About This Guide


Life in Tokyo: Your Guide is a lifestyle guidebook published for non-Japanese residents by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs to help them begin their new life in Tokyo. From the moment you enter the country, this guide has all the information you need to live your day-to-day life. You will even discover advice from fellow expats who have been living in the city for some time, providing extra knowledge that is sure to come in useful. Let this guide kickstart your new life in Tokyo!

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You can download a complete PDF version of Life in Tokyo: Your Guide, a lifestyle guidebook produced especially for expats starting their new life in Tokyo

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Life in TokyoRaising and
educating children

In Japan, parents must have their children, aged 6 to 15 years, receive an education.

School system in Japan


A facility to educate children from the age of 3 until entering elementary school, which supports mental and physical growth.

Daycare center

A facility to care for pre-school children during times such as when parents are working.

Accredited day care-kindergarten

A facility to educate and care for children, having both kindergarten and day care functions.

For details

  • Education and childcare desk at the local municipal office

Enrollment method

If you wish to enroll in a public kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school or in a daycare center, please consult with the following desks.

Type Enrollment consultation
Kindergarten Local municipal office
Daycare center
Elementary school
Junior high school
High school Tokyo Metropolitan Education Consultation Center

*For other schools, contact them directly


You have to take a test to enter high school, so prepare!

International Schools

Educational facilities for foreign children and students.
The languages used and curriculum will vary from school to school. For information on enrollment methods, contact the school directly.


School lunches

In Japan, many public elementary and junior high schools offer school lunches (nutritiously balanced meals).

Seasoned residents say

  • April is the start of the new school year in Japan.

  • At matriculation and graduation ceremonies in Japan, the parents all dress formally, such as in suits.