Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about…

    1. Learning Japanese
    2. About the school
    3. About the courses
    4. About the application
    5. Before you arrive
    6. Your stay in Japan

Learning Japanese

1−How long does it take to learn the Japanese Language?

It greatly depends on your individual effort in learning the language as well as your speed of learning. Having a conversation in Japanese is not too difficult and you should be able to converse in basic Japanese in your daily life after a crash course or intensive course in Coto Academy.

2−How many levels are there for Intensive Course?

Intensive course ranges from beginner to advanced Japanese. There are 4 levels in total and each level has 3 sub levels so for example, level 1-1, level 1-2, and level 1-3. Between level 3 and 4, there is a bridging level and after level 4, students can study advanced business Japanese.Total beginners are most welcome to join our crash course program. More information on our level is available here. 

3−How do I know what level of Japanese I am at?

We conduct a level assessment in Coto Academy to determine which level will best suit your needs. However if should you find the classes too difficult or too easy, you can inform the staff at the reception to make changes for you.

4−How do I know what lessons are best suited for me?

Our staff can prepare a lesson plan based on the content you wish to study, your preferred schedule and budget.

5− What is JLPT?

JLPT stands for Japanese Language Proficiency Test which measures your Japanese language ability according to a set of international standards. Many companies in Japan requires you to have passed at least N2 level of the JLPT. More information about the JLPT can be found on the official website. At Coto Language Academy, we provide JLPT training course for N3, N2 and N1 classes, for more information please kindly refer to our course page.

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About the school

1− What kind of courses are available are at Coto Language Academy?

We offer intensive conversation course, part-time group lessons, private & dispatch lesson and JLPT training course. To know more about our available course, please kindly refer to our course page.

2− How many students are there in a class?

At Coto Language Academy, we believe in the power of small classes size. With a maximum of 8 students, our teachers can commit to improve the conversation skills of each student. Approximately 60% of our students come from Europe and North America and the rest from Asia, South America and Latin America. Most of our students are here for professional reasons or to visit family. Some are also here for short time stay. 

3−Who are the teachers?

They are all native Japanese speakers holding professional qualifications and have considerable experience teaching. In order to match the diversity of our students, we employ teachers with a variety of social experiences. All of them understand basic conversational English. 

4− What facilities do you provide?

We provide a self-study space equipped with electrical outlets. We also offer lounges you can use during lunch and coffee break. Instant coffee and tea are also available for the student to consume. Wifi is also available for the students.

5− What else can I do in Japan? 

Coto Academy organise many monthly cultural events. More information can be found on our facebook page or it can be found on the bulletin board in the school. Other than these cultural events, there are also many interesting events and places to visit in Japan. Refer to TokyoCheapo or Japan Guide for more interesting places to go. Interesting articles and places to go can be found by following us on Twitter and Instagram @cotoacademy where we post about our events and unique things about Japan.

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About the courses

1− What are the intensive course classes like?

We conduct our classes primarily in Japanese, but use English in our basic course to facilitate comprehension. Students just beginning to learn Japanese can rest assured that more complex instruction will be in English. Each lesson takes fifty minutes with a ten minutes’ break between the classes.

We don’t only study language comprehension. We aim to develop an instinctive command of the spoken language and a firm grasp of practical grammar and sentence structure. To this end, as soon as we have covered a new grammatical item we conduct a conversation practice and tackle various tasks.

2− Are there lessons during the holidays?

We do not conduct private lessons or the Nihongo Plus course on the holidays listed in the Japanese calendar. The intensive course is normally conducted on weekdays even during holidays. We offer classes until 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 10:50 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

*For intensive course, can i choose to take classes in the morning or the afternoon?

Unfortunately, the intensive course schedule is set based on the number of applicants and the applicant’s preferences each month. We will try our best to open the course on your preferred time but we cannot guarantee that it will be your preferred time.

3− What materials do you use?

The Nihongo Plus course focuses on basic sentence structure to teach vocabulary immediately useful for life and communication in Japan which is why we use our in-house materials, based on situations and scenes you are likely to encounter. For private lessons, we use a wide variety of commercially available learning materials. In addition to those, we can also use original supplementary materials and worksheets to combine the enjoyable with the effective.

4− Do you provide reading or writing practice?

Whilst we concentrate primarily on the spoken language, we include writing and reading component (short tests, homework and the like) in our intensive courses, Nihongo Plus beginner courses and as a part of private lessons. We aim to develop an instinctive command of the spoken language and a firm grasp of practical grammar and sentence structure. To this end, as soon as we have covered a new grammatical item we conduct a conversation practice and tackle various tasks.

5− How long are the classes?

Each lesson takes fifty minutes. There is a ten minutes’ break between the classes.

6− Do you use only Japanese during lessons?

We conduct our classes primarily in Japanese, but use English in our basic course to facilitate comprehension. Students just beginning to learn Japanese can rest assured that more complex instruction will be in English.

7− What are the study materials for the Nihongo Plus course?

The Nihongo Plus course focuses on basic sentence structure to teach vocabulary immediately useful for life and communication in Japan. We also use our in-house materials based on situations and scenes you are likely to encounter. This course is suitable for people who have studied Japanese before, but are worried about their ability to conduct a conversation.

