Elementary School Enrollment Guidebook for Foreign Parents in Sapporo

This guidebook includes information such as how children spend a day in a Japanese elementary school, things to prepare before entering school and so on.(Published in January, 2022)
Available in English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Monglian (added in January, 2024).


Elementary School Entrance Guidance for Foreign Parents and Children 

We hold an elementary school admission information session for foreign national families whose children will be entering elementary school in Sapporo next year or later. We hold it in the end of October every year.
We will talk about what elementary schools are like, the process of enrollment, what to prepare and so on.
After the explanation, there will be time for parents to exchange information with each other and for their children to have fun experience the school life. 

The guidance will be conducted in English basically.

Date & Time : October 28(Sat.) 14:00-16:00 

Location: Sapporo International Communication Plaza

 (MN Bldg. 3F, Kita 1-jo Nishi 3-chome, Chuo-ku)  MAP

Eligibility: Foreign national parents and children who will enter elementary school in Sapporo next year or later

[Application] https://plaza.kjpro.ne.jp/?id=124


[Inquiry]  Sapporo International Communication Plaza
E-mail: nihongo(at)plaza-sapporo.or.jp
                                  *Please replace (at) with @ when sending e-mail.


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 (excluding secondary school) are compulsory, and there are no entrance examinations for municipal elementary and junior high schools.
In public elementary and junior high schools, tuition and textbooks are free of charge, but school-provided lunch and study materials are fee-based. Junior high schools usually have their own uniforms for students to wear.

Enrolling children in elementary and junior high schools

Procedures for starting school

If you have filed your resident registration form, a health check-up form should be sent 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. If you do not get a notification, please contact the Sapporo Board of Education (TEL: 011-211-3821).

School transfer procedures

For a school transfer, you must submit an Address Change Notification at the ward office and undertake the necessary procedures. If you would like to enroll your child in a school without filing for residence status, please contact the Board of Education.

School Expense Assistance System

The City of Sapporo offers assistance for school expenses, such as those for school supplies, school lunch and fieldtrips, for families with elementary and junior high school students (including secondary school) whose income is below a certain amount.

MANABEI(Sapporo Study Support Program)

This after-school study support program is for Junior high school students of the households receiving School Expenses Assistance or Welfare Assistance.
The classrooms are set in each ward and the Study Supporters (mostly university students) help their study so that they can build learning habits and also hoping the classrooms become like their second home.

【Venue】40 venues in 10 wards (Please inquire where the venue is) ※There are weekday venues and Saturday venues.

【Implementation day】Once a week, in principle for each venue  (Weekdays:18:15~20:15、Saturdays:10:00~12:00)

【Fee】 Free

【Content】Study Supporters support their study in a small group. Also, provide consultation service regarding life and education from students as well as parents

Sapporo Study Support MANABEI Secretariat
Sapporo Youth and Women’s Activity Association
Address: Sapporo Lifelong Learning Center “Chieria” 1F Miyanosawa 1-jo 1-chome, Nishi-ku
TEL:011-671-4121(Japanese only)

※This program is conducted by Sapporo Youth and Women’s Activity Association who received consignment from Sapporo City.

Sapporo City's website (Auto-translation)

Study assistance for children learning Japanese

The City of Sapporo dispatches instructors to schools to help returnee and foreign students with Japanese language studies and adaptation to school life. Contact your child’s school for details.

Dispatch of instructors

Instructors are dispatched to help provide Japanese language instruction for returnee and foreign students at municipal elementary, junior high, secondary, and high schools.

A website of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology introduces Japanese language study materials for foreign children.

Japanese language study materials for foreign children (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Japanese

NEW Study Support for Children with International Background

SICPF is offering study support sessions for elementary school and junior high school students who are non-Japanese or have international background.
Please bring your homework or study materials that you want to work on. 

2024: April 27 (Sat), May 25(Sat), June 22(Sat), July 27(Sat),
           *August 21 (Wed), *August 22 (Thu), August 23 (Fri),  
            September 28(Sat), Octorber 26 (Sat), November 23(Sat), December 21 (Sat)
2025: *January 9 (Thu), January 10 (Fri),  February 22 (Sat), March 22 (Sat)

*In August and January, it helds as Summer/Winter Break Study Support.

[Time] 10:00~12:00

[Venue] Sapporo International Communication Plaza (Kita 1 Nishi 3, Chuo-ku) MAP

[Target] Elementary and Junior high school students with international backgrounds

[Those who will help children study] University students, Supporters from Sapporo Kodomo Nihongo Club etc.

