Learn Japanese in Tokyo with EF

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About

Learn Japanese among Tokyo’s soaring skyline and fast-paced culture. EF's interactive, participation based courses will ensure that you are not just learning the language, but living it too! Practice your with locals in the trendy shops and sushi bars of the Shibuya District – where our course center is located.

At EF, can decide when you want to study, how long you'll stay, and what you'd like to focus on. You can personalize your course with Special Interest Classes like Japanese Calligraphy, Music, Manga, and Exam Preparation (JLPT). Earn transferable college credit for any course 4 weeks or longer, allowing you to make the most of your time abroad.

Our Japanese courses are recognized by The University of Montana, our partner in education.

Highlights
  • Study from 2 weeks up to a full year, start any Monday.
  • Located in the most famous intersection in the world, Shibuya Tower.
  • Top activities include Anime & Manga Tours, picnics under the Cherry Blossoms in Yoyogi Park, karaoke parties, visits to the Meiji Shrine, and weekend trips to Korea.

Popular Programs

Make maximum progress during your stay abroad. Highly recommended for students who need to learn a language as quickly as possible for academic or professional reasons.

This carefully composed course of 26 weekly lessons (total tuition time of 17 hours and 20 minutes), held in the morning and afternoon, is designed to help you move up one course level every six weeks.

Combine plenty of free time abroad with 20 morning and afternoon language lessons a week (total tuition time of 13 hours and 20 minutes) – combining General Language Lessons, Project Sessions and Lecture Sessions.

Questions & Answers

Hey Gustav! At any EF school we use a mix of materials that includes books, worksheets, learning apps, and other digital material, unique to EF. Everything you need will be provided for you at school but we suggest bringing a laptop or iPad. Let us know if you have any more questions by emails ILS@ef.com.

Hi Ahmed! A monthly pass costs about 10,000 Yen per month ($90 USD) or less, depending on which neighborhood you live on. The metro is very efficient, reliable, and easy to use. The EF school staff will help you buy a pass at a student rate!

Hi! I will let our students share their own host family experiences but can take the commute question! The average EF host family is 60 minutes away from school. This is an average commuting time for residents of Tokyo. Our school is located in the popular Shibuya Crossing (that famous busy intersection) so the perfect jumping off point for exploring the city!

Hi Rihanna! Thanks for your interest in EF! You will actually take class at EF Tokyo, our language immersion school, located in the amazing Shibuya Tower. You can take a tour here: https://youtu.be/UC_Kygz4yEw Our classes are taught by native language speaking teachers trained in our teaching methodology, which means the classes are interactive and completely immersive - no English in school...

Reviews

9.37 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
  • Instruction 7.3
  • Support 7.8
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 6.8
  • Value 5.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 19
Default avatar
Andrea
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Really Great Time

I went with EF for 6 months to Tokyo in Japan and I had a great time. Japan is an interesting country with many beautiful sites to see with a beautiful language and culture to learn about. Since I was there when Corona broke out, I did not go to all the places I wanted and many things did change/happen, but the school can't be blamed for that.
Overall, even with Corona, I had a very smooth trip.

School:
The teachers at the school are very good at what they do. The classes are immersion style classes so the class is conducted fully in Japanese which can take some time getting used to if you are an absolute beginner, but the teachers, staff and the other students are extremely helpful and friendly if you need help. The teachers also make an effort to plan activities that are more interactive so you do not just have to sit and listen for an extended amount of time (but there are some days where that is the case). The other school staff also are very friendly and can all speak English so if you are having a hard time or something is bothering you, you are able to speak to them comfortably.

Accommodation:
I personally decided to live at the Residence instead of a host family. The residence is not owned by EF instead EF works with the residence to reserve rooms for EF students. Due to this, you get to meet many different people if you live there as other foreigners live there as well as native Japanese. I found the residence to be a lot of fun as you are surrounded by your friends and you have as much freedom as you want. The RAs are very helpful if you have any issues regarding residency. The downside, however, is that you do everything by yourself like buy or cook your own meals, buy your own bath products, clean up after yourself, etc so I would recommend the residence for those that are able to take care of themselves. Another thing to note is that it is sometimes to connect with the native Japanese that live there due to language and culture barrier, but eventually they warm up to you if you keep trying.

Activities:
Tokyo is a busy and exciting city so there was always somewhere to go, something new to see, or something new to try. The school also has activities planned everyday and those range from TeamLabs museum to visiting the shrine from "Your Name" so I would recommend trying to go to those if you are interested. Outside of those, the upper class men usually can recommend places to go to or you can just grab your friends and go spontaneously.

