, online lessons, intensive courses, business Japanese courses, and a JLPT prep course. They offer lessons in all levels of Japanese but have a curriculum specifically for intermediate-advanced learners.


    For 50 minutes each class, the topics covered are tailored to your level of Japanese while increasing your vocabulary, grammar speaking, listening skills. This is a great option if you have a desired level of Japanese that you want to attain and want customized courses based on your current standing. 


    Their online courses are very well defined in their offering for group courses where they can prepare you for the JLPT based on your level of Japanese. They also have speaking and learning lessons where you can either practice speaking with a Japanese native or Japanese professional teacher. The staff that they have are well-experienced teachers and are native speakers which can become great resources to rely on for when you have questions about culture or anything related to Japanese. 



    Coto Academy offers affordable prices for their Japanese lessons. There is a registration fee of about 10,000 yen. Depending on the amount you sign up for, you can get 8 part-time lessons for about 18,000 yen with 2 lessons per week.


    Online lessons are 4,200 yen for one 50 minute lesson. For private lessons, 8 private lessons are 38,400 yen, making it 4,800 yen per lesson! The more lessons you sign up for the cheaper it can get. Check out their website for the exact pricing and discounts. 



    Lessons are flexible according to your schedule! You can choose lessons at any time between 9:10 am-9:00 pm on weekdays and 10:10 am-6:00 pm on Saturdays. Part-time lessons are on a fixed schedule and are listed on their website



    2. J'S Language School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    J's Language school offers private lessons, group lessons, online lessons, general and intensive courses, business Japanese courses, and a JLPT course. They structure their group classes to have 2-4 students in each so that it can give students more time to practice speaking and tailoring the lesson to focus and match each student's levels.


    The school does cater to all levels of Japanese but have more focused lessons on intermediate-advanced levels of Japanese. This school is a good option for those who want a more focused lesson in a group setting. 



    There is no registration fee for lessons. On-site classes start at 5,500 yen per hour for one student. Group lessons start at 23,600 yen for 8 lessons, making it 2,950 yen per lesson for 50  minutes. Private lessons are also bundled in 8 lessons for 36,000 yen, making it 4,500 yen per lesson for 50 minutes. The more lessons you book, the cheaper the price will be per lesson. Check out their website to see their prices for each type of lesson. 



    Private and online lessons are flexible and accommodate your schedule. Group lessons that are run on a fixed schedule and can be either 50 minutes or 80 minutes. Check the website to see the listings of times for each course they offer. 



    3. MLC Language School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    MLC Language School offers onsite, private, online, and group lessons. MLC also has JLPT group lessons which are great for those who are looking for a group when studying for the JLPT. They also offer courses that are more focused on intermediate-advanced Japanese. Lessons are offered to all levels. 


    What's awesome about MLC is that they offer free studying resources for each level of Japanese. This makes the studying process a lot easier when broken down into modules to study for. 



    There is no registration fee. You are able to conduct a trial session to see how classes are before committing to it financially. Onsite classes are 7,480 per lesson which is 60 minutes. Private lessons are grouped into ten 45 minute lessons which cost 33,000 yen but 3,300 yen per lesson. The more lessons you purchase the more you can save. 



    Onsite, online, and private lessons are accommodated to your schedule and are encouraged to be set at a fixed day and time. Onsite classes are anytime from 8:00 am-9:30 pm on weekdays and 10:15 am-4:45 pm on Saturdays. Online lessons are offered through both Skype and Zoom based on your preference. 



    4. We Japanese Language School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    We Japanese Language School offers online, private, and group lessons. Group lessons feature 3-5 students to have them get the most out of their lessons. Students will be able to get more time to speak and practice their Japanese as classes are tailored for smaller groups of students. Private and online lessons are tailored to your level of Japanese and are designed to improve your Japanese based on your preferences: whether it's speaking, listening, grammar or vocabulary. This school also offers courses on business, kanji, and general courses based on Japanese levels! 


