private universities in japan for international students

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

The decision to study abroad is not one to make lightly. However, it’s a beneficial experience regardless of where you choose to go because you have the opportunity to immerse yourself into a new culture. In particular, Japan ranks high on many students’ lists because of all the country has to offer.

Study abroad student walking in Japan

Reasons to Study Abroad in Japan

Before we go into the specific schools to choose from, let’s see why Japan is such a good choice for students who want to study abroad:

1. High-Quality Education:

Japan is consistently ranked in the top 10 countries for education. No matter what kind of institution you attend, from public to private, Japan takes education seriously.

2. Great Food:

Did we mention sushi? Traditional Japanese cuisine is world famous for being fresh, healthy, and delicious. From tofu dishes, miso soup, to the most quality sushi, Japan’s local cuisine has something tasty for every taste bud.

3. Good Job Opportunities:

Japan’s economy has a high demand for foreign workers. That means, upon graduation, if you feel like calling Japan home for longer, you can likely find a job. For example, the demand is consistently high for English teachers.

4. Unique Culture:

Japan is a hub of international impact and culture. From anime to technology, Japan boasts very unique experiences for adventurous spirits!

5. Japan Encourages Students from Abroad:

The government of Japan has a strong interest in welcoming students from abroad. As such, they are focused on making the application process easier for international students and increasing exchange programs with universities around the world.

Best Universities in Japan for International Students

Thinking Japan is the right place for your study abroad adventures?

Check out this list of some of the top Japanese universities:

1. University of Tokyo:

The University of Tokyo is Japan’s first national university. It was established in 1877 and has 10 faculties and 5 graduate schools. Something that’s interesting about the school is that students change campuses throughout their study. For the first two years, they are on one campus, and then they transition to another one in their third year. The campus is a good option for those who want to sightsee around because it’s located close to main attractions.

2. Osaka University:

Osaka University is home to over 15,000 undergraduate students, about 8,000 graduate students and around 2,000 international students. If you attend Osaka University, you will have attended the same school as Sony founder Akio Morita.

3. Hokkaido University:

Initially, Hokkaido University was called Sapporo Agricultural College and was Japan’s first higher education institution to issue bachelor’s degrees. In Japan, it ranks as #7 on the list of top universities.

4. Nagoya University:

Nagoya University continues its legacy of academic excellence and boasts about 33% of Japan’s Nobel Laureates in Science. It comes as no surprise that the university is well known for its research.

5. Kyushu University:

As the fourth oldest university on the island, Kyushu University can trace its history back to 1903. There are over 18,000 students, so if jumping into a big university setting is calling your name, this might be the place for you! Despite the big campus, the student to teacher ratio is still just 9:1.

6. Keio University:

Keio University is Japan’s first private institution for higher education. In 2019, it was ranked as the 10th best school in all of Japan. The school has a great reputation for international research and a diverse network around the world.

7. University of Tsukuba:

More than a third of Japan’s research institutes exist on this campus. There is a strong focus on international studies, with cooperative agreements with North Africa and Central Asia. Interestingly, roughly 70 of its current and previous students have participated in the Olympic Games.

8. Akita International University:

With the word International in its name, Akita International University has 26% international students. The school offers both short- and long-term programs.

9. Waseda University:

Located in Tokyo, Waseda University is considered to be one of the most diverse campuses in Japan. Over 5,000 international students study on the campus, coming from over 100 different countries.

10. Tokyo Institute of Technology:

Demonstrated by its name, the Tokyo Institute of Technology has educated some of the world’s brightest math and engineering minds. 13% of its students are international.

11. Kyoto University:

State-of-the-art laboratories and hands-on training make Kyoto University an incredible place for students who want to perform research.

12. Tohoku University:

Tohoku University led the way into the future for education in Japan by allowing both women and graduates from technical schools to enroll. The university continues to be a pioneering force through its research in next-generation medicine. It’s located in Sendai, which is a huge metropolis with 1 million people.

Reasons to Study Abroad

As you can see, there are a lot of great options of top universities to enroll in Japan for a study abroad program. There are also countless reasons to choose to study abroad. Here’s an abbreviated list of the benefits you gain when you study abroad:

  • Explore the world
  • Expand your career opportunities
  • Network with a global community
  • Develop yourself personally
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Grow independently
  • Take part in new experiences
  • Learn a new language

Alternative Learning – Online Options

While some people may not have the urge to study abroad, they still want to network with people from around the world. Additionally, the costs of studying abroad could pose a hurdle.

As such, an alternative for a unique learning experience is attending online college. For example, the University of the People is an entirely online and tuition-free institution with four degree-granting programs. Students from over 200 countries and territories attend from all over the globe.

The flexibility of the program means that you log on when you want and from where you want to learn. That means you can study abroad from wherever you want and still earn your degree through the University of the People. The only constant necessity is for you to have internet access!

The Japan University Rankings are calculated based on four broad “pillars” (resources, engagement, outcomes and environment) covering 16 performance indicators. They differ from the THE World University Rankings in that they are more focused on what institutions offer students rather than on research data.

Japan is a country that successfully maintains ancient traditions alongside its identity as a nation of technological innovation. This contrast can also be seen in the country’s higher education institutions as they develop their research output and international outreach while preserving Japan’s culture and values.

Top five universities in Japan

1. Tohoku University

Many of Tohoku University’s facilities are built around and within the ancient war grounds of the city of Sendai.

In 1913, Tohoku became the first university in Japan to admit female students after the appointment in 1911 of its first president, Masataro Sawayanagi, the vice-minister of education. Tohoku University was also the first university in Japan to admit international students. 

In 2009, Tohoku University was one of 13 universities selected by the Japanese government to contribute to providing higher education at an international level, and the university introduced a series of degree programmes that are predominantly taught in English.

2. Tokyo Institute of Technology

The Tokyo Institute of Technology is a national research university located in the Greater Tokyo area. 

It is the country’s largest institution for higher education that is dedicated to science and technology. The university is organised into six schools within which there are more than 40 departments and research centres. 

Nobel Prize laureate Hideki Shirakawa, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000, attended the university.

3. The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo was the first national university in Japan when it was established in 1877.

It provides courses across the academic spectrum and has 10 faculties, 15 graduate schools, 11 affiliated research institutes (including the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology), 13 university-wide centres, three main libraries and three institutes for advanced study. 

Students are taught at three main campuses in Hongo, Komaba and Kashiwa, but there are facilities associated with the university throughout Japan. The university has a slightly unusual course structure in that students follow a liberal arts education at one campus during their first two years before transferring to another campus to study their chosen major.

The campuses are in close proximity to many of Tokyo’s cultural attractions including Yanesen, a district of temples, and Ueno Park, with its museums and cherry blossoms. The campuses also have good transport links to the centre of the capital.

4. Kyoto University

Kyoto University is spread across three campuses in Yoshida, Uji and Katsura. It is one of Japan’s oldest universities and is consistently ranked highly in Asia.

Kyoto University has about 22,000 students, 10 faculties, 18 graduate schools, 13 research institutes and 21 research and educational centres.

The university was initially made up of colleges in law, medicine, letters, and science and engineering. Within two years, the university opened a library and a hospital. Later, it established faculties in economics, agriculture and humanities, and the first graduate school was launched in the mid-20th century.

The institution has produced a number of successful researchers, including 11 Nobel prizewinners, two Fields medallists and one Gauss Prize winner.

