In Japan, elementary school (shougakkou) is for 6 years, junior high school (chuugakkou) is for 3 years, and senior high school (koukou) is for 3 years.
Schooling before elementary school, consists of certified child institutions (nintei kodomoen), kindergarten (youchien) and nursery school (hoikuen).
After graduating from senior high school, one can attend university (daigaku), junior college (tanki daigaku) or vocational school (senmon gakkou).
There are two types of schools - public schools (kouritsu gakkou) and private schools (shiritsu gakkou).
A public school is founded by the country, prefecture or city.
A private school is founded by an educational institution.
Private school fees are more expensive than public schools.
The procedures for entering a private school and the school rules, are different to public schools.
Nursery School・Certified Child Institution・kindergarten (0-6years Of Age)
For more details, please refer to the section on “Birth ・Child rearing”
Birth ・Child rearing:http://www.sir.or.jp/en/fls/useful/detail/id=128
Elementary School・Junior High School (6-15years Of Age)
In Japan, the nine years consisting of 6 years of elementary school and 3 years of junior high school, are compulsory education.
Elementary school is for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years of age.
Junior high school is for children between the ages of 12-15 years of age.
Schools that children can attend are decided by the district that one lives in.
Upon completing one year of education at school, children can progress on to the next grade, even if they could not achieve good grades.
There are many schools available for teaching Japanese language and lifestyle to children who do not understand Japanese.
There are no fees for studying at school.
However one must pay for textbooks, school meals and so on.
For children with disabilities, there are schools that have special support classes(tokubetsu shien gakkyu).
Depending on the city, there will be someone to help and offer advice in your native language.
For any enquiries regarding elementary and junior high schools, please ask your city education committee.
In the case of your child being absent from school, please make sure to contact and inform the school by 8 a.m.
At school there several events where teachers and parents meet to discuss children's progress.
- Home visit(katei houmon)
A teacher will come to the student’s home, and discuss the student’s behaviour at home.
- Parent-child-teacher meeting(sansha mendan)
Child, parent and teacher meet to discuss the student's study and life.
- Parents’ day(jyugyou sankan)
Parents go to school, and observe their child in class.
In Japanese schools, there are many times when parents and teachers meet for discussion.
There are also many rules and events that apply only to schools in Japan.
If you have any queries or concerns, please ask your child's teacher.
Senior High School (15-18 years of age)
In Japan, 97% of students graduating from junior high school, go on to attend senior high school.
An exam must be taken, in order to enter senior high school.(koukou juken)
Students who pass the exam can proceed on to senior high school.
There are three kinds of senior high school : full-time(zennichisei), part-time(teijisei), correspondence course(tsuushin sei)
There are also systems to help with financial aid and life, for study.
Please apply for these at the school attended.
Full-time senior high school
Lessons are usually from 8:30am-3:00pm. Student's attend school for three years.
Part-time senior high school
Lessons are usually from 5:30pm-9:00pm.
Part-time senior high school is usually attended for four years. However at some part-time schools, students able to pass examinations, are able to graduate after three years.
At part-time senior high school, it is possible to work during the day and attend school in the evening.
Correspondence course senior high school
Students study at home, whilst keeping in contact with school.
Shizuoka Prefecture Education Committee Office, Senior High School Education department
Persons who have any queries about senior high school, please ask the prefectural education committee.
〒420-8601 Outemachi 9-6, Aoi ward,Shizuoka City
Senior High School Entrance Exam(koukou juken)
Students who have graduated from foreign junior high schools in Shizuoka Prefecture, are not able to take the entrance exam for Japanese senior high schools. In order to be able to take the senior high school entrance exam, one must graduate from a Japanese junior high school, or pass the Test of Lower Secondary School Graduation Certificate(chuugakkou sotsugyou teido nintei shiken).
Test of Lower Secondary School Graduation Certificate (chuugakkou sotsugyou teido nintei shiken)
This is an exam to check if one is at the educational level of a junior high school graduate.
The exam is held once a year.
Persons who pass this exam, are then able to take the entrance examination for senior high school.
Persons eligible to take the Test of Lower Secondary School Graduation Certificate, must be over 15 years of age, by March 31st of the year of the exam.
Please check the date and place of the exam.
- Exam subjects
junior high school level Japanese language, social studies, mathematics, science, English
- Application dates
end of August ～ beginning of September
- Exam date
end of October ～ beginning of November
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports , Science and Technology, Life Study Policy Bureau, Life Study Promotion Section, Test of Lower Secondary School Graduation Certificate Supervisor
TEL:03-5253-4111 (extension 2024, 2643)
Foreign student selection (gaikokujin seito senbatsu)
This is an senior high school entrance exam for foreign junior high school students, who have been in Japan for less then three years.
