Studying abroad can be an expensive endeavor, but luckily there is a wealth of scholarships for international students to apply for so they can study abroad in Japan. Researching all of the available scholarships without a proper search tool is a maddening task, so we’ve narrowed the list down to 20 scholarships that may be most applicable and desirable for international students. All scholarships are sourced from the 2018/2019 JASSO Scholarship file.

Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) of the Japanese Government offers seven scholarships under this category. These scholarships are one of the most popular scholarships for international students as they cover undergraduate and graduate studies, and even offer Japanese language training for students who have little or no knowledge of the Japanese language. Here are some of the most important details of the two largest MEXT scholarships:

  1. MEXT Undergraduate Student Scholarship

    • Age: 17-21 years old
    • Grade: Undergraduate
    • Subjects: a wide range of subjects in the fields of Social Science and Humanities (e.g., Law, Economics), as well as Natural Sciences (e.g., Biology, Physics)
    • Stipend: monthly stipend of ¥117,00, although this amount might vary according to the location the student ends up studying at.
    • Japanese language training: one year
    • Duration: Up to five years, or six to seven for subjects such as Dentistry or Medicine.
    • Read the 2019 MEXT Undergraduate Student Scholarship Application Guidelines and apply!
  2. MEXT Research Student (Graduate School Student and Research Student) Scholarship

    • Age: Under 35 years old
    • Grade: Graduate (Research, Master’s and Doctoral)
    • Subjects: a field of study that is the same, or related to, the field studies at their previous university.
    • Stipend: monthly stipend the amount of which will depend on their grade:
      • Non-degree (research student): ¥143,000
      • Master’s: ¥144,000
      • Doctoral: ¥145,000

-> Click here for a deeper understanding of all seven types of MEXT scholarships.

JASSO Scholarship

  1. The Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students

Offered by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), this is a scholarship for international students who are currently studying in Japan. A range of Japanese educational institutions, e.g., Japanese universities, specialized training colleges, or university preparatory courses are approved by Monbukagakusho and sent notices when the the scholarship becomes available. While the amount offered is not as large as other scholarships on this list, students can sometimes apply for this scholarship in addition to other scholarships. Some of this scholarship’s details are as follows:

    • Stipend: monthly stipend of ¥48,000
    • Grade: a range of Japanese educational institutions, e.g., Japanese universities, specialized training colleges, or university preparatory courses approved by MEXT.
    • Duration: One year (From April to March of the next year)
    • Application period: Late March to May. Applications are submitted through schools, and therefore the application period will vary depending on the school’s schedule.
    • You can send in your application until the end of May 2019. Apply Today!

Japanese Scholarships by Local Governments and Local International Associations

These scholarships are very localized – i.e., only available to students studying in certain cities or prefectures. Some of them also require residency in the select cities.. Nevertheless, this section of the scholarships list may still be relevant especially for international students intending to study outside of Tokyo. Here are a couple of scholarships of interest:

  1. Mie Prefectural Scholarship for Foreign Students

    • Offered by the Mie International Exchange Foundation
    • Age: Under 40
    • Grade: Junior College, Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral Students
    • Scholarship coverage: Tuition Fee up to ¥600,000 per year
    • Duration: up to completion of degree
    • Only for students intending to or studying in Mie Prefecture
    • Learn more here!
  1. Future Development Scholarship for International Students

    • Age: not mentioned
    • Grade: Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral
    • Stipend: ¥300,000 – ¥500,000 per year, depending on the individual applying.
    • Duration: dependent on the individual’s needs
    • Learn more here!

Japanese Scholarships from Private Foundations

The entire list of scholarships offered under this category vary greatly in terms of stipend, duration, subjects allowed, conditions for post-graduation, and citizenship requirements.

Students looking to apply for scholarships on this list should look closely at the application requirements, and also at the conditions stipulated by the scholarship. Many of them are scholarships for support graduate students. For this section, we’ve selected the scholarships that cover the broadest possible range of students. Each one has a minimum two-year coverage, unless otherwise stated.