5. Osaka University

Osaka University has jumped three places from last year to take fifth position. 

Founded in 1931, the university has become one of Japan’s leading universities. It is organised into 11 faculties for undergraduate programmes and 16 graduate schools. 

The university also has six research institutes, four libraries and two university hospitals. 

The Pros & Cons of Study Abroad in Japan

The pros of study abroad in Japan

Once you’ve spent your semester in Japan, having learned to accompany your konichiwa with a bow and getting accustomed to new sights, sounds, and flavors, you’ll have an unfathomable amount of items to list to your “pros.” For now, we’re happy to get you started.  

study abroad in japan
Follow your heart all the way to views like these <3

1. You’ll get to experience umami—and other deliciousness 

When living abroad, you have got to be comfortable with the food choices at the bare minimum. Ideally, you’ll be in absolute nirvana. When studying abroad in Japan, you will be inundated with new and familiar flavors and have no shortage of culinary challenges. Sushi and sashimi are a ubiquitous part of Japanese dining, and the variety of ingredients, shapes, and sizes alone are sure to keep your palette entertained. 

Not a raw-fish lover? No problem! Let’s fry up that fish and those veggies into tempura instead. If you’re more of a die-hard carnivore, then you’ll find happiness in Shabu Shabu, Japanese hot pot. This is a communal dining experience where friends gather together around boiling water, using chopsticks to dunk various meats for a do-it-yourself dinner. Yakitori, grilled meat skewers dipped in teriyaki sauce, might be the most familiar food to foreigners, if you want to ease into the whole endeavor. Oh, and we cannot forget the famed Japanese soups: a light tofu Miso or a hearty, meat and noodle Ramen anyone? Is it just our mouths watering over here?

2. Japan is known for its high-quality educational system

If you decide to study abroad in Japan, it’s worth noting that the education in this country is decidedly esteemed. Whether public or private, primary school or university, the achievement-based system implemented in the Japanese educational structure has produced some serious results. Consistently ranked in the top 10 countries for education, how could you not be excited to begin your study abroad in Japan program? You can spend a summer in Tokyo with Seisen University, or enjoy the historical old city of Kyoto, home to one of Japan’s largest universities.

Study Japanese in Japan to level up your language skills to more than singing along to “Domo Aragato, Mr. Roboto.” Kanji not quite your thing? You’ll love taking classes in business, marketing, and philosophy. There is enough variety of courses to excite and educate both your right and left brains in Nihongo! Just don’t forget to take a cooking class, too. 🙂

3. Getting around is a (speedy) breeze

One of the most challenging aspects of traveling abroad is the transportation. What if you can’t read the signs, or recognize your stop? What if, worst of all, there is no public transit? None of these are concerns with a Japan study abroad program! Transportation within Japanese cities includes trains and busses that are known for their efficiency and punctuality. Translation: you won’t have to wait around on train delays as you’re making your way to class or meeting your friends for Ramen. When traveling between major cities in Japan, this is your chance to ride the famed Shinkansen, the 320 kilometer per hour bullet train. Praised for being both extremely safe and exceptionally comfortable, tickets up and down Japan come in a range of prices and can be reserved ahead of time or on sight, making your weekend getaways that much easier. 

4. Job opportunities make it easy to extend your stay

It’s natural for your international excursion to begin feeling like home after a while of studying abroad. It can be frustrating to return to your native country and not know for sure when you’ll see your international family and friends again. That’s a major perk of the studying abroad in Japan experience: there is a huge demand for foreign workers. If after graduating you decide to make Japan your permanent home, the demand for English teachers is a constant, that typically comes with secure pay and included housing. 

study abroad in japan
Never a dull—or non-photogenic—moment while studying in Japan

If teaching isn’t your passion, you still might be in luck. Unlike some other more rigid-on-foreign-worker countries, Japan has a wide variety of work visas for international individuals, including temporary and holiday visas. Securing a work visa in Japan can still be an intensive process, but the country is generally open to foreigners. 

5. You’ll be constantly entertained

One of the most impervious reasons to study abroad in Japan is the huge cultural impact this country has on the world, and the range of completely unique activities you’ll be able to engage in. If you’re looking to study abroad in a place with flashy, splashy, high-tech and highly influential culture, Japan is your hub. The Akihabara neighborhood is iconic Tokyo: famed as an electric town, this popular tourist destination features scores of stores selling electronics, manga, anime, and video games, encapsulating the Japanese electro techno culture. Famous toys in Japan don’t end with electronics though—Hello Kitty World is just one of the many places across the country you can interact with this iconic Japanese-native. 

The entertainment industry in this country reaches even beyond its celebrated toys. Why not engage in more historic Japan by attending a traditional Japanese Kabuki drama? Japan has also perfected its karaoke chambers to be fully soundproofed, giving you the most authentic rock star experience out there. If that’s not enough to get your adrenaline pumping, then you could attend a Sumo match, or better yet, enroll in a ninja-training course or a samurai class. 

For those of you who are reading and feeling over stimulated by the vitality of this country, don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to slow down in this deeply traditional cultural. Partaking in a Japanese tea ceremony is sure to touch your heart with solemnity, and practicing the art of Zen while visiting a Buddhist temple will calm your mind and your soul. Aside from its flamboyant skyscrapers in city centers, Japan is host to temples, shrines, and castles that are UNESCO World Heritage sites, where travels can pay their respects to the ancient eras that came before them.

6. There are dozens of great programs to choose from

study abroad in japan
One of our favorite study abroad in Japan tips? Do a homestay! 

You’re not stuck choosing between two crummy program providers who have websites that you can barely trust. No, no—Japan has a well-developed infrastructure for hosting international students, giving you dozens (if not more!) potential options to shop for.

According to student reviews and our recent assessment of the best study abroad programs in Japan, your top options include KCP International and CISabroad. If you’re looking for summer study abroad programs in Japan, we’ve got you covered there, too. Program like IES Abroad consistently delivers high-quality programming to international students in Japan.

7. Everything is cute

Seriously. From the decorations on your pens and notebooks to the sheer number of adorable robots and cafes to patron, you’ll never tire of Japan’s cultural obsession with all things “cute.” Enjoy a heavy dose of adorable thanks to the flurry of cartoons, kitties, stuffed animals, red pandas (!), and more. You’ve never experienced a culture of “kawaii” quite like this—and don’t worry—it’s science.

The cons of studying abroad in Japan for college students

It all sounds ideal—what could go wrong? Japan does indeed have plentiful positive qualities to offer, but every location comes with a few unpleasant surprises. We want to prepare you with some of the less appealing situations you can expect, and a few study abroad in Japan tips for ways you can tackle them.

1. That costs how much?!

Study abroad in Japan for college students includes numerous perks — luxurious, convenient, and entertaining alike. There’s world-class shopping and night clubs open until 6:00 AM. There are Western-style supermarkets, elaborate, electronic toilets, and cafes with themes featuring anything from hedgehogs to French maids to robotic performances. If only these things were free! 

study abroad in japan
Be sure to spend time traveling around Japan so you really get to know your study abroad destination.

