Top 10 Best Acting Schools in Japan in 2024 | How to Apply

Are you trying to find a film school in one of the world’s giant anime and film inspection zones? Japan, indeed!

As of 2023, it ranked fourth in the number of films produced. Let’s learn more about some of Japan’s top acting programs.

Japan’s cinema has been around for more than a century. We know how much you want to be a part of it, given its history of consistently winning Academy Awards for great movies like Tokyo Story.

As a result, we’ve created a list of the top film schools in Japan and other crucial information about admission, eligibility requirements, etc. What exactly are we holding out for?

Let us dive straight into it.

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Are there Acting Schools in Japan?

Many schools offer acting courses in Japan. They include:

  • Osaka University (Osaka)
  • University of Tokyo (Tokyo)
  • University of Tsukuba (Ibaraki)
  • Keio University (Tokyo)
  • Nagoya University (Nagoya)
  • Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto)
  • Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Nomi)
  • Kobe University (Kobe)
  • Kyoto University (Kyoto)
  • Waseda University (Tokyo)

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How Does One Become an Actor in Japan?

A budding actor must establish contacts with producers, directors, and other actors. They can create a social media profile on these platforms and keep up a personal website where they can include their bio, performance clips, resumes, and images. 

The following list includes additional helpful strategies.

Take acting courses 

A degree in theater arts, drama, acting, or performing will be most helpful in gaining technical abilities, even if there are no formal academic prerequisites for pursuing acting as a vocation. 

And you can be submerged in space utilizing Japanese to train to become a great actor. And these institutions might provide direct access to prospects.

Talent agencies in Japan 

The majority of actors use agencies to find work or work for them. Some even enroll in more than one to boost their chances of being hired and receiving auditions. 

Although it is not required, having an agency will make things simpler for aspiring actors and actresses.

Have a fan-base

People can become famous in many ways thanks to the current diversity of social media platforms. 

For instance, the reality series Terrace House has begun some young people’s careers. Tiktokers and YouTubers have secured cameo roles and acting engagements. 

While it’s challenging to state that this is a surefire approach to becoming an actor or actress, being active and working to increase your visibility across many platforms is a terrific way to become more famous, win over more admirers, and possibly grab the attention of the appropriate people.

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How Long Does it Take To Study Acting in Japan?

Traditional and contemporary theater is mainly studied by students majoring in straight plays to prepare them for stage actors or actresses careers. 

Musical theater majors devote greater time to singing and dancing. The drama course lasts two years and is divided into four academic periods.

Students are exposed to a range of acting techniques and theories each term. In a setting intended to inspire and prepare students for careers as actors and actresses, each assignment builds on the one before it to advance pupils to a high level of competence and understanding.

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How Much Do Acting Schools in Japan Cost?

The elements of tuition fees change depending on your nationality, where you live, and the course of study you are enrolled in.

At specific points during the academic year, the remaining tuition fees may be paid in full or in three equal installments. 

Before beginning their course, all applicants must pay their tuition. The offer letters given to candidates include information about the tuition payment deadlines.

Therefore, the average tuition fee for acting schools in Japan is 200,000 yen.

What are the Top 10 Best Acting Schools in Japan in 2023?

1. Osaka University (Osaka)

The majority of undergraduate students in Japan attend Osaka University, which is a national institution. 

Since just a few Japanese institutions have musicology or theatrical studies courses, the program in this field of study is all the more distinctive and the greatest in Japan. 

The performing arts covered by theater studies students include ballet, musicals, traditional and contemporary plays from Japan, and European classical and modern plays.

Eligibility Criteria: Educational institution Certification and work experience of 3 years or more.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 5.36 Lakhs JPY

Contact: / 81- 06-6877-5111

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2. University of Tokyo (Tokyo)

The University of Tokyo is a public research university with the initials Todai or UTokyo. It is situated in Bunky, Tokyo, Japan. It is regarded as the most renowned and selective institution in Japan. 

