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 2020.
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.
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.
Student experience in Tokyo
The International Christian University is a non-denominational private university located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. It was founded in 1949.
It is a liberal arts college and has several partner institutions worldwide including the University of California system, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Yonsei University, UCL and many others.
Classes are taught in both English or Japanese and the faculty must have a strong grasp of both languages. Approximately 30 per cent of the courses are offered in English. There are 31 undergraduate majors including anthropology, computer science, economics, international relations, linguistics, music, psychology and public policy among others
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...
The best universities in Tokyo 2021
Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2021 results
Read more: Best universities in Japan