Japan has an extremely high cost of living and is frequently categorized as one of the most expensive countries in the world. Specialty experiences, like booking a trip to see the Cherry Blossoms, visiting one of Osaka’s castles, or climbing Mount Fuji, could end up feeling like an overindulgent splurge. While this may sound like a downside, this actually makes studying abroad in Japan as a college student one of the most prime times. Your study abroad program will likely make housing arrangements for you, freeing up a little bit more of your pocket money for sheik cafes and purikura pictures—those cute little photo booths that make your skin flawless and turn your photo into a sticker.  

2. The work-life balance… or lack thereof

Although Japan is rife with stimulation and entertainment, the country is known for its diligent, work-centric attitude. From their early school days, children in Japan are taught to prioritize dedication to education above all else, leading them into careers that do not believe in sick days and frown upon vacations. A famous proverb in the country reads, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down”…—overwhelming, much? While we appreciate all that hard work in Japan has produced, we get that as a student studying abroad, this mindset might be somewhat severe to adapt. When studying abroad, it’s important to remember that some cultural aspects won’t be pleasant to us, no matter how long we stay. That’s part of the point, though, right? Taking in the ups and downs is part of the journey of observing and adapting a new culture, and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up some tools that will make the rest of your college experience a breeze. 

3. Feeling, well—different—from everyone else 

For most students studying abroad, every location is going to come with cultural challenges and potentially a language barrier. This experience is likely to be more prominent in Japan than in other places, given the tremendous difference from English in both the written and the spoken language. This could translate to a fun challenge, though—why not enroll in a Japanese script class? You’ll be able to flex your artistic capabilities, delve deeper into the culture, and do something that feels productive and rewarding. 

Language barriers aside, when traveling abroad there is the risk of feeling like an outsider just on appearance alone. This is exacerbated in a homogeneous country like Japan, where having differing hair or eye colors is really apparent. It can feel like a con to be pointed out or stared at—you will be pointed out and started at—and it can create an exhausting internal struggle as well. This doesn’t have to define your experience, though. Japanese culture is friendly and receptive, and more likely than not you’ll receive compliments, praise, and questions about your differing appearance and cultural background. What an opportunity to engage in conversation, learn about their culture, and share a little bit of your own, right?

Next steps to studying in Japan

study abroad in japan
Take all the pictures, try all the things, taste all the noodles

Getting hyped about the pros of Japan and identifying the challenges ahead are perfect first steps, but we’re not done yet! There are several more choices to be made in crafting your ideal studying abroad in Japan experience.

  • Narrow it down—where exactly are you going? Tokyo’s the metropolitan hub with the electric vibe, but Kyoto brings all of its history as the previous capitol to the table. Perhaps you’d like to escape the main island all together, and check out the cities on Hokkaido, if you’re worried about missing some greenery during your study abroad in Japan experience.
  • How long do you plan to stay? Arguably the best way fully immerse and absorb as much of the language and culture as possible is through witnessing all of the seasons and enjoying an entire academic year abroad. This isn’t for everyone, though! Picking a semester or even selecting a shorter summer option are choices that are completely up to you.
  • Pick your focus. Maybe you’re heading to Japan exclusively to finish off that Japanese language major, or maybe you want to take your first look at technology courses. Maybe you’ve got major senioritis and are looking to fill your schedule with something you’ve never tried before—dance, art, women’s studies, food science? 
  • Communicate with your home university. Selecting a study abroad organization that is different from your school is quite common, but make sure you’ve got all the right people clued in. Your academic advisor might have some input about class requirements, and financial aid might be able to point you towards a scholarship! 

How to Study Abroad in Japan in English

First, expectations are on your side. The great part about Japan is that most Japanese people don’t expect you to speak Japanese. (Honestly!) If you managed to squeak out a few sentences before the end of your study abroad, I guarantee at least one person will compliment you on your Japanese.

Most Japanese people are thankfully very friendly, understanding, and will offer to help you if you’re lost or struggling to buy milk, despite the language barrier. All you need is a sense of curiosity, a willingness to explore, and Google Translate.

For years, I had wanted to visit Japan but was very intimidated because I didn’t speak any Japanese. Sure, I’d memorized a few words, read a few books about it, but really wasn’t comfortable speaking or reading in Japanese. Luckily, I learned that even without being fluent, there are still many study abroad avenues that will give you a rich experience, let you see a lot of the country, and make meaningful relationships while you’re there.

And actually, even though my study abroad program in Japan was tailored for students who didn’t speak very good (or any) Japanese, by the end of my summer there, I was much more comfortable speaking Japanese than ever before. Based on my experience, here’s a guide to help you fulfill your dreams of studying abroad in Japan, in English.

Find Study Abroad Programs in English

Don’t speak Japanese? Don’t worry. The wonderful part about Japan’s new-meets-old culture is that English has widely been embraced by the nation. You want to learn about Japanese culture, and they want to teach you!

Not only is it possible to do entire undergraduate degrees in English in Japan, but there are a lot of other ways studying in Japan can happen in English, whether it’s through a university exchange or an English-language summer camp for teens in Tokyo.

If you’re wondering, the cost of studying abroad in Japan in English is comparable to studying in Western Europe. Some academic programs even have scholarships to make it more financially viable.

Here are the three most popular methods of studying abroad in Japan in English: university-led programs, direct enrollment through a Japanese university, and third-party study abroad programs.

UNIVERSITY-LED PROGRAMS & EXCHANGES

Your college’s study abroad office is a wealth of information. The very first thing you should do is sit down with your advisor and see if they have opportunities available to study abroad in Japan. Most universities running study abroad programs and exchanges with partner institutions allow students to experience life abroad while earning credits that transfer back seamlessly to their degrees. If going through your university, it’s always worth checking to see if there’s a scholarship available for your study abroad path. The earlier you check, the better!

As an undergraduate English Media student at Bishop’s University, I spent a semester abroad at Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Japan studying Japanese Culture and Anthropology. There were about 10 other foreign exchange students with me from around the world living in our neighborhood, and together we would go on weekend trips to local landmarks like Kintai bridge in Iwakuni, or Japan’s old capital city, Kyoto. We would also attend the local festivals together with our Japanese classmates, and generally just enjoyed the heck out of being a young, 20-something in a beautiful city.

I made lifelong friends, saw a lot of Japan, and earned 8 credits towards my undergraduate degree. All on scholarship through my university, to boot.

Check with your university’s study abroad office to find what adventures await you.

DIRECT ENROLLMENT THROUGH A UNIVERSITY IN JAPAN

If you’re not happy with your school’s official study abroad program offerings, consider enrolling in a program hosted at a university in Japan. Might as well go right to the source, right?

The legendary Tokyo University ‘Todai’ has a number of undergraduate and graduate programs available in English. This is the real-life school so many fictional anime and manga characters are always trying to get into!19 REVIEWS

THIRD-PARTY STUDY ABROAD PROVIDER PROGRAMS

If you want support, security, and a whole lot of extras, consider going overseas with a study abroad provider. There are many reputable, highly-rated companies available to walk you through every step of the study abroad journey. The extra support these companies provide in English can give you a lot of peace of mind that they can handle any problems that might arise in Japan from the language barrier.

Some of the programs are eligible for college credit, and some are more geared towards delivering an enriching cultural experience. It’s worth checking in with your school to see which might fit your needs.

The nice thing about third-party study abroad providers is that they often have regular cultural outings, like Japanese tea ceremonies, culinary explorations, or other facilitated activities.

