Standard Intensive Japanese Language Course in Hokkaido

Video and Photos

Hokkaido Japanese Tea Ceremony
Hokkaido Japanese Tea Ceremony
Hokkaido JaLS Small Class Sizes
Hokkaido JaLS Small Class Sizes
Hokkaido JaLS Graduation Ceremony
Hokkaido JaLS Graduation Ceremony
hokkaido Jals
hokkaido Jals
Hokkaido JaLS Japanese Drumming Activity
Hokkaido JaLS Japanese Drumming Activity
Standard Course Orientation
Standard Course Orientation
Hokkaido JaLS Kimono Activity
Hokkaido JaLS Kimono Activity
Hokkaido JaLS Summer Festival Activity
Hokkaido JaLS Summer Festival Activity


Hokkaido Japanese Language School’s Standard Course includes 15 morning Japanese lessons every week focused on speaking and day-to-day Japanese conversation. Classes are conducted entirely in Japanese and are limited to eight people, which allows for plenty of individualized attention and time to ask questions and practice speaking. We also have many Japanese volunteers who work around the school and participate in weekly activities, giving students the opportunity to improve their Japanese in a setting other than the classroom and to make friends and experience Japan from the inside, not just as a tourist.

Students also have the opportunity to attend our 3 weekly optional activities to enjoy all that Hokkaido has to offer, such as rafting in the summer, or our world-famous snow festival in the winter! Join us any time of the year and enjoy learning Japanese in the beautiful city of Sapporo!

  • Small Classes.
  • Competitive Prices.
  • Flexibility.
  • Local Japanese Volunteers.
  • Amazing Location.

Questions & Answers


based on 29 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.7
  • Value 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 29
Yes, I recommend this program

As usual - excellent

I came for the third time! The balance between studies and fun activities is great. The support of staff and teachers cannot be better and you get to talk a lot in Japanese. Sapporo in Winter and Summer is very pretty and easy to get to know. The food is wonderful, for seafood lovers especially. Skiing and hiking is easily accessible, sometimes it is better to rent a car or go on an organized trip. Look for Travel Hokkaido. Jals will help you if you have special request. The support between student is very high so even when traveling alone you will find an interesting partner to talk to. It is really international at Jals and various age groups are present. Go and enjoy fresh air, good food and the greatest Japanese Language school I know!!!

Claire Leiko
Yes, I recommend this program

JALS Hokkaido

JALS Hokkaido is a wonderful study environment to be in if it’s your first time studying Japanese abroad. You are treated very well by the staff and the lounge area is perfect for both socialising and studying.

The teachers were especially patient with everyone and made the students feel at home it felt very comfortable.

It was appreciated that books and vocabulary is provided.

It was also very fun to be able to talk to so many different races and learn about their language compared to my own and Japanese itself. More than most students were enjoyable to have fun with outside of class, which was shoring within my own counterpart since I do prefer to be alone.

It was a very relaxing experience and I do want to come back in the near or far future.

What was your funniest moment?
Meeting different people and getting to meet so many varieties of personalities
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved it!

On my University break I decided to go to Sapporo for 2 months to work on my language skills and have a bit of a holiday. JaLs was the perfect combination of learning and having fun! I made amazing friends during my stay and the staff were helpful and kind. I experienced a Home Stay and lived on my own in a private apartment, and the organisation and help provided from the school was incredible. Everything went smoothly and I was able to have a stress free experience. All the activities organised by the school were very enjoyable and the schools facilities were clean and modern. I would highly recommend JaLs if you are wanting to learn Japanese in a relaxed environment that focuses on culture as well as language. I would definitely come back to JaLs Sapporo next time I need to brush up on my Japanese!

Yes, I recommend this program

Short-term experience, long-term memories


Hello, I am a Hokkaido Japanese Language School student from Germany coming to Japan with a working holiday visa. I planned to work in Japan and looked for appropriate schools. After evaluating different options, I chose JALS because they offer internship courses to prepare you for working in Japan and put you in classes that suits your skill level. In my case I was not a complete beginner but not yet intermediate.

I studied Japanese at JALS from November to March (14 weeks) with an internship lasting for 6 weeks and staying at a host family.

I had a wonderful and joyful time and made many international and Japanese friends. What I treasured most is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I was really scared at the beginning coming to Japan by myself. But not only the host family but the staff at JALS as well made me feel at home in an instant. Furthermore, I was really amazed how skillfully JALS’ teacher can convey grammar comprehensively without using English or another language beside Japanese. The many activities, the patient and helpful staff members and teachers as well as the flexibility makes JALS perfect for a short time language experience. I was able to improve my Japanese from ”throwing a few words at Japanese” to “having casual conversation with patient Japanese” in 14 weeks.