[Fee] None

[Application] Online registration is required for first-time participants.


[Apply/inquiry to]
Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation (SICPF)
℡: 011-211-2105  
E-mail: kodomo(at)plaza-sapporo.or.jp       
                                 *Replace (at) with @ when sending an email.


High schools and secondary schools

“High School Entrance Guidance” for Parents and Children with International Backgrounds

A guidance about Japanese high school enrollment will be held for parents and guardians of children with international backgrounds. The guidance will cover basic information about high school enrollment- the Japanese school system, types/departments in high schools, schedule for enrollment exams, etc. There will also be an individual consultation session after the guidance.

*This guidance will be conducted in Japanese and English. If you need an interpreter or a translator device, please contact us using the application form.
*The main purpose of this guidance is to provide basic information of high school entrance. Please consult at your school about matters such as which high school to apply, and detailed information about each high school, etc.
(Organizer: Sapporo City Board of Education, Co-host: Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation (SICPF))

Date & Time : November 3(Fri., National holiday) 14:00-15:30

Location: Sapporo International Communication Plaza (MN Bldg. 3F, Kita 1-jo Nishi 3-chome, Chuo-ku)

Eligibility: Returnee/foreigner students who need Japanese language instruction and their parents/guardians. 5th grade and above.



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) and 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 returnee and foreign 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).

Secondary schools

Secondary schools are six-year schools joining the grades of junior high and high schools in one facility. There is one municipal secondary school in Sapporo (Sapporo Kaisei Secondary School). It is necessary to pass a student screening to enroll in secondary schools. Sapporo Kaisei Secondary School offers International Baccalaureate (IB) educational programs.


City of Sapporo Scholarship Fund

To foster the development of future leaders, the City of Sapporo supplies grant-type scholarships, which need not be paid back unlike many loan-type scholarships in Japan, to students financially struggling despite their abilities.

City of Sapporo Scholarships (City of Sapporo)

City of Sapporo Special Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund is provided to cover tuition fees necessary for skill acquisition of students from households under financial strain to help with the financial independence of such households.

City of Sapporo Special Scholarship Fund (City of Sapporo)

High School Tuition Support Fund (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

The government pays tuition support to households with a high school student that meet income and other requirements regardless of whether the school is national, public or private. Information on this fund is provided by each high school at the time of enrollment.

High School Tuition Support Fund (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), English

High School Supplemental Scholarship Fund (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

This fund provides grants for supplemental educational costs apart from course tuition to low-income and other eligible households with a high school student. Information on this fund is provided once a year (around summer) by the school in which your child is enrolled.

Universities, junior colleges, and professional training colleges

Those who have graduated from high school are eligible to take exams to enroll in higher education institutions, such as colleges, universities and professional training colleges. Those who have graduated from accredited international schools in Japan and those who have obtained International Baccalaureate or other specified certificates are also qualified to take such exams.


There are two types of scholarship in Japan: a grant type, whereby you do not need to pay it back, and a loan type, whereby you have to repay it after graduation (some loan-type scholarships are interest-free while others are not). You should therefore exercise caution when you apply for scholarships.

Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)

Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) offers student loans to outstanding students who are under financial strain that makes it difficult for them to continue their studies. In consideration of economic and social circumstances, JASSO also provides grants or student loans so that they can continue their academic pursuits with peace of mind.

JASSO scholarships (Japan Student Services Organization), Japanese

Scholarships other than those offered by JASSO

The website below enables users to search for information on scholarships, exemption from and postponement of tuition payments offered by colleges, universities and junior colleges in Japan and on scholarship systems of local governments and other organizations (e.g., prefectural and municipal governments, organizations offering scholarships).

Scholarship systems at colleges/universities, local governments, etc. (Japan Student Services Organization), Japanese

Other financial support

Website on financial support programs for college/university students (Hokkaido government), Japanese

International students

International students who wish to study at college/university in Japan must take exams, such as the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU). The types of exams they must pass differ by institution.

For information on studying Japanese in Sapporo, visit the Japanese language page.

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), English

Hiragishi 5-jo 19-chome 1-55, Toyohira-ku, TEL: 011-816-5000

 Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School

Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School offers education for Korean residents 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

Night junior high school(Sapporo Seiyukan Junior High School )

Evening classes at public junior high school are intended for those who have not graduated from junior high school for any reason, including truancy, either in Japan or in their home country.

In April 2022, Sapporo Seiyukan Junior High School, the first public night junior high school in Hokkaido has opened.