You can sometimes find scholarships and grants to help offset costs, but generally speaking, these options are more expensive than a university-led exchange. But, they also have the widest range of programs, and the ability to be custom-tailored to exactly your needs, like if you only want to study abroad for four weeks, instead of an entire semester

Choose Your Location Wisely

Getting by without English in Japan is doable, but it will likely be much easier if you’re living in a big city. In places like Tokyo and Kyoto that see more tourists, there’s a lot more infrastructure for navigating day to day life in English. Cities also tend to have larger expat communities, so if you’re looking to hang out with other English speakers, it’s much easier to do in a place like Tokyo.

That being said, Tokyo can also be overwhelming. Tokyo’s metropolitan area is more than 800 square miles and is home to more than 9 million people. Because there are more expats here, it can also be easy to case yourself off in a little English bubble instead of getting to know the new Japanese people around you.

Smaller cities like Fukuoka or Yamaguchi are also wonderful places to explore Japanese culture, but you’ll find less English signs, and you may find yourself using more hand gestures and translation apps at the grocery stores. Hey — learning how to play charades is a great skill!

That being said, it’s a relatively small country, and nothing is too far away with the benefit of bullet trains, and quick domestic flights if you want to explore another corner of the country on your weekends.

It’s very conceivable that in one weekend you could be strolling through the Golden Pavilion temple grounds in Kyoto one morning, then grabbing a matcha ice cream and board the shinkansen to be in Tokyo Disneyland later that night.

Top Universities In Japan 2019

10. Keio University

As Japan’s very first private institut ion for higher education, Keio University was established by Yukichi Fukuzawa in 1858 in Edo (now Tokyo) as a school for Western studies. It’s currently ranked 10th in the Japan university ranking 2019, and 198th in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings® 2019.

With over 300 partner institutions overseas, Keio is home to world-class teaching facilities and a wide range of academic programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. It achieves its highest score for its employer reputation, followed by the international research network indicator, which assesses an institution’s international research collaborations, and academic reputation.

9. Waseda University

Waseda University is based at the heart of the modern but traditional Japanese capital, Tokyo. This year sees it rank 208th in the world university rankings and ninth in the Japan ranking.

With a near perfect score for its employer reputation, the university already boasts seven prime ministers and a myriad of other leaders within a wide range of career sectors amongst its alumni. As Japan’s most diverse campus (with 5,000 international students from 100 countries), it also scores the highest in the top 10 for the indicator measuring each institution’s percentage of international students.

8. Kyushu University

With a history tracing back to 1903, Kyushu University is the fourth-oldest university in Japan and as one of the largest contributors to higher education in the country, currently ranks at joint 126th in the world.

Standing at eighth place in the QS Japan University Rankings, Kyushu University achieves its highest score for the indicator which measures international research network, followed by faculty/student ratio, and employer reputation.

Throughout history, the university has boasted an alumni of highly-regarded figures, which include Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut, Koichi Wakata; and well-known Japanese manga artist, Masashi Kishimoto (creator of Naruto), among many others.

7. Hokkaido University

Founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College, Hokkaido University was, in its beginnings, Japan’s first institute of higher education to award bachelor’s degrees. It’s a member of the Imperial Universities, a group that comprises some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, and were founded by the Empire of Japan.

Currently ranking at joint 128th in the world and seventh in the Japan ranking, Hokkaido University achieves very high scores across most of the 10 indicators, particularly those which measure international research network, faculty/student ratio, and staff with PhD.

6. Nagoya University

Nagoya University is one of the leading seven Imperial Universities, and was first established in 1939. Over the decades, the university has achieved some of the highest standards in research and accounts for almost one third of Japan’s Nobel Laureates in science.

Ranked 111th in the world and as the nation’s sixth most prestigious institution for higher education, Nagoya University receives the second-highest score in the top 10 for the faculty/student ratio indicator, and a near-perfect score for the indicator used to assess international research network – which is no surprise, given the university’s enduring excellence in research.

5. Tohoku University

As the nation’s third Imperial University and one of the National Seven Universities, Tohoku University is currently ranked 77th in the world university rankings, and was Japan’s first university to admit females and international students.

Ranked fifth in Japan, the university receives excellent scores across most of the 10 indicators, with near perfect scores for those used to assess faculty/student ratio and international research network – the latter reflecting its innovative achievements in technological inventions, including fiber optics and the perpendicular magnetic recording, to name a couple.

4. Tokyo Institute of Technology

With two of its campuses located in Japan’s clean and vibrant capital, and the third situated in Yokohama just 30 minutes away by train, the Tokyo Institute of Technology is one of the world’s leading research universities for practical science and engineering education, currently ranking 58th in the world.

It comes fourth in this year’s Japan rankings, achieving near-perfect scores for six of the 10 indicators, and scoring the highest in the top 10 for the papers per faculty indicator, a measure of research productivity, and the staff with PhD indicator, (joint with Kyoto University).

3. Osaka University

Ranked as the third top university in Japan is Osaka University, which also currently holds 67th place in the global ranking. Having originated in 1724, the university is the country’s sixth oldest university and according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, ranks amid the top 50 universities in the world for dentistry, chemical engineering, physics and astronomy, and natural sciences.

In this year’s Japan university ranking, Osaka University receives excellent scores across most of the indicators, and thanks to its top-notch reputation for research, achieves the second-highest score in the top 10 for both its international research network and academic reputation.

2. Kyoto University

Famed for having educated world-class researchers and 13 Nobel Prize laureates, Kyoto University is one of the world’s leading institutes overall, currently ranking 35th in the world university rankings.

As the second-best university in Japan this year, the institution’s array of notable alumni is highly reflected through its near-perfect score for employer reputation, as well as its perfect scores – and the highest in the top 10 – for its academic reputation and for the indicator used to measure international research network (both joint with the University of Tokyo).

1. The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo currently ranks 23rd in the world, and was the first imperial university. It was established in 1887 and is globally renowned for its prestigious level of academia, having proudly educated an array of successful and notable alumni, including 15 of Japan’s 62 prime ministers and five astronauts.

5 of the Best Universities for Engineering in Japan

Engineering in Japan

Japan is famous for its technological advancement and engineering marvels. Several fields like automobiles, watches, gaming consoles, cameras, etc. are ruled by the Japanese engineering companies. The quality and reliability of Japanese engineering is beyond doubts. For a country producing such good engineers, it is obvious that there exist a lot of good universities providing engineering education. In this article, I am going to write about the top five universities in Japan, ranked according to the Engineering and Technology course offered by them. (Please note that the ranking order mentioned in this article has been decided by referring to the rankings published by QS World University Rankings, 2018).