Even though I recommend anyone, who wants fun language holidays, to go to JALS, it gets really crowded during seasonal courses. With 8 people in one small classroom it can get noisy and the time being able to talk Japanese in class is reduced. With longer stays like mine the teaching methods can also get a bit monotone. I think, with increasing the free talk time during classes the learn experience could be heavily improved and the fear of talking to Japanese taken away.

All in all the Hokkaido Japanese Language School taught me a lot of valuable language skills and helped me start my working holiday trip thoroughly. It’s an experience that will last, especially because of all the great people I met at the school.


Hallo, ich bin deutsche Schülerin an der Hokkaido Japanese Language School und bin nach Japan mit einem Working Holiday Visa gereist. Vorab habe ich mich über geeignete Schulen informiert, mit der Intention später in Japan zu arbeiten, und entschied mich letztlich für JALS. Grund für diese Entscheidung war der Praktikumskurs und die flexible, individuelle Kursauswahl entsprechend des Sprachlevels. In meinen Fall war ich zwar kein kompletter Anfänger mehr, aber auch noch kein Fortgeschrittener.

Ich schrieb mich für November bis März (14 Wochen) ein und belegte die ersten 6 Wochen den Praktikumskurs. Während dieser Zeit lebte ich bei einer Gastfamilie.

Die Zeit bei JALS war wunderbar und voller freudiger Erinnerungen. Ich konnte viele internationale und japanische Freundschaften schließen und wurde vom ersten Tag an mit offenen Armen in einer herzlichen Athmosphäre empfangen. Vor allem da ich zu Beginn große Sorgen hatte, allein in ein Land am anderen Ende der Welt zu reisen, war ich erleichtert, sofort so warmherzig in die Familie aufgenommen zu werden. Weiterhin war ich erstaunt, mit welcher Leichtigkeit die Lehrer an der Schule auch schwierige Grammatik ohne den Gebrauch von Englisch oder einer anderen Sprache neben Japanisch vermitteln konnten. Die vielen optionalen Aktivitäten, das gedulige und hilfsbereite Personal und die Lehrer, als auch die Flexibilität des Unterrichts machen JALS zu einer idealen Schule für ein Kurzzeitspracherlebnis. In den 14 Wochen war ich in der Lage mein Japanisch von “wir werfen einzelne Wörter in den Raum” nach “wir haben ein Alltagsgespräch mit einem geduldigen Japaner” zu verbessern.

Ich empfehle jedem, der einen Sprachurlaub machen möchte, sich bei JALS einzuschreiben. Während der Saisonkurse sind die Kurse jedoch etwas voll. Auch wenn die Klassen mit 8 Schülern sehr klein sind, kann es gelegentlich sehr unruhig werden und die Zeit, sich während des Unterrichts auf Japanisch zu unterhalten, sinkt. Ideal sind Klassen mit nicht mehr als 6 Schülern.

Der Unterricht bei längeren Aufenthalten wie meiner neigt dazu, auf Dauer monoton zu werden. Ich denke, wenn man die Zeit, in der man freie Unterhaltungen führen kann, erhöht, würde das den Unterricht wesentlich verbessern.
Trotz allem denke ich, dass Hokkaido Japanese Language School eine sehr gute Schule ist, in der man wertvolle Sprachkenntnisse erlangt und ohne Sorgen sein Working Holiday starten kann.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Speaking Japanese to Japanese without realizing that we talked in Japanese
Yes, I recommend this program

I love Jals (我爱Jals)

Translation: Special thanks to Jals. I am a Japanese-based teacher who comes to school. Because I have to live in Japan for a long time, I have a lot of language and stress. I am afraid that I will not understand. But don't worry if you come here. There are good teachers, good staff, and the kindness is really great.

I have been studying in school for two months in 2017. I have learned a lot from here. Whether it is the knowledge in textbooks, the life in Japan, or all kinds of anecdotes, the teachers will be very serious and will let me speak in this language. I have a lot of fun to learn Japanese every day and want to know different Japan. Most importantly, the school has extracurricular activities every afternoon, so that you can learn Japanese and learn more about Japanese culture. It is very good. There are also foreign students from all over the world. When chatting, they will not know more about the cultural differences between countries.

I came here again at the beginning of this year. I have a lot of improvement in Japanese and I am very happy. I hope to like Japan, a small partner who likes Japanese, will give you a different learning experience!

Yes, I recommend this program


Learning a new language is always hard, you’ll never pick it up over night. There are also many ways to study a language too.

With JaLS Hokkaido Langauge School they create the perfect and ideal way of learning a new language. The school itself creates a sense of joy the is very intoxicating. It makes you want to learn and stay forever. Wether its the staff members or your new classmates or even meeting Japanese people, JaLS provides a safe and fun environment for you to be yourself and to study the languages in many new ways.

