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Do Japanese students go to school 6 days a week?


In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the education system in Japan. One of the most common questions that people ask is whether Japanese students go to school six days a week. This article aims to explore this topic in-depth and provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the Japanese education system.

History of Japanese Education System

The Japanese education system has undergone significant changes throughout its history. In the Meiji era (1868-1912), the government established a nationwide education system based on European models. Education was made compulsory, and schools were built across the country. However, during World War II, the education system became militarized and focused on teaching loyalty to the state. After the war, the government implemented reforms to create a more democratic education system.

Japanese Snack Box

The Structure of Japanese Education System

The Japanese education system is divided into three levels: elementary school, junior high school, and high school. Elementary school is for six years, while junior high school is for three years. High school is for three years as well, but there are also vocational schools and universities for students who want to continue their education.

Length of School Year and Day

Japanese students typically attend school for 240 days per year. The school day usually starts at around 8:30 am and ends at 3 pm. However, some schools may have longer hours or shorter breaks during the day.

Weekly Schedule

Japanese students attend school from Monday to Friday, which means they do not have classes on Saturdays or Sundays. Some schools may have Saturday classes or extracurricular activities, but this is not common across Japan.

After-School Activities

After-school activities are an important part of Japanese education. Students can participate in clubs and sports teams, which meet after classes or on weekends. These activities help students develop social skills and foster a sense of community within the school.

Homework Load

Japanese students have a reputation for having heavy homework loads. While this varies between schools and grade levels, it is generally true that Japanese students have more homework than their counterparts in other countries. This is partly due to the emphasis on self-study and independent learning in the Japanese education system.

Reasons for Not Having Classes on Saturdays

There are several reasons why Japanese students do not attend classes on Saturdays. One of the main reasons is to give students time to pursue extracurricular activities and spend time with their families. Additionally, having a two-day weekend allows students to rest and recharge before starting a new week of classes.

Benefits of Not Having Classes on Saturdays

Not having classes on Saturdays provides several benefits for both students and teachers. Students have more time to pursue hobbies and spend time with family and friends, which can lead to better mental health and well-being. Teachers also have more time to plan lessons and grade assignments, which can lead to better classroom instruction.

Controversies Surrounding Japanese Education System

While there are many positive aspects of the Japanese education system, there are also some controversies surrounding it. One issue is the intense pressure that students face to perform well academically. This can lead to stress-related illnesses and mental health problems. Additionally, some critics argue that the education system does not do enough to foster creativity and independent thinking among students.

Proposed Reforms to Japanese Education System

In recent years, there have been calls for reforms to the Japanese education system. Some proposals include reducing the amount of homework given to students, increasing teacher salaries, and introducing more creative and independent learning opportunities for students.


In conclusion, Japanese students do not go to school six days a week. They attend classes from Monday to Friday and typically have two days off on weekends. While there are many positive aspects of the Japanese education system, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed through reforms and improvements.

Is Japan school 6 days a week?

In Japan, public schools typically hold classes from Monday to Friday, with some also offering classes on Saturdays. Junior high and high schools have six 50-minute class periods each day.

How many days do Japanese students go to school?

In many schools, students bring a lunch box from home, which typically contains food prepared by their mothers early in the morning. This may include items such as rice, fish, eggs, vegetables, and pickles. Japanese students attend school for 240 days per year, which is 60 days more than their American counterparts.

Do Japanese people go to school 6 days?

Although Japanese schools are officially open for five days a week, many schools offer “optional” classes on Saturdays. Education is highly valued in Japan, and very few students choose to skip school on Saturdays.

What countries have 6 day school week?

In the developed world, Israel is the only country where children attend school six days a week.

Do Japanese schools get weekend off?

In Japan, national holidays and weekends result in the closure of public elementary and middle schools. The school year is divided into three semesters with breaks in between.

How long is summer break in Japan?

In Japan, public elementary and middle schools typically begin their summer vacation on Marine Day, which falls on July 20th, and lasts for approximately six weeks, concluding at the end of August.

International Comparison

When compared to other countries, the Japanese education system is often seen as rigorous and demanding. However, it is important to note that there are significant variations within the system. For example, some schools may place a greater emphasis on rote memorization and exams, while others may focus on more creative and interactive forms of learning.

Parental Involvement

Parents play an important role in the Japanese education system. They are expected to be involved in their child’s education and attend parent-teacher conferences regularly. Additionally, many parents enroll their children in after-school tutoring programs or cram schools to supplement their education.

The Role of Entrance Exams

One unique aspect of the Japanese education system is the role of entrance exams in determining a student’s future. High school students must take entrance exams for universities and vocational schools, which can be highly competitive. This puts a lot of pressure on students to perform well on these exams, and some may even attend preparatory schools to increase their chances of success.

Diversity and Inclusion

There has been a growing push for greater diversity and inclusion in the Japanese education system. Historically, there has been a lack of support for students with disabilities or from minority backgrounds. However, recent reforms have aimed to address these issues by providing more resources for special education and promoting cultural awareness among students.

The Future of Japanese Education System

As Japan faces new challenges in the 21st century, such as globalization and technological advancement, it is likely that the education system will need to adapt to meet these changes. Some experts predict that there will be a greater emphasis on teaching critical thinking skills and digital literacy, while others argue that the traditional values of discipline and hard work will remain at the core of the system.

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