University of Tokyo

University of Tokyo is the flagship university in Japan. Established in 1877 as the first imperial university, it is one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. The School of Engineering at University of Tokyo is renowned for its ground breaking innovations and research. It houses 16 departments that cover a very broad range of research, from fundamental theoretical studies in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to the development of new engineering technologies. Having the highest reputation in the employment sector, University of Tokyo guarantees that all its graduates bag a very good job after they get their degree. In 2017, University of Tokyo has been selected as one of the three designated national universities by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.  As of 2018, 16 Nobel laureates (including 9 alumni) have been associated with the University of Tokyo.

engineering

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Institute of Technology, as the name suggests, is renowned for its excellent engineering courses. The long-cherished practical science and engineering education allows all students to experience the pleasures of research from an early stage. Students are in close contact with the world’s top researchers. The Institute’s hands-on approach is reflected in graduate employability rankings, in which Tokyo Tech excels continuously. The School of Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology houses 5 departments and the Graduate School of Engineering houses 15 departments. The Faculty of Engineering has a student body of 3175 and a 254 faculty members. In 2018, it has been conferred the status of Designated National University Corporate by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Kyoto University

Kyoto University is one of Asia’s leading research institutes.  The Faculty of Engineering is the largest faculty of Kyoto University consisting of six departments. The Graduate School consists of 17 departments and 7 centres that cover a very broad range of research, from fundamental theoretical studies in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to the development of new engineering technologies. As of 2018, 18 Nobel laureates have been associated with Kyoto University, highest amongst all the universities in Asia. In 2017, Kyoto University has been selected as one of the three designated national universities by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Osaka University

The School of Engineering at Osaka University focuses on the practical applications of the technology, which has seen the results from cutting-edge research put to use in the real world. The School of Engineering has five distinctive divisions: Division of Applied Science; Division of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Science; Division of Electronic and Information Engineering; Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering; and Division of Global Architecture. Each of these divisions contains from one to four departments. The Graduate School of Engineering carries on the free and creative research environment that is a tradition of Osaka University, and has produced many outstanding research results. In 2018, Osaka University has been conferred the status of Designated National University Corporate by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Tohoku University

Tohoku University, located in the city of Sendai, is known for its prestigious research. The School of Engineering embraces “Research First” and “Open-door” as the basic principles, and advocates practice-oriented research and education based on creative researches, and always opens its doors to the world as a research-intensive university. By establishing a global centre of excellence for intellectual creativity backed by vision and professionalism, the School of Engineering aims to solve various difficult problems faced by modern society. The current structure of the School of Engineering for undergraduate program is composed of 5 departments with each department consisting of several courses. The School of Engineering for graduate program is composed of 17 departments, one research institute and three research centres. Teaching and research at the School of Engineering is supported by two multidisciplinary graduate schools and by four Institutes and five Research Centres. In 2017, Tohoku University has been selected as one of the three designated national universities by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Japanese universities excel in the field of engineering and technology. The engineering graduates in Japan are almost certain to find a job in this country, which is known for its engineering innovations. The quality of research and development in the university level is very high. Industry and university collaboration for unveiling new technologies can be seen very often. In the big picture, Japan is one of the most ideal countries for pursuing engineering education.

7 Myths About Studying Abroad In Japan – Busted

Myth #1: You need to speak fluent Japanese.

Some universities in Japan offer courses fully taught in English, as well as language classes to help international students learn Japanese too. At Tokyo’s Waseda University, for instance, seven schools and 12 graduate schools offer all-English degree programs. The university’s Center for Japanese Language is also one of the best and biggest institutions in the country for learning Japanese, so you can jump right into your studies while developing your Japanese language skills in parallel

Myth #2: You’ll eat sushi every day.

You definitely won’t, unless you’re *cough* boring. While sushi is great, easy to find and generally more affordable than elsewhere in the world, there’s so much more to Japanese cuisine. Whether you’re into barbecue or ramen, shabu-shabu or sweets, there should be something to please your taste buds. And for those special occasions, note that Tokyo has more than twice as many Michelin-starred restaurants as Paris…

Myth #3: Studying abroad in Japan is too expensive.

Even at private universities, tuition fees in Japan are usually around US$12,000-18,000 per year – much lower than the international fees typically charged in countries such as the US and UK. Waseda University estimates annual living expenses for students in Tokyo at around US$15,000, including accommodation, food, utilities, books, mobile phone and other costs. And more than half of international students at Waseda currently receive scholarships.

Studying abroad in Japan is also an investment that’s likely to pay off. The strong selection of universities, good employment prospects and high quality of life mean Tokyo is ranked the world’s third best city for international students in the QS Best Student Cities 2016. The combined metropolitan area of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe (Keihanshin) also features, in 21st place.

Myth #4: You’ll be ostracized if you’re not familiar with Japanese etiquette.

This is probably one of the most common, and untrue, myths about living in Japan as a foreigner. There’s a widespread perception that Japanese rules of conduct are so complex that you’re bound to cause offense no matter how hard you try.

In fact, Tokyo’s residents have been rated the most helpful locals in the world according to travel site TripAdvisor, with a friendly and welcoming attitude to internationals. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to understand local customs and traditions – this is, after all, part of the fun of travelling – but don’t worry too much about getting things wrong.

Myth #5: You’ll have to compromise on the quality of your education.

With an impressive 39 universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017, Japan is a leading destination for international study. Waseda University is ranked 201st in the world, and also features prominently in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016. Ranked among the global top 50 for modern languages, Waseda is also in the top 100 for sociology, politics and international studies, and the top 200 for 18 more subjects, including business and management, law, economics, mechanical engineering, chemistry.

Myth #6. You’ll be lonely as an international student in Japan.

The most populous city on the planet and comparable in its global impact to London, Paris and NYC, Tokyo is home to international professionals and students from all corners of the world. Whether you’re feeling homesick or need advice on visa renewals and work permits, your university in Japan will be ready to provide you with the assistance you need. With over 5,000 international students on campus at Waseda University, you certainly won’t feel like the only newcomer to the country.

Myth #7: You’ll run into kawaii robots on your way to a lecture.

Actually scratch that: this one might actually be true. Whether at department stores or the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, you’ll probably encounter a few robots during your time in Japan. If you’re interested in a career in robotics, you might like to know that Waseda University is particularly renowned for its research in this field, having created the world’s first bipedal humanoid robot!

How many Universities are in Japan?

Japan is home to so many outstanding and incredible universities that have recorded breakthroughs at different times.

Alumni members of their institutes have grown to become pioneers of diverse companies and corporations.

So, Japan currently has 780 universities out of which over 80% are private institutes.

Moreso, there are vocational schools and specialized programs for interested students.

What are the English Universities in Japan?

Although the official language of Japan is Japanese, some of their universities also teach in English.

For this reason, international students run to these universities so they don’t need to learn a new language.

Research has shown that international students feel more accommodated in these universities that also teach in English.

Hence, the English Universities in Japan are the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Waseda University and Nagoya University

How many Public Universities are in Japan?

Japan actually has more private universities than public universities.

This is simply because the government encourages individuals to set up education centres where students can learn and grow too.

Hence, a lot of private institutions have sprung up and they have totally outnumbered the public universities in Japan.

Out of the 780 universities in Japan, only 156 are public universities. Therefore, there are 156 public universities in Japan.

What Online Universities are in Japan?

The explosion of the internet market in the late 19th century caused restructuring in many academic institutions.

As people grew more acquainted with the internet, they actually grew a level of dependency.

As more and more students crave to attend programs despite their busy schedules and locations, they get discouraged.

But the story is different today because of online programs which promise ease and access at fixed times.

Universities in Japan have followed the pattern by setting up online schools for students all over the world.

Hence, the online universities in Japan are Kyoto University, Tama University, Tohoku University and Meiyi University.

Best Universities in Japan for International Students | 2022

Japan is well known worldwide for its innovation in machines and engineering. In this decade, they plan to venture into more fields.

Of course, the strength of their innovation grows as their academic institutes grow as well.