The Language School itself creates many opportunities for you to practisce your Japanese skills not only in the classroom but in extracurricular activities. For example: the school hosts many language exchange nights. These events are a great way to meet native Japanese speakers and become good friends. Another example is the school has each week multiple activities for you to opt into that help you get to know more about Japanese traditions, cuisines and way of life.

So wether or not you are old or young, knowledgeable or not, JaLS Hokkaido Language School accommodates to all people, so that you can have the best time of your life.

What would you improve about this program?
Changing Test days from Thursday to Friday. Only because I had found it starnage to have a test in the middle of learning a new chapter, where that chapter was part of the test.

More interaction (teachers and students). For example have a day in the week where students can meet after class to further discuss the lessons grammar points.

Have more mini tests during the lesson to help memorise grammar and vocabulary easier.

Book rentals. For example: if you change books druing your stay you can rent the next book out every week. So you pick it up before class and hand it back after class.

Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful experience!

I went to Hokkaido JaLS for two months, staying in a share house offered by the school.
The school was simply amazing. The staff are all friendly and easy to talk to, the classes are fun and you learn a lot!
In my class, we used the Minna No Nihongo textbook, going through two chapters each week. The teachers were all very kind an knowledgeable, and although classes were all in Japanese, they used simple language to help us understand.
There are many activities you can sign up for in the afternoon some free, some for an extra charge. The activities are a great way to see the city and meet fellow students!
Living in the share house was so much fun. People from all over the world lived there, and it was a great way to learn about different cultures. We would sometimes have parties where we would make food together such as takoyaki and nabe. The public spaces in the house (kitchen, livingroom and bathrooms) were all kept neat and tidy.
I loved my time at Hokkaido JaLS, and I'm definitely considering going back!

Yes, I recommend this program

My stay at JaLS (April 2018-June 2018)

Often when you read things about a school on their site they exaggerate how good the school is and how great your experience there will be. So when I read the over positive information about JaLS on their website, I thought that it was an exaggeration as well. That the experiences I would gain there and the school certainly could never be as great as was written on their site. I have never been more wrong in my life.

When I went to Sapporo all on my own to study at JaLS, I was very scared. I had been there before, but I had never gone there alone. Plus, I was feeling down because of a recent experience. I was not happy. I was not enjoying life. However, being at JaLS really changed that. I started feeling happy again. I started smiling again. I have met so many amazing people during my time at JaLS and I have gained so many valuable experiences. At the sharehouse, at the school and during the breaks with my classmates I spent so many wonderful moments with so many people. And I finally discovered what I want to become in the future. I struggled with that for so long, but thanks to JaLS I finally found it out. I know now that I want to become an English teacher in Sapporo. I already obtained a TEFL certificate for that during the last few months. And I also took the TOEFL. My dream is to return to JaLS one day and to become an English teacher there. I love the warmth and kindness and the overall atmosphere at JaLS. It makes you feel welcome and it lets you feel at ease. I’m really glad that I decided to do an internship and study Japanese at JaLS. I will never forget all the amazing moments I spent with everyone there. JaLS is like a second family to me. And it made me love Japan again. I had started to hate Japan because of previous bad experiences, but thanks to my experiences at JaLS, I started loving Japan again. I’m eternally grateful for all the things I gained thanks to JaLS. I will certainly come back one day and become an English teacher there. I would recommend this school to anyone. JaLS will change your life in a way that you would never expect.

Marion Meester (23), The Netherlands

What would you improve about this program?
I do not think that there is anything which needs to be improved.
Read my full story
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience studying at Hokkaido Japanese Language School

I studied at Hokkaido Japanese Language School for 10 weeks in the spring and stayed at a share house organised through the school. Sapporo is a great city and it’s easy to get out into the countryside, definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a quieter alternative to Tokyo or Osaka.

The lessons at the school were excellent, the learning materials are good and the teachers are very helpful. You are placed in a class that is right for your ability and the classes progress at a fast enough pace to learn plenty of Japanese but still leave you with time to explore the city.

Hokkaido JaLS also organise many activities for their students and they are good value and a great way to socialise with your classmates and experience Japanese culture. I was very happy with the share house as well, it was clean and sociable with a mixture of JaLS students and Japanese people living there.

I had a fantastic time in Sapporo and so much of that is thanks to JaLS, the staff and teachers were very supportive, the school itself is a great place to study and meet people and the activities really added to my experience. I would highly recommend studying there!

Yes, I recommend this program

A great month at Jals

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our time studying Japanese at Jals.