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About the application

1− How can I apply to Coto Language Academy?

First, contact us through our inquiry page. If you are already in Japan, you may call us at 03-6261-4515 or go directly to our reception desk. The application is the same for all type of courses.

*If you have previously studied Japanese, we will arrange a level assessment either by Skype or during an interview in our offices, in order for us to find the class best for your level. We will do our best to make an offer tailored to your needs and ability.

2− Do you do trial lessons?

Yes, we do have trial lessons to allow you to experience our teaching methods. We can organize a 1 hour trial group lesson or 30 minutes of private lesson after the level assessment. 

3− What are the 10,000 JPY registration fees for?

New students pay a one-time registration fee to cover the charge of the administration process and in order for the members to pursue their studies in the best possible environment. The following services are made possible by members’ registration fees:

  • Periodic feedback sessions
  • Free e-mail correction service
  • Lesson package discounts
  • Preparation of materials for your lessons
  • Organization of cultural and social events

3− How to I pay the tuition fees?

All payment must be done before within 2 weeks of your application. We accept 3 methods of payment: Paypal & bank transfer, cash.

  • If you are not in Japan: we accept PayPal and Bank transfers. All international transfers must be made following O.U.R instruction: you have to pay  both remittance and receiving charges. The charge for overseas transfers amounts to around 4,000 JPY for Japanese banks. In case of PayPal transfer, the commission fee is 4% of the total amount.
  • If you are in Japan: including the above methods, you may also pay directly by cash or credit card at the reception.

4− What are the cancellation regulations?

We try our best to have a flexible schedule that fits your busy schedule.

  • Intensive course: Please inform us if you need to miss a day before 18:00 the day previous to your lesson. We will organize a 1 hour catch up lesson (up to 1 per week). Note that there is no catch up lesson for Friday.
  • All other courses: please notify us by 18:00 the day previous to your lesson. If you fail to notify us, the lesson will be charged.

We greatly appreciate your understanding!
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Before you arrive

1−Does Coto Academy provide assistance for the plane tickets and airport arrival?

We understand some students would like some assistance for their trip to Japan. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any assistance on this matter. We would recommend you to contact travel agencies in your country to organize your arrival in Toyko.

2− Do you provide support for student visa, cultural visa or tourist visa?

Many countries benefit from visa exemption for short stay (15 to 180 days). Please check if your country benefit from the visa exemption on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s website.

As of today, the citizen of the following countries can benefit from an extendable 90-day visa: Austria, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland, UK. Those who wish to stay in Japan for more than 90 days are required to apply for an extension of the period of stay to the Ministry of Justice (Regional Immigration Bureau) before the period of permitted stay is to expire.

The working holiday programme in Japan is available for the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Republic of Korea, France, Germany, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Taiwan, Honk Kong, Norway, Portugal and Poland. Please refer to the official website to check your eligibility to the programme.

Would you be in need of a proof of enrollment for non-visa matters, we can provide the document after the completion of your application to our school.

3− Do you provide medical insurance?

No, we do not provide medical insurance. However if you are staying in Japan for over 3 months, you can enroll in the National Health Insurance of Japan. You will find more information about insurance in Japan on the following website: Japan Health Information and Shinjuku City, Enrollment in National Health Insurance

4− Do you provide assistance for accommodation?

Yes, we do provide partial assistance for your accommodation in Tokyo, convenient to go to our school. If you would like to experience homestay or to stay in a sharehouse, please kindly refer to our accommodation information page. During your inquiry to our school, please precise what kind of lodging you would like to have. 

If you you prefer a private accommodation – apartment and studio room, we would recommend the following agencies among others : Sakura-house & Oakhouse

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Your stay in Japan

1− What would be the estimated overall monthly cost of living (including housing, transportation and food)?

We understand some students are concerned by the cost of living in Tokyo. Please understand it is difficult to give an accurate estimation since many factors are to be taken into account. First of all, the housing cost greatly depends on your choice of lodging:

  • Studio: around 80,000 JPY
  • Sharehouse: from 40,000 to 75,000 JPY
  • Homestay: 4,860 JPY per nightp

Secondly, the cost of living will depend from one person to another. You can first chech the following website to have a better understanding of average prices in Japan: Numbeo and Expatistan.

Finally, you can get an estimation of your average cost of transportation with the Hyperdia timetable and route search engine. Transportation cost can range from 6,000 to 10,000 JPY a month.

2− How do I travel around Japan?

Japan has a very efficient public transportation system. The majority of the people commute using metro and train. At first, Tokyo’s transportation system may be frightening for foreigners. You can use the application Navitime. More information about travelling around Japan is available at Japan Guide.

3− Do you provide counsel to find part-time job?

We understand you may inquiry about the possibility of supporting your study with a part-time job in Tokyo. Unfortunately, we do not provide counselling nor placement system. However, the Shinjuku City Office has a service providing assistance for foreigner in their job search. To have more information, please inquire by phone at 03-3204-8609 or on their website. You may also want to check your country’s embassy website.

4− Do you provide assistance for internship?

Coming soon: Coto Language Academy is currently establishing an internship and work employment programm.

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More questions? Please feel free to contact us anytime!