Suggestions for Japanese schools in Tokyo


I’m moving to Tokyo early next year (2020), and wondered if anyone had suggestions for Japanese language schools as I am researching which school to join.

Important things for me are - Small class size and Speaking practice.

I have taken JLPT Practice quizzes for the N5 and think that I am around N5 level.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Meta: Other important factors to consider are where you are living in Tokyo, your schedule, and how much time you want/have to spend in class. Tokyo is vast, and if you are trying to squeeze a class into a tight schedule, location will make a big difference.

I went to Coto Club in Azabu Juban (a branch of Coto Academy) for a few months. I was very pleased and would definitely recommend it.

The class sizes were small. I think the largest class I had was 6 people. Most were 2 or 3. And there were a number of times where I ended up being the only student. The classes I took were almost completely speaking. The teachers were great and all my classmates were all really nice.

I chose their “Club” location because it was absurdly convenient for me, but it did have the downside of not having many intensive or comprehensive courses. Their primary market seemed to be people with limited schedules, so most of the courses available were of a topical standalone-lesson variety (they called them “part time courses”) where you could miss one and not fall behind. e.g. If your schedule let you attend one of the two class times a week, you wouldn’t be in trouble because the classes didn’t really build on each other, and you would only pay for the classes you planned on attending.

That was pretty cool, and worked really well for what it was, but it wasn’t the type of class I was looking for (I was hoping for a 16-20hr/wk of a more comprehensive nature). I tried to compensate by taking multiple classes simultaneously. That was fun, but the lack of continuity was exhausting. Based on my experience – i.e. the positive of the school itself, and the impracticality of overdosing on smaller classes – if I ever return to Tokyo I would most likely take classes at their Academy location and not look elsewhere.


Some language schools provide student visa sponsorship. That is something you’ll want to consider if you want to make learning Japanese your top priority. I kind of regret not making it more of a priority when I first came; but I wanted to save my money and got a working visa. There are lots of language schools and even free classes at local community centers. I have never been to the paid ones but I have heard good things. I think the closer you get to the center of Tokyo the more language schools you’ll find. For example if you look up Japanese Language schools 麻布十番駅 azabujuban eki on google maps then zoom in a little you can see some language schools.

Also if visa sponsorship isn’t needed or you want to consider supplementary lessons you could go to the cheaper smaller schools that don’t provide visa sponsorship. Such as
It is near Higashi-Kurume which has a big Christian International school which has lots of gaijin students most of the parents choose to live nearby so their kids can walk to school. I think this resulted in a cheap Japanese school forming nearby that helps serve the parents needs to learn Japanese. The Azabu neighborhood is very expensive and if you aren’t the kind of person who drives a Ferrari then you will most likely need to commute to those schools. However their are still plenty of schools in Saitama and the outskirts of Tokyo too. A good way too save money is to live in a shared house. Although you never know who you’ll get for a roommate. I tried it once and it started nice but after some roommates from hell (stealing from me, always drunk and partying all night) moved in I decided to never do that again. If you do go for a share house try getting one that serves Japanese and not one specializing in foreigners. Japanese don’t want to act in ways that will cause themselves to be embarrassed in front of their family and friends in Japan. Also you’ll get a more immersive experience.