If you’re passionate about fashion and dream of studying in Japan, look no further! Discover the top institutions and programs that offer exceptional fashion education in the Land of the Rising Sun. From renowned fashion schools to specialized universities, this guide will help you navigate your way to a thriving career in the Japanese fashion industry.

Renowned Fashion Schools in Japan

Japan is home to several renowned fashion schools that offer top-notch education and training in the field of fashion. These institutions are known for their innovative curriculum, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Here are some of the most well-known fashion schools in Japan:

Bunka Fashion College

Bunka Fashion College is one of the oldest and most prestigious fashion schools in Japan. It offers a wide range of programs in fashion design, merchandising, marketing, and technology. The college has produced many successful designers who have made a name for themselves both nationally and internationally.

Tama Art University

Tama Art University is another renowned institution that offers a comprehensive program in fashion design. The university focuses on nurturing creativity and innovation among its students. It also provides opportunities for students to showcase their work through fashion shows and exhibitions.

List of Renowned Fashion Schools in Japan:

  • Bunka Fashion College
  • Tama Art University
  • Kyoto Seika University
  • Mode Gakuen
  • Vantan Design Institute

These schools have gained recognition not only within Japan but also globally for their contribution to the fashion industry.

Universities and Colleges Offering Fashion Design Programs in Japan

Top Fashion Design Programs in Japan

Japan is home to several universities and colleges that offer fashion design programs. Some of the top institutions known for their fashion design programs include Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion & Design, and Osaka Mode Gakuen College. These schools have a strong reputation for producing talented fashion designers who go on to make significant contributions to the industry.
Bunka Fashion College, located in Tokyo, is considered one of the most prestigious fashion schools in Japan. It offers a wide range of fashion-related programs, including courses in fashion design, merchandising, and marketing. The college has partnerships with various international universities and provides students with opportunities for internships and study abroad experiences.

List of Universities and Colleges Offering Fashion Design Programs in Japan:

  • Bunka Fashion College
  • Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion & Design
  • Osaka Mode Gakuen College
  • Kyoto Seika University
  • Kyoto University of Art & Design
  • Tama Art University

Cities in Japan Known for their Fashion Education Institutions

Fashion Capitals of Japan

When it comes to fashion education institutions, certain cities in Japan stand out as major hubs. Tokyo, being the capital city, is at the forefront of fashion education in the country. It is home to renowned fashion schools like Bunka Fashion College and Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion & Design.
Another city known for its fashion education institutions is Osaka. Osaka Mode Gakuen College, located in this city, offers a range of fashion programs and has a strong network within the industry. Kyoto is also emerging as a city with notable fashion education institutions, such as Kyoto Seika University and Kyoto University of Art & Design.

List of Cities Known for their Fashion Education Institutions:

  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Kyoto
  • Nagoya
  • Fukuoka

Japan is known for its vibrant fashion industry, and several universities in the country have gained a strong reputation for their fashion-related courses. One such university is Bunka Fashion College, which has been at the forefront of fashion education in Japan since its establishment in 1923. Bunka offers a wide range of programs, including fashion design, merchandising, and marketing. The college has produced many successful alumni who have made significant contributions to the industry.
Another renowned institution is Tokyo Mode Gakuen, which offers comprehensive programs in fashion design, styling, and business management. The university has state-of-the-art facilities and a strong network of industry connections, providing students with valuable opportunities for internships and collaborations with established fashion brands.
Hokkaido University of Art and Design is also highly regarded for its fashion programs. The university focuses on nurturing creativity and innovation among its students. It offers specialized courses in areas such as textile design, pattern making, and fashion marketing.

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Bunka Fashion College

– Established in 1923
– Offers programs in fashion design, merchandising, and marketing
– Notable alumni include Yohji Yamamoto and Junya Watanabe

Tokyo Mode Gakuen

– Comprehensive programs in fashion design, styling, and business management
– State-of-the-art facilities and strong industry connections
– Opportunities for internships and collaborations with established brands

Hokkaido University of Art and Design

– Focuses on nurturing creativity and innovation
– Specialized courses in textile design, pattern making, and fashion marketing
– Emphasis on hands-on learning experiences

Scholarships Available for International Students Studying Fashion in Japan

International students who are interested in studying fashion in Japan may have access to various scholarships that can help alleviate the financial burden. One such scholarship is the MEXT Scholarship, which is offered by the Japanese government to outstanding international students. This scholarship covers tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs.
The JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) also provides scholarships specifically for international students studying in Japan. The JASSO Scholarship for Short-Term Study Abroad supports students who wish to participate in short-term fashion programs or exchange programs at Japanese universities.
Additionally, many universities in Japan offer their own scholarships for international students. For example, Tokyo University of the Arts offers the International Students Scholarship for Excellence, which provides financial support to exceptional foreign students enrolled in their fashion programs.