Therefore, the best universities in Japan for international students include;

  • University of Tokyo
  • Kyoto University
  • Osaka University
  • Keio University
  • Tama University
  • Tohoku University
  • Ritsumeikan University
  • Meiji University
  • Kyushu University
  • Hokkaido University
  • Akita International University
  • Tokyo Christian University
  • Waseda University
  • University of Tsukuba
  • Yokohama National University
  • Temple University

1. University of Tokyo

Overall Rating: 49.3%

The University of Tokyo is one of the leading research universities in Japan. Furthermore, they offer courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels while conducting research across all branches of academics.

The University seeks to provide its students with a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills.

Furthermore, this University runs undergraduate and graduate programs in addition to vocational and special programs.

University of Tokyo’s acceptance rate is 34.2% and with growing applications, it will reduce.

UTokyo offers student support for all students wherein they can get proper guidance regarding academic problems.

This university’s impeccable record makes it one of the best universities in Japan for international students.

2. Kyoto University

Overall Rating: 49.1%

Kyoto University is the second oldest university in Japan while being one of the best universities in Japan.

This institution has a lot of operations which are geared at building the mind of the student to achieve greater things.

Currently, Kyoto University’s acceptance rate is 37% and with growing applications, it will reduce.

In this school, interested candidates can pursue undergraduate, graduate and special programs in different courses.

Some of their best courses are Engineering, Humanities and Law.

As an international student, Kyoto will offer you a place of learning, research and growth. So, why not take that decision to pick up the admission form today.

3. Akita International University

Overall Rating: 48.4%

Founded in 2004, Akita International University (AIU) is a public university located in Akita City, Japan.

Akita City has a population of about 960,000 who have a friendly culture that promotes access to international goods and services.

Everyone respects Akita for one reason; they prepare the best jollof rice and sake in Japan.

AIU prefecture is respected and embraced for its natural beauty and resources. Because it is located close to a ski area while sitting close to the sea of Japan coastline.

International students usually sway to AIU to study because of their awesome program offers.

To be precise, a good number of international students at Akita University are exchange students.

These exchange students basically take Japanese courses in different undergraduate programs.

During the Spring of 2019, Akita International University welcomed over 150 international students from different countries.

This act perfectly demonstrates their belief in intercultural education which has gained Akita respect and recognition.

Today, Akita University’s acceptance rate is 10% which shows the battle for places in the school.

The school offers programs at different levels. In essence, they offer both bachelors, masters and PhD programs in addition to student exchange programs.

In the same vein, they offer bachelor’s degrees in Global Business and Global Studies, and master’s degrees in Japanese Language Teaching, English Language Teaching, and Global Communication Practices.

AIU as an intercultural university offers foreign language courses in order to help the students grow their language strength.

Its on-campus housing is exquisite as it blends a perfect mix of Japanese and international students.

In Akita, you’re in one of the best universities in Japan for international students.

4. Keio University

Overall Rating: 47.7%

Keio University is a private university located in Japan. Furthermore, it is one of the oldest private institutes in Japan.

This university has a unique learning style which is the foundation of its consistent growth and building.

Today, Keio University’s acceptance rate is 23.7%. Indeed this is a number that communicates their willingness to accommodate students.

As an international student, you can pursue a program in any of their undergraduate, graduate and short-term programs.

Its online school is nothing short of fantastic as students learn and connect to each other simultaneously

5. Waseda University

Overall Rating: 45.5%

Founded in 1882, Waseda University is a Japanese private research university in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Umakuma Shigenobu is the founder of this prestigious institution.

Waseda currently has 36 departments: thirteen undergraduate schools and twenty-three higher schools. As of May 2016, they had 42,860 university students and 8,269 graduate students.

In addition to a central campus in Shinjuku, the university operates campuses in Chūō, Nishitōkyō, Tokorozawa, Honjō and Kitakyūshū. Waseda also operates 21 research institutes at its main campus in Shinjuku.

Today, Waseda University’s acceptance rate is 15%. This rate reflects that Waseda is a dream destination for students.

The Waseda University library is collectively one of the largest libraries in Japan and currently contains about 4.5 million volumes and 46,000 serial publications.

Waseda regularly ranks among the most selective and prestigious universities in the Japanese university ranking.

It is often ranked alongside Keio University, its rival, as the best private university in Japan.

In 2015-2016, Waseda ranked 212th in the world ranking of QS universities.

Waseda is one of the best types of selected Japanese universities to which additional funds have been allocated under the Top Global University project to improve the competitiveness of education in Japan.

In research, Waseda keeps competing at a global level in order to advance human technology.Visit School

6. Tohoku University

Overall Rating: 43.9%

Tohoku University is a Japanese national university. Additionally, it is the third imperial university and one of the National Seven Universities in Japan.

In 2017, the Government of Japan recognized Tohoku as one of the top universities in Japan.

Today, Tohoku University’s acceptance rate is 41%. It has risen by some percentage over the years.

Tohoku has a range of academic programs such as the undergraduate, graduate and special programs. In fact, they offer courses such as Economics, Arts and Engineering.

Interested candidates can pick up the application forms and apply for any of these programs immediately.

In Tohoku, the campuses are all tailored to present the school’s focus which lies in producing quality students.

Hence, Tohoku remains one of the best universities in Japan for international students.Visit School

7. Ritsumeikan University

Overall Rating: 43.6%

Founded in 1896, Ritsumeikan University is a private university located in Kyoto, Japan.

This institution has satellite campuses at different locations all of which are connected to the school.

Today, Ritsumeikan University’s acceptance rate is 36%. It has risen by some percentage over the years.

This University runs a lot of programs from Bachelor to Masters down to Ph.D. and special programs. Furthermore, they run online programs too.

In Ritsumeikan, research is the top priority as they believe it expands the knowledge base of the student.

Conclusively, students have access to awesome facilities for study and also physical exercise.Visit School

8. Meiji University

Overall Rating: 42.1%

Meiji University is a private university in Japan having campuses in Tokyo and Kawasaki.

They are also one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the whole of Japan.

Today, Meiji University’s acceptance rate is 24.9%. This is a fair level when you compare with other institutions of its size.

This University runs a lot of programs starting from the undergraduate to graduate degree and special programs.

Meiji University has an admission guide which gives new students a guideline on the processes and objectives to fulfil.

As a university of class, their courses are taught by world-class award-winning lecturers and professors.

So, as an international student, you can put in an application for an exchange program in one of the best universities in Japan for international students.Visit School

9. Kyushu University

Overall Rating: 40.7%

Kyushu University is a Japanese National University and it is also the 4th oldest university in Japan.

This university has a motto which connotes “Opening the Door to a New Century of Knowledge”.

Today, Kyushu University’s acceptance rate is 42.4%. This is a fair level when you compare with other institutions of its size.

This University runs a lot of programs starting from the undergraduate to graduate degree and special programs. Hence, the Kyushu Univerity tuition fees differ each depending on the program.

Furthermore, English and Japanese are the two major languages students and lecturers use in Kyushu.

The school continues to encourage research and innovation as they seek to reclaim their spot as one of Asia’s best universities.Visit School

10. Hokkaido University

Overall Rating: 38.6%

Hokkaido University is one of the many Japanese Universities. Hence, they’re a member of the Imperial Universities which were the finest research institutes.

Today, their commitment to research and student capacity development remains consistent and continuous.

However, the Hokkaido University acceptance rate which was 35.9% in 2015 has dropped to 34.5% this year.

The increase in applications has however not changed the university’s tuition rate as they are a Government-owned university.

The pride of Hokkaido remains seeing its alumni succeed and this makes them one of the best universities in Japan for international students.Visit School

11. Osaka University

Overall Rating: 38.1%

Founded in 1838, Osaka University is a public research university located in Japan.

This university has three campuses where its students reside, study and perform other academic activities.

Currently, Osaka University’s acceptance rate is 41%. This shows that this school is willing to accept and train students.

There are 24 departments in this university under the 16 graduate schools and two undergraduate programs.

Furthermore, they have six research institutes, four libraries and an astounding 18 research centres.

These numbers show their level of interest and commitment to human capacity development.

In summary, Osaka’s continued effort to progress makes them one of the best universities in Japan for international students.Visit School

12. Tokyo Christian University

Overall Rating: 37.2%

TCU is a world-class evangelical university in Japan; The only evangelical institution accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), an accreditation recognized worldwide.

They offer a degree in theology to students in our ACTS program. This program aims to provide a Christ-centered liberal arts education for men and women in Asia, focusing on the education of the heart and mind for leadership, service, evangelism and mission.

Its program brings together students from all over the world to live, learn and serve with one great objective: Christ is everything and is in everyone.

The Christian University of Tokyo sits in a park-like environment and in a green city near Narita International Airport and downtown Tokyo.

Students can also study different courses. However, this will largely depend on the interest of the student.

Today, the acceptance rate of Tokyo Christian University is 47.9%. Of course, people who are not Christians would not apply for admission.

It’s undergraduate and graduate schools have excellent teachers who teach students’ knowledge and ethics.

The admission requirements for these two programs are different but similar in terms of principles and standards.

Life on campus is amazing, as the administration encourages students to pay attention to their spiritual reach.

Essentially, there are spiritual and academic counsellors who advise and guide students regarding life decisions.

Enrollment at the Tokyo Christian University is affordable, although they still offer scholarships to families in difficulty.Visit School

13. Tama University

Overall Rating: 35.4%

Tama University is a private institution located in Japan.

This university strongly believes in dialogue-driven reciprocal learning wherein their students can solve real-world problems.

Today, Tama University has an acceptance rate which ranges between 80-90%. This is very high and communicates that getting admission is not a very difficult process.

In the same vein, the tuition fees vary per program. The undergraduate, graduate and special programs have different tuition rates.

As a new student, you enjoy a study tour wherein you get to see the educational and research facilities of this school.

Therefore, in Tama, you’re sure of accurate and precise learning which will further improve your knowledge and attitude.Visit School

14. University of Tsukuba

Overall Rating: 33.9%

This is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Japan.

Since their existence, they have sought to become a place where learning and training is the top priority.

In this university, there are over 16,500 students in their 28 colleges. Their colleges have different departments where students pursue their interests.

The main campus of the University of Tsukuba covers over 636 acres of land space. Indeed, this university is large.

In one of their campus branches, they offer graduate programs for working adults in the capital city.

Generally, the University of Tsukuba’s academic strengths lies in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine. Of course, their alumni members are pioneers of diverse innovations in Japan.

Research institutions are littered all over Tsukuba which communicates their interest in continuous learning.

Recently, they established programs in Human Biology and Empowerment Fanatics at their PhD level.

University of Tsukuba acceptance rate is 31.6%. As they introduce more programs, the numbers will eventually change.

Indeed, Tsukuba is one of the best universities in Japan for international students.Visit School

15. Yokohama National University

Overall Rating: 32.7%

Founded in 1876, Yokohama National University is one of the amazing national universities in Japan. In essence, it’s among the top public universities in Japan.

Since its inception, Yokohama National University has remained committed to training students so that they can impact society as well.

This is the reason for which they take time to ensure students get the knowledge they need to move them forward.

Today, Yokohama National University’s acceptance rate is 34.3% which shows the level of interest they have to further the education system.

10 Cheapest Universities in Japan for International Students

What are the requirements to study in Japan?

Undergraduate students will need to show proof of basic education (high school certificate) spanning at least 12 years. Entrants also need to be 18 years of age upon admission.

Apart from these basic requirements, applicants should also provide a copy of his/her valid passport – as well as proof of proficiency in Japanese (or English for English-taught programs)

As for graduate students, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is required. Other documents that may be needed include letters of reference and proof of financial support

Can you study in English at Japanese Universities?

Yes. While most universities usually concentrate on Japanese-taught programs, some institutions offer English-taught programs. One is the University of Tokyo, which is lauded as the best university in Japan. Here, students may take several graduate degrees in English.

Another good option is Hokkaido University, which offers many Master’s programs in English.

Cheap Universities in Japan

1. Kyoto University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Kyoto University was founded as an imperial institution in the year 1897. Apart from being the second-oldest university in Japan, it is also heralded as the second-best institution in the country. Kyoto University is one of the cheapest universities in Japan for international students with a tuition fee of around $4,900 a year.

The university – which has 2 campuses in Kyoto and 1 in Uji – is home to almost 23,000 students. It also has a foreign community of more than 2,000 students (11% of the total population).

At Kyoto University, students may take undergraduate degrees in the fields of Integrated Human Studies, Letters, Law, Education, Science, Economics, Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The same programs are available at the graduate level, with the addition of Human & Environmental Science, Energy Science, Asian & African Studies, Informatics, Biostudies, Global Environment Studies, Government, Management, Law, and Public Health.

2. Tohoku University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Founded in 1907, Tohoku University is renowned as the third Imperial University in Japan. It’s also ranked the third-best in Japan after the Universities of Tokyo and Kyoto.

Currently, Tohoku University has 4 campuses in the Sendai area. The Faculties of Letters, Law, Education, and Economics are housed in the South Kawauchi campus, while Medicine and Dentistry are in the Seiryo branch. The Colleges of Science, Agriculture, Pharmacy, and Engineering, on the other hand, are housed in the Aobayama campus.

This cheap university in Japan has a big student population of more than 17,000 – 12% of which come from outside Japan.

3. Nagoya University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Nagoya University (NU), which was founded in 1871 as the last Japanese imperial university, is regarded as one of the country’s best. Ranked 5th in the World Rankings, it is also listed as the 41st best university in Asia.

NU’s undergraduate faculties are organized according to the studies of Medicine, Law, Engineering, Letters, Science, Economics, Agriculture, Education, and Information Culture.

The same courses are offered at the graduate level, with the addition of specializations in Science, Mathematics, International Language Culture, International Development, and Environmental Studies.https://6d14cf74b5c9d94bfb1a87263b0426d7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Currently, NU serves as home to more than 15,500+ students. It also has a bustling foreign student community, which corresponds to 11% of the total enrollment rate.

4. Osaka University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Founded as the Kaitokudo in the year 1724, Osaka University, one of the affordable universities in Japan, is a designated national institution. It used to be an imperial university back in 1931 before it was renamed as such in the year 1947.

The university, which is ranked 7th in Japan, currently has 3 campuses in Suita, Minoh, and Toyonaka. These branches house the school’s 11 undergraduate and 16 graduate faculties.

Osaka University is one of the many Japanese schools to offer an English-medium undergraduate program. Launched in the year 2011, this project has helped attract many foreign students. They currently represent 12% of the university’s 22,000+ strong population.

5. Kyushu University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Founded in 1903, the former Imperial University is located in Kyushu, Fukuoka. To date, it is regarded as the 8th-best university in Japan. This prestige has helped attract many foreign students, representing 13% of the university’s 18,000+ enrollees.

This cheap university in Japan for international students is known to offer undergraduate programs in the fields of Interdisciplinary Science & Innovation, Education, Law, Letters, Sciences, Economics, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Design, Engineering, and Agriculture. It also offers a handful of graduate programs in the mentioned fields, as well as that of Humanities, Socio-cultural Studies, and Human Environment studies.

6. University of Tsukuba

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

The forerunner of the Tokyo University of Education, the University of Tsukuba was formally established in the year 1973. Ever since then, it has become one of Japan’s finest – even placing 10th in the recent World University rankings.

Based in Ibaraki, Japan, the university specializes in the fields of Medicine, Mathematics, Engineering, Technology, and Science. Apart from these, the university also offers programs in Humanities, Social Science, and Art & Design.

The University of Tsukuba has one of the highest percentages of foreign students – corresponding to 20% of its 16,000+ enrollees.

7. Kobe University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Known in Kansai as Shindai, Kobe University is one of the most affordable universities in Japan for international students. It was founded in the year 1949 and is considered one of the largest in the country. To date, it has 15,000+ students and an international community of about 8%.

Kobe University specializes in several undergraduate degrees, such as Law, Economics, Letters, Human Development, Intercultural Studies, Business Administration, Medicine, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, and Maritime Science.

Kobe University also offers graduate programs in the areas of Humanities, Health Science, System Informatics, and International Cooperation Studies.

8. Chiba University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Chiba University, also known as Chiba-dai, is a national university founded in the year 1949. Located in the Chiba Prefecture, it is home to the Undergraduate Faculties of Letters, Education, Law & Politics, Science, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Science, Nursing, Engineering, and Horticulture.

Apart from these fields, Chiba University also offers MA/Ph.D. programs in Social Science, Humanities, and Education.

Ranked 21st in all of Japan, Chiba-dai has a medium-sized community of 13,000+ students. 5% of these are foreign nationals.

9. Sophia University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

Sophia University is a private research university based in Tokyo, Japan. Founded by the Jesuits in the year 1913, this cheap university in Japan is one of the top-rated Japanese institutions to offer classes in both Japanese and English. Such has attracted many foreign enrollees, which equate to 11% of the school’s 13,511 students.

Sophia’s undergraduate programs are organized according to the Faculties of Theology, Humanities, Human Sciences, Law, Economics, Global Studies, Science & Technology, and Liberal Arts. It also has 10 graduate schools that offer a total of 29 programs.

10. University of Yamanashi

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from JPY 535,800 ($4,910) per year

The University of Yamanashi or Nashidai is a relatively young national university, having been only established in the year 2002. As such, it only has a small student population of less than 5,000 – with foreigners corresponding to 4% of the total.

Despite this young age, Nashidai is already listed as one of Japan’s best. The university makes this possible with its prestigious undergraduate programs in the fields of Education, Medicine, Engineering, and Life & Environmental Sciences.

This affordable university in Japan also offers competitive graduate programs in the areas of Nursing, Education, and Integrated Life Science.

6 of the Best Business Universities in Japan for Undergraduate students

1. Hitotsubashi University

Hitotsubashi University is a national university, something that is not all that common for hosting English-based business programs.  It is also unique as it is the only Japanese nationalized university that only hosts classes in the humanities.  Typically national universities in Japan garner reputation from research done in the STEM fields; the fact that

Hitotsubashi is still highly regarded nonetheless is impressive.  Hitotsubashi University started its internationalization campaign in 1996 from what is now its Center for Global Education and Exchange.  At the time it functioned as a means for internationals to study abroad at the university, and over time has grown to what it has become now, an English-language based department within the university.  Most of the courses focus either on business or economics, with complementary courses in law, Japanese society, sociology, and more.

2. International Christian University

ICU advertised itself as the “University of Tomorrow” when founded in 1949.  Now it is considered one of the most well-rounded liberal arts colleges in the country with a strong emphasis on, you guessed it, internationality.  All professors are required to be fluent in both Japanese and English and all students in the liberal arts programs are taught both languages to at least a business level.  The campus is beautifully located in a wooded area somewhat far from Tokyo’s city center but like many Western institutions host dormitories on campus.  Due to this secluded aspect students at ICU have tenderly given their university the nickname ‘Isolated, Crazy and Utopia’ as students have a flair for the imaginative.  Both Business and Economics are offered as majors with the option and ability to pursue a double-major as well as a major-minor combination.  

3. Keio University

Keio is Japan’s oldest private university and one of its most culturally significant.  It’s founder, Fukuzawa Yukichi, distinctly emphasized independent thought and pursuing “jitsugaku” (実学), practical learning/studies since opening its doors in 1858; not something terribly common in a society where age-old and rigid Confucian learning was the norm.  Today, its rank fluctuates between first and second for Japanese universities with alumni who hold executive positions in Japan’s business world.  In 2016 a new program titled “Programme in Economics for Alliances, Research and Leadership”, PEARL, was created from Keio’s Faculty of Economics.  This English-based program is designed to tackle Japan’s contemporary economic issues starting with the need for a well versed, highly educated and internationally-minded workforce.  Though new, Keio University has been a fixture in Japan’s higher strata for economics education since the country had begun Westernizing over one hundred years ago.  Look to be surrounded by like-mindedly driven individuals and be sure to enjoy Keio’s vibrant social life.

4. Rikkyo University

Rikkyo University has aimed to create a more globalized campus over the past decade or so, and have instituted a new liberal arts program titled GLAP (Global Liberal Arts Program) with this in mind.  Though currently small, the aim is to host about two thousand international students in the future as well as for Rikkyo’s Japanese students to engage more with study abroad programs.  Rikkyo is considered to be one of the “Big Six” by critics, considering it one of the staple universities in Tokyo.  It’s English based program may be new but the university has the pedigree, the funding, and the facilities to grow into one of the best in the city.

5. Sophia University

Sophia University has hosted the oldest English-based liberal arts program in Japan which gained traction immediately during the postwar years with GI’s stationed in Tokyo looking to use some of their GI Bill tuition money.  Since then it has become a staple of the international education community in Japan with a healthy proportion of both Japanese, international, as well as internationalized Japanese students.  The International Business and Economics degree reflects this attitude as the professorial staff combine aspects of both Western and Eastern cultures while mixing in fundamentals in the liberal arts, starting with Japanese language courses and Asian culture and history.

6. Waseda University

Though many consider Waseda to be one step behind Keio in the business world, both of these schools are prestigious and old, both have spawned Prime Ministers, and both are well-funded private schools in Tokyo, none of which are common occurrences in Japan.  Though some would consider Waseda as a stronger school for research and academics in general, Keio is generally regarded as having a more proficient business program, but Waseda is still nothing to scoff at.  Waseda University is, numerically speaking, Japan’s most globalized campus boasting over five thousand international students at any one time.  Internationals are able to apply to seven of the thirteen undergraduate schools but business and economics degrees are only offered at the School of Political Science and Economics.  Students will have the option to graduate either with a BA in Economics or Global Political Economy but all students in this faculty will have to attend classes pertaining to political science to some degree.  Expect a well-rounded education and be sure to explore one of the largest libraries that Japan has to offer.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.