Since the University’s forerunner, the Tokyo Fine Arts School has played a significant role in Japanese art, and the Faculty of Fine Arts has produced several internationally recognized painters. 

The Faculty of Fine Arts has also developed some inspiring goals, such as bringing society the findings of research and education to improve everyone’s lives.

Eligibility Criteria: Must pass the University’s second academic ability test by the “separation division method.”

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 5.35 Lakhs JPY

Contact: /+81-3-5841-1217

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3. University of Tsukuba (Ibaraki)

Basic and applied science teaching and research are carried out at the University of Tsukuba. 

Additionally, it strengthens the independence and tight ties with Japanese and international societies and academic and scientific institutes. 

As an “open university” both domestically and globally, the University of Tsukuba is founded on taking the initiative in establishing a flexible education. 

It is a research organization free from societal norms and the new model of higher education that the coming generation will prefer.

Eligibility Criteria: Admissions will be selected by one of the following methods: document screening, academic ability test, essay, interview, or practical test.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 282,000 yen (admission fees)

Contact: /81-29-853-2143

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4. Keio University (Tokyo)

The first Keio University was a Dutch school that Yukichi Fukuzawa established in Edo in 1858.

 With the most extended history of any comprehensive cram school in Japan, it has created many human resources in more than 150 years since its founding. 

Their cinematography education and the student’s sense of community and cooperation are lovely. 

Six campuses of Keio University are located in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo.

Eligibility criteria include graduation from high school or a recognized equivalent and an entrance examination.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 200,000 yen (enrollment fees)

Contact: / +81-3-5427-1517

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5. Nagoya University (Nagoya)

The Japanese government chose Nagoya University as a top-tier university for the Top Global University Project, making it the eighth Imperial University in Japan and one of the first five Designated National Universities. 

It is ranked as the third-best higher education facility in Japan. Nagoya University has been increasing efforts to accomplish its core goal thanks to its free and active academic culture that has been carried down since its founding. 

It cultivates brave thinkers with rational thought and creativity abilities through an education that values initiative.

Eligibility Criteria: Graduation from high school or recognized equivalent students can only appear for entrance examinations for general selection.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 267,900 yen (per semester fees) approx.

Contact: /+81-(0)52-789-2017

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6. Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto)

One of the private schools in Japan with the most extended history and tradition is Ritsumeikan Gakuen, which will mark its 120th and 150th anniversaries in 2020. 

It falls under the category of the Best acting school in Japan. Based on the founding spirit of “freedom and freshness” and the educational philosophy of “peace and democracy,” it has a heart of “believe in the future and live in the future.” 

Ritsumeikan University’s numerous departments work together to support its students’ learning and development as individuals capable of “Creating a Future Beyond Borders” despite their varied backgrounds and personalities.

Eligibility Criteria: Graduation from high school or recognized equivalent students can only appear for entrance examinations for general selection.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 7.32 Lakhs JPY.

Contact: / 0977-78-1111

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7. Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Nomi)

One of the best acting schools in Japan is the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology or JAIST. 

It was started in Nomi, the heart of Ishikawa Science Park. South of Kanazawa City is where it is. JAIST offers advanced science and technology research and development programs. 

In the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, AIST is placed well among Japanese universities, coming in at number 26 in Japan (and 871st in the world). 

It has generated top-notch human resources and achieved world-class research accomplishments in various disciplines of advanced science and technology.

Eligibility Criteria: Mail your high school graduation certificates or recognized equivalent certificates to apply.

Duration: 2-3 years.

Fee Structure: 5.36 lakhs JPY.

Contact: / 0761-51-1936

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8. Kobe University (Kobe)

One of Japan’s top universities for film studies is Kobe University. It produces “knowledge” that has value on a global scale to advance human society. 

It exemplifies the honesty of a society that is open and global. Leading human resources with a deep sense of humanity will be developed. 

Kobe University has an entrepreneurial and libertarian attitude and a harmony-based founding philosophy. 

Create an independent foundation for managing research and education, and combine the strength of all Kobe University students, faculty, and staff to open up the future of academic research and education.

Eligibility Criteria: High school graduation certificates or recognized equivalent certificates to apply for enrollment and entrance examinations.

Duration: 4 years.

Fee Structure: 5.35 lakhs JPY.

Contact: / 078-803-5591

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9. Kyoto University (Kyoto)

It is the second-oldest University in Japan and one of the erstwhile Imperial Universities, having been established in 1897. 

As one of Japan’s premier acting programs, Kyoto University consistently ranks as one of the top two universities in Japan, among the top ten in Asia, and among the top fifty worldwide. 

In addition to eminent intellectuals and politicians, the University’s alum list includes respected doctors, lawyers, writers, artists, and business executives.

Eligibility Criteria: Knowledge cultivated through curricular study in senior high school; Communicative ability, including practical foreign language proficiency.

Duration: 4 years.

Fee Structure: 5.36 lakhs JPY.

Contact: / +81-75-753-7531

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10. Waseda University (Tokyo)

Students worldwide come to Waseda to engage in intellectual and cultural exchanges with other students and faculty members. 

They gain a broad range of information and become highly specialized, which equips them to enter the world to make significant contributions. 

Since 1882, Waseda’s culture and customs have changed, and it now boasts the top performing arts/theaters in Japan.

Eligibility Criteria: They accept various standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, IB, A-Level, GAOKAO, GSAT, CSAT, HKDSE, AISSCE, etc.)

Duration: 3-4 years.

Fee Structure: 10.6 lakhs JPY.

Contact: / +81 3-3203-7747

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What are the Film Schools in Japan for International Students?

Filmmakers can enter the field and join the video production community in Tokyo, Japan, which has a thriving film industry. 

Read on to discover more about the alternatives accessible to you in Tokyo, whether you’re considering enrolling in one of the renowned film schools in the city or something smaller and more charming. 

However, the following schools provide eager Tokyo filmmakers with the chance to get specific instruction that can aid in beginning a career in the Tokyo industry. 

These institutions provide a variety of courses, from immersive and hands-on to intensive seminars in filmmaking and conventional instruction. 

You will undoubtedly discover a fantastic cinema program that is ideal for you.

They include:

  • English Language Film School Of Japan
  • Tokyo Film, Actor & Broadcasting Arts College
  • Tokyo University Of The Arts
  • Japan Institute Of The Moving Image

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What are the Filmmaking Courses in Japan?

The filmmaking courses you must study to make it in the film industry are:

  • The Art of Film
  • Introduction to Early Film Histories
  • Japanese Language 1,2,3,4,5&6
  • Introduction to World Cinema
  • Introduction to Japanese Studies
  • Screen, Culture, and Society
  • American Film Studies
  • Contemporary British Cinema
  • Black on Screen
  • Introduction to Documentary Film Practice
  • Horror Film: Genre, Periods, Styles
  • Long Essay in Drama
  • Docufiction Filmmaking
  • Social Lives of Cinema
  • Queer Bodies and the Cinema
  • From Documentary to Mockumentary
  • Screen Acting & Stardom etc

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Choosing the right institution to attend has been a challenging but crucial aspect of our lives. 

Your life can be made more accessible if you take into account the list of Best acting schools in Japan. 

After all, knowing the specifics of your college before applying is essential, and we hope we have been of assistance in that regard. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I study film in Japan?

Yes you can

What is Japan’s film industry called?

The Cinema Of Japan

What types of movies are popular in Japan?

There are five unique types of Japanese films: anime, kaiju eiga, jidaigeki, horror, and yakuza eiga

Why is Japanese cinema so good?

Character and mood, rather than plot, propel many of its best films.


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