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Best Japanese Universities for International Students 2021

Looking for the best Japanese universities for international students? Well, here’s a guide about the best university in japan for international students. Read further to know more about it. 

Studying abroad is an adventure that many students look forward to. What better place to experience this adventure than Japan?

Japan is known for producing some of the greatest intellects the world has ever known. This beautiful country boasts of its strong academic reputation and is home to many of the top ranking universities in the world. 

Besides a competitive education system, Japan has a rich culture and a friendly population. For students looking to have a different cultural experience, Japan is definitely a good choice. 

Which is the best Japanese university for international students? 

Our team of in-house experts went to over 30 universities in Japan and rated them on their academic reputation, national ranking, and popularity among international students. We found the University of Tokyo to be the best. 

Kyoto University is a public university located in Kyoto and is the second oldest university in Japan. It has three campuses, namely the Yoshida campus, the Uji campus, and the Katsaura campus.It is one of the former Imperial Universities and was known as Kyoto Imperial University. 

With acceptance rates as low as 10%, getting into a Japanese university is no easy task. But once accepted, be assured that you are in for an experience of a lifetime. 

If you are an international student looking to pursue your higher studies in the country of Sakunas, sushi, and anime, we have put together this list of the best Japanese universities for international students to help you.

Best Japanese Universities for International Students: Quick Summary

Best Japanese Universities for international universitiesUniversity TypeNational Ranking
University of TokyoPublic university1
Kyoto UniversityPublic university2
Osaka UniversityPublic university3
Keio UniversityPrivate university4
Tohoku UniversityPublic university6
Waseda UniversityPrivate university8
Kyushu UniversityPublic university10
University of TsukubaPublic university11
Kobe UniversityNational university14
Chiba UniversityNational university16
University of YamanashiNational university56
Meiji UniversityPrivate research university110
Sophia UniversityPrivate research university 124

Best Japanese Universities for International Students

University of Tokyo

Best Japanese Universities for International Students

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 and is also known as UTokyo and Todai. This university of Japan is extremely well known. 

Besides being ranked as the best university in Japan, what makes this university a good choice for international students is that it has programs taught in English. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

It has three campuses (the Honga campus, The Komaba campus, and the Kashiwa campus) that students transition to throughout their course of study. It is also close to many tourist attractions so students can catch a glimpse of Japan.

Some of the notable alumni are Nobel Prize winners like Yasunari Kawabata (literature), Leo Esaki (Physics), Yoshinoi Ohsumi (Medicine), Field Medallists like Kunihiko Kodaira, and Pritzker Architecture Prize winners like Toyo Ito and Kenzo Tange.

Location: Bunkyo, Tokyo

Estd.: 1877

Type: Public University

Related: Best App For Learning Japanese

Kyoto University

cheap universities in japan

Kyoto University is a public university located in Kyoto and is the second oldest university in Japan. It has three campuses, namely the Yoshida campus, the Uji campus, and the Katsaura campus. Kyoto University for international students is great. 

It is one of the former Imperial Universities and was known as Kyoto Imperial University. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

This university has some of the best laboratories and provides students with hands-on experience, making it an ideal choice for students interested in research.

Kyoto University has a rich alumni that consists of Nobel Prize winners like Hideki Yukawa (Physics) and Susumu Tonegawa (Medicine), Prime Ministers like Osachi Hamaguchi, and Hayato Ikeda,  and Fields Medal winners like Heisuke Hironaka and Shigefumi Mori. 

Location: Sakyo Ward, Kyoto

Estd.: 1897

Type: Public University

Related: Why Learning Japanese is Difficult

Osaka University

university in japan for international students
Source: https://www.osaka-u.ac.jp/en

One of the more affordable universities for international students is Osaka University. It is one of the former Imperial Universities.

It has three campuses, that are in Suita, Toyonaka, and Minoh. It also offers its students 11 undergraduate and 16 graduate faculties. 

Osaka University is known for its highly competitive entrance exam and a low acceptance rate. Osaka University is one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

The university has an impressive alumni that consists of Nobel Prize winners like Hideki Yukawa (Physics) and Akira Yohino (Chemistry) and Crafoord Prize winners like Tadamitsu Kishimoto and Shimon Sakaguchi. Akio Morita, the co-founder of Sony is another notable alumni.  

Location: Suita, Osaka

Estd.: 1931

Type: Public University

Keio University

university of japan,
Source: https://www.keio.ac.jp/en/

Keio University is the oldest university in Japan for higher education and one of the best Japanese universities for international students. Its six major campuses are distributed between Tokyo and Kanagawa. 

The university offers most of its graduate degree programs in English. The faculty of economics (PEARL) program, and the faculty of Policy Management, Environment, and Information Studies, (GIGA) provide their classes in English for undergraduates. 

International students are offered dormitories and many scholarships while attending Keio University. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

The university also offers international students many ways in which they can get involved with the local community.

Location: Minato, Tokyo

Estd.: 1858

Type: Private University

Tohoku University

japanese university admission for international students
Source: http://www.tohoku.ac.jp/en/

Tohoku University is the third Imperial University in Japan. The university has 10 undergraduate schools, 17 graduate schools, and 3 professional graduate schools. 

This university is a good choice for international students because it is more affordable when compared to other universities and also has a decent sized international student population. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

Location: Sendai, Miyagi

Estd.: 1907

Type: Public University

Waseda University

Waseda has been attracting a large number of international students for many years now. It is a private research university and has 13 undergraduate schools and 23 graduate schools. 

It is one of the more affordable private universities and the best Japanese universities for international students. Also uses English as the medium of teaching for many of its programs.

Location: Shijuku, Tokyo

Estd.: 1882

Type: Private University

Kyushu University

Another former Imperial university of Japan is Kyushu University. This prestigious university has been attracting students from all over the world and has an international student population that makes up 13% of the total student body. 

This university is known for its vast international research network and has many notable alumni. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

Location: Fukuoka, Kyushu 

Estd.: 1903

Type: Public University

University of Tsukuba

With a high percentage of its student population being foreign nationals and an affordable fee structure, the University of Tsubaka has become a popular choice for students looking to study in Japan. 

The university boasts of having some of the best research institutes in Japan. It offers its students undergraduate and graduate programs in English and many research opportunities. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

Location: Tsukuba, Ibaraki

Estd.: 1973

Type: Public University

Kobe University

kyoto university

Also known as Shindai in the Kansai region, Kobe University has been providing students with top class education since 1949. 

This university has become a popular choice among international students because it is one of the most affordable universities. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

Kobe University boasts of its world class undergraduate degrees such as law, medicine, science, engineering and much more. It also offers students graduate programs in humanities, health science, system informatics, and international cooperation studies. 

Location: Kobe, Hyogo

Estd.: 1949

Type: National University

Chiba University

Also known as Chibadai, Chiba University is a national university located in the Chiba prefecture. It is known for being the first national university to establish a college of liberal arts and sciences in Japan.

It currently has 10 undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. It also offers its students doctoral degrees in education along with Tokyo Gakugei University, Saitama University, and Yokohama National University. 

This is a comparatively affordable university to attend for international students and has a medium sized student population, out of which around 5% is of international students. It’s one of the best japanese university admission for international students.

Location: Chiba

Estd.: 1949

Type: National University

University of Yamanashi

cheap universities in japan for international students

Established in 2002, the University of Yamanashi is much younger when compared to the other universities on our list. However, it has already made a name for itself as one of the best universities in Japan. 

This university is also much more affordable when compared to other top ranking universities in Japan. Even with a small student population, it has highly competitive entrance exams and graduate programs. 

Location: Kofu and Tamaho, Yamanashi

Estd.: 2002

Type: National University

Meiji University

Meiji University is one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious institutes for higher learning. It’s one of the best Japanese universities for international students.

It has four campuses- the Surugadai campus, Izumi campus, Ikuta campus, and the Nakano campus. It currently has 10 undergraduate schools, 12 graduate schools, and 4 professional graduate schools. 

This university offers students many of its programs in English, making this a suitable choice for international students without Japanese language ability. There are several courses in Japan for foreigners in this university. 

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Estd.: 1881

Type: Private Research University

Sophia University

Best Japanese Universities

Sophia University has a reputation for excellent education and is one of the top ranking private universities in Japan. This is one of the best universities in Japan.

The university has worked hard to make internationalization in Japan possible by offering educational opportunities to the world. It’s one of the cheap universities in Japan for international students.

It has been offering many of its programs in English for over 60 years now, making it a popular choice among international students. 

Some of the prominent alumni from Sophia University are Morihiro Hosokawa (79th Prime Minister of Japan), Tadatoshi Fujimaki (Manga artist and creator of Kuroko’s Baseball), and Agnes Chan (ambassador of the Japan Committee for UNICEF).

Location: Chiyoda, Japan

Estd.: 1913

Type: Private Research University

Best Japanese Universities for International Students: FAQ

Is Japan good for international students?

Besides its high educational standards, Japan is known for its rich culture and friendly locals. For students who are looking for a cultural experience like no other, Japan is a great choice. Japan is also an affordable and safe option for international students.

Which university has the most number of international students?

Waseda university is known for having one of the highest numbers of international enrollments. It offers its students many programs taught in English and also many opportunities for international students to get involved in the community. 

Besides this, The University of Tokyo, Japan University of Economics, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Kyushu University, Osaka University, Tsukuba University, Kyoto University also attract many international students.

Can I study in Japan without knowing Japanese?

Yes, you can. Many Japanese universities offer their programs to international students with English as their medium of teaching.

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