Frequently asked questions

The following is a list of typical questions asked by people who are contemplating enrolling at our school.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at For an answer to a given question, click the question.

About the school

  • The Japanese Language Institute (JLI) was founded in 1967.
  • Its parent body is the International Education Center (IEC, founded in 1948).
  • In addition to the JLI, the IEC runs Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin (founded in 1945) to provide English education to the public as part of its educational services.
  • As part of its international and cross-cultural undertakings, the IEC organizes such events as the annual International Speech Contest in Japanese (since 1960) and the Japan-America Student Conference (since 1934).

    For details on the IEC’s undertakings

About the instructors

  • They are professional teachers with long experience in Japanese education and a seasoned method of teaching Japanese.
  • Some have authored and published Japanese language textbooks.
  • As a matter of principle, classes will be conducted in Japanese. In the basic level classes, English is occasionally used.
  • The instructors will speak easy-to-follow Japanese in explanation and exercise so as to accommodate the students’ respective levels.
  • The basic level classes will use a lot of materials written in Japanese and English, whereas the intermediate and advanced levels will primarily use materials written in Japanese only.

About the programs

In response to students’ needs, we offer the following programs.

The Regular Program

  • Classes meet five times a week, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
  • You will learn business and practical Japanese in an intensive and comprehensive way, from basic to advanced levels.
  • Putting a stress on the acquisition of communication skills such as conversational fluency, the program also works on developing the students’ reading and writing abilities.
  • Depending on the student’s learning plan and visa, we offer the 2-year General Course (form 6 months to 2 years, student visa required) and the Short-term Course (enroll and renew every 3-month term).

The Part-time Program

  • Classes meet once or twice a week at the students’ convenience.
  • They are offered early mornings, afternoons, evenings and Saturdays.
  • From basic to highly-advanced, we offer a variety of classes, e.g., daily conversation, business talks, JLPT preparations, and current Japanese.

Private and Semi-private Lessons

  • We provide customized lessons according to the students’ objectives, plans, needs and time frames.

We send instructors to client sites for corporate-wide group lessons and private lessons. In such a case, there is a ¥1,200 surcharge for traveling per session (within the 23 wards of Tokyo).

We are sorry but we do not provide such a service.

About the classes

Yes, we offer classes for absolute beginners in all the programs--Regular, Part-time and Private Lessons.

  • The basic level classes in the Regular Program cover hiragana and katakana.
  • In the Part-time Program, you may be admitted to a class above the basic level, depending on your Japanese conversational skills.
  • For the Regular Program, you will have to take a placement test at admission. In addition, you will take a term-end test at the end of each academic term, on the result of which your next level will be determined. Besides the term-end test, there will be periodic tests in grammar, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, kanji, and so on.
  • For the Part-time Program, the instructor will conduct a level-check interview prior to determining your class.
  • In the Regular Program, there will be homework almost every day. Should you find yourself unable to complete it due to your heavy workload, consult your instructor.
  • In the Part-time Program, there will also be some amount of homework so as to reinforce what has been covered in class.
  • In the basic level classes in the Regular Program, you will learn each new kanji in the classroom and practice reading and writing.
  • In the Part-time Program, you will teach yourself at home as a matter of principle.
  • In the Regular Program, since the focus is on the development of your conversational skills of listening and speaking, it will be slightly different from preparations for the JLPT.
  • The Part-time Program offers JLPT prep classes for N1 and N2.

A seasoned instructor will suggest a class appropriate for your study objective and level on the basis of a level-check interview. Upon request, he/she will offer advice on the most effective method of learning.

About the students

  • Most of the students, across the programs, are adults, having already completed formal education.
  • They come from all walks of life: business persons, company trainees, family members of expats, spouses of Japanese nationals, researchers of Japanese culture, and so on.
  • Age-wise, they range from the early 20s to the 50s. In terms of gender, approximately half are male and half female.
  • They come evenly from Europe/North America, East Asia and other parts of the world, thus striking a good balance of geographical distribution.
  • The classrooms serve as a forum for cross-cultural communication and interface of diverse sectors and age groups.

* The student constitution slightly varies, depending on the term.

  • The Regular Program conducts an outing several times a year. The class goes out to museums, life safety learning centers, Japanese gardens, factories, etc., where the students can actually use the Japanese they have studied.
  • The JLI’s sister school in the same building--Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin--has a number of Japanese students studying English. There will be opportunities to interact with them.

About the number of students per class

  • The Regular Program: The maximum capacity per class is 14. On average, a class has about 10 students.
  • The Part-time Program: Conversation classes have 2-8 students each. JLPT preparation classes have up to 18 students each

About tuition

The Regular Program

  • Selection & Placement Fee: ¥30,000 (one-time, at the time of admission) * Not applicable to short-term courses.
  • Admission Fee: ¥40,000 (one-time, at the time of admission)
  • Tuition: ¥199,000/term (3 months)
  • Teaching Materials: ¥4,000- ¥10,000/term (depending on the class)

The Part-time Program (depending on the class)

  • Tuition: Approximately ¥27,000-¥81,000/term (No admission fee)
  • Teaching Materials: ¥500-¥4,570/class (The textbooks will be used over multiple terms.)

Private Lessons

  • For both private and semi-private lessons, the tuition will depend on the hours and place.

You pay for the number of class sessions you will attend.

We accept SAISON CARD, UC, VISA, Mastercard at our office. For online payment, we accept VISA and Mastercard only.

About application procedures

  • In the Regular Program, the application procedures and required documents vary from course to course. Those wishing to study for 9 months (3 terms) or longer shall look up the “2-year General Course” section; others shall look up “Short-term Course
  • In the Part-time Program and Private Lessons, you will submit the application form after your class has been determined on the basis of the free level-check interview.

If you plan to study for 1 year (4 terms) or longer in the Regular Program, you will be eligible to apply for a student visa. When your application is authorized, the JLI will then apply for your Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau on your behalf.

Yes, both the Regular and the Part-time Programs accept students in midstream, barring classes that have already reached maximum capacity. In such a case, you pay for the number of class sessions you will actually take.

We will transfer you to another class commensurate with the level and content of your class. You will pay the balance if the new class has a higher tuition.


  • The JLI is at the center of Tokyo in Shinjuku Ward where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office is.
  • The Yotsuya area, where the school is, hosts Sophia University and the State Guest House.
  • It is a convenient and quiet quarter where residences and shops coexist.

It is a 3-minute walk from Yotsuya Station on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line or Tokyo Metro’s Marunouchi and Namboku Lines.


Contact Us

  • 03-3359-9600
  • Reception Hours: Mon.-Thu. 9:00-19:30 / Fri.-Sat. 9:00-17:00
  • 3minute walk from Yotsuya Station
  • 1-6-2 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 160-0004 Nearest Station Yotsuya Station JR Chuo and Sobu Lines/Subway Marunouchi and Namboku Lines

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