Guide to Living in Tochigi

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Japan's Education Systemk“ú–{‚Ì‹³ˆç§“xl

Education in Japan is based on 6 years of primary school, 3 years of junior high school and 3 years of senior high school. Universities, on average, have 4-year programs, while short-term universities (community colleges) have 2-year programs. Compulsory education accounts for the 9 years of primary and junior high school when children are between the ages of 6 and 15.
Schools consist of national universities, prefectural & municipal-run schools, and private schools.
The school term goes from April until March of the following year.


Kindergartens provide preschool education for children over 3 years of age, but not yet enrolled in elementary school. Almost all kindergartens, (about 96%) are private , and parents must bear the entire cost. Many Japanese children go to kindergartens, but it is not mandatory.
The standard day for kindergartens in Japan is the 4 hours from 10am. to 2 pm., although there are some families who entrust their children until 6 pm.
For both public and private kindergartens there is a financial burden on the child's parent or guardian. However, depending on the school, there is a support system in place to lessen the financial responsibility.
For information about public kindergartens, please contact your local government. For information about private kindergartens, please contact each kindergarten directly.

Elementary and Junior High SchoolkSHOGAKKOECHUGAKKOl

Attendance of elementary and junior high school is mandatory for all children. To enroll your child in a Japanese elementary or junior high school, you must apply through the Board of Education of your local government. You will need your Resident Card. Once the Board of Education completes your enrollment, they will notify you as to which school your child is to attend. Normally, the decision is based upon where you live.

The Japanese school year begins in April. If your child is going to start elementary or junior high school in the middle of the year, please ask the Board of Education of your local government for instructions.

Elementary SchoolkSHOGAKKOl

If your child is 6 years old by the 1st of April, he or she is required to go to elementary school. Enrollment begins in early summer of the year before the child is to start school. By the beginning of October, the Board of Education normally completes the student list for each school.

Junior High SchoolkCHUGAKKOl

If your child is 12 years old by the 1st of April, he or she is required to go to junior high school.@Each January, public junior high schools send the necessary information to all families with 6th grade elementary school students.


For public schools, there is no enrollment fee, and tuition and textbooks are free.@ However, families must pay for all other educational expenses, such as field trips and school lunches.


If you move to another town/city, your school district will change and your child will therefore have to change schools. Please hand in all necessary documents to the school, and they will give you the appropriate transfer materials. Once you have registered in your new town/city, please go to your local governmentfs Board of Education to file the appropriate transfer documents.
If you plan to leave Japan permanently, please inform your school beforehand.

Senior High SchoolkKOTO GAKKO(KOUKOU)l

In Japan, senior high school is not compulsory. There are both public and private institutions, and depending on the school, their programs may be full-time, part-time or correspondence-based. These schools may offer general education or specialized education (industry/manufacturing, commerce, agriculture, etc.) and may differ in their core curricula.
For more information about prefectural schools, entrance examinations and course fees, please contact the Tochigi Prefectual Board of Education, School Education Division at tel.# 028-623-3382. For more information regarding private schools, please contact the school directly.

For more information on the school application process and school life, please refer to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technologyfs Guidebook for Starting School, available on their webpage.
(English, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish - Japanese language included)

Special Support Education school kTOKUBETSU SHIEN GAKKOl

Japanese Education Law was partially amended from the April 1, 2007 and Schools for handicapped children; for the blind, for the deaf, and for the Physically & Mentally, turned into the Special Support Education School.
In Tochigi Prefecutre, the name of the Schools for the Physically & Mentally handicapped children (YOGO GAKKO) changed its name to Special Support Education School (TOKUBETSU SHIEN GAKKO). However, the names of the schools for Blind (MO-GAKKO) and schools for the deaf (RO-GAKKO) have not be changed.
Those Special Support Education Schools provide eduation to children with moderate/severe disabilities. There are primary, junior high and senior high schools, and like standard education throughout the country, primary and junior high school is compulsory. Kindergarten programs are also offered in schools for blind and deaf children.

Schools for the Blind [MO-GAKKO]

These schools offer specialized education to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Schools for the Deaf [RO-GAKKO]

These schools offer specialized education to students who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Other Special Support Education Schools

There are 3 other types of Special Support Education Schools; for the crippled, for the invalidism, and for the intellectual disability. Those schools provide special education to children with physical disability, with illness, or with intellectual development disorder.

Applying for Entrance into Primary and Junior High School

First, contact the Board of Education of your local town/city. They will decide if it would be appropriate for your child to be enrolled in one of the above schools. If it is decided that your child should attend, either the prefectural government or your local Board of Education will contact you with the details regarding the chosen school, term dates, etc. Before contacting the BOE, it is recommended that your child take a sample class, and you consult with the school regarding their education programs, in order to get a better idea of what to expect.

Applying for Entrance into Kindergarten and Senior High School Programs

Entrance into kindergarten and senior high school is very selective. For kindergartens, please contact the school of interest directly. When applying to senior high schools, contact the school of interest through your childfs current junior high school.


There are no costs for tuition. Also, taking into account the numerous financial responsibilities of parents and guardians, a Special Education School Bonus has been set up to cover additional, specific expenses, such as travel costs and school lunch costs.