  1. ITO Foundation for International Education Exchange Scholarships for Foreign Students

    • Age: Preferably under 30
    • Grade: Master’s (Year 1)
    • Stipend: ¥180,000 per month
  1. Kashiyama Scholarship Foundation*

    • Age: Under 30 (Master’s); Under 35 (Doctoral)
    • Grade: Master’s (Year 1) or Doctoral (Year 2)
    • Stipend: ¥120,000 per month
  1. Kato Asao International Scholarship Foundation*

    • Age: Under 30 (Undergraduate and Master’s); Under 35 (Doctoral)
    • Grade: Undergraduate (Year 3-4); Master’s (Year 1-2); Doctoral (Year 1-3, or Year 1-4 for 4 year programs such as medicine)
    • Stipend: dependent on grade:
      • Undergraduate: ¥120,000 per month
      • Master’s: ¥130,000 per month
      • Doctoral: ¥150,000 per month
  1. International Kyowa Scholarship Foundation*

    • Grade: Technical Colleges and Professional Training students, in addition to Undergraduate to Doctoral students
    • Stipend: ¥120,000 per month
  1. Kobayashi International Scholarship Foundation – General Scholarship*

    • Age: 35 or under
    • Grade: Undergraduate (Year 3 – 4); Master’s; Doctoral
    • Stipend: dependent on grade:
      • Undergraduate: ¥150,000 per month
      • Master’s and Doctoral: ¥180,000 per month
    • Duration: dependent on grade
      • Undergraduate: 2 years
      • Masters: 2 years
      • Doctoral: 3 years
  1. Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation*

    • Grade: Undergraduate to Doctoral
    • Stipend: dependent on grade
      • Undergraduate: ¥150,000 per month
      • Master’s and Doctoral: ¥180,000 per month
  1. Tokyu Foundation for Foreign Students*

    • Age: Under 30 (Master’s); Under 35 (Doctoral)
    • Grade: Master’s and Doctoral
    • Stipend: ¥180,000 per month
  1. Tokio Marine Kagami Memorial Foundation – Scholarship for ASEAN students*

    • Age: 30 or under (Master’s Year 1 – 2); 35 or under (Doctoral Year 1 – 3)
    • Grade: Master’s Year (1 – 2); Doctoral Year (1 – 3)
    • Stipend: ¥180,000 per month
    • Duration: until completion of degree
  1. Japan Educational Exchanges and Services – Mitsubishi Corporation International Scholarship (JEES Sponsor-Crowned Scholarship)*

    • Grade: Undergraduate (Year 3 – 4); Master’s; Doctoral
    • Stipend: grade dependent
      • Undergraduate: ¥100,000 per month
      • Master’s and Doctoral: ¥150,000 per month
    • Duration: until completion of degree
  1. NOMURA Foundation*

    • Age: under 35
    • Grade: Master’s and Doctoral
    • Stipend: ¥200,000 per month
  1. Honjo International Scholarship Foundation*

    • Age: 30 or under (Master’s); 35 or under (Doctoral)
    • Grade: Master’s and Doctoral
    • Stipend: grade and duration dependent:
      • Master’s: ¥200,000 per month
      • Doctoral (3 years): ¥180,000 per month
      • Doctoral (4 – 5 years): ¥150,000 per month
  1. Rohm Music Foundation

    • Grade: High school to Doctoral
    • Designated field of study: Music
    • Stipend: ¥300,000 per month
    • Duration: 1 year or up to completion of degree
  2. Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation Inc.

    • Age: Under 35 at the commencement of payment
    • Grade: Undergraduate to Doctoral
    • Stipend: grade dependent
      • Master’s: ¥100,000 per month
      • Doctoral: ¥140,000 per month

*Indicates restrictions for students’ country of origins, and/or restrictions for chosen schools in Japan allowed. Students should refer to the JASSO Scholarship File, or the Scholarship provider’s website for more details

Scholarships to Study in Japan for Applicants Residing Abroad

Many scholarships from private and local foundations for studying in Japan require international students to be already based in Japan at the time of applying.

However, there are some scholarships from private foundations available to students who are intending to study in Japan, but have yet to move to there. While scholarships made available by Japanese sponsors are written here, make sure to check for scholarships in your home country, as there are undoubtedly many options available to you there as well.

That’s Not the End!

There are always more scholarships out there. Use the SchooLynk Scholarship Search tool to find Japanese scholarships perfect for you today.