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Do Japanese kids go to school on Saturdays?


Japanese education is known worldwide for its rigor and effectiveness, but do Japanese kids go to school on Saturdays? This article will explore the answer to this question and delve into the reasons behind it.

History of Japanese Education

In the past, Japanese students attended school six days a week, including Saturdays. However, in 2002, the government implemented a new policy that made Saturdays optional for elementary and middle schools. High schools are still required to attend classes on Saturdays, but they have more flexibility in scheduling.

Japanese Snack Box

The Current Situation

Today, most Japanese elementary and middle schools have opted to take Saturdays off. However, some schools still hold classes on Saturdays to make up for holidays or to prepare for exams. In addition, some schools have programs on Saturdays that focus on extracurricular activities or special classes.

The Benefits of Having Saturdays Off

Having Saturdays off can provide numerous benefits for students. It allows them to have more time for relaxation and hobbies, which can reduce stress and improve mental health. It also provides opportunities for family bonding and socializing with friends.

The Cons of Having Saturdays Off

On the other hand, having Saturdays off may also have some disadvantages. Students who struggle academically may miss out on extra help that they would have received during Saturday classes. In addition, students who participate in extracurricular activities may have a harder time balancing their schedules.

The Importance of Education in Japan

Education is highly valued in Japan and is seen as a necessary step towards success in life. This is reflected in the country’s high literacy rates and high enrollment rates in universities.

The Structure of Japanese Education

The Japanese education system is divided into six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, and three years of high school. The curriculum focuses on traditional subjects such as mathematics, science, and language arts.

The Role of Teachers

Teachers play a crucial role in the Japanese education system. They are highly respected and often work long hours to ensure that their students receive the best possible education. In addition, teachers are tasked with instilling values such as respect and discipline in their students.

Challenges Facing Japanese Education

Despite its successes, the Japanese education system also faces several challenges. These include an overemphasis on rote memorization rather than critical thinking, a lack of creativity in teaching methods, and pressure to conform to societal norms.

Comparison with Other Countries

Japan’s education system is often compared to those of other countries such as South Korea and Finland. While each country has its own strengths and weaknesses, Japan is often praised for its emphasis on hard work and dedication.


In conclusion, while some Japanese schools still hold classes on Saturdays, most have opted to take weekends off to provide students with more opportunities for rest and relaxation. However, this decision has both pros and cons, and ultimately depends on individual circumstances. Regardless of whether or not they attend school on Saturdays, education remains a top priority for Japanese students and society as a whole.


– “Education System – Overview.” Japan Society.
– “Japan: Education.” Encyclopedia Britannica.
– “Japan’s educational challenges.” The Japan Times.
– “The Challenges Facing Japan’s Education System.” Wilson Center.
– “Why Do American Schools Have Such Long Hours?” The Atlantic.

What days of the week do Japanese students go to school?

The typical school week in Japan consists of five days, running from Monday to Friday. Although weekends are generally free of school for Japanese children, there are a few exceptions, as some schools still offer classes on Saturdays.

Do Japanese children go to school 7 days a week?

The academic year in Japan starts in April and classes take place from Monday to Friday or Saturday, depending on the school. There are two or three terms during the year, with short breaks in spring and winter, and a longer summer vacation that lasts six weeks.

Do Japanese students get the weekend off?

In Japan, national holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are days off from school for public elementary and middle schools. The academic year is divided into three semesters, each separated by a break.

Does China go to school 7 days a week?

Kids go to school for five days every week, with the specific hours varying based on grade level and location. Generally, classes begin around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning and wrap up around 17:00 in the evening. In China, the school year runs from September to June or July of the following year.

Does Japan go to school 6 days a week?

In Japan, the school week typically runs from Monday through Friday, but some schools also provide additional classes on Saturdays for students who want to excel academically. Due to the emphasis on academic achievement in Japanese culture, many students attend Saturday classes, making it seem like the school week lasts for six days.

Do Japanese students go to school 5 days a week?

In Japan, did children used to attend school on Saturdays? In the past, Japanese children had to go to school every weekday and on Saturdays too. However, now there are no classes on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, and starting from April 2002 all Saturdays will be free for the students.

Recent Changes in Japanese Education

In recent years, the Japanese government has implemented several changes to the education system. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of English language education in elementary schools. This aims to improve students’ English proficiency and increase their international competitiveness.

Another change is the implementation of a new university entrance exam system, which aims to reduce students’ stress and encourage critical thinking. The new system also includes a more diverse range of subjects, such as music and art, to promote creativity and well-roundedness.

Online Learning in Japan

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in education worldwide, and Japan is no exception. With schools closed due to the pandemic, many Japanese students have turned to online learning. While online learning has its advantages, such as flexibility and convenience, it also presents challenges such as lack of social interaction and potential technological barriers.

The Japanese government has also launched an initiative to provide all students with a digital device, such as a tablet or laptop, to facilitate online learning. This initiative aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all students have access to quality education during the pandemic.

The Future of Japanese Education

As Japan continues to face challenges such as an aging population and declining birth rates, the education system will have to adapt to meet changing needs. Some experts suggest that the education system should focus more on developing soft skills such as communication and collaboration, which are increasingly important in today’s globalized world.

Furthermore, with advances in technology and the rise of automation, there may be a greater emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the future. Ultimately, the future of Japanese education will depend on how successfully it can adapt to changing needs and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving world.

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