Top 10 Business Japanese Language Courses in Tokyo
It goes without saying that to be able to work at a company in Japan requires some serious mastery of the Japanese language. Handling 3 different writing systems (particularly memorizing 2500 kanji), having an in-depth understanding of Japanese culture and business culture, and knowing when to change your speech level when you are talking to your boss, colleague or client is without a doubt very challenging.
It may seem impossible, but there are plenty of ways to achieve a native level of the language, especially in the business environment. One of the many ways you can achieve that is by attending a language school in Tokyo.
Not sure which one to go to? Here’s a list of the top 10 business Japanese language courses you can apply for in Tokyo.
1. Editor's Choice: Coto Japanese Academy*
4.8 on Google Reviews
Coto Academy is our pick for the best business-focused school in Tokyo. They also have a Yokohama location and a sister branch in Azabu-Juban). Coto Academy has a course designed specifically for teaching Japanese communication for working professionals.
Since their establishment in 2000, they have over 20 years of experience in teaching expats and foreign workers in Tokyo. With their small class sizes and personalized instruction, Coto Academy is an excellent choice.
If your schedule conflicts with their business course, they also offer evening part-time lessons designed to focus on communication skills for business in addition to private lessons that you can book. If you are a corporate employee and your organization is in need of a service provider they also have the capability to scale for any need.
We recommend them because they have great strength in their self-developed learning curriculum which is currently used by many schools. They also have a service-oriented mindset with the mission of "Your Growth is our Goal."
Good Choice For: COTO is a strong recommendation for foreign residents who are working full-time in Japan who are looking for business lessons in the evening and they can even send a teacher to your office depending on the situation. It is also a good choice for someone looking for online private business lessons and small class sizes.
You can't learn Japanese when you're still at the beginner level. If you're just starting to learn Japanese or considering taking a course that is less intensive, Japan Switch is the perfect option for you.
*Please note that Coto Academy does not offer visa sponsorship.
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2. Valiant Japanese Language School*
4.5 on Google Reviews
Valiant Language School is another reputable Japanese school that offers Business Japanese courses. Their strongest selling point is their affiliation with the Valiant Management School, an established business management school in Tokyo. Through this, they have accumulated experience in creating a curriculum tailor-made for business Japanese courses. In general, the language school—conveniently just a short distance away from Roppongi Station—offers concentrated lessons from beginners to business professionals.
Their private Business Japanese course allows you to hone your communication skills appropriate for any aspect of the workplace in Japan. The instructors are known to be experienced in teaching advanced courses, and they will give you individual attention based on needs analysis. The course schedule is particularly flexible because lessons are conducted one-on-one, so this is a good option for anyone who’s working but is looking to improve their Japanese for a specific job requirement.
Valiant Language school puts a high priority on practical skills. By the end of the lesson, you are set to be able to navigate business negotiations and communicate effectively in a Japanese business setting.
*Please note that Valiant School Institute does not offer visa sponsorship for its Business Class.
3. Kudan Institute of Language of Japanese Language & Culture
4.5 on Google Reviews
Every year, Kudan Institute accepts high school and college students from 35 countries. Besides the usual Japanese curriculum, the school offers a selection of specialty courses unique from other places, including manga, tea ceremony, and cooking courses. Kudan is also recognized by The Association for the Promotion of Language Education, and they are known to host various extracurricular activities through partnering with volunteers, universities, and local high schools.
Kudan Institute provides an online Job Hunting Support and Business Japanese Course for those who aim to land a job in Japan. There, you will learn all the necessary skills in communication and writing, including using advanced keigo in a corporate setting, writing a resume and cover letter, and making a report and presentation—all in Japanese. You will also practice job interviews, attend to Japanese business phone calls, and receive guides on job hunting. By the end of the course, you will be set to understand the Japanese corporate culture, business manners, and communication.
