10 Best Cities to Study Abroad in Japan
Best Japanese Cities for Foreigners to Live and Study
Are you planning on studying in Japan?
Whether you’re planning on studying the Japanese language or attending a Japanese university, one important thing that you’ll need to consider is where in Japan you’d like to study.
If there’s a specific school or university that you’re interested in, then this is not such a problem. However, if you haven’t decided where in Japan you’d like to study, then you might be wondering where to start looking.
In this article, I will introduce you to our picks for the 10 best cities to study abroad in Japan. Hopefully, you’ll find a place that interests you.
What makes a city good for studying?
There are many factors that can make a city a good place for living and studying. For the places that we picked for this article, we took into consideration the following factors.
1. The number of foreigners living in that city: Cities that have a large number of foreigners tend to have more restaurants and shops that offer services in English. This will make it easier for you to live there.
2. Whether there are schools or universities nearby: If there are schools or universities nearby, this means that there will be a large number of restaurants, shops, and other places that are targeted at young adults.
3. How convenient it is to move around: whether the city has a convenient public transportation system, or has streets with designated lanes for bicycles, it is important that moving around the city is as convenient as possible.
4. Whether there are tourist locations nearby: Studying abroad won’t make sense if you can’t take the time to visit local touristic locations. Therefore, we believe this is an important factor as well.
10 Best Cities to Study Abroad in Japan
Based on the factors that I previously stated, here are our 10 picks for the best cities to study abroad in Japan.
*Note: The universities listed in this article include both main campuses and satellite campuses.
The first city on our list is Sapporo (札幌), Hokkaido.
Sapporo is by far the largest city in Hokkaido, inhabiting nearly 2 million people.
It is said that there are over 4,000 international students in all of Hokkaido, and a large chunk of those students reside in the city of Sapporo.
When it comes to universities, you will find the main campuses of Hokkaido University and Sapporo International University among many other colleges. And although not being the main campuses, you will also find campuses of Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics and Tokai University. All of these are universities that have a large number of international students.
Touristic spots include Odori park, Nijo fish market, and Susukino.
Sapporo is also the northmost city on this list. So if you happen to like (or not mind) cold weather, then this might be the city for you.
Next on the list, we have the city of Hiroshima (広島).
It is said that there are over 4,700 international students in Hiroshima prefecture, many of which live in the city of Hiroshima.
Hiroshima University is a large university that is one of the top universities in all of Japan when it comes to welcoming international students. This is the reason why there are so many foreigners here.
Transportation systems are very well established. There’s even a Tram system which is something you wont find in many other cities in Japan.
Touristic spots include the Hiroshima peace memorial, Miyajima Island, and Hiroshima Castle. Don’t forget to try the Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki!
Next, we have the city of Yokohama (横浜) which is located in Kanagawa prefecture.
It is said that there are over 9,000 international students in Kanagawa prefecture. But a large portion of those students is here in Yokohama.
Tokai University, Meiji University, Nihon University, Sophia University, and Keio University are just some of the universities located nearby that are putting effort into introducing more programs for international students.
Train and bus systems are well established, especially since this city is located so close to Tokyo.
Touristic spots include the Redbrick warehouse, the Yokohama landmark tower, and Yokohama Chinatown.
The fourth city on this list is Kobe (神戸), in Hyogo prefecture. Just like Hiroshima and Yokohama, this is a port city that has beautiful ocean view spots.
It is said that there are over 10,000 international students in Hyogo prefecture alone.
Kobe University and the Japan University of Economics are just some of the most renowned universities that are well known to have a large percentage of international students.
Touristic spots include Kobe harborland, Meriken park, and Arima Onsen.
When it comes to food, you can’t miss out on Kobe beef.
The city of Saitama (さいたま) is the next area that we chose as a good studying city.
It is said that there are over 11,500 international students in Saitama prefecture alone.
Tokyo International University, Toyo University, Keio University, and Waseda University are some of the well-known universities nearby that are well known to be welcoming toward foreign students.
Transportation is pretty well established, and it is easy to go to Tokyo. Many people actually attend schools located in Tokyo while living in Saitama.
Touristic spots include Kawagoe, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, and the Omiya Hikawa shrine.
The next city on the list is Kyoto (京都). Kyoto is not only well known for its tourist spots but also a good place to live and study as a foreigner.
There are over 13,000 international students in Kyoto prefecture, most of which live within the city of Kyoto.
Kyoto University, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics, and Doshisha University are all well-known prestigious universities that offer programs for international students.
Transportation is really convenient and directions are relatively easy to understand compared to Tokyo.
Touristic spots include Kiyomizudera Temple, Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, and Gion.
Other than that, Kyoto has so much culture to offer, making it one of the most popular areas to live in.
Another internationally well-known city is Nagoya (名古屋), which is located in Aichi prefecture.
Over 12,000 international students live in Aichi prefecture, making it one of the most heavily international cities in Japan.
Nagoya University and Tokyo University of Social Welfare are just some of the many universities in the area. These Universities are highly ranked among the most international student-friendly universities in Japan.
Both train and bus systems are well established, making it easy to move around the city.
Touristic spots include Nagoya Castle, Toyota Automobile Museum, and Legoland Japan.
Food is another well-known part of Nagoya’s culture. Tebasaki, Miso Katsu, and Hitsumabushi are just some foods you must try!
Next on the list, we have the city of Fukuoka (福岡).
You might be surprised to know that there are over 19,000 international students in Fukuoka prefecture, making it the third most international student-dense prefecture in all of Japan.
Japan University of Economics, Kyushu University, and Waseda University are some of the well-known universities in the area. These are all universities that high rank among Japanese universities with international students.
Touristic spots include Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Canal City Hakata, and Itoshima.
Fukuoka is also well-known for its food such as Hakata-style Ramen and Motsu Nabe.
The city of Osaka (大阪) is the second most popular city to live in among international students.
There are over 24,000 international students in Osaka prefecture.
Some of the main universities located in the area include Osaka University, Kansai University, Keio University, and Ritsumeikan University. All of these are well-known for having a large portion of international students.
Transportation systems (both train and bus) are well established, making it very convenient to travel around.
Some of the many touristic spots include Universal Studios Japan, Dotonbori, and Shitennoji Temple.
Also, don’t forget to try some of the best Osaka foods such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, and Kushi Katsu.
Lastly, on the list, we have Tokyo (東京). It should be no surprise that Tokyo is the most convenient city to live in if you want to study.
It is said that there are over 100,000 international students in all Tokyo, making it the most international city in Japan by far.
When it comes to Universities, there are just so many. Public universities such as the University of Tokyo, and private universities such as Waseda University, Keio University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Toyo University, Meiji University, Nihon University, Teikyo University, Sophia University, Hosei University, Takushoku University, and much more.
Transportation-wise, both train and bus systems are well spread throughout the entire city, making it very easy to move from one place to another. It doesn’t get any more convenient!
For touristic spots, there are also many choices. From historic temples and shrines such as Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine, to more modern spots such as Harajuku’s Takeshita Street or Akihabara’s Maid Cafes. When it comes to food, you will find pretty much anything, from traditional Japanese food to international cuisine.
I hope you enjoyed this article.
As I previously mentioned, if there is a specific school or subject that you want to study, then the best place to live will obviously be near that school. However, if you are not decided on a particular school, then maybe you could decide on where to live based on what that city has to offer.
If you liked this article and are interested in more similar information, be sure to check out the following articles as well!