University Students in Japan: Where Are They? | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

University Students in Japan: Where Are They?

By Guidable Writers Aug 24, 2017

This post is also available in: Russian

It’s great being a university student in Japan!



In many countries, graduating university is perhaps the hardest task of your life; students must dedicate most of their time to studying, and frankly, stressing out. It is also stressful because it is really an important phase of your life that can determine your future career, life quality and so on.

However in Japan, getting into university is the hardest part, meaning that most of the students will have almost no trouble graduating. They will complete the tasks they are given, and maybe write a few papers and get the credits they need. Other than that, graduating university is not much more than a label necessary for job-hunting.

Overall what I mean to say is that I have the impression that Japanese university students are more relaxed, chill, and enjoying their “college life”, which is a term used in Japan that refers to enjoying life to the fullest while young.


Below I give some of the places that Japanese university students can often be found in different situations.



1. Home

No explanation is needed for this one. Home means home.

If I had to say anything about this, it would be the taking baths part. Not just students but a lot of people in Japan spend hours in the bath reading books, watching TV if they have one, or maybe contemplating life.


Yes, there are many people who skip classes if attendance isn’t compulsory, but whether or not they attend class during the semester, home is the main place students will be.

Apart from home and the classroom, university students in Japan may participate in extracurricular and club activities. It is the most common place to meet new friends and get everything started.



2. Studying

Besides the typical places where students study, for instance, their university library or at home, students in Japan love studying at cafes.  Purely because, they prefer an atmosphere which is not completely silent, but still free of distractions.

Of course, people go there to have a nice chat or maybe for some breakfast on special occasions, but still, students prefer to study at cafes and even take naps, similar to the Japanese people you’ll see sleeping on trains.


The most popular cafe is probably Starbucks. Starbucks has free Wifi, plus outlets and the very fancy, world-renowned Starbucks atmosphere.

But then, what else makes Starbucks special?  The answer is that they hardly ever get rid of you when you are studying there. You might be surprised depending on where you’re from, but it is a fact that cafes and restaurants aren’t happy when a bunch of people is studying with all the papers and books scattered around. If you pay attention to the entrance door, there might be a note saying, no studying or no staying more than  2-3 hours.

Sometimes people still study in cafes knowing full-well that one of the workers will kick them out at some point. If you study at this kind of cafe, just be prepared to leave when asked.

Overall, cafés are a great place to study alone or to go through school materials with your group of classmates.



3. Work

Part-time jobs are really popular among Japanese university students. Popular places to work are restaurants, tutoring, and as a cashier at any kind of store. There are also numerous day jobs that pay nicely.

Colleagues at work play an important factor in your life as a university student. You may be drinking out with them after work and there is also a chance you might become more than friends.



4. Shopping

SHIBUYA is the #1 place for shopping. Young people gather here from all over Japan, and it is probably the most crowded place I know. If we are not talking about buying furniture or grocery shopping, this is the place to go.



5. For Fun

This for sure will be the main part of your college life. I picked some of the best places frequently chosen by university students for this list.

For Everyday Fun



Japanese bars. They are typically inexpensive, and the food is made to accompany the beer/drinks. The food is a Japanese version of tapas, essentially.

This is where people of all ages go to get drunk. Students here in Japan may or may not go to bars and clubs as often as students at where you are from.



Short for Game-Center. They vary in size but are typically bigger than the foreign ones. It is full of crane games and car simulators, and so many other things that are unique to Japan.



Food festivals, traditional festivals, and fireworks festivals are constantly being held somewhere, especially on weekends. Festivals are a part of Japanese culture, and you can just enjoying walking along the streets without spending too much money. Festivals are also a common place for dates, too.



For special occasions


Theme parks:

Since a majority of students earn money for themselves, many spend time at the amazing Japanese theme parks scattered around Japan.

Some might go for dates and some might go as a group of friends from school or work. Either way, you are guaranteed to have excellent fun.

Typical places are Disney (Land and Sea), USJ, and FUJIKYUU, but please remember these 3 are merely the tip of the iceberg. We have tons more!



For the same reasons mentioned above, during university, it’s a great time to go on trips and explore Japan and other countries. Gap years are not common in Japan, so students here make the best of the holidays they have. There are countless discount offers for travel, with major discounts for students!




Considering all that I have mentioned above, I hope it isn’t hard for you to imagine that Japanese university students do their best to make the most of their time in college.

Just follow them to the places they frequently go to, and you will surely have the best time of your life in Japan while studying here. If you are studying in Japan, make this the best time of your life as well!!