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Update:January 23, 2020


Japanese education system

The school year starts in April and ends in March of the following year. Students have a vacation of approximately one month each in summer and winter.


Elementary and junior high schools

Children who have reached six years of age attend elementary school from the following April. The six years of education in elementary school and the three years in junior high school are compulsory, and there are no entrance examinations for municipal elementary/junior high schools.
In public elementary/junior high schools, tuition and textbooks are provided free of charge, but school-provided lunches are fee-based. Junior high schools usually have their own uniforms for students to wear.

Enrolling children into elementary and junior high schools

If you have filed your resident registration form, a health check-up form should be send to your home in October a year before your child begins elementary school. Please have your child undergo the check-up at the designated location. Preparations required before enrolling will be explained by each school. A school enrollment notification will be mailed in January.
For school transfer procedures, if you are moving from another city and is filing a resident registration form in Sapporo or already filed a resident registration form and is enrolling a student to a school within Sapporo for the first time, take an enrollment guide from the resident registration window and take it to the Board of Education for further procedures. If your child is transferring schools within the city and is also planning to change information on residency, receive an enrollment application at the resident registration window and go to the designated school for further procedures.
If you would like to enroll your child to a school without filing for residence status, please contact the Board of Education.
If you plan to enroll your child into an international school or a private school, please contact the school directly for further information. 

School Expenses Assistance System

The City of Sapporo has set up a system for assistance for school supplies, field trips, and lunch related expenses for families with elementary and junior high school students whose income is below a certain amount. For details, see the following documents. Please consult with the school when applying.

Notification on school expenses assistance(PDF:215KB)

School expenses assistance application form example(PDF:182KB) 

Study assistance for children learning Japanese

Japanese classes and instructors are made available to schools to help children of foreign nationality with Japanese language studies and adapting to school life. Contact your child’s school for details. 

Japanese classes

These classes target foreign national students at municipal elementary and junior high schools and are held about twice a week (roughly 60 minute sessions) in individual or group settings, focusing on teaching the Japanese necessary for daily use at school. Study materials are provided free of charge.
Location: Sapporo Education Center (inside Sapporo Comprehensive Lifelong Learning Center “Chieria”, Miyanosawa 1-jo 1-chome 1-10, Nishi-ku)

High schools

More than 90% of junior high school graduates go on to study at senior high school. To enter high school, applicants are required to pass the entrance examination held by each school. Those who graduate from junior high school in Japan(including those who are expected to graduate) or those who are certified as having received an equivalent level of school education are eligible to take the examination.

Sapporo Odori High School

Sapporo Odori High School has special admission quotas for foreign citizens and returnee students in its entrance examination, and also provides Japanese language lessons to students. For details, contact Sapporo Odori High School ( Kita 2-jo Nishi 11-chome, Chuo-ku Tel: 011-251-0229). (Japanese)

Secondary schools

Secondary schools are 6 year schools joining the grades of junior high and high schools in one facility. There is one municipal secondary school in Sapporo (Sapporo Municipal Kaisei Secondary School). It is necessary to pass a student screening in order to enroll in secondary schools. Students who live with a guardian in Sapporo and who have graduated from a Japanese elementary school (or have the equivalent education) are eligible for screening. There is no special quota or system in place for students of foreign nationality. This school teaches international educational programs, implemented by the International Baccalaureate (IB).

International schools

Hokkaido International School

Hokkaido International School provides education for non-Japanese students who find attending Japanese schools difficult due to language problems. The school offers education for levels from kindergarten through high school. All classes are taught in English.

Hokkaido International School (Sapporo school)

Hiragishi 5-jo 19-chome 1-55, Toyohira-ku
Tel: 011-816-5000 (English)

Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School

Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School offers education for Korean children in Japan. In addition to subjects similar to those taught in Japanese elementary/junior high/senior high schools, students learn Korean language and ethnic culture.

Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School

Hiraoka 4-jo 2-chome 6-1, Kiyota-ku
Tel: 011-881-3971

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