Best Schools in Kumamoto

ByJustin Hanus
Apr 26, 2024

Best Schools in Kumamoto

With a smaller expat population than some Japanese prefectures, Kumamoto doesn’t have the same depth of international schools that you might find in Tokyo or Osaka. However, you will find a diverse range of educational establishments providing teaching from preschool to college age. Here is a pick of top schools across Kumamoto prefecture.

Kumamoto International School

Established in 2018, Kumamoto International School (KIS) is the only full international school in Kumamoto prefecture. Located in the Higashi ward, it has quickly established a reputation for excellent teaching. The school provides education at preschool, elementary (primary) and high (secondary/middle) school levels, while taking pupils all the way to college and university level. It delivers the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) program at primary and middle years. Around 30 staff deliver lessons in English, Japanese and Chinese to nearly 200 students, around 20% of whom come from outside Japan.

The school follows an active learning philosophy to engage students to the fullest, and there are plenty of extracurricular activities, events and excursions on offer. Tuition fees are 83,000 yen per month (discounted to 49,000 yen per month for second and subsequent children) plus there are costs for enrollment, materials and school maintenance. Lunch and out-of-hours activities cost extra but are optional.


Three Lions International Preschool

Also based in the Higashi ward in east Kumamoto, Three Lions is probably the most well-established out of a number of international preschool facilities in the prefecture. It provides nursery learning for children aged 14 months to six years and has a reputation for good teaching standards, friendly staff and a pleasant environment. Classes and daily communication are in English, making it a popular school with expat families as well as locals who want their children to broaden their language skills. Activities include art, English, math, music, physical exercise and learning about nature. School operating hours are 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and there are several clubs that children can participate in, such as football, swimming, dance, piano and calligraphy. Fees are set annually and you can find information here.

Website: Three Lions Preschool

Seiseiko High School

This centrally-located public senior high school is one of two Super Global High Schools in Kumamoto. It’s a co-educational state school so learning is in Japanese and enrollment is generally based on residence. However, if your child is fluent in Japanese then it’s a great place to receive an excellent education. The school was founded in 1879 on three principles relating to ethics, integrity and knowledge that still are revered to this day. Students are aged 14-16 and there is an emphasis on preparation for international universities and highly-skilled careers.


Toho International Language School

Located in the heart of Kumamoto city, this is a Japanese language school for international students looking to hone their linguistic skills for top-level careers in the Japanese job market or to go on and study at a Japanese university or vocational college. You will need to have completed around 12 years of schooling either in your home country or at an international Japanese school, so it’s aimed at students aged 15+. Enrollment eligibility is Japanese residence plus basic Japanese knowledge to N5 level. Courses last up to two years and can take you all the way to level N1. There are also additional classes in Japanese culture. Fees are around 710,000 yen a year.


Adem, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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