Because the school aims to groom you to become a candidate as ideal as any other Japanese applicants, you will need a minimum of daily conversation Japanese skill from the start of the course.
4. Tokyo Central Japanese Language Institute*
4.1 on Google Reviews
Tokyo Central Japanese School is among one of the well-established language schools in Tokyo, established since 1998. Based in Shinjuku, the school manages multinational students from 70 countries. They offer both Japanese lessons for foreign students and residents in Japan.
If you have yet to reside in Japan but already have plans to get a job, the Job Hunting Course is a viable choice to acquire an N2 or N1 level of Japanese proficiency under visa sponsorship. For two years, you will be provided with intensive Japanese lessons to prepare you for the JLPT and the acclaimed BJT (Business Japanese Proficiency Test). You will also be familiar with common business Japanese manners. In addition to that, the school provides job search seminars, a guide on entry sheets, CVs, and resume writing, as well as mock interviews.
For those who have resided in Japan, their official Business class is held twice a week in the evenings (weekday) or Saturdays. The core focus for this course is on grammar and phrases commonly used in business. Among many other related skills for job-hunting and business, students will learn business manners and behavior, as well as how to write emails and documents. Online lessons are available, so busy individuals can attend from their offices.
*Please note that Tokyo Central Japanese Language Institute does not offer visa sponsorship for its Business Class.
5. Kai Japanese Language School
4.1 on Google Reviews
Offering Japanese lessons since 1987, Kai Japanese Language School is a popular school amongst students from Western countries. This allowed the school to gain lots of experience in how to teach students with completely different mother tongues that struggle more with learning Japanese than students from Asian countries.
Depending on your level of Japanese and your objectives, Kai has two courses that may suit your needs. The first one is called NBJ Business Japanese Program which is a complementary course for those who are at the advanced level on the General Course. Their main textbook, guides students to overcome the language and cultural barrier and to gain enough communication skills to accomplish business tasks and to become capable workers in and outside of Japan.
The other course that they offer is Business Japanese Training for Corporate Clients and this is aimed at those who are working at a Japanese company. Kai has plenty of experience in teaching business areas such marketing or engineering. It aims to create a training program that helps students build up their Japanese language abilities required by company and communication skills which create interpersonal relationships within the company.
6. Akamonkai Japanese Language School
4.0 on Google Reviews
A popular school amongst students for offering high-intensive courses at a low price is Akamonkai. Located in a quieter and more residential area of Tokyo, Akamonkai has educated over 20,000 students from more than 80 countries. With its access to Nippori Station, this school is perfect for those who want easily explore key downtown areas and sightseeing spots in Tokyo or go to Narita airport to travel beyond Tokyo.
Akamonkai has two unique business courses that will help you to better prepare yourself when job hunting and when working at a company in Japan. Internship & Job Support Class is one of the two courses that they offer and it is the perfect course to get you started in gaining work experience in Japan. Those around the N2 level are eligible for this course and the learning content focuses on Business Japanese, Business IT, Work Experience, and Finding Employment Support.
The second course is called Business Employment Class and this is a bit more advanced than the course mentioned before. This is the right course for those who have a slightly higher level than N2, and are aiming for a job in a Japanese company either in Japan or back in their home countries. Those who have graduated with a 4-year degree are able to attend this course. This program reinforces the learning content from the previous course and aims students to achieve N1 level proficiency level as well as preparing them for the Japanese business scene.
7. Meguro Language Center*
4.1 on Google Reviews
If you are more interested in the speaking and practical aspect of business Japanese, the Meguro Language Center (MLC) is the perfect choice for you. Located just three minutes from Meguro Station, the language school welcomes students from beginner to advanced-level Japanese. What sets this school apart is that they use a lot of their own materials (MLC-produced) and original worksheets and quizzes besides mainstream textbooks. They will interview each student before the start of the course and ask you about your learning experience, objectives, interest, and availability.
