List of Free and Affordable Japanese Classes Near You in Japan — By Prefecture

In almost every prefecture in Japan, free or very affordable Japanese classes are offered to foreign residents by local non-profit international exchange associations. The classes are taught by volunteers and usually held at a community center or other public facility.

How to find free Japanese classes near you

Use the links below to find free or very affordable Japanese classes near you. The cities and prefectures with the highest foreigner population are at the top of the list. Below that, scroll to find your prefecture, listed from northern to southern Japan.

Who

Classes are open to all local foreign residents, regardless of your language level. Most classes are meant for beginners, but some organizations also offer classes for intermediate-level language learners.

Cost

Usually free. Some associations charge a very nominal fee (¥100 to ¥500 per class). Usually you have to pay for the textbook or materials out-of-pocket. Text books usually cost a few thousand yen.

When

Class schedules vary by organization, but are usually held once or twice a week throughout the year; and many will allow you to join anytime during the year.

How to apply

Application procedures vary by organization but usually it’s just a simple paper form (name and contact info) or by phone or e-mail.

Why?

You know why, folks. Not only will you get to learn Japanese for free from native speakers, but it’s also a chance to meet local residents and make new friends!

The local international associations which offer these classes also often offer free support services for foreign residents like PDF guides to living in the city, consultation services for problems you may be facing as a foreign resident, and cultural exchange events and cooking classes.

Example of a free Japanese class offered by a local international exchange association, the Ichinomiya International Association in Aichi prefecture. Source: Ichinomiya International Association.


Tokyo

Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network

List of Japanese classes in the Tokyo 23 Wards

Saitama

Saitama International Association

List of Japanese classes in Saitama

Chiba

Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center

List of Japanese classes in Chiba

Note: Links to clickable map of classes available by city in Chiba.

Chiba City

Chiba City International Association

List of Japanese classes in Chiba City

Kanagawa

Kanagawa International Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Kanagawa

Note: Including classes in Yokohama, Kawasaki, Sagamihara, Yokosuka, Yamato, Fujisawa, Hiratsuka, Kamakura, etc.

Osaka

Osaka City Board of Education

List of Japanese classes in Osaka

Note: Links to official list compiled by the Osaka City Board of Education, but actual classes are offered by local volunteer organizations.

Aichi

Aichi International Association

List of Japanese classes in Aichi

Note: Links to a Japanese (PDF). Use Google Translate to find classes in your city. About 200 classes offered throughout various cities in Aichi.

Nagoya City

Aichi Prefectural Government

List of Japanese classes in Nagoya

Note: Links to a Japanese (PDF). Use Google Translate to find classes in your neighborhood.

Ichinomiya City

Ichinomiya International Association

List of Japanese classes in Ichinomiya


Hokkaido

Sapporo

Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Sapporo

Aomori

Aomori International Exchange Organization

List of Japanese classes in Aomori

Iwate

Iwate Intenational Organization

List of Japanese classes in Iwate

Miyagi

Miyagi International Association

List of Japanese classes in Miyagi

Akita

Akita International Organization

List of Japanese classes in Akita

Note: Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Yamagata

Association for International Relations in Yamagata

List of Japanese classes in Yamagata

Note: With links to classes in Shonai, Mogami, Murayama, Okitama

Fukushima

Fukushima International Association

List of Japanese classes in Fukushima

Note: Links to English PDF of list by city in Fukushima.

Ibaraki

Ibaraki International Association

List of Japanese classes in Ibaraki

Tochigi

Tochigi City

Tochigi City International Center

List of Japanese classes in Tochigi City

Note:  Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Utsunomiya City

Utsunomiya City International Association

List of Japanese classes in Utsunomiya City

Gunma

Gunma Association of Tourism, Local Products & International Exchange

List of Japanese classes in Gunma

Note: With links to 14 cities in Gunma.

Niigata

Niigata International Association

List of Japanese classes in Niigata

Note: Links to list of classes by region: Joetsu, Chuetsu, Kaetsu, Sado

Toyama

Toyama International Center

List of Japanese classes in Toyama

Note: With links to 7 cities in Toyama.

Ishikawa

Ishikawa Foundation for International Exchange

List of Japanese classes in Ishikawa

Fukui

Fukui International Association

List of Japanese classes in Fukui

Yamanashi

Yamanashi International Associaiton

List of Japanese classes in Yamanashi

Note: Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Nagano

Nagano Prefectural Government

List of Japanese classes in Nagano

Note: Links to Japanese PDF. Use Google Translate to find classes in your city.

Gifu

Gifu International Center

List of Japanese classes in Gifu

Shizuoka

Shizuoka Association for International Relations

List of Japanese classes in Shizuoka

Mie

Mie International Exchange Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Mie

Shiga

Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization

List of Japnaese classes in Shiga

Kyoto

Kyoto International Cultural Association

List of Japanese classes offered by the Kyoto International Cultural Association

Kyoto YWCA

List of Japanese classes offered by the Kyoto YWCA

Hyogo

Hyogo International Association

List of Japanese classes in Hyogo

Nara

Nara Prefectural Government

List of Japanese classes in Nara

Note: Links to English PDF.

Wakayama

Currently not able to confirm a reliable source of info on classes in Wakayama.

Tottori

Tottori Prefectural International Exchange Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Tottori

Shimane

Shimane International Center

List of Japanese classes in Shimane

Note: Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Okayama

Okayama Prefectural International Exchange Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Okayama

Note: Scroll to the middle of the page for the English PDF of class locations.

Hiroshima

City of Hiroshima

List of Japanese classes in Hiroshima City

Note: Links to PDF in Japanese and English.

Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi International Exchange Association

List of Japanese classes in Yamaguchi

Tokushima

Tokushima International Association

List of Japanese classes in Tokushima

Kagawa

Kagawa International Exchange Center

List of Japanese classes in Kagawa

Ehime

Ehime Prefecture International Center

List of Japanese classes in Ehime

Note: Links to PDF in English and Japanese.

Kochi

Kochi International Association

List of Japanese classes in Kochi

Note: Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Fukuoka

Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Fukuoka

Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Saga

Saga Prefecture International Relations Association

List of Japanese classes in Saga

Nagasaki

Nagasaki City

List of Japanese classes in Nagasaki

Note: Links to English (Google Translation) of Japanese page.

Kumamoto

Currently not able to confirm a reliable source of info on classes in Kumamoto.

Oita

Oita International Plaza

List of Japanese classes in Oita

Miyazaki

Miyazaki International Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Miyazaki

Kagoshima

Kagoshima International Association

List of Japanese classes in Kagoshima

Okinawa

Okinawa International Exchange & Human Resources Development Foundation

List of Japanese classes in Okinawa


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Lead photo: Moji art hiragana, Wikimeida Creative Commons