It is an exam to check their level of Japanese. The exam is in the form of a questionnaire and oral interview.
Students wishing to take this exam, should consult with their junior high school teacher.
Senior high schools that will hold the foreign student selection exam in 2016 (9 schools)
Susono Senior High School (Susono City), Fuji Municipal High School (Fuji City), Suruga Comprehensive Senior High School (Shizuoka City), Ogasa Senior High School (Kikugawa City), Yokosuka Senior High School (Kakegawa City), Totoumi Comprehensive Senior High School(Shuuchi-gun, Morimachi), Hamamatsu Enoshima Senior High School (Hamamatsu City), Hamamatsu East Senior High School (Hamamatsu City),Arai Senior High School ( Kosai City)
Higher Education Guidance
It is possible to ask for information about how the Japanese education system works, and the necessary steps for entering Japanese senior high school. Interpreters are also available. Please enquire to the following places as to availability.
Fuji City International Exchange Lounge FILS
Fuji-cho 20-1, Fuji City
Shizuoka City International Exchange Association (Shimizu Branch)
Shizuoka City Hall, Shimizu Office 2nd Floor Asahi-cho 6-8, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka City
Hamamatsu City Education Committee, School Education Guidance Section, Educational Advice and Support Centre
E Stage Hamamatsu Office 5th,7th Floor Chuo 1chome,2-1 Chuo-ku, Hamamatsu City
University and Vocational School (above 18years of age)
Persons wanting to pursue further education upon graduating from senior high school, go to university, junior college or vocational school.
In order to enter the schools, one must take an exam.
For students who excel at studies or sport, it is also possible to enter some further education schools via the recommendation system(suisen).
The cost and examination for the recommendation system, varies according to the university.
There are schools in Shizuoka Prefecture, which offer foreign education system classes in native language. (Gaikokujin Gakko)
The cost for these schools, and the classes that they offer varies from school to school.
This following is link, leads to a site containing the foreign schools available in Shizuoka Prefecture (as of December 2015).
Native language・Japanese language education
Native language(bogo), is a child's mother tongue- the first language they learn to speak.
It is the language that a child's parents use to communicate in daily.
For children with a foreign parent(s), keeping their native language is very important.
If one can speak ones native language, than communication with ones whole family is possible.
In order to effectively nurture a child's thought process, proper usage of their mother tongue is necessary.
Ones mother tongue is also helpful for a child to form their own self identity and thinking.
NPO Hamamatsu Foreign Children's Education Support Association “Matsukko (Native Language School)”
- Portuguese School
Hamamatsu City Community Cooperation Centre: every Saturday, from 10am to midday, 1:00pm-3:00pm
- Spanish School
Mihouhara Cooperation Centre: every Saturday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
- Vietnamese School
Nanbu Cooperation Centre: every Saturday, 1:30pm-3:30pm
Aichi Prefecture Regional Promotion Section, International
Department “Promotion of Multicultural Coexistence, Education of Native Language Support Book [Kotoba]- Native Language for raising children at home and in the community” (Portuguese, Spanish, Filipino, Korean)
Kansas Native Language Support Study Group
Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, English)
Japanese language schools
Japanese language schools are for overseas students studying Japanese, in Japan. Many people go on to enter university or vocational school after having studied Japanese at Japanese language school for one or two years. Lessons take place daily, and a school fee must be paid. Various courses are available at different schools.
If you wish to do part time work(arubaito), whilst attending Japanese language school, please apply for “Permission to engage in activity other than that permitted by the status of Residence previously granted”, at the immigration bureau.
The following is a link to the Japanese language schools in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Japanese language classes
Japanese language classes are run by international relations associations and volunteer groups.
These classes teach foreigners, the necessary Japanese for daily life in Japan.
It is possible to join many of the classes at any time, and the lesson fees are not so expensive.
The classes are not held everyday, but usually weekly at a set date and time.
The following is a link to the Japanese language classes in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Foreign labour – continual support and training
Persons wishing to live long-term and work in Japan, need to study various things.
It is possible to study Japanese that is necessary for work, for free.
Please apply at the Hello Work office.
The following is a link for the Japan International Cooperation Centre General Foundation(JICE)
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
The JLPT is an exam that checks your knowledge of Japanese language.
The exam takes place twice a year, in July and December.
The exam has five levels, the easiest being N5 level, and the hardest N1a level.
In order to enter a Japanese university, it is often required that you must have passed either the N1 or N2 level of the JLPT exam.
aving a JLPT qualification, will also come in useful, when applying for work in Japan.
Japan Language Proficiency Test
〒100-0003 Palace Side Building 6th Floor, East Core 1-1-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
TEL:03-6686-2974 From 10:00am~17:00pm (closed Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays)