Best universities in Tokyo

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

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October 29 2020
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. 

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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. 

=1. 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. 

=1. 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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3. International Christian University

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

4. 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

The best universities in Tokyo 2021

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2021 results 

Japan University rank 2020 Tokyo Rank 2020 University
=3 =1 The University of Tokyo
=3 =1 Tokyo Institute of Technology
11 2 International Christian University
13 3 Waseda University
14 4 Keio University
16 5 Hitotsubashi University
=18 6 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
20 7 Sophia University
=21 8 Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
25 9 Ochanomizu University
=29 =10 Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
=29 =10 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)
35 12 Shibaura Institute of Technology Tokyo
39 13 Tokyo University of Science
41 14 The University of Electro-Communications
42 15 Tokyo Metropolitan University
44 16 Tsuda University
=47 17 Rikkyo University
=49 18 Gakushuin University
=53 19 Meiji University
60 20 Chuo University
=62 21 St Luke’s International University
64 22 Toyo University
68 23 Hosei University
=72 24 Aoyama Gakuin University
=75 25 Soka University
93 26 Juntendo University
=95 27 J. F. Oberlin University
97 28 Musashi University
=100 29 Showa Women’s University
101-110 =30 Kitasato University
101-110 =30 Tokyo University of Agriculture
111-120 =32 Meiji Gakuin University
111-120 =32 Seikei University
121-130 =34 Japan Women’s University
121-130 =34 Jikei University School of Medicine
121-130 =34 Kogakuin University
121-130 =34 Nihon University
131-140 =38 Nippon Medical School
131-140 =38 Teikyo University
131-140 =38 Tokyo Woman’s Christian University
141-150 =41 Tamagawa University
141-150 =41 Tokyo City University
151-200 =43 Asia University
151-200 =43 Hoshi University
151-200 =43 Komazawa University
151-200 =43 Musashino University
151-200 =43 Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University
151-200 =43 Seijo University
151-200 =43 Senshu University
151-200 =43 Showa University
151-200 =43 Takushoku University
151-200 =43 Tama University
151-200 =43 Toho University
151-200 =43 Tokyo Denki University
151-200 =43 Tokyo University of Technology
201+ =56 Bunkyo Gakuin University
201+ =56 Daito Bunka University
201+ =56 Keisen University
201+ =56 Kokugakuin University
201+ =56 Meisei University
201+ =56 Taisho University
201+ =56 Tama Art University
201+ =56 Teikyo Heisei University
201+ =56 Tokyo Kasei University

Read more: Best universities in Japan 

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