All the teachers are enthusiastic and encouraging. They made me feel completely comfortable to speak up and make mistakes in class. I think this is really important when learning a new language.

It's more expensive than some other language schools in Sapporo, but the classes are guaranteed to be small so it's worth the cost.

The Jals staff are really helpful about organising accommodation and giving advice on setting up your life in Japan (subway cards, directions, bank account, phone etc). This was critical when we first arrived and couldn't understand the language at all!!

There is a beautiful library/cafe in the building which is a great place to hang out, meet people and do your homework after class.

We are heading south later in the year and already thinking about enrolling at Jals Kyoto.

Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Experience

really grateful for the chance to study here, the teachers are very great, they use a very great method to teach, so japanese language feels so fun to be learned, the staffs are really nice, the school provided many facilities. also we can make new friends here. the accomodation was also really clean and nice. i went there not knowing any japanese conversation and after 6 weeks, my speaking skill is improved a lot. thankyou jals!

Yes, I recommend this program

One amazing month in Sapporo

I went to Sapporo Jals last year during one month. I don't know how to explain how incredible this experience was.
As a real Swiss person, I am not afraid of the cold but I didn't expect to see that much snow in Sapporo. It was totally magical, with these snowy streets. Sapporo is a recent and cold city but the inhabitants are so warm and nice. They will not hesitate to help you if they can.

About Sapporo Jals, I would like to say that it was love at first sight. The staff is lovely and amazing, very kind and helpful. Teachers are really cool and competent and you will learn Japanese in small classes, which is better to improve faster. Do not hesitate to ask them if you need something.

Moreover, the school proposes so many different cultural activities. You will have the opportunity to speak Japanese with local Japanese people and visit this fascinating city. You will be immerged in a different Japan.
So, even more than one year after, I still remember this month as if it was yesterday. I met friends for life.

Now the only thing I want is to come back. See you soon everyone, and one more time, thank you for everything!

Yes, I recommend this program


This was the second time I went to sapporo jals.
First time I made the winter course, and the second one just the course without the activities.
Teachers are friendly and helpful, And classes are made from few students, in this way lessons are intense, and you can improve your Japanese very fast.
I went two times to the sharehouse buie asabu. The keeper is willing and friendly, and the house is comfortable.
I hope I will able to come back as soon as possible.

Yes, I recommend this program

Hokkaido JaLS felt like my home! A great school to learn Japanese effectively

I studied for 6 weeks at Hokkaido JaLS in their standard course. I picked JaLS because of its flexibility, and helpfulness after the many emails I sent through to the school. A reassuring fact for me was its high teaching quality as demonstrated by awards the school has won.

This turned out to be the best decision I made! I was a beginner when I started but I was encouraged by my teachers to learn Hiragana and Katakana quickly, and the teaching quality was indeed of a high standard. AND you get to enjoy this in the comfort of a small class (The most any of my classes had was 5 and my course coincided with the Winter course!).

The location of the school is fantastic - only a very short walk away from Sapporo Station (one of the main stations). The school itself is also nice and warm (especially in Winter) and is a relaxing place to study if you need a place away from home.

In terms of a home, the school offers a variety of accommodation options. I went with a host family for my first week and for the remaining time, I stayed in the sharehouse the school manages. Both were extremely positive experiences. The sharehouse in particular was a great way to meet other people.

I enjoyed every lesson I had. The teachers made learning fun and combined a variety of strategies to facilitate deep and meaningful learning. I learned so much from the 6 weeks I was at the school. Not only were the teachers amazing, approachable and friendly, the administration staff had the same attitude and demeanor to every student. Each staff member was so helpful and were always willing to have a chat to see how you were going.

I made so many friends here from all over the world (including Japan of course). Everyone is so easy going as at my graduation ceremony, the school allowed me to give a speech!

The school offers many after-class activities which might comprise of sightseeing or cultural experiences, all planned for by the school. These were a great avenue to make friends and explore Hokkaido with other students learning Japanese.

I'm in Japan for the remainder of 2018 and every time I'm in Sapporo I visit the school and say hello to the staff. They are always so welcoming. I could not recommend this school enough! Each lesson and each activity is a fantastic memory.

Yes, I recommend this program

The perfect mix of studies and experiences

When i made my decision to go study japanese in Japan, i directly aimed to live in Sapporo.
In many ways a city that did fit my preferences with it's closeness to nature and mountains, it's a big city without all the rush and stress you can experience in Japans other major cities.
For me it was the perfect mix of japanese studies and culture experience, even though class is only 3 hours per day you will learn and progress alot since it's small classes and you get alot of attention from the teachers.
This was my first time leaving my home country alone, but i went back home with so much awesome experiences and awesome new friends!