Costs of Education in Japan
Kindergarten and daycare are divided into two systems: yochien and hoikuen. Kindergarten accepts generally older children and has some form of education; as a result, kindergarten hours are regulated. Daycare accepts children as young as 0 years and caters to the needs of working parents, with hours as late as six at night and operation on Saturdays.
Pre-elementary education is often based on parent income: the more parents earn, the more they will pay. For a yearly combined salary of around 6 million yen, this can come to around 30 thousand yen per month. Unexpected expenses will also occur for things such as photos, cardboard, and student insurance.
Elementary and junior high schooling are part of Japan’s compulsory education and are free. However, school supplies, field trips, and lunches, among other things, must be paid for. As with kindergarten, unexpected expenses will occur every month for supplies such as cardboard paper or special notebooks.
High school is optional and costs quite a lot. It can cost between 120 thousand yen per year for public to 300 thousand yen per year for private schools, plus other costs.
University is not free and not compulsory. Education costs average around 1.4 million yen per year. See this page for more details.