Universities in Tokyo - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Tokyo

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated August 15, 2023 Updated August 15, 2023

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 2nd

For those who want to study amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, they don't come much bigger and busier than Tokyo, one of the world’s most populous urban areas. Tokyo is the best city in Asia in the QS Best Student Cities 2024 ranking, ranked second overall behind London.

Such is the mind-blowing scale of the Japanese capital that, even with 18 internationally ranked universities, it still has a very low proportionate student population. Tokyo, then, is a city for those who favour total immersion in local culture rather than living in a “student bubble”.

The upshot of Tokyo's gargantuan size is that it offers one of the most varied and cosmopolitan living environments on Earth. As one of the world's three leading financial centers, alongside New York and London, it also provides enviable professional and internship opportunities, consistently ranking as one of the best in the world for the employer activity indicator.

Alongside a high rating from graduate employers, Tokyo scores notably well for desirability, which considers both the overall quality of living in the city, and how in-demand it is among prospective international students.

Have you studied in Tokyo? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Tokyo

World ranking University
28 University of Tokyo
=91 Tokyo Institute of Technology

Waseda University

214 Keio University

Hitotsubashi University


Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)


Tokyo University of Science

801-850 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
801-850 Yokohama City University

Sophia University

951-1000 Tokyo Metropolitan University

Yokohama National University

1001-1200 International Christian University
1001-1200 Meiji University
1001-1200 Tokai University
1201-1400 Aoyama Gakuin University
1201-1400 Rikkyo University
1201-1400 Shibaura Institute of Technology

More about Tokyo

Ranked fourth in the world for employer activity, Tokyo offers one of the most stimulating student environments on earth. Between high streets, bustling city streets and a vibrant local culture, studying in Tokyo is guaranteed to be a unique experience regardless of where you come from.

To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Tokyo (28th in the world)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Mix rank


Student Voice rank 22nd

Why study in Tokyo?

Delicious local cuisine

You can't move to Tokyo without expanding your palate. The local cuisine is one of the most exciting in the world: sushi and sashimi aside, you'll get to experience the joys of Japanese street foods the likes of takoyaki, Japanese barbecues and an array of delicious noodle dishes. 

Great standard of living

The quality of life in Japan is high - probably one of the reasons why Tokyo landed the first spot for desirability for yet another year.

Tokyo's streets are not only clean, they're also extremely safe for locals and foreigners, making it a great place to study in. And with a top-notch transportation system, you're guaranteed to be able to experience all it has to offer in a comfortable and reliable way. 

Cost of studying in Tokyo

Tokyo ranked joint 78th in the world for affordability. While it's not one of the cheapest study destinations on a global level, the exceptional quality of life is likely to make up for the cost of living. Nevertheless, the city is still cheaper than European hubs such as London and Munich. 

Life & culture in Tokyo

Politeness and innovation are at the forefront of Japanese culture. By being a student in Tokyo, you'll have the opportunity to experience life in one of the world's most technologically advanced locations while also experiencing extreme kindness from the locals. 

With more than 13m people living in the greater area of the city, it's easy to say you'll never be short of people to meet or things to do. Tokyo is home to thousands of restaurants and a plethora of museums, parks, temples, shrines and events that celebrate its rich history and culture. 

Careers in Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the world's major international financial centres, housing the headquarters of some of the world's biggest investment banks, insurance companies and global firms. 

Students who graduate from university in Tokyo are truly spoilt for choice. From high tech to transportation, trade, consulting, finance and medicine, the city's thriving economy allows talented individuals from all educational backgrounds to kick-start their careers and succeed in the long run.

This article was originally published in December 2015 . It was last updated in August 2023

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