Academic Year in Japan

The academic year in Japan starts from April and ends in March. Students begin their first semester with beautiful cherry blossoms blooming around this time of the year.

  1. There are regional differences with the schedule, but the school year is normally divided into three semesters in Japan. At most elementary, junior high and high schools,

  • * first semester starts from the beginning of April and ends in the middle of July
  • * summer holiday in July and August
  • * second semester from the end of August to the end of December
  • * winter holiday in the end and beginning of the year
  • * third semester from the beginning of January to the end of March
  • * spring holiday from the end of March to the beginning of April.

Academic calendar in Japan.

In the Edo period around the 17th century when schools called TERAKOYA were open the door to the general public, they are able to enroll in a school anytime they want. After the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century, the academic year started from September followed by the Western educational system. The current three-semester system has been established in modern society followed by the Japanese fiscal year in the law. 

Standard Japanese education system includes six years in elementary school, three years in junior high school, three years in high school and two to four (sometimes six depending on your major) years in college or university. Everyone in Japan is required to complete elementary and junior high school by law.

Standard Japanese education system.

Besides, most of the companies in Japan starts and new comers have a company entrance ceremony in April too.


Japanese think March is a time of farewell and April is a time of starting a new journey. One of the reasons why Japanese find cherry blossoms so exclusive might be that SAKURA is always there at their very special occasions in their lives.