Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo is said to be one of the world’s most rapidly growing metropolitan areas. Being the capital of Japan, it is home to not only the government seats but also the Imperial family. Tokyo has been described as a commanding force of the world economy, so students who study abroad here will be in the heart of a truly and internationally influential city.

As one of the most robust cities on the planet, Tokyo enjoys state of the art technology, unique and upscale eateries, and exquisite parks and gardens. Luckily, it won't take you long to get from place to place - the city is equipped with an easy to use subway system that prides itself on efficiency. From sushi stands to temples, Tokyo has something that will interest all types of students (from shopaholics to history buffs to anime lovers!). Tokyo successfully preserves its old world traditions without sacrificing modernity and a fast-paced vibe.

Culture and Immersion

Tokyo is packed from end to end with awesome sights to see and things to do. Do NOT (we repeat, do NOT!) study abroad in Japan without paying a visit to Mt. Fuji (which can conveniently be reached by bus, so no excuses!). Athletic students who are looking for a challenge may even embark on the five-hour climb to the summit of the 12,388-foot high Mt. Fuji. Others may be more up for riding a cable car to the top - either way, the view is stunning.

Those students interested in visiting one of Tokyo’s beautiful parks must go to the Imperial Palace East Garden. The garden is complete with a 19th century Tea Pavilion on one end and a Moat of Swans in the inner circle. This park would make a great location for lazing away an afternoon with your snack of choice (octopus balls, anyone?)

The Tokyo Tower is hard to miss as it jets high up into the sky and glows by day and by night. The warm orange glow of the tower is reserved for only those who see it with the naked eye - and is not to be missed! To get a deeper insight into Japanese popular culture, students should visit the Studio Ghibli and the Tokyo National Museum. Studio Ghibli is famous for its production of anime films, which are a huge part of Japanese culture (best to stock up on your manga before you arrive!).


Japan is one of the most expensive Asian countries, but fear not - there are definitely ways students studying abroad can make it affordable. For transportation, students should consider buying a SUICA card, which will give you access to the rail lines and subway around Tokyo. The subway costs 2000 yen per ride no matter how far you are traveling. For your dining options, know in advance that most of the sit-down restaurants in Tokyo are on the more expensive side. You won't have to starve though - along the streets and at most of the markets, there are inexpensive food stands that serve up quality (and fresh) food. Eating from the more casual food stands is also a great idea because you will be able to try a wide array of different authentic Japanese dishes in one meal.

Culture Shock and Support

Going abroad is such a new and different experience, so it is really important to choose an abroad program that provides adequate support and comfort from culture shock.

CIEE, for example, organizes a seminar on living and learning abroad, which prepares students for the journey that they are about to embark on. It informs students on the country’s culture and values, as well as helps them shape a mindset in which they should enter the country with.

Similarly, IES Abroad prepares students with an orientation upon arrival, and also has staff readily available at all times for students. Whether students are homesick, having trouble with school, or just want to chat with a friendly face, the IES staff is always happy to help.

Insider Tips:

A place that you wouldn’t find in most travel guides, but is definitely worth going to, is the Tsukiji Fish Market. Located right outside the city, this is the largest fish market in the world and has stands selling everything from octopus to massive tunas. This market is not only extremely interesting to explore, but also a great place to grab a meal. There are countless stands serving up fresh caught fish and sushi.

The basement food halls at department stores are a really interesting dining experience. Almost all the food is pre-prepared and beautifully displayed behind glass. It is really cool to see the vast array of different things that are being offered before you make a decision on what to buy.

The tap water in Japan is okay to drink, so to save money, be sure to pack your own water bottle! In this way, you can fill it up as you go and avoid the high costs (and wastefulness) of bottled water.

Because studying abroad is an expensive process, it is great to know your scholarship options!

  • The JASSO scholarship is funded by the Japanese government and available to students studying abroad for one year in Japan.
  • The Bridging Foundation offers a scholarship for study abroad in Japan for American undergraduate students majoring in any field of study. Awards range from $2500-$4000 and are not applicable for summer programs.
  • The Freeman-Asia award provides needs-based funding to American students studying in Japan for semester, year, or summer programs.
  • More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Contributed by Maxine Sharf

Showing 24 Programs


EF International Language Centers
Travel to Tokyo for a semester or year and learn Japanese in in Japan's buzzing capital city. Experience the soaring skyline...


EF International Language Centers
Learn Japanese among Tokyo’s soaring skyline and fast-paced culture. EF's interactive, participation based courses will enusr...


IES Abroad
Whether you’re people watching in the hip Shibuya neighborhood, visiting Asakusa temple, or exploring Okinawa on a course-rel...


IES Abroad
As one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, Tokyo and its environs will challenge you to look at the world differently....


KCP International
Head over to Tokyo to study Japanese! The KCP International Japanese Language School is multicultural and offers an Intensive...


Greenheart Travel
Learn and improve your Japanese skills through full language and cultural immersion on Greenheart Travel’s summer language ca...


ISA (International Studies Abroad)
Join us for a year, semester or trimester at Masashi University in Tokyo. Popular areas of study are: East Asia Studies & Jap...


Old and new, traditional and ultra-modern: Japan is a country of amazing and exciting contrasts. Tokyo, the economic, technic...


Old and new. Traditional and ultra-modern. Japan is a country of amazing and exciting contrasts and a fantastic place to spen...


Spend your summer studying in one of the world's most vibrant cities: Tokyo. Tucked away behind lively Harajuku and Shibuya,...


Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in the Mitaka neighborhood of Tokyo offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curric...


World Campus International
World Campus International, Inc. offers you an opportunity to take part in short-term, non-traditional study abroad programs...


Rice University CLIC Study Abroad
Rice in Japan is an innovative 6-week intensive Japanese language and intercultural communication summer program. Program dat...


Come study the Japanese language in the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan with the NRCSA. The NRCSA Center in Tokyo was establish...


Languages Abroad
Welcome to Tokyo, where you'll learn Japanese while living in this hectic and sprawling metropolis that contains over 13 mill...