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

What is the Japanese Language Institute?
  • 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).

About the instructors

What are the instructors like?
  • 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.
What language will be used in class?
  • 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

What programs are offered?
In response to students’ needs, we offer the following programs.
  • There are classes 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 12:20 pm.
  • Intensive and comprehensive business and daily Japanese language study from beginner to advanced levels.
  • While emphasis is placed on acquiring communication skills such as conversation, students will also develop their “reading” and “writing” skills in a balanced manner.
  • There are two types of courses depending on the length of study and visa type: the general 2-year course (for students with a college student visa) and the short-term course (taken every 3 months).
  • 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.
  • We provide customized lessons according to the students’ objectives, plans, needs and time frames.
Can I take lessons online?

Yes, you may take lessons online except for the General Course.

Can I take the lessons in my office?

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).

Will the JLI find me a fellow student if I prefer a semi-private lesson?

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

About the Classes

Is there a class for someone who has no background in Japanese?

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

I don’t know how to read hiragana or katakana. Would I still be qualified to join a class?
  • The basic level classes in the Daytime Intensive Program cover hiragana and katakana.
  • In the Evening Saturday Program, you may be admitted to a class above the basic level, depending on your Japanese conversational skills.
Will I have to take a test?
  • 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.
Is there going to be homework?
  • In the Daytime Intensive 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 Evening Saturday Program, there will also be some amount of homework so as to reinforce what has been covered in class.
How will I study kanji?
  • In the basic level classes in the Daytime Intensive Program,you will learn each new kanji in the classroom and practice reading and writing.
  • In the Evening Saturday Program, you will teach yourself at home as a matter of principle.
I am planning to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Will I be able to prepare for it in class?
  • In the Daytime Intensive 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 Evening Saturday Program offers JLPT prep classes for N1 and N2.
I’m not sure which class to take in the Part-time Program.

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

What type of people study at the JLI?
  • 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.
Where do they come from?
  • 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.
Will I have opportunities to interact with Japanese folks other than the school instructors?
  • Daytime Intensive 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

How many students per class?
  • Daytime Intensive Program:The maximum capacity per class is 14. On average, a class has about 10 students.
  • Evening Saturday Program: Conversation classes have 2-8 students each. JLPT preparation classes have up to 18 students each

About tuition

How much will it cost me?
What if I wish to join a class in the middle of the term?

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

Can I use a credit card?

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


Where is the school located?
  • 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.
What is the nearest train station?
It is a 3-minute walk from Yotsuya Station on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line or Tokyo Metro’s Marunouchi and Namboku Lines.

About application procedures

What documents will I need for admission?
Will I be able to apply for a student visa?

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.

Will I be able to join in the middle of the term?

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.

My work schedule has unexpectedly changed. Will I be able to change my program or course and continue studying at the JLI?

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.


Contact Us

03-3359-9600 03-3359-9600
Office hours: Mon-Thu: 9:00-19:30 / Fri: 9:00-17:00
3F Global Study Square, COMORE YOTSUYA
1-6-2 Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo
JR Chuo and Sobu Lines/Tokyo Metro's Marunouchi and Namboku Lines
3-minute walk from Yotsuya Staion

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