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Study in Tokyo

By Staff Writer

Updated July 28, 2021 Updated July 28, 2021

QS Best Student Cities ranking: =3rd

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 Asia’s second leading city in the QS Best Student Cities ranking, bettered worldwide only by Munich and Seoul. 

Such is the mind-blowing scale of the Japanese capital that, even with 12 internationally ranked universities, it still has a very low proportionate student population. Tokyo, then, is a city for those who favor 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 the best in the world for the employer activity indicator.

Alongside a high rating from graduate employers (where it ranks in first place worldwide), 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
=23 University of Tokyo
56 Tokyo Institute of Technology
201 Keio University
203 Waseda University
=381 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)
701-750 Tokyo Metropolitan University

=487

Yokohama City University
531-540 Hitotsubashi University
601-650 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
801-1000 Yokohama National University
801-1000 Tokyo University of Science
1001-1200 Rikkyo University

More about Tokyo

Ranked first in the world for both desirability and 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

12

Highest-ranked institution

University of Tokyo (joint 23rd in the world)

Population

37,393,000

Average international fees (at ranked unis)

US$8,400

Desirability rank

1st

Employer Activity rank

1st

Affordability rank

73rd

Student View rank

20th

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 in the top 80 cities 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. According to Numbeo, rent in the Japanese city is 40 percent lower than in the British capital, with a single apartment averaging US$1,393 a month.

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 has been ranked first for employer activity for yet another year, showcasing just how much of a business hub it is on a local and global level.

In fact, the city 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 July 2021

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