How to select the Best International School in Tokyo, Japan?


Japan has transformed entirely due to the massive globalization of the education sector. Undoubtedly, there are some of the best schools in Tokyo. It is good to see that you have so many options, but the non-exhaustive list can be equally confusing. Expats choose their residence location based on their child’s school’s location. It can be a tedious process to get admission to an International School in Tokyo. So this blog will help you to make this significant decision for your kid a little more easily.

We know that children are the future leaders, and the better nurturing they get, the better they turnout. As parents, it is our prime duty to cater to the child’s needs and look for an appropriate school for him. This time of the year is perfect to look for a school for your child for the coming year. Because presently there is no hassle of meeting deadlines therefore planning things now will work best for your child.

What is an international school in Japan?

Generally, international schools are those schools that have English as the language of instruction. There are a plethora of schools in Japan. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has some of the best schools, very good infrastructure, and other top notch facilities.

Nursery school and primary school in Tokyo

You will find two types of International Schools in Tokyo. The first category of international schools includes those that are affiliated with the country of origin. It is a perfect choice for students who are staying in Tokyo for a particular time and then return to their home country. The other category includes schools that are more flexible and follow the Montessori education system. 

These schools are more popular among the people of Japan because the Montessori education system is experience-based learning. The number of nursery schools in Tokyo are higher than primary schools and secondary schools.

Secondary school curriculum

There are a couple of curricula available in an international school. But the most common curriculum is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The curriculum is widely accepted all over the world. Students get extra credit if their curriculum is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. 

How to select an International School in Tokyo, Japan :

  1. Prioritizing – Make a list of things you want to prioritize to select a school for your child. Consider academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. Apart from these fundamental requirements, you can look for other factors such as afterschool programs, tuition fees, and transportation.
  2. Location – You should check the school’s location and check whether it is closer to your home. You should consider the aspect if you have to relocate your house? Also think about how your child will commute? You should check if  there is a bus facility in school, or if the  transportation cost is within the limit. You should consider the time consumed in transportation as it may impact the child’s other activities like homework, games, hobbies, etc. If the distance is too much it may have a negative impact on your child as most of their time will be consumed in traveling. So it is better you choose a school near your home so that your child gets time for more activities.
  3. Medium of teaching – Check whether the language suits your child’s growth. Take this decision based on whether your child will move back to the home country or plan to move to some other country. So, if you plan to migrate to some other country, you can choose a curriculum that would make admission to that country’s college easy. Sometimes parents prefer that students learn additional languages apart from English. Then the parents can choose the school accordingly. Instead of spending a hefty amount in separate language classes after school, you can choose a school that provides additional language learning. 
  1. Facilities – Check whether the school has the facilities for your child. Apart from classrooms, take a look at the activity zone, playground and other specific spaces inside the schools. During this pandemic, when generally online classes take place, check whether the school has the digital technology to conduct online lectures.
  2. Safety – It is normal to feel apprehensive about sending your kid to school for the first time, but if the school is safe, your stress gets relieved to some extent. You can ask the school authority about CCTV cameras. Moreover, health safety is the prime concern during this challenging covid period, so, you can also discuss measures taken by the school to prevent the spread of coronavirus inside the campus.
  3. School calendar – You may also enquire about the school calendar they follow. Is it the Japanese calendar or of any other country? It will enable you to plan your vacations, family time, and your availability for your child. You need to check whether it is a morning school or evening school. Because you need to adjust your working hours accordingly so that you can spend time with your child and help him with his homework etc.
  4. Extracurricular activities – Academic study is necessary, but extracurricular activities are equally important. Every kid has a caliber that might not be related to academics. Some students want to become actors, singers, dancers, etc. So to identify those skills and polish them, the school should have a wide range of extracurricular activities. 

If the teachers and parents identify the strengths of the child, they can put them in directional training so that their strengths increase even more.You can ask the school authorities about the number of activities and competitions conducted in a month. This will give you a fair idea of the extent to which the school gives importance to extracurricular activities. You must be wondering why am I giving so much emphasis on extracurricular activities therefore let me tell you the reason. Nowadays, to be successful, students need skills rather than just theoretical education.

  1. Faculty and staff– The teachers should not only be well qualified but also have experience. You should also observe if the other staff members are friendly because if you are getting an admission of your child in a school, there would be a need for consistent interaction between you and the staff members. So, the better the staff, the smoother the process becomes.
  2. The communication mode between parents and teachers– You have to be in touch with teachers to get feedback about your child’s performance, and clear communication between you and teachers will enable a full-fledged growth of your child. So check whether there is any portal for communication? Are teachers and other staff approachable? There are numerous schools that have a separate communication channel for parents and teachers. 
  1. Fee structure – Every parent wishes to get their child admitted to the best schools, but sometimes fees may restrict them. So once you shortlist the schools of your choice, you can make a table and add the school fees. Don’t eliminate schools from the list at this stage if it seems non-affordable. You may find a scholarship in many schools. So more research about scholarships will help you to keep more schools at hand.

First of all, make a list of schools that are located near your home. If you wish to change your location then choose the schools based on the new location. You have the list with you now you can look into the language of teaching. Strike down schools in which language of instruction is not of your choice. You will get a handful of schools now you can look into the other factors mentioned above. 

Are international schools expensive?

International schools might appear to be expensive for many. But do you know that most of the schools provide scholarships? The basis of scholarship is varied, such as academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. It gives a fair chance to all the students with various skill sets to win a scholarship.


Whether you are looking for a nursery school or a secondary school, you have to make the same effort of searching. Google is the best resource for you. The more research you do, the better school you will find.

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