People:
All the students and school staff are so open and friendly. It is very easy to make friends with others even if you are more introverted. Also most students are from different countries around the world so you are able to learn a lot about different cultures along with Japanese culture. Japanese people can be a bit cold and standoffish which is just how their culture is sometimes, but mostly they will be nice to you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Don't be afraid to be friendly. All the students there are in the same boat as you; they are in a foreign country where they probably don't know anyone. Due to this, all the students are willing to be your friend if you are simply just go up to them and talk. Most students speak English so that is not an issue most of the time.
2. Accept the culture. Japanese culture is very different from Western culture and many western people I knew struggled to adjust to the difference. In my experience, I think if you are just open minded and more easy going when it comes to accepting cultural differences then your trip becomes more fun.
3. Don't be afraid to try new things, New country, new people, new activities so don't be scared to try new things whether that be skiing in Nagano or trying natto.
Default avatar
Kevin
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good experience overall

I studied at EF Tokyo over the summer for three weeks. Compared to other language schools in Tokyo, EF is egregiously overpriced. For the price you pay for a month at EF, you could get 2-3 months at another school of equal or better quality.

Riisa-sensei, my teacher for two weeks, was fantastic. Some other teachers seemed inexperienced, but teaching quality for the most part was good. My class moved through material at an extremely slow pace, however, so don't come to EF if your goal is to learn as much Japanese as you can.

Activities were alright. Most of them are not free. You pay for them using "activity credits" that you purchase. These activities range from museum visits to weekend trips, and are usually quite pricey.

I stayed in the "EF Residence" in Tama-plaza. Please be aware that EF does not own this building -- it's a share-house with rooms that can be rented by anyone. The quality of the accommodation was quite poor. I stayed in a bunk bed room that only had one tiny desk and one dresser for both my roommate and I. When I arrived, my bed was dirty and had food scraps on it. Thankfully, I didn't spend much time in my room.

The best part of EF was the people I met -- I made great friends with like-minded people from all over the world, some of which I still keep in contact with. With the friends I made from EF, I went on a weekend trip to Kyoto and climbed Mt. Fuji. I will forever cherish the memories I made in Tokyo last summer.

Despite its shortcomings, EF Tokyo is a good way to get your first taste of Japan. However, I would look at other programs with better value is the cost is too high.

Default avatar
Connie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Japanese in Japan

I have always been interested in Japan, both in the language and its culture. I discovered anime in elementary school and have been hooked ever since and I was able to take Japanese classes for four years at my highschool but I wanted to become fluent so I convinced my parents to let me study abraod in Japan in the summer of my Junior year. It was honestly the best summer of my life. I met so many people from all over the world who shared the same interest as me and I became so close with my roommate and a few other guys in the program and the four of us went around Tokyo together for the time we were there. The experience of being alone in a foreign country may be a bit scary and too much but it is honestly great once you get used to it. I went with knowledge on the language but my roommate and my other friends went with absolutely no knowledge, maybe a couple of words from anime but that's all and they were able to adapt just fine. This program also set me up with an extremely nice and welcoming family just outside of the city and I had an amazing experience there. The best part about Japan is the food, it was just amazing. Where I'm from, 7-11 is a cheap snack store that's usually always empty but in Japan, it is totally different. The 7-11s there have so much variety in their foods, they have boxed lunches that taste great and onigiri in so many different flavors and so many different types of ramen. I go to a 7-11 near my host family every morning to grab breakfast which usually consists of a bottled milk tea and one or two onigiris, usually salmon. I would often go to the Family Mart (another convenience store) for lunch at the EF campus. Restaurants in Japan are also so cool, there are conveyor belt sushis and it is super delicious and affordable. Japan also have amazing places filled with trendy fashion stores and sweets like Harajuku. It was amazingly crowded I literally got pushed around the street because the crowd was moving me forward. It was a very different but fun experience. Beware though, the trains during rush hour in the morning and in the evenings are crazy, I honestly was squished from all sides every morning when I go to class and every evening when I go home. This program is definitely worth it if you want to learn a language in a country you've never been to before.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel like it would be better if students were able to choose their host family or at least the location of their host family because I got placed in a place an hour away from the campus. I'm not complaining because the family was great and super nice compared to stories I've heard from my friends but it would just be nice to have a bit more knowledge and a little choice.
Default avatar
Dametria
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Not Happy

I really wanted to study abroad and take the JLPT. I was told I would be placed in a class with other adults, I was not. I was told I would not be living far from the school, I was a 1hr and 20mins away. I was told I would be living with a Japanese family, I did not. I was told I would be able to take the JLPT and take prep courses for it, I wasn’t. The courses are fine I guess if you already know some japanese, don’t mind speed courses and are a college kid burning your school vacation. My teacher did not speak English well so answering her students questions was often difficult. Leaving many of us to change classes or be confused most of class. There are NO classes for adults at this location, only immature teens and young adults. So if you prefer to take classes with working professionals or atleast people 30 and older forget it. A lot of things weren’t explained to me upon signing up and I didn’t realize this until after a few weeks in so I wasn’t pleased with quite a few things. Not to mention once I was done with the program the administration and agents that signed me up seemed wash their hands of me and not respond to my questions.

