What kinds of scholarships are there? What am I eligible for? What and where can I study with the scholarship?

These are some of the questions that you might have when considering a scholarship to study in Japan.

In this article, we will feature various scholarships to hopefully answer all the questions you may have! (If you have any questions left unanswered, do drop us a comment.)

MEXT (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship

(taken from the MEXT official website)

First things first, the MEXT (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship. Many of you may have heard of this before. It is one of the longest running scholarships and it has been given out since 1954 by the Japanese Government. With a variety of majors allowed and no bond after you graduate, this scholarship is very popular amongst foreign students.

What it provides
For Undergraduate Students:

The program lasts for 5 years (1 year for Japanese Language Training and 4 years in a Japanese university) or 7 years for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences (1 year for Japanese Language Training and 6 years in a Japanese university).

・117,000 JPY per month (Additional stipend for designated areas)
・One round-trip ticket
・Tuition: Exemption of examination, entrance and tuition fee


・Age: 17-21
・Those who meet one of the following educational conditions:
1. Must have completed 12 years of school education/expected to finish before the following April
2. Must have completed an educational course at a school equivalent to a high school
3. Must have qualifications deemed to be suitable for enrollment in a Japanese university at the time of application

・During the 1 year Japanese Language Training, maintain good attendance and attain scores suitable for enrollment in a Japanese university

For Research Students (Graduate School & Research Students):

Up to 2 years for Research Students and a period to complete the standard course term for Graduate School Students + 6 months Japanese Language Training.

・Non-degree students: 143,000 JPY per month
・Master’s Course: 144,000 JPY per month
・Doctoral Course: 145,000 JPY per month (Additional stipend for designated areas)
・One round-trip ticket
・Tuition: Exemption of examination, entrance and tuition fee


・Field of study should be related to your major at your previous university
・Age: under 35
・University or college graduates (or prospect)
・Those who have academic ability equal to that of a university graduate

How to apply:

There are 3 stages during the application for the MEXT Scholarship: 1. Documents Screening, 2. Written Examination, 3. Interview. These are conducted by your local Japanese embassy so do check out the respective websites for the application guidelines, forms, and full details of when and where to submit the documents.

Usually, the application deadline is around end June, early July but it depends on your region. Written examinations are around mid-July and interviews would be about a week after.

Scholarships by JASSO

(taken from the Wikipedia )

The Japan Student Service Organization (JASSO) offers an Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students. While it does not cover tuition fees, it is still a helpful scholarship to have.

Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students
What it provides:

・48,000 JPY per month for 1 year for graduate school students, research students, undergraduate students, college of technology student (3rd grade or upper) etc.
・30,000 JPY per month for 1 year for students in a Japanese language institution


・Written recommendation by the school you are attending
・”College student” visa status required
・Not receiving any other scholarships that do not allow plural grants
・Have to cooperate with a survey of academic and career status after scholarship payment
・Should meet the required grade point
・Monthly allowance from family should not exceed 90,000 JPY
・Annual income of a student’s supporter residing in Japan may not exceed 5,000,000 JPY

How to apply:

Applicants will be accepted through schools hence, they would have to apply to the school office for a recommendation to JASSO. Please contact your school to confirm the exact procedures.

Scholarships by Universities

Besides the above scholarships, some universities also offer scholarships to students based on merit.

The University of Tokyo Scholarship

A four-year scholarship for successful applicants to the PEAK (Programs in English at Komaba) program. The selection is based on the screening process during the application to PEAK hence there is no separate application.

What it provides:

・Tuition Fees (including admission fee)
・126,000 JPY per month


・Not receiving any other scholarships
・There will be a review every year and the renewal of the scholarship will be based on academic performance
・Students must not repeat a year and should complete the course in 4 consecutive years

Waseda University

Waseda University offers a wide range of scholarships according to your school/graduate school. There are 3 categories of scholarships for international students:

1. Waseda University Scholarships
2. External Scholarships with University Recommendation
3. Open External Scholarships

What each scholarship provides can range from a partial tuition waiver to a yearly stipend. Eligibility for the respective scholarship varies as well so more details, please check out the list of scholarships here

Further, to discover more about Waseda University, there is a Waseda University Station, where all contents from scholarship stories, personal life stories, photographs taken by presently enrolled students, as well as additional information exchange between students, can be viewed.

Keio University

Similar to Waseda, Keio also offers various scholarships ranging from an honors scholarship to corporate scholarships. For more information, please check out this website.

So we’ve covered some of the scholarships offered by the Ministry of Education in Japan, JASSO and universities in Tokyo but of course, there are many other opportunities. Apart from scholarships from universities, there are also scholarships by local governments and international associations. You can check out a very comprehensive list by JASSO here!  Hope you would be able to find a scholarship that would suit you! All the best!

Lastly, similarly to Waseda’s Station, there is also a Keio University Station, filled with voices of students enrolled with scholarships, stories about life in Japan and more information explicitly on Keio University.