Best universities in Tokyo

Explore the best universities in Tokyo based on data from the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings 

January 2 2019
Best universities in Tokyo

Tokyo is a place of contrasts, where tradition meets modernity, the ancient mixes with the contemporary and the past meets the present. 

It has developed from a cultural centre steeped in tradition to a skyscraper city at the forefront of technological innovation. This rapid innovation extends to the higher education sector too, with the country investing heavily in bringing its universities in line with those around the world. 

From building on-campus dormitories, providing courses in English and offering more support for international students, universities are taking concrete steps to become more attractive to international students. 

If you are considering heading to Tokyo, then check out some of the best universities below based on data collected for the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings 2018

The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo became the first national university in Japan when it was established in 1877. 

The institution boasts many notable alumni including 17 prime ministers, 16 Nobel laureates, three Pritzker Prize laureates, three astronauts and one Fields Medalist. 

Since 2012, the university has provided some programmes that are taught entirely in English and geared towards international students. 

The university has five campuses in the districts of Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. At the main Hongō campus, you can see excellent examples of traditional Japanese architecture including the Akamon (Red Gate) and the Yasuda Auditorium. 

Tokyo Institute of Technology

The Tokyo Institute of Technology is the largest institution of higher education in Japan dedicated to science and technology. 

It has three campuses: Ōokayama Station campus, Tamachi campus and Suzukakedai campus. The main campus at Ōokayama houses the main library, which is Japan’s largest science and technology library. Some 1,200 students and staff visit the library each day. 

Tokyo Tech provides full degree programmes at all levels. The global scientists and engineers programme is a transdisciplinary bachelor of engineering programme, while the international graduate programmes cater to those hoping to pursue more advanced science or engineering degrees in Japan.


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Keio University

Keio University is a private university in Minato, Tokyo. It has 11 campuses across Tokyo and Kanagawa.

Student societies at Japanese universities are called “circles”, and it is thought that there are more than 410 circles at Keio University. 

There is a strong rivalry between Keio and Waseda University, with several annual sports matches between the two institutions. These games are called Kei-So Sen. 

Waseda University

The Waseda University library is one of the largest libraries in Japan and currently holds some 4.5 million volumes.

Waseda is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan and is one of the most academically selective. 

Many notable alumni are associated with the institution, including seven prime ministers of Japan, author Haruki Murakami, and senior business figures at Uniqlo, Sony, Honda, Toshiba, Samsung, Mitsubishi and Nintendo. 

And the rest...

Many other high-ranking universities can be found in Tokyo, including Hitotsubashi University, Sophia University and the Tokyo University of Science

Explore our World University Rankings table to find out more about the best universities in Tokyo. 

Read more: Best universities in Japan 

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