Japan is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, divided into four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Honshu is home to Tokyo and many of Japan’s other largest cities, including Yokahama, Osaka and Nagoya. Closest neighbouring countries by sea are China, North and South Korea and Taiwan.
The meaning of the name Japan is "sun-origin", the reason why the nation is known as the "Land of the Rising Sun". Although the country’s territory is smaller than California, Japan is presently the 10 th most populated country in the world, with 127.3 million people.
First record of Japan dates from 400 A.D., when Yamamoto clan controlled family groups in Japan’s territory of today. Influenced by Korea, Buddhism principles were introduced in this period also. Around 1542, the first contact with the West was realised, when a Portuguese ship landed in Japanese waters. From the 12th to the 17th century the nation was led by military shoguns.
Most well-known moment of Japan in history remains the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings during World War II. After many years of conflict, Japan set up a unitary constitutional monarchy in 1947, which follows liberal policies.
From 1970’s to 2010, Japan was the world’s second largest economy. Today, Japan is famous for scientific and technology advance and innovations, especially in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineering, industrial robotics and also for biomedical research.
Japanese society is linguistically and culturally homogeneous, composed of 98% ethnic Japanese, with small populations of foreign workers. Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, is the world’s largest metropolitan area, with a population of 32.5 million people. The literacy rate of the country is almost 100%, the biggest in the world.
Japan is a country of contrasts, preserving old traditions related to the unique Japanese culture, like the Buddhist heritage, and, at the same time, the nation is a leader in scientific research, mostly technology, famous for manufacturing robots. More than 100,000 international students from every corner in the world enrol in Japanese universities every year. Higher educational institutions here focus on academic performance based on innovative and creative ideas, but they also set much value in developing human quality.
Since 1949, there have been twenty-two Japanese (or Japanese born) winners of the Nobel Prize, especially in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry and physics.
University applicants can select between five major types of institutions: Colleges of Technology, Specialized Training Colleges, Professional Training Colleges, Junior Colleges, Universities and Graduate Schools.
One unique aspect about Japan education system is that most universities start their academic year in April. However, there are a few institutions which start the academic year in autumn, mostly universities with degree programmes taught in English.
There are numerous courses that include a variety of fields including medicine, business studies, information and communication technology and engineering and more. Students can join different student organisations that will help them enrich cultural literacy and make international friends.
Most undergraduate and graduate programmes are taught in Japanese and universities require Japanese language ability, level N1 or level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). These levels are equivalent to between 600 and 900 or more hours of Japanese language study.
EJU (examination for Japanese university) is an exam used for testing international students who plan to study in Japan. The test includes Japanese language, science, mathematics, Japan and the World and takes place biannually in Japan and in selected cities outside of Japan. The examination can be written in Japanese or English (except the section on Japanese language).
These are the documents necessary for university submission:
Some institutions may require different sets of documents for submission, so it is best to check the policy for document submission of the university you are interested in.
Find more information about how to apply for a university in Japan.
The number of international students who apply for Japanese universities is on the rise. Students find the warmly welcome offered by educational institutions and the fact that Japan is a leading nation in terms of futuristic technology, engineering or biomedical research, as very appealing and consider Japan an interesting study abroad option.
Higher educational institutions in Japan teach their courses in Japanese with a few exceptions. A few universities offer one or more English courses for masters and PhD level and even fewer universities offer English courses at bachelor level. Especially on graduate level, number of courses related to science continue to rise every year.
Students interested in short time studies at Japanese language schools are allowed to register with a tourist visa. Applicants willing to study full time for more than three months need to apply for a student visa, which can be provided by the Japanese consulate available in any country.
The following documents are required for student visa application:
Some universities may submit visa application documents to the Japanese Immigration Bureau on your behalf.
Find more information about the immigration procedures for student visa in Japan.
Japan has some unique and incredible traditional dishes, one of the most popular that spread all over the world, especially in the West, is sushi.
Green tea is the national beverage of Japan, and plays an important role in Japanese life and culture.
Popular tourist attractions are: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Mount Fuji and the Temple of the Golden Pavilion.