    A unique concept that this school offers is having coaches rather than teachers. They take pride in their coaches being experts in Japanese conversation, business, and test preparation. They are trained in understanding the needs of English-speakers and are passionate about their successes! 



    Their pricing is based on a point system for the number of lessons you decide to take. Check out the website for more information regarding their prices. 



    All lessons can be reserved at any time, accommodating your schedule! 



    5. TCJ - Tokyo Central Japanese Language School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    TCJ offers private and group lessons. The curriculum is tailored to your knowledge of Japanese which allows you to study at your own pace. The curriculum is based on your language learning goals and what you expect to get out of the lesson.


    The lessons allow you to learn both comprehensive and practical Japanese for daily life occurrences, high education, employment, and career advancement. You are able to request your own materials for the course! 



    There is an entrance fee of 22,000 yen for both lessons. Private lessons are around 


    89,280 yen per month. Group lessons are around 52,080 yen per month. 



    Classes can be anytime between 9:00 am-7:00 pm. Each lesson is 90 minutes and you are able to request how many hours you want to learn per day! 



    6. Valiant Language School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Valiant Language School offers business lessons and online private lessons. The business lessons are aimed to teach both conversational and business Japanese to increase your working opportunities in Japan. This school is perfect for intermediate-advanced Japanese speakers who are looking for work in Japan and need to familiarize themselves with business etiquette and vocabulary.


    General private lessons are also offered for beginner level Japanese speakers as they also provide lessons on day-to-day conversations, Keigo, hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Overall, their curriculum is based on each student's level of Japanese and what they wish to get out of each lesson. 


    Lessons can also be off-site, meaning their teachers would go to the student's location whether it is in an office or home setting as long as it is within 23 wards of Tokyo. This option may be more costly as the cost also includes a travel cost for the teacher who is commuting to the desired location. Check out their website for more information on off-site lessons. 



    Private lessons priced by packages of hours. They start their price at 20,000 yen for 4 hours, making it 5,000 yen an hour for a private lesson. The more hours you purchase the cheaper the price will be for each hour. 



    Lessons can be either 60 or 90 minutes, depending on your schedule and preferences. The time and day of each lesson are picked according to your schedule. 



    7. Akira Online Japanese School

    Offerings for Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    Akira Online Japanese School offers only online classes, as implied in their name. Their lessons focus on conversational skills through composition and speech practice through dialogue that is gone through with the teacher. Lessons are recorded so that you are able to go back to it and refresh your memory on the grammar and vocabulary used during your lesson. 


    This school is interesting for basing its curriculum based on the Scientific Method. They guarantee that you can acquire Japanese social skills faster through their strategic teaching method. You are able to create goals and plan out a strategy for accomplishing them within the lessons you sign up for.


    The textbooks that you use as you take lessons from Akira are the Minna no Nihongo series. The staff is also all certified native speakers who are trained in the strategy that the company is using for effective language learning. I recommend this school if you are looking for an effective and efficient way to master conversational Japanese! 



    Prices are based on different levels broken by the number of lessons in a package. The silver level includes 4 lessons at 19,200 yen, making each lesson 4,800 yen. The school suggests that the Gold plan is the best option for getting the most out of your money as you can get 8 lessons for a total of 37,400 yen, making it 4,675 yen per lesson. Check out their website for more information on the packages.



    Lessons are accommodated to your schedule. When interviewing you are able to tell them your preferred days and times so that they can pair you up with an available teacher. Schedules are then arranged with the teacher on a one on one basis. 



    Final Remarks - Japanese Lessons in Tokyo

    If you made it to the end, I hope you were able to find a Japanese lesson that best fits your schedule, budget, and preferences! Good luck with your studies!

    Check out these great articles that can help you decide what mode of learning is best for you. 

    Guide to Choosing Online vs Offline Japanese Lessons

    Guide to Choosing Group or Private Japanese Lessons

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