Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station

Tokyo

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Tokyo, Japan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What are the schools in Tokyo like?

"The school is multiage throughout and we have loved that. . I would also really recommend it if your family has an interest in your child learning in both English and Japanese. Our son is becoming communicatively and academically fluent in both language. He has also been learning Chinese at the school and he can play the violin by ear. We are very happy with the school. If your family has an interest in Japan and the Japanese language for your children, it is a great option, even if you will be in the country only for a few years. It has been a positive and fun experience for us," explained one expat living in Tokyo, Japan.

"The curriculum seems okay, but as a Christian trying to raise my kid, I would say the worst place. You hear harsh words on a day-to-day basis from the admin office. My child comes home telling me what kind of things they heard from the office and asks if that's a good thing to say. I have to say no, but people make mistakes....but it happens so OFTEN that I am thinking of changing schools," said another parent with children at St. Maur International School in Tokyo.

"Visit first if possible, and any other school you may be interested in. I thought the previous reviewer was extremely unfair to the school and did not even care to get the facts straight, which is why I decided to write this review. Whether the school is right for an expat would depend on the expat. Obviously this one is not appropriate for someone wanting a monolingual education, but there were a number of sabbatical families at the school only for a year and they mostly found it a positive experience.. I visited several of the international schools in Tokyo myself and I thought this one was by far the most interesting and innovative. It depends on what one wants," commented one expat when asked about New International School of Japan in Tokyo.

"If you don't have problems with a smaller school, Tokyo YMCA International School is a good school. The class sizes are smaller. The curriculum is all taught in English and their reading/writing program is good. The administration also helps interested parents with children graduating from the school to locate and communicate with various other international middle schools in the Tokyo area," explained one expat in Tokyo, Japan with kids at Tokyo YMCA International School.

"Be careful. Japanese is the only language spoken by most students and students not fluent in Japanese are somewhat left out, as they are a minority. i.e. one or two per class. The bi-lingual approach, while nice in theory, is actually very Japanese oriented, with fewer native English speaking teachers, and far fewer native English speaking students," wrote an expat living in Tokyo with children attending New International School of Japan.

"I would say that if your child is a high achiever and creative, this is the perfect school for them. If your child is more comfortable "getting lost in the crowd" than participating in school functions, they may feel a bit overwhelmed. The school is very much like a family - for good and for bad; it's hard to blend in and be invisible in such a small environment, but there is a lot of support, encouragement, and love there. The students really love the school and they do really well," said one commented one expat when asked about KAIS International School in Tokyo.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Japan Forum Japan Forum
Meet other people living in Tokyo.

Healthcare in Tokyo, JapanHealthcare in Tokyo, Japan

Expats and global nomads in Tokyo share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Japan, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Moving to Tokyo, JapanMoving to Tokyo, Japan

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Tokyo: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Pros and Cons of Living in Tokyo, JapanPros and Cons of Living in Tokyo, Japan

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Tokyo, Japan.

Real Estate TokyoReal Estate in Tokyo

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Tokyo

Schools in TokyoInternational Schools in Tokyo

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Expats share their experiences living in Tokyo, Japan and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Tokyo.

Moving to TokyoExpat Report: Moving to Tokyo

An expat in Tokyo talks about the high cost of housing, living close to work, property searches and mansion apartments.

Expat Healthcare & Health InsuranceExpat Report: Healthcare in Tokyo

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Culture Shock in TokyoExpat Report: Culture Shock in Tokyo

An expat talks about what it's like moving to Tokyo. It took some time adjusting to the crowds and culture, but he's happy now and looking back the culture shock wasn't as bad as he anticipated.

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