Read about the curricula, exams and tests commonly encountered at international schools, including the UK and US systems, International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum.
Search for the best international schools in Japan; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
Japan has a well-established international school sector that is centred on Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, with a smattering of other schools across the country. Most expatriate children are educated at international schools, which are also popular with Japanese students. English is the medium of instruction in the vast majority of international schools. Most are coeducational day schools but a small minority offer boarding and there are also a few single-sex establishments and Christian foundations.
There are 103 IB World Schools in Japan, with 65 authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Some schools offer the IB Diploma alongside Japanese, English, Canadian or French programmes. There are also several Christian religious foundations as well as schools serving the Korean and Indian communities.
The Japan Council of International Schools, which promotes best practice in the sector, has 29 member schools and the Council of International Schools has 17 accredited members. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges are also active as accrediting bodies in Japan.
Japanese society is culturally and linguistically homogeneous, and foreign nationals make up just 1.5 per cent of the population. In public schools, which teach in Japanese, six years of primary education is followed by three years of junior secondary and three to four years of senior secondary education. High schools are selective and competition for places is intense.
Education is compulsory from age six to 15 but attendance is virtually universal to the end of high school, while net enrolment in pre-schools stood at 86 per cent in 2019. Japan has more than 1,000 universities and colleges and a very high proportion of Japanese citizens hold tertiary qualifications.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in Japan, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.