International Christian University (ICU) provides one of the most distinguished Japanese Language Programs in Tokyo. Every full time student at ICU is required to take language courses to graduate. Students that enroll in April must take English language classes, while students who enroll in September take Japanese language courses. Regular undergraduates need to complete a certain number of credits to be able to graduate. After the matriculation ceremony, you will take a placement test to determine your level of Japanese. ICU’s Japanese language courses are taught by a native Japanese professor, and class sizes are relatively small allowing for one on one tutorial time with professors.  ICU offers three different programs for studying Japanese. 

The Japanese Language program at ICU allows students to have one on one tutorials with teachers

Japanese Language Program (JLP)

The JLP course is provided to undergraduates, exchange students, and graduate students. This particular program is for students learning Japanese as a foreign language. The course focuses on reading, writing, and speaking. You must complete up to the JLP 7 class to graduate. Classes meet three times a week for a total of nine class periods ; which makes it relatively difficult to take other subject courses. Each week you will learn new grammar and will read an excerpt for class; throughout the week you will have discussions regarding the topic. At the end of the term you will have a final project where you will research and present a Japanese topic that you are interested in. Once you complete the requirement number of credits, you will not need to take anymore Japanese Language classes.

Japanese language program at ICU with a native Japanese teacher

Intensive Japanese

The Intensive Japanese classes meet five times a week with 18 class periods. This program allows students to learn at double the pace of the Japanese Language program. Fundamentals are covered during this course allowing for basic conversational skills, grammar, and kanji.


Foreign exchange students studying Japanese at International Christian University

Special Japanese

The special Japanese program is for those whose first language/heritage language is Japanese. Students that take special Japanese courses are usually Japanese students  who have been living abroad. Many students who take this course can communicate in Japanese orally but still struggle with reading and writing. There are three different level classes as well as three different Kanji class levels. The kanji classes are provided to higher reading ability as well as to remember a total of 1,600 kanji characters by the end of the term. Classes meet twice a week with an average of four class periods, consisting of reading newspapers and articles to higher literacy skills.


Students discussing the given topic in class in spoken Japanese


After completing your courses of Japanese language, you will be prepared to attend classes of other subjects taught fully in Japanese by a Japanese professor. The Japanese language will provide you the necessary skills to be able to keep up with your Japanese peers. Lectures are taught in Japanese but depending on the teacher you can submit assignments in either Japanese or English. If you want to challenge yourself, you may also do class presentations in Japanese with the help of Japanese group members. Many Japanese students are willing to help you with your speaking skills and will always lend a hand with Japanese homework. ICU is equipped with the perfect environment to further your Japanese language ability and gain confidence –  come to ICU if you want to study Japanese in Japan and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.

To learn more about ICU’s Japanese Language Programs visit the ICU homepage to read the voices of past students.