The city of Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture is the second-largest city in Japan by population (3.7 million) and the most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, in the region of Kanto and is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Learning Nihongo in Yokohama

Yokohama (横浜) means “horizontal beach”, due to the area used to be a gulf divided by a sandbar from the open sea. Since the sandbar extended perpendicularly from the land or horizontally when viewed from the sea, it resulted in being called “horizontal beach”.

Yokohama became developed rapidly as one of Japan’s prominent port cities following the end of Japan’s foreign policy of isolationism (鎖国/sakoku) in the mid-19th century and is today one of the major ports along with ports such as Kobe, Osaka, and Tokyo.

Where is Yokohama ?

As previously stated Yokohama was a small fishing village during the Edo period, in which Japan at the time was under the rule of the Tokugawa clan. Since the early 1600s, trade and foreign relations were limited to the Kingdom of Korea, Imperial Ming/Qing Dynasty China, the Ryukyu Kingdom, and the Netherlands. That all changed due to major events taking place in Japan during the years of 1853 and 1854, when Commodore Matthew Perry and his American navy fleet arrived in Yokohama, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce. Later on, the Tokugawa shogunate agreed to end its policy of isolationism by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity, and Yokohama became a port city afterward due to its prime location and being in between of the Tokyo and the Kansai region. Yokohama became one of the bases of foreign trade in Japan.

With the influence of Western culture, Yokohama had experienced many firsts. Notably, the port city was one of the first in Japan to accept western fashion, and have Japan’s first English language newspaper, the Japan Herald published in 1861. In 1865 the first ice cream and beer were produced in Japan at Yokohama. With such attraction towards both foreign and local people, to this day it is still attracting foreigners and Japanese people.

Yokohama is perfect for students who may want to avoid the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Tokyo, but still want to be close to it and still have a sense of city life, with a sense of a global feel. With that said, here are some Japanese language schools that you might take into consideration, and perhaps may apply for. 

Yokohama Design College (学校法人 石川学園 横浜デザイン学院)

School Fees (12 Months as of 2019-2020)

Application Fee25,000 Yen
Enrollment/Entrance Fee70,000 Yen
Tuition 600,000 Yen
Material fee20,000 Yen
Facility fee25,000 Yen
Other Fees45,000 Yen

Other Information

Number of Students240
Number of Teachers37 (Including Full-time Teachers: 9)
RequirementCompletion of 12 years of formal school education or equivalent
Admissions April and October

Yokohama Design College (YDC) is a visual and art design vocational school located near the center of Yokohama. Since it is primarily a vocational school in Japan, Japanese high school and vocational school students are studying in the same building as Japanese language students. This perhaps is a great opportunity for prospective students to interact with the Japanese students and to improve their Japanese.

The Japanese language schools put their intensity level at medium. This would mean that the school gives the students a perfect balance between studying and having free time. Thus students will be able to enjoy your life in Japan, while still being able to effectively improve your studies.

While living and studying at YDC, there will be English-speaking staff available to help students who may have questions or needs that need to be dealt with. Also, the Japanese language school provides support for students who are wanting to work full-time in Japan. Also, YDC provides support to students by posting available part-time jobs in the area and preparing students for a part-time job interview.

As for accommodations, YDC has dormitories in which students can live while studying in Japan. Four types of dormitories are available which include single occupancy and sharing a room with two people. Furniture and utility cost, as well as monthly rent,  differ from each other, so please make sure you choose wisely. 

For more information, please contact the YDC’s through there website or email the school directly.

Yokohama International Education Academy (横浜国際教育学院)

School Fees (12 Months as of 2019-2020)

Application Fee20,000 Yen
Enrollment/Entrance Fee80,000 Yen
Tuition* 640,000 Yen

(*Tuition includes textbooks, scheduled school events, and student insurance)

Other Information

Number of Students516
Number of Teachers58 (Including Full-time Teachers: 9)
RequirementCompletion of 12 years of formal school education or equivalent
Admissions April and October

Another Japanese language school that is recommended to many prospective foreign students is the Yokohama International Education Academy, which is a few minutes away by train from Yokohama station. The school states that it helps its students to have self-development and self-fulfillment, and support the students in creative skills to understand and improve their Japanese language skills and understanding the society of Japan. 

The courses at the Yokohama International Education Academy teach students how to pass the Japanese University entrance exams and the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Also, while studying such exams, students will develop natural conversations in Japanese. 

Besides the exams that students will learn about and practice taking, students will also learn kanji, vocabulary, reading grammar, writing, listening and conversation. To aid students that are beginners in Japanese, review lessons in grammar and kanji are available for students in elementary levels. Besides language and grammar courses, the courses will also teach students about understanding Japanese manners and customs, which is important to understand, since mannerism and respect are important in Japanese culture. 

As for the school’s support and guidance on advancing towards higher education, information is updated and seminars are held throughout the school year for students to attend and to see if there is a school that could be his or her perfect choice.

For accommodations, students have a wide variety of choices to choose from, for both long term and short term students. For short term students, some may stay at a short term dormitory or a business hotel. As for long term stays, students can choose from student dormitories that are for single or shared occupancy, or homestay. Monthly rent and pricing of utilities may differ so please check the school’s official website for further information. 

In conclusion

For further questions please either check the official website of the school, contact the school by email, or by phone.

Yokohama is very diverous and metropolitan city like Tokyo, and offers tourists and students with many things to do. Hope this will help you find a school orperhaps have a further interest in Yokohama. Happy school hunting and studying!

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo?

Study in Japan?



School in Osaka: Japanese Language Schools in the Nation’s Kitchen
How I Learned Japanese