MEXT Scholarship

– Offered by the Japanese government
– Covers tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs
– Open to outstanding international students

JASSO Scholarship for Short-Term Study Abroad

– Provided by JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization)
– Supports short-term fashion programs or exchange programs
– Helps cover expenses related to studying abroad

Tokyo University of the Arts International Students Scholarship for Excellence

– Specifically for exceptional foreign students enrolled in their fashion programs
– Provides financial support to cover tuition fees and living expenses
– Awarded based on academic merit and talent

Admission Requirements for Studying Fashion at Japanese Universities

Admission requirements for studying fashion at Japanese universities vary depending on the institution and program. However, most universities typically require applicants to have completed their secondary education or equivalent, such as a high school diploma. Additionally, prospective students may need to submit their academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement outlining their interest in fashion and career goals.

In terms of specific qualifications, some fashion programs may require applicants to have a background in art or design. This could be demonstrated through the submission of a portfolio showcasing their artistic abilities. Some universities may also require applicants to take an entrance examination or participate in an interview as part of the admission process.

Language Proficiency Requirements

For international students applying to fashion schools in Japan, language proficiency requirements are an important consideration. Most universities require non-native English speakers to provide proof of their English language proficiency through standardized tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum score required may vary depending on the university and program.

It is worth noting that some Japanese universities offer fashion programs taught entirely in Japanese. In such cases, international students may need to demonstrate proficiency in the Japanese language by providing scores from exams like JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).

List of Required Documents for Admission:

  • Completed application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio (if applicable)
  • Proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  • Japanese language proficiency test scores (if applicable)

List of Entrance Examinations:

  • Written examination
  • Interview
  • Art/design aptitude test (portfolio review)

Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students Applying to Fashion Schools in Japan

Japanese Language Proficiency

In order to study fashion in Japan, international students are typically required to have a certain level of proficiency in the Japanese language. This is because the majority of classes and coursework at fashion schools in Japan are conducted in Japanese. Depending on the university or program, students may be required to submit proof of their Japanese language proficiency through standardized tests such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) or other recognized language exams.

Language Preparation Programs

For international students who do not meet the necessary language requirements, many fashion schools in Japan offer language preparation programs. These programs are designed to help students improve their Japanese language skills before starting their fashion studies. They often include intensive language courses, cultural immersion activities, and support services to ensure that students can successfully transition into their chosen fashion program.

English Language Proficiency

While most classes are conducted in Japanese, some universities in Japan also offer fashion programs taught entirely or partially in English. In these cases, international students may be required to provide proof of their English language proficiency through tests such as the TOEFL or IELTS. It is important for prospective students to carefully review the language requirements of each individual program they are interested in applying to.

Overall, having a strong command of both English and Japanese languages can greatly enhance an international student’s experience studying fashion in Japan and increase their chances of success within the industry after graduation.

– [Example Fashion School Language Requirements](examplefashionschool.com/language-requirements)
– [Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)](jlpt.jp/index.html)


Curriculum and Courses Offered by Fashion Schools in Japan

Fashion schools in Japan offer a diverse range of curriculum and courses to cater to the various interests and career goals of students. The following are some common areas of study within fashion programs in Japan:

Fashion Design

Fashion design courses focus on developing students’ creativity, technical skills, and understanding of fashion trends. Students learn about garment construction, pattern making, draping, and sketching techniques. They also gain knowledge in fabric selection, color theory, and fashion history. Through hands-on projects and assignments, students have the opportunity to create their own fashion collections.

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Course Example: Introduction to Fashion Design

This introductory course provides students with a foundation in the principles of fashion design. Topics covered may include basic drawing techniques, color theory, fabric identification, and an introduction to sewing techniques. Students will complete small projects that allow them to explore their creativity while learning fundamental design skills.

Fashion Marketing and Merchandising

Courses in fashion marketing and merchandising focus on the business side of the fashion industry. Students learn about consumer behavior, market research, branding strategies, retail management, and visual merchandising. They also gain practical skills in event planning, trend forecasting, and digital marketing.

Course Example: Fashion Retail Management

This course provides students with an understanding of the principles and practices involved in managing a fashion retail business. Topics covered may include inventory management, sales analysis, store layout design, customer service strategies, and effective merchandising techniques.

Textile Design

Textile design courses explore the creation of fabrics for use in the fashion industry. Students learn about different textile materials such as fibers, yarns, dyes, printing methods, and weaving techniques. They develop skills in textile manipulation through hands-on experimentation with various surface design techniques.

Course Example: Textile Printing Techniques

In this course, students learn about different methods of textile printing, including screen printing, block printing, and digital printing. They experiment with various materials, colors, and patterns to create their own unique textile designs. The course also covers the technical aspects of preparing screens or blocks, color mixing, and fabric preparation.

Fashion schools in Japan continuously update their curriculum to reflect the evolving trends and demands of the fashion industry. This ensures that students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for successful careers in fashion.

– [Example Fashion School Curriculum](examplefashionschool.com/curriculum)
– [Textile Design Techniques](textiledesigners.org/techniques)

Internships and Industry Placements at Japanese Fashion Schools

Japanese fashion schools offer various opportunities for internships and industry placements, allowing students to gain practical experience and develop their skills in a professional setting. These internships can be with renowned fashion houses, design studios, or fashion magazines, providing students with valuable insights into the industry.

