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Top Reasons To Study in Japan

Updated on 27 February, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

Why study in Japan? Some of the top reasons to study in Japan include the country’s highly rated educational institutions and universities, including the likes of Waseda University, Keio University, and Kyoto University. There is a steady demand for skilled manpower across several industries as well, with a flourishing job market in the country. 

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Reasons to study in Japan 

There are many benefits of studying in Japan that you should know more about. The major reasons for choosing Japan to study include the following: 

Higher educational standards- 

The biggest reason to study in Japan is its reputed educational institutions. Japan is one of the highest-performing OECD nations in math, reading literacy and sciences, with average student scores touching 529, which is higher than the average score of 486. 94.6% of adults in the country have finished upper-secondary education (those between 25-64 years of age). A big reason to study abroad here is the fact that all universities in the country are under the regulation of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEXT), with global recognition for all degrees. 

Great employment prospects for foreign students- 

Along with the globally acclaimed top universities in Japan, students can also expect a gateway to a fulfilling career ahead. Japan is one of the world’s biggest economies and also houses several leading companies in sectors like technology, manufacturing, and automotive. It offers great employment prospects for international students due to continual requirements of skilled workers in several sectors. Most companies will require fluency in the Japanese language, which students can work on during their courses. Immigration policies are favorably crafted for the benefit of skilled graduates. International graduates can renew work visas multiple times if they remain employed. There is also a points-based gateway towards permanent residency. 

Reasonable study costs and multiple scholarship options- 

Japanese universities usually charge reasonable tuition fees. Some even have similar fee structures for domestic and international students. The Japanese Government also offers JASSO and MEXT scholarships while most universities also have their own merit-based options for 25%/50%/75%/100% waivers. Many private scholarships are also available. International students can work up to 28 hours each week (part-time) during their semesters and this increases up to 40 hours every week during holidays.  

Safety and medical prowess- 

Japan is one of the world’s most secure countries with a low crime rate overall. Tokyo and Osaka are some of the safest cities globally. Japan has also innovated in terms of earthquake-resistant technologies as well. Japan has stringent regulations on food safety and the longest life expectancy rates worldwide. The medical system is top-notch in the country and students will gain access to the same via their national health insurance plan, which is also pocket-friendly. 

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Best universities to study with ranking in table

Some of the top universities in Japan include the following (ranked as per the 2023 QS World Rankings): 

Name of the InstitutionQS World Rankings (2024)
The University of Tokyo28
Kyoto University46
Tokyo Institute of Technology=91
Osaka University80
Tohoku University113
Nagoya University=176
Kyushu University=164
Hokkaido University196
Keio University214
Waseda University=199

Cost of Study

National Universities usually charge 537,800 Yen for the first year, while this is also the same across public universities in most cases. Private liberal arts and science universities charge anywhere around 7,46,200 Yen and 10,49,000 Yen respectively. Average tuition costs for UG programs are approximately 12,40,000-28,30,000 Yen, while this is around 12,50,000-44,00,000 Yen for master’s programs. Doctoral degrees usually cost around 19,000-1,20,000 Yen, depending on the program. 


Some of the top scholarship options include the following: 

  • MEXT Scholarships
  • Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) Scholarships
  • Waseda University Japanese Government Scholarship
  • Japan Foundation of UNU
  • KUAS Undergrad Scholarship
  • Yokohama National University Scholarship
  • ADB Japan Government Scholarship, University of Tokyo 
  • Hokkaido University Scholarship
  • Ritsumeikan University Scholarship
  • Asia Pacific University Scholarship 

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Requirements to study 

Some of the general study requirements include the following: 

  • Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) with evaluation in science, Japanese as a foreign language, Japan and the world, and mathematics. 
  • Japanese (JLPT) and English language requirements (IELTS/TOEFL/PTE). 

Some documents required include the following: 

  • High school diploma/bachelor’s diploma
  • Application fee payment proof
  • Transcripts of academic records
  • Motivation letter
  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Copy of personal ID/valid passport 

Right cities to live and study 

Some of the top student-friendly cities include the following: 

  • Sapporo- The biggest city in Hokkaido, it has several international students and the campuses of Sapporo International University and Hokkaido University, along with many others. There are many tourist landmarks here as well. 
  • Hiroshima- This city has several international students as well, in tandem with the Hiroshima University and other institutions. There is a robust transportation network here including trams. 
  • Yokohama- This city lies within the Kanagawa Prefecture and has thousands of international students as well. There are many institutions nearby including Tokai University, Sophia University, Nihon University and Keio University. 
  • Kobe- This city offers beautiful views and is home to numerous international students as well. It is home to the Japan University of Economics and Kobe University. 
  • Kyoto- This is a city that is home to international students and top institutions like Kyoto University, Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics, Ritsumeikan University, and many others. 
  • Nagoya- This city is another hub for international students and houses leading academic institutions like the Tokyo University and Nagoya University. 
  • Osaka- Osaka has thousands of international students and institutions like the Ritsumeikan University, Kansai University, and the Keio University. 
  • Tokyo- The city is arguably one of the best destinations for international students in the world, home to top institutions and several tourist landmarks alike. 

Cost of living 

The cost of living in Japan can be summed up under the following heads: 

  • Housing and accommodation costs- This can be approximately 12,000 Yen per month for single rooms. Off-campus units may cost approximately 6,000 Yen per month. 
  • Food- This can vary between 800-1,000 Yen. 
  • Travel- This could be close to 10,000 Yen per month. 
  • Utilities- Students can expect to pay close to 10-18,000 Yen per month. 

Stay back options

Students may stay back for a maximum duration of 360 days in the country to find employment. An official letter of recommendation is required for changing the student visa status to undertaking designated activities. The employment or work permit visa depends on the type of work. There are many long-term visas for foreign nationals on the basis of their jobs. Some types include engineer/specialist in humanities/international services, artist, medical services, journalist, and so on. The highly skilled professional visa helps attract scientists, lawyers, and engineers to the country. There are two types of visas with validity of 3/5 years. One can also apply for permanent residence after having met the criteria. Japanese citizenship is also an option. 

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Why Is Japan a good place to study abroad?

Japan is one of the best places to study abroad, on account of its world-class education system, low crime rate, and good infrastructure. Japan is known for highly ranked universities and a flourishing job market.

Is Japan good for study?

Japan is acclaimed globally for its academic and research excellence. Many Japanese institutions hold high rankings in global lists. Japan also offers immense scope in terms of research and innovation.

Which course is best in Japan?

There are several popular courses in Japan including immunology, electrical and electronics, welfare and health, Japanese language and culture, Japanese affairs, food science and technology, and more.

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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