MLC is the perfect choice for those who want to focus on conversational expressions in a Japanese business environment. Their online Advanced Business Japanese is held in a small, intensive class of 2-4 students. You will be primarily learning how to use phrases and communicate ideas for the corporate/business environment on a functional and situational basis.
It is important to stress that this course demands a high level of Japanese proficiency from the start (check our guide to advanced Japanese). Learners must have the equivalent of N2 of JLPT and the ability to read 1,000 Kanji characters.
*Please note that Meguro Language Center does not provide student visa in general.
8. Tokyo Galaxy Japanese Language School
3.9/5 on Google Reviews
Tokyo Galaxy Japanese Language School is the next one in our list. They’re very popular for letting students design their own study path to let them reach their own goals and interests. Their Business Japanese Class is one of the top courses in all of Japan and guarantees you becoming a corporate and regional expert in the Japanese market.
Their curriculum consists of rigorous conversation drills every morning from Monday to Friday so that students acquire the practical conversation skills needed for any business situation in Japan. For example, they focus on greetings and introduction at work, communicating with colleagues, conducting business presentations and more. In the afternoons, you have a wide variety of electives to choose, from Business Project Work to Business Debate and Discussion.
Another feature is their Special lessons. Students gain huge benefits from this program as it will help them stand out from other applicants when job hunting in Japan. You would do activities such as Marketing Debate where you would research and debate on a merchandise selection. You would also have field trips in corporations in Tokyo so that you get the chance to meet people and expand your network.
9. Shinjuku Language Institute
3.9 on Google Reviews
Apart from being one of the oldest and most famous schools in all of Tokyo, Shinjuku Language Institute (Shinjuku Nihon Gakko or SNG) stands out from a lot of the other language schools. Their call to fame is their teaching method called Ezoe Teaching Method which has been developed for over 40 years, and has been proven to be effective in improving international students' level in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
SNG offers two unique business courses. The first one, and one of the most popular courses at their disposal, is Tourism Business Japanese. It is perfect for those who have a JLPT N3 level, and those who wish to study the proper way of speaking and learn Japanese mannerisms that are essential to interact both politely and professionally in the service industry such as restaurants, shops, hotels, and more.
The second course offered by SNG is Business Japanese. Another popular course, it’s an intensive, advanced course focusing on Japanese business communication. This is suited for students who achieved JLPT N2 and would like to work at a Japanese company in the country or back home. They focus a lot on business situation role-play, understanding current business and economic topics with newspapers and also train students to be able to speak at meetings and give presentations in Japanese.
Interested in working part-time in Shinjuku? Check our guide on top part-time jobs in Shinjuku article!
*Please note that SNG does not provide a student visa for its Business Class.
10. ARC Academy Japanese Language School
3.4 on Google Reviews
The second school on our list in ARC Academy Japanese Language School. Located in Shinjuku, ARC has been offering lessons to people from all corners of the world since 1986. They pride themselves on having a diverse environment at their school as they accommodate students from over 30 countries with different backgrounds and different learning objectives.
Their business language curriculum is aimed at those who carry a JLPT N2 level and at those who want to work in Japan or in a Japanese company back home. During the first term of the course, you would focus on how to find a job in Japan. For example, you would have classes such as how to write a resume, business email, or Japanese business situation. In the second term, you would then focus on working skills for a Japanese company. Business Conversation or Business Manners is one of the classes that they offer during that term.
Throughout the whole course, you will also focus on JLPT N1 preparation, as it is required from companies that involve speaking with clients. You would also register onto a job database service so that you have a job ready after completing the course.
Choose the Right Japanese Language School
This article is part of our guide on finding the right Japanese language school in Tokyo. We have created a directory of around 15 - 20 schools and we give you the details on who is the right person for that school and feature reviews from students as well.
Additional articles on learning Japanese
Struggling with studying Japanese and not sure what to do? Here we have guides on study tips of the Japanese language!