Types of Internships:

  • Design internships: Students may have the chance to assist established designers in creating collections, participating in fittings, or conducting research.
  • Editorial internships: Fashion schools often collaborate with magazines, offering students the opportunity to work on photo shoots, write articles, or contribute to the publication’s creative process.
  • Retail internships: Some fashion schools have partnerships with retail brands, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in visual merchandising, sales, or store management.

Industry Placement Programs:

In addition to internships, many Japanese fashion schools have industry placement programs that provide students with longer-term opportunities to work within the fashion industry. These programs typically involve a semester or year-long placement at a company related to their field of study. During this time, students can apply their knowledge and skills while building connections within the industry.

Competitiveness of Getting into a Fashion Program at a Japanese University

Gaining admission into a fashion program at a Japanese university can be highly competitive due to the country’s reputation for producing talented designers and its vibrant fashion scene. The application process typically involves submitting a portfolio showcasing one’s artistic abilities and creativity alongside academic transcripts.

Selective Admission Criteria:

  • A strong portfolio: Applicants are expected to demonstrate their artistic skills, creativity, and unique design aesthetic through a portfolio of their work.
  • Academic performance: While creativity is highly valued, academic achievements also play a role in the admission process. Good grades in relevant subjects such as art, design, or textiles can strengthen an applicant’s chances.
  • Entrance exams: Some Japanese universities may require applicants to take entrance exams that assess their knowledge in areas such as fashion history, design principles, and trend analysis.

Alternative Pathways:

For individuals who may not meet the requirements for direct admission into a fashion program at a Japanese university, there are alternative pathways available. Some schools offer preparatory courses or foundation programs that help students develop the necessary skills and knowledge before entering a full-fledged fashion program.

Notable Alumni from Japanese Fashion Schools Making Significant Contributions to the Industry

Japanese fashion schools have produced numerous notable alumni who have made significant contributions to the industry both domestically and internationally. These graduates have gone on to establish successful brands, work for renowned fashion houses, or become influential figures within the fashion world.

Hiroshi Fujiwara – Bunka Fashion College:

Hiroshi Fujiwara is a prominent figure in streetwear culture and is often referred to as the “Godfather of Harajuku.” He studied at Bunka Fashion College before launching his own brand Fragment Design and collaborating with major international brands like Nike and Louis Vuitton.

Yohji Yamamoto – Keio University:

Yohji Yamamoto is one of Japan’s most renowned fashion designers. He studied law at Keio University but later pursued his passion for fashion, establishing his eponymous brand and gaining global recognition for his avant-garde designs.

Jun Takahashi – Tama Art University:

Jun Takahashi is the founder of the influential streetwear label Undercover. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University and has since become known for his innovative approach to fashion, combining punk aesthetics with high-end design.

Showcasing Student Work through Fashion Shows or Exhibitions at Japanese Schools

Japanese fashion schools often organize fashion shows or exhibitions to showcase the work of their students. These events provide a platform for emerging designers to present their collections to industry professionals, potential employers, and the public, allowing them to gain recognition and feedback on their creations.

Fashion Show Productions:

  • Collaborations with industry professionals: Japanese fashion schools often collaborate with established designers, stylists, and production teams to create professional-grade fashion shows that mimic real-world runway experiences.
  • Student-led initiatives: Some schools encourage students to take charge of organizing their own fashion shows, providing them with valuable experience in event planning, casting models, styling looks, and managing backstage operations.
  • Showcasing diverse collections: Fashion shows at Japanese schools often feature a diverse range of styles and concepts as students are encouraged to explore their individual creativity without constraints.
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Fashion Exhibitions:

In addition to fashion shows, exhibitions are another popular way for Japanese fashion schools to display student work. These exhibitions may focus on specific themes or concepts and allow visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship and artistic vision behind each garment or collection.

Resources and Websites for Information on Studying Fashion in Japan

For individuals interested in studying fashion in Japan, there are various resources and websites available to gather information about different universities, programs, scholarships, and application processes.

Useful Websites:

  • Japan Fashion Week Organization (JFWO): JFWO provides information on fashion events, industry news, and a directory of fashion schools in Japan.
  • Studyinjapan.go.jp: This official website by the Japanese government offers comprehensive information about studying in Japan, including details on universities and scholarships.
  • Fashion United: Fashion United provides news articles related to the global fashion industry and features a dedicated section for fashion education in Japan.

Contacting Universities:

Individuals interested in specific universities can directly contact their international admissions offices or browse university websites for detailed information on their fashion programs, admission requirements, and available scholarships.

Average Duration of a Fashion Program at Japanese Universities and Shorter-Term Course Options

The duration of fashion programs at Japanese universities can vary depending on the level of study. Undergraduate programs typically span three to four years, while postgraduate programs may range from one to two years. However, shorter-term course options are also available for those seeking more focused or specialized training.

Shorter-Term Course Options:

  • Intensive summer courses: Some Japanese universities offer short-term intensive summer courses that provide an overview of various aspects of the fashion industry such as design techniques, patternmaking, or marketing strategies.
  • