Top 10 Cheapest Japanese Schools in Tokyo

By Daniel Rhys Coleman | Updated January 15, 2020 by Camilla 

This article is part of our guides on Japanese language school in Tokyo.

Choosing the right Japanese language school in Tokyo can be difficult. You’re probably at that stage where you found a school that has the perfect location and has the most interesting, amazing course. You’re picturing yourself completing the course of your dreams, and then reaching an advanced Japanese language proficiency. However, at the end of the day, your final decision will come down to one thing: the price of a course. 

Wondering what schools offer high-quality courses at a cheap price? Here’s a list of our top 10 cheapest schools in Tokyo with reputable ratings that will get your money's worth. 

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1. Japan Switch Tokyo Online and Offline Lessons

Rating on Google Reviews: 4.7

  • Online: ¥1500 / 50-minute group lessons (4 students maximum)
  • Online:¥3000 / 50-minute private lessons

The first on our list, an editor's choice, is Japan Switch, an affordable and reputable alternative to a Japanese language school in Tokyo focusing on conversational skills. Japan Switch offers offline lessons on weekdays from 9:30 to 5:00 PM and online lessons from 9:00 to 1:00 PM.

With experienced and attentive Japanese teachers, this school is the perfect option for beginners to low-intermediate students who want to improve their Japanese speaking skills. Many Japanese courses are intensive, and most of the time, intimidating. Luckily, Japan Switch aims to give a friendly and fun lesson to students.

In addition to that, Japan Switch understands that not many of us have the time and effort to dedicate ourselves to these lessons, so the school is dedicated to giving students a great learning curriculum that focuses on a conversation while being in a relaxed environment. 

  • Offline: ¥3000 / 100-minute group lessons (5 students maximum)
  • Offline: ¥3000 / 50-minute private lessons

They are also a good choice for someone who wants to supplement their self-study routine with friendly teachers and a good curriculum. 

If you want to put in more effort for an intensive Japanese course... 

2. Human Academy Japanese Language School

Rating on Google Reviews: 3.3

  • Online Group:¥1375 / 90 minutes (7 students maximum)
  • Online Private:¥3850 / 45 minutes

Next on our list is the Human Academy’s Japanese Language School. The institution puts a strong focus on the conversation above any other relevant Japanese skill as their main goal is to enable you to converse in daily Japanese. 

While their in-person course is pricier and more intensive (the enrollment fee is 33,000 JPY for a week), their online course is more economical. There, you will learn how to communicate with daily Japanese proficiency in a small group of up to 15 people. In addition to that, the school also welcomes students from 40 countries, so it is a great way to have cultural exchanges. 

The Human Academy also has staff who can speak languages other than English, such as Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean, so you won’t have a hard time navigating through the administrative and technical issue

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1. Japan Tokyo International School 

Rating on Google Reviews: 4.4

6 month course = ¥395,000 | 12-month course = ¥761,500

The first cheapest school on the list is the Japan Tokyo International School with visa sponsorship. As the name states, the Japan Tokyo International School is a hot spot for students from all over the world who are brought together by their love of the Japanese language and culture. 

JTIL’s aim is to help students reach their goals, not only in terms of the Japanese language but also by helping them become global citizens; to build a bridge that connects the local Japanese people with the world. They do this by organizing intercultural events and field trips so that students acquire an understanding of Japanese culture and customs. 

On top of that, JTIL offers great support for those who wish to prepare themselves for the EJU (Examination of Japanese University) and study at a university in Japan or for those who would like to find employment after completing a course.

If you want a school that provides full support with great staff support and scholarships...

2. Akamonkai Japanese Language School

Rating on Google Reviews: 3.6

6 month course = ¥428,800 | 12-month course = ¥778,000

The next one on our list is the Akamonkai Japanese Language School. Established in 1988, they’ve educated more than 20,000 students from 80 different countries. 

Akamonkai has an extensive list of courses that suits the students’ needs at a cheap price, from university preparatory classes to internship and job support classes. This was made possible as the school has teachers who are specialized in each field at their disposal. They also have years of experience in providing and advising students in guiding them on their future career path in Japan.  

If you are serious about wanting to master the language at a faster rate, to potentially aim for higher education or find a job in Japan, and to look for a course that has a high-paced structure, then Akamonkai is the right one for you. With their rigid and strict (but effective) teaching system, you would be spending most of your time outside of class completing homework and reviewing class material so that you can keep up with the high pace of classes.

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3. Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG)

Rating on Google Reviews: 4.2

6 month course = ¥435,000 | 12-month course= ¥800,000

The third school on the list is Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute or the Shinjuku Nihongo Gakko (SNG) in Japanese. Established in 1975, it is one of the oldest and most famous schools in Tokyo. 

SNG is known for its unique teaching style known as the Ezoe Teaching Method which consists of using cards and gestures to make it easier and quicker for students to learn Japanese grammar. After using this method for over 40 years, it has proven to be effective for improving international students' level of speaking, listening, reading, and writing Japanese.

One of the unique features that this school offers is its special courses. They offer 3 different courses: Tourism Business, Business Japanese, and Teacher Training. Those who have an N3 level or higher would benefit from these courses since they can choose a specific area to focus on, and then specialize in that specific area for their future careers. 

If you're looking for diversity and special language programs... 

4. Tokyo Galaxy Japanese Language School

Rating on Google Reviews: 3.9

6 month course = ¥440,000 | 12 month course = ¥800,000

The first school on our cheapest Japanese language school list is Tokyo Galaxy Japanese Language School. Established in 1986, Tokyo Galaxy is very well known for its unique and excellent curriculum. It prides itself on, not only offering a general course but also offering 100 different optional courses where students personalize their study curriculum in order to achieve their personal goals. 

Tokyo Galaxy guarantees courses where students can reach their objectives in terms of academic progression, future employment, or cultural experience. It is important for students to be well prepared for the study path that they choose so that they can pursue their dreams of living in Japan. 

The school’s location is the perfect place for a peaceful study environment. It is located near local businesses and financial centers, as well as next to the historical atmosphere of the Edo era, with the famous bridge as the starting point of the Edo Five Routes and Tokyo Stock Exchange. On top of that, their building is a solid 8-stories seismic proof building that lets students study at ease.

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5. ALA Academy Language of Arts

Rating on Google Reviews: 4.1

6 month course = ¥441,000 | 12 month course = ¥769,000

ALA Academy Language Arts has been offering lessons to students from 30 different countries from around the world since 2009. 

Their main objective is to provide Japanese classes that focus on the different types of spoken Japanese that are essential for all sorts of situations such as survival, business, higher education, and more.

Likewise, they have small classes, with an average of 12 students per class. This is perfect for students as you would get a great deal of the teacher’s attention, you would have plenty of opportunities to practice and speak Japanese, and it is easier for the teacher to take care of each student and address any problem or difficulty that each student would go through.

If your core goal is to find a university or college in Japan... 

6. Yoshida Japanese Language Institute

Rating on Google Reviews: 3.8

6-month course = ¥465,000 | 12-month course = ¥807,000

Yoshida Institute of Japanese Language is next on our list. The school provides a unique lesson curriculum for Japanese learners of different levels, starting from full-time to daily intensive classes. When students finish the advanced course for the long-term program, they will be equipped with high-level Japanese to take N1 and enter a university. 

In addition to taking the JLPT, Yoshida Institute will also guide you through taking the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU), a crucial test most universities and colleges in Japan require—you can think of them like the SAT for ryuugakuseis. 

The full-time course fee might seem considerably high compared to other language schools, but keep in mind that this only applies for the first six months that includes the admission fee. If you wish to continue your language study after the period ends and extend another six months—which is highly recommended, especially if you aim to enter university—the free drops to ¥342,000.

If you want a school with an amazing track record and employment rate...

7. Tokyo Central Japanese Language School

Rating on Google Reviews: 4.1

6-month long-term course not available | 12-month course = ¥813,000

Another language school in Tokyo worth mentioning is the Tokyo Central Japanese School, otherwise known as the TCJ. A word that best describes TCJ is this: ideal. TCJ was established in the quieter neighborhood of Shinjuku, so the location allows students to study with peace of mind but while giving them the opportunity to explore the soul of Tokyo. Comparably, it will be very unlikely for you to feel out of place. Every semester, the school welcomes students from more than 70 countries around Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East, so will immediately feel a sense of inclusivity and diversity. 

Naturally, TCJ’s core focus is its student visa program. Depending on your goal, you can choose from a variety of courses, ranging from university, vocational, graduate, to job-hunting courses. While the target studies differ from one to the other, all of these courses generally demand students to achieve high-level Japanese proficiency to express themselves appropriately. 

The standard courses take around 1-2 years before completion with reasonable fees. TCJ allows students with their sponsored student visa to take the JLPT exam twice for free, and many of the graduates are known to go to prestigious public and private universities in Japan. 

For those looking for a school with many alumni from top Japanese universities...

8. International Study Institute

Rating on Google Reviews: 3.4

6-month long-term course not available | 12-month course = 849,000¥

The International Study Institute has three campuses scattered around major spots in Tokyo: Ikebukuro, Harajuku, and Takadanobaba. The school is known to offer a variety of elective classes, including JLPT, EJU, and job-hunting preparation classes. You will study for around 1 year 3 months up to 2 years. 

Perhaps most noticeably, the Takadanobaba campus offers an exclusive and unique class: the graduate school pathways class and top university preparation class. The first will guide students through writing research proposals for graduate schools in Japan, while the latter is specially designed for students who wish to enter prestigious and target universities. 

Classes are held throughout the weekdays for over 3 hours, each with up to 20 students. The Ikebukuro campus, specifically, has a vocational campus for Japanese students, so international students will have the chance to interact directly if they want to. In addition to that, there are a number of volunteering activities and internships available in ISI, so it’s safe to say that you will get your money’s worth. 

Choosing 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.

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