Despite the cheap tuition of Japanese Universities, students can further offset the cost of their tertiary education through generous full scholarships offered by a number of prestigious Japanese institutions. Continue reading to find out more about some of Japan’s best universities offering full scholarships in 2021! 

The best Japanese Universities offering Full Scholarships to International Students?

Difficult to find, a Full Scholarship at a Japanese University is like striking gold! Schoolynk has conducted comprehensive research so keep reading for our top 5 list

Japan is one of the top destinations for international students to study. Foreign students have the benefit of subsidized academic fees thanks to the Japanese Government’s Global 30 initiative. As a result, most international students pay the same amount of tuition as that of regular students – something that does not happen in many other countries around the world!

International students studying in Japan, however, have the opportunity to further decrease the cost of their bachelor’s degree through merit-based full scholarships offered by the tertiary institution themselves. A number of Japanese universities provide their own full scholarships in order to attract international talent from all over the world.

Here at Schoolynk, we consider full scholarships to provide funding for all three of the following areas: 1). Tuition, 2). Enrollment and/or registration fees, and 3). Housing and living expenses. Upon extensive research, we were able to identify 3 Japanese Universities offering full scholarships! Please note that this list has been compiled for international undergraduate students.

The 3 Japanese Universities offering Full Scholarships are as follows: 

  1. University of Tokyo
  2. Tohoku University 
  3. Nagoya University

As a fifth option, we will also cover the Japanese Government-sponsored MEXT Scholarship. The MEXT scholarship is a full scholarship and can be used to study at any Japanese institution. 

4. MEXT Scholarship 

Few… Ready to hear more about how to study at a Japanese University with a full scholarship? Let’s begin!

1. University of Tokyo Full Scholarship 

University of Tokyo is our top choice Japanese University with a Full Scholarship!

The University of Tokyo’s PEAK program is an English-degree undergraduate program offering one of two tracks: Japan in East Asia (JEA) and Environmental Studies (ES).

Every year, up to 10 students from the University of Tokyo may be awarded the University of Tokyo Scholarship. The University of Tokyo Scholarship is a full 4-year scholarship covering the admission fee, tuition, and living expenses of JPY126,000 per month. 

The University of Tokyo Scholarship is only awarded up to 10 students per year

Please note that the scholarship is contingent upon a satisfactory academic performance review every year.

Find out about Dionne’s life studying and working in Japan. She was a recipient of the University of Tokyo Scholarship!

University and Working Life in Japan, as Told by Dionne (Part 1)
University and Working Life in Japan, as Told by Dionne (Part 2)

2. Tohoku University Full Scholarship 

Did you know that Tohoku University ranked 1st in Japan in the recent Times Higher Education University Rankings?

Tohoku University gained international recognition in 2019 when it ranked 1st out of all Japanese universities in the 2020 Times Higher Education Rankings. 

Tohoku University has three main English-degree undergraduate programs:

  1. Advanced Molecular Chemistry 
  2. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
  3. Applied Marine Biology 

International students in each of the above three programs are eligible to receive the President Fellowship. The scholarship covers JPY 282,000 for the entrance fees and JPY 267,900 x 4 years for tuition.  Furthermore, a select number of exceptional students (unspecified) may be separately awarded a living expenses stipend.

The Tohoku University Fellowship fully covers both the Entrance Fee and Tuition Fees

It should be noted that students at Tohoku University can take advantage of the cheap housing costs to further offset their costs. All international students are eligible to enter the student housing facilities for at least the first 2 years. This only costs JPY 36,000 per month.

Interested to hear more about studying at Tohoku University? Check out Aditya’s experience below

3. Nagoya University Full Scholarship

Nagoya University
Nagoya University offers full scholarships only to international students!

Nagoya University is well known for its focus on mathematics and the sciences. The university is located in the heart of Japan’s industrial center and is in close proximity to multinational corporations such as Toyota and Japan Railways. Nagoya University offers the Nagoya University Global 30 Undergraduate Scholarship for international students. This scholarship covers the tuition fee for 4 years, the registration fee, and the monthly installments for the first year. Furthermore, students will also receive living expenses in the form of an annual stipend. A total of JPY500,000 will be provided every year to students as subsidized annual living expenses.

Nagoya Global 30 Scholarship provides a yearly lump-sum stipend

Please note, however, that the application fee will not be covered by the scholarship. Therefore, all applicants need to pay the application fee by the respective deadline when deciding to enroll at Nagoya University.

Interested to study at Nagoya University? Here are three other scholarships on offer!

4. Bonus – MEXT Scholarship

The versatile MEXT Scholarship is a full scholarship by the Japanese Government that can be used at any Japanese University!

Although the MEXT scholarship is not provided by one particular university, international students are eligible to apply for this scholarship via the Japanese Government. Upon successful application, students will end up enrolling in a Japanese University of their choice! 

Hear from Ye’s experience of acquiring the MEXT Scholarship HERE!

To learn more about the MEXT Scholarship, see our one-stop guide below:

MEXT Scholarship 2022 | Master the Basics with This One Article How to Maximize your Chances of Winning the MEXT Scholarship: Advice from a Past Recipient


And there you have it! A list of the top 4 (and only) Japanese Full Scholarships for international undergraduate students as of 2021.

We can conclude that full scholarships are rare in Japan as the tuition fees are already quite low for international students. If students are unable to receive the scholarships offered by Japanese universities, they should look into applying to the MEXT Scholarship via University Recommendation after enrollment!

Please see below for the list of sources used when compiling the list of best universities in Japan offering full scholarships in 2023.


  1. University of Tokyo
  1. Tohoku University
  2. Nagoya University
  3. MEXT Scholarship