What would you improve about this program?
Please be upfront with your students and their families about what can be provided and why can I be provided with the program. This program cost a lot of money to go halfway across the world and be disappointed.
Response from EF International Language Campuses

Hello Dametria,

Thank you for your honest feedback. I know that it takes time to leave these reviews and I appreciate it. After more than 50 years of helping students travel the world, happiness and academic progress are among our top priorities.

EF's programs are complete immersion which does mean no English in school, even from the teacher. Our years of research have proven that this is the best and most effective way to learn a new language. I totally understand it can be challenging.

I would love the chance to talk to you more about your course and see if there is anything we can do to make it up to you. Would you mind emailing me at alexis.jungdahl@ef.com so we can set up a time to talk?

Thanks again,
Alexis Jungdahl, Admissions Director

Default avatar
Julius
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

EF and just Tokyo in general keep suprising me, I feel like I'm learning an extreme amount while I'm still able to keep up. the only complaint I have is ha the classes could use a break in between them cause 80 min x 2 is hard for your concentration level. Japan itself is wonderful and the people too, I would love to go again! All the friends I made are awesome and we allread have plans to meet up outside of Japan, If you want to learn japanese while having a great time. Absolutely go here!

What would you improve about this program?
Breaks between classes
Default avatar
Magnus
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After 6 weeks

I’m writing this review after going to ef-tokyo for 6 weeks. So far I’ve had a great time. Tokyo is such a huge city, so I’ve always had something to do. Everyday i’ve been here, I’ve gone to a different part of the city, or engaged in some kind of activity. The EF staff organize a lot of interesting and fun activities that I frequently joined, especially in the beginning. As I got more familiar with the city I started exploring more and more in my own and with friends. I’m staying with a host family, and the family lives rather far away, as it can take over an hour to get to school by train. However, the family is very friendly and talking Japanese with them is a good way to practice what we have learned in class. The classes are quiet good, with the general class covering most grammar and other classes that you can choose yourself covers more specific stuff. I currently have general classes, kanji, reading and shodo (calligraphy) classes. These classes suits me very well because one of my primary goals is to be able to read. I’m staying for 8 months total and I’m ver much looking forward to the rest of my stay here because I know that I won’t be bored and that I’ll learn a lot!

What would you improve about this program?
Most of the classes are well paced, but there are seemingly no good option for a more fast paced class. If you’re the type that learns quickly or spends a lot of time studying, you will rather easily find yourself ahead of the class. Meaning you’ll have to move classes quite often if your want to learn at your own pace. Also, depending on your classes, you might have quite short lunch brakes. The longest brake i have is 30 min which is barely enough time to go to the nearest food store (for this school it’s a regular conveniece store) and maybe eat I’ll have time to eat it if the line is not too long. Which is kind of a shame considering the schools very central location and all the good food options close by.
Default avatar
Serena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

EF Tokyo experience

EF was a great experience during the three weeks I spent in Tokyo. I stayed in the residence and only had to take one train to get to the school. The staff was very welcoming and willing to set up activities, although I didn't participate in the majority of them. I was very lucky to find great friends during my stay who I still keep in contact with. However everyone was friendly so there's no problem making friends, which was one of my primary concerns when arriving my first day. The classes are engaging and in small numbers which I enjoyed. I was in the highest class in EF at the time but I wished there could've been a higher level class. The teachers are absolutely amazing and I keep in contact with my general teacher from the time. I absolutely loved the experience and I plan to come back to Japan next year.

What would you improve about this program?
have higher level classes, the highest was B-1-2 when the highest was C-3-3 so more challenging classes would be nice, however most students are beginners so it is understandable.
Default avatar
Keng
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Six Weeks in EF Tokyo

EF Tokyo was my first experience traveling and studying abroad. In being so, it has made a very strong initial impact to my life and new experiences.
Tokyo is a beautiful location and I was able to experience the beauty and breath-taking atmosphere of such a city through living and studying there. To make things even better, the location of the school is high up in the Shibuya Cross Tower which gives an amazing view of the city.
During my stay, I resided in a place called Mizonokuchi. It was one of the most friendly and inviting locations I have ever stayed in and being quite a reserved and quiet person, I easily adapted as there was rarely if ever any disturbances from the residence or native people who also resided here.
The Teachers and staff of EF Tokyo are some of the most respectful and kind people I've ever worked with in a school environment. They are eager and always available to help me in any situation I find myself in, no matter if it was school related or not. It feels that they genuinely care for your success and will take their time off to resolve your issues should any arise.

Japan is a great country of many respectful and kind people and EF Tokyo does it great justice by representing it as so throughout my experience. I would definitely recommend people come here if they want to experience a great study abroad program.

What would you improve about this program?
Classes can get difficult for many people who have just arrived, as they are placed in a class that may already be deep into their studies. It's not a big issue as it can easily be resolved by talking to the staff but can be a stress factor for people who may have anxiety of being in a different country as I was.