Japan is a sovereign island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest.
Languages: The most widely spoken language in Japan is Japanese, which is separated into a large number of dialects with Tokyo dialect considered standard Japanese.
In addition to the Japanese language, Ryukyuan languages are spoken in Okinawa and parts of Kagoshima in the Ryukyu Islands. Along with Japanese, these languages are part of the Japonic language family, but they are separate languages, and are not mutually intelligible with Japanese, or with each other. All of the spoken Ryukyuan languages are classified by UNESCO as endangered.
In Hokkaido, there is the Ainu language, which is spoken by the Ainu people, who are the indigenous people of the island. The Ainu languages, of which Hokkaido Ainu is the only extant variety, are isolated and do not fall under any language family. Ever since the Meiji period, Japanese has become widely used among the Ainu people and consequently Ainu languages have been classified critically endangered by UNESCO.
In addition, languages such as Orok, Evenki, and Nivkh spoken in formerly Japanese controlled southern Sakhalin are becoming more and more endangered. After the Soviet Union took control of the region, speakers of these languages and their descendants migrated to mainland Japan and still exist but in small numbers.
The most widely spoken language in Japan is Japanese, which is separated into a large number of dialects with Tokyo dialect considered standard Japanese.
around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions, and from fewer than 1% to 2.3% are Christians
Japanese yen (JPY) Religion in Japan is dominated by Shinto (the ethnic religion of the Japanese people) and by Buddhism. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organized
1. You will be part of world-class education:
The cutting edge innovation for which Japan is known didn’t happen spontaneously. A formidable higher educational system with a commitment to research and development stands behind it. Need more proof? Japan boasts Asia’s highest number of Nobel prize winners thanks to to its extraordinary academic tradition.
Earlier this year, Japan fended off challenges from rising higher education powers to hold onto 20 of the top 100 spots — with ultimate #1 bragging rights going to the University of Tokyo — in Times Higher Education’s Asian University Rankings. With measures based on everything from teaching and research to knowledge transfer and international outlook, Japan’s dominance as a higher education power is well-known.
With approximately 780 universities from which to choose, as well as specialized vocational institutions, the academic options for international students are nearly boundless. Read more about Yokohama National University, the International University of Japan, Waseda Business School, APU Japan, Doshisha Business School, the NUCB Graduate School, Hitotsubashi ICS, Globis University, and Keio Business School.
2. You will feel welcomed and desired by schools and universities:
Japan is increasingly prioritizing education as a means of fostering economic growth, and internationalization leads the charge among higher education reforms.
As of May 2012, there were just under 140,000 international students in Japan, and that number is expected to skyrocket over the next 16 years due to the Global 30 initiative. This pledge by a collective of Japanese national universities seeks to attract 300,000 students from all over the world to study in Japan by the year 2020 — a number which will ultimately account for 10 percent of the country’s entire student body.
To that end, universities are pulling out all the stops for international students, beginning with a simplified application process, continuing throughout the study experience and culminating with help on the job trail. Other measures designed to attract global talent include letting students start in September — as opposed to during Japan’s traditional academic starting month of April; allowing more coursework to be taught in English; recruiting global teaching staff; and encouraging both inbound and outbound international exchange programs. Read more about Bachelor and Master programs available in Japan.
3. You will be truly valuable on the job market:
But international students aren’t just sought after in the classroom. A recent New York Times article discussed a new push by Japanese companies to recruit international talent for a more global business representation. Just how sought after are non-Japanese college graduates? In a survey of more than 800 Japanese companies, nearly 50 percent of them plan to recruit from a non-Japanese pool of college grads. Many even have a 10 percent quota.
While non-Japanese workers are at a premium in Japan due to the drive for a more diverse, global workforce, foreign candidates must still undergo the rigorous Japanese job search process, along with the etiquette that goes along with it. Studying abroad offers valuable experience with the customs and behaviors that open doors.
4. You can both study and save money:
While it’s true that Japan is an expensive place to live, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a good education at a reasonable price. While living costs may be high, tuition fees are comparatively cheap — particularly up against those in the United States and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, a tuition fee exemption program for foreign students goes a long way in cushioning the financial blow, as do a multitude of scholarship opportunities from the government, private universities, foundations and corporations designed to support international students of all levels and across all academic disciplines.
5. You will live amazing cultural experiences:
If you’re hoping for a glimpse into a fascinating and completely different way of life, look no further than Japan. After all, how many other countries can lay claim to being the birthplace of both Pikachu and haiku? Japanese culture intriguingly merges contrasting elements for a harmonious society in which the old and the new seamlessly blend together. From customary to cutting edge, students gain exposure to 2,000 years worth of culture and history in one remarkable place.
Japan is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking natural terrain — four seasons out of the year. Haiku verse sprung forth from the nation’s stunning seasons, and endures today as a testament to the land’s diverse and extraordinary beauty. And speaking of diverse and extraordinary, no discussion of Japan is complete without mention of its cuisine. From sushi and sashimi to ramen and soba, life in Japan offers an epicurean adventure like no other.
Wherever your ventures take you in Japan, you can do so with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re in one of the world’s safest countries. From low crime rates to extraordinary public transportation to advanced medical technology, Japan has turned convenience into an art form.
6. After graduation, many job opportunities await in Japan:
You will love Japan and chances are you will want to stay after your studies. That would be a good decision because the Japanese job market is extremely fluid. And the demand for language-skilled, international-oriented people is always strong. Basically, you would appeal to so many (big) Japanese companies that you would have no issue finding a job, regardless of the industry you choose. The job market is that good. As a matter of fact, 50% of Japanese companies are eager to find foreign graduates from Japanese schools. Last but not least, in Japan wages are high for qualified jobs.