Finishing medical studies and becoming a doctor is one of the most honored and wanted job positions in the world. Considering the cost of this education and better conditions in some countries, many students decide to educate themselves abroad. One of the most popular destinations to get your MBBS is Japan, with its rich cultural heritage, high-tech education, and welcoming hosts. In this article, we will be looking at the top medical schools in Japan.

There are many reasons students prefer Japan for acquiring diplomas, and we can only mention a few. Reasonable prices are always the first thing someone considers, even though Tokyo is one of the expensive cities in the world, it is still more affordable to study and live there than let’s say the USA. Besides that, Japanese medicine progressed so much in the last few decades and they are now offering top-notch education and it’s all available in English at most universities.

There is one thing to keep in mind when studying in any foreign country, and that is the language barrier. In most countries, including Japan, you have to learn the language to be able to finish medical school and to do your internship. This is because communication with patients is crucial and most of them don’t know English, so you have to learn Japanese and accommodate their needs.

Do Medical Schools in Japan Accept International Students?

Yes, international students are more than welcome to enroll in medical schools in Japan.

Their government is constantly working on bettering the conditions and attracting international students for many years now. They have a plan to enroll over 300,000 students from other countries, and they are very supportive of a multicultural environment.

Thus, it can be even easier to get into Japanese universities as a foreign student than Japanese students. They have special staff and members dedicated solely to the purpose of accommodating new and international students.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

What Materials Do They Teach in Japanese Medical Schools?

Medical education in Japan lasts six years. These six years are divided into four years of preclinical education and two years of clinical education.

In the last few decades, Japanese medical education has changed completely, making it more approachable, understandable, and empiric. Also, in 2005, they made a common achievement test obligatory, and you would have to pass this test to enroll in preclinical education.

After the initial four years of education, you have to do some internship work for two years. This residency is paid and working hours are limited.

Best Medical Schools in Japan

1. Nagoya University

Nagoya University was established in 1871, and it is the best medical school in Japan. They are the last Imperial University of Japan in 1939, and since then they have come a long way, promoting better education, gender equality, and international cooperation.

Nagoya University provides English lessons to Japanese students, but they also have over 1,100 lecture courses in English for international students. Located in Nagoya, the city that is on a rise for being an international shipping center and trading market, this will also contribute to education and enrich the experience international students have. Also, six Nobel Prize winners are from this University, and that is a big plus that further supports the claims that this is one of the best education centers in the world.

It can be a bit harder to get into the program, but the high-quality education and internships provided are worth it. They are selective for a reason, as they want to continue to produce competent doctors.

2. Tokyo Medical University

Tokyo Medical University, another top medical school in Japan, was established in 1916, in a series of events that led a group of students to make a new university and a better place to study. They are still going by the motto of “Justice, Friendship and Service” to honor the founders and promote self-reliance.

This university offers preclinical and clinical studies and international students are welcomed. They have many affiliate hospitals for internships and the most important thing is that they are in the heart of Japan, Tokyo. So education there is not only at its best in the university, but you will be able to experience the culture, busy metropolis, and multicultural environment, while working on getting your diploma.

3. Chiba University

Chiba University was founded in 1872, and the Medical Department was established in 1874. Since then they have been going by the motto “Always aim higher” which perfectly describes their goals and is one of the leading research facilities in Japan.

They have over 14,000 students altogether and 1,600 international students, and they are enrolling more each year. This university offers a broad range of schools, including medicine and they are located in Chiba prefecture, one of the most developed in Japan.

The Chiba University was always regarded as one of the best in the country, especially promoted for research and cooperation activities with other countries.

4. Tohoku University

Tohoku University, another top medical school in Japan, was established by Vice Minister of Education Masataro Sawayanagi in 1907, and they became the first university to enroll women in 1913. To this day they are proudly standing behind their beliefs that all genders and classes are equal. This got them in quite a few disputes with the government, but that never wavered their beliefs.

Tohoku University is promoting the idea that research should come first and be put to good use, by helping society and improving living standards. They are also famous for welcoming a huge number of international students, over 3,400 of them to be exact.

This university was ranked in the top universities in Japan in 2020, by Times Higher Education. They are one of the hardest universities to get into because they are very strict and selective about the quality of students, thus they keep up the high standards set long ago.

5. Kyushu University

Kyushu University was founded over a century ago in 1911, and it has been working ever since. They are equally devoted to education and research and they welcome international students from more than 97 countries and regions. One of every eight students is from abroad and that sums up to around 13% foreign students.

6. Keio University

Next on our list of best medical schools in Japan is Keio University, which was established in 1858. For over 160 years, this university promoted the empirical science approach and modern views. They are one of the oldest ones yet modern universities that grew over time and became a significant part of the Japanese education system.

Keio University has six campuses in Tokyo where you can be situated and enveloped by Japanese culture and heritage while working on your exams. They are welcoming international students every year, and they are constantly expanding the lecture numbers taught in English.

7. Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Tokyo National School of Dentistry was founded in 1928. and in 1944. Tokyo Medical and Dental University was established. They believe in creating “professionals with knowledge and humanity” and this has been their motto over the years.

Tokyo Medical and Dental University is a good choice for international students, who aspire not only to get an education but rather learn the skills to nurture humanity and help society as a whole.

8. Waseda University

Waseda University was established in 1882, by Shigenobu Okuma who wanted to create professionals devoted to helping others and altruistic. They are promoting research as one of the most important tasks for the university and all its members, and thus they are inviting students and professors from other countries to join them on this path.

This medical school in Japan offers Japanese courses as well as education in English, to accommodate all international students. They are dedicated to making everyone welcome and aim to produce an altruistic and helpful individual.

9. Kyoto University

Kyoto University was founded in 1897 as the second university in Japan. Since then they have achieved some impressive numbers like:

  • 340,000 students have graduated
  • About 22,500 students are enrolled now
  • Over 2,000 of them are international students.

They have been cooperating with many countries and regions, and made some big discoveries and progressions in science, which proves they are more than ready to provide proper education.

10. University of Tsukuba

The University of Tsukuba originated in 1872, but it was formally relocated and established in 1973. They are proudly reforming the education system in Japan with new and creative ideas, research, and a free-thinking spirit. They are developing the modern concept of science and welcome all international students.

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences consists of three colleges, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and the College of Medical Sciences.


Considering that Japan is fast becoming a leader in modern science and medicine, it is one of the best countries for international students to pursue their education and diploma. They offer reasonable prices, excellent research, and learning facilities, combined with new technology and the desire to successfully make the new generation of doctors better for the world.


I hope that this article on the best medical schools in Japan was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!