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Is school in Japan free?

Is School in Japan Free?


Japan is known worldwide for its outstanding education system. However, many people wonder whether school in Japan is free or not. In this article, we will explore the topic and provide a detailed explanation.

Educational System in Japan

Before diving into the topic of whether school is free in Japan, it’s important to understand the education system in Japan. The system is divided into six years of elementary school, three years of junior high school, and three years of high school.

Japanese Snack Box

Primary and Secondary Education Expenses

In Japan, primary and secondary education is technically free. However, parents are still required to pay for textbooks, uniforms, and other fees associated with attending school.

High School Expenses

While primary and secondary education is technically free, high school education in Japan is not. Students are required to pay tuition fees to attend high school.


Despite the fact that high school education is not free, there are many scholarships available to students in Japan. These scholarships can help cover the cost of tuition fees for those who cannot afford it.

Private Schools

In addition to public schools, there are also private schools in Japan. Private schools are not free and require tuition fees to be paid by the students or their parents.

Higher Education Expenses

Higher education expenses in Japan can be quite expensive. Students are required to pay tuition fees to attend universities or vocational schools.

Scholarships for Higher Education

Similar to high school scholarships, there are also many scholarships available for higher education in Japan. These scholarships can help cover the cost of tuition fees for those who cannot afford it.

Student Loans

In addition to scholarships, students in Japan can also apply for student loans to help cover the cost of higher education expenses.

Student Work Programs

Another option for students to cover the cost of higher education expenses is through student work programs. These programs allow students to work part-time while attending school.


In conclusion, primary and secondary education in Japan is technically free, but parents are still required to pay for certain fees. High school and higher education expenses can be quite expensive, but there are many scholarships, student loans, and work programs available to help students cover the cost.

Additional Resources

For more information on the education system in Japan and the associated costs, please visit the following resources:
– Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
– Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
– Study in Japan

How much does school cost in Japan?

The cost of schooling in Japan differs depending on the level of education. Parents can anticipate spending around $4,000 for kindergarten, between $17,000 and $73,000 for six years of primary school, between $12,500 and $34,000 for three years of middle school, and between $20,000 and $30,000 for an additional three years of high school.

Do people pay for school in Japan?

Public primary and secondary schools do not charge tuition fees, even for international students. However, you will need to pay for certain expenses such as lunch, school supplies, uniforms, and PTA contributions.

How much does language school cost in Japan?

The cost of tuition for a course depends on its duration. For a full-time program lasting three months, the average tuition fee ranges from 150,000 to 200,000 yen. Additionally, most schools require a registration fee of approximately 5,000 to 20,000 yen and an insurance fee of 10,000 yen per year for long-term programs. This information is accurate as of December 25, 2022.

Who pays for education in Japan?

National funding plays a crucial role in promoting equity in education. Although the federal government in the U.S only contributes 8% of total education funding for elementary and secondary schools, Japan’s national government invests more in this area. In addition to the national government, prefecture governments also contribute to education expenses.

Is Japan cheaper than USA?

To purchase a residence in a city center in the US, the average price per square foot is approximately $335, while in Japan it is around $760, resulting in a 57% difference. Despite this, overall house prices in Japan are generally lower than in the US, especially with the impact of the Covid pandemic.

How long is a day of school in Japan?

On a typical weekday, children are required to attend school for approximately six and a half hours, starting at 8:45 am and ending at 3:15 pm. Additionally, many children participate in after-school activities and some even attend juku, or cram school, in the evenings to further their studies.

International Students

For international students who wish to study in Japan, the costs can vary depending on the type of school and program they choose. In general, tuition fees for international students are higher than those for Japanese students. Additionally, international students are required to pay for their own living expenses, including accommodation, food, and transportation.

Language Barrier

Another factor that may affect the cost of education in Japan for international students is the language barrier. Most schools in Japan teach in Japanese, so international students may need to take language courses in addition to their regular coursework. These language courses can be expensive and may add to the overall cost of their education.

Government Support

Despite the costs associated with education in Japan, the government is committed to providing support for students who wish to pursue higher education. The government offers various types of financial aid and scholarships to both domestic and international students. Additionally, some universities offer their own scholarships and financial aid programs.

Employment Opportunities

One benefit of studying in Japan is the employment opportunities available to graduates. Japan has a strong economy and a high demand for skilled workers in various fields. Graduates from top universities in Japan are highly sought after by employers. In addition, many universities have partnerships with companies and offer internships and job placement services to their students.

Cultural Experience

Finally, studying in Japan offers a unique cultural experience that cannot be found elsewhere. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, learn about its history and traditions, and develop a deeper understanding of its society. This experience can be invaluable for personal growth and development.


In conclusion, while education in Japan may come with certain costs, there are many resources available to help students cover these expenses. With its excellent education system, strong economy, and unique cultural experience, studying in Japan can be a worthwhile investment for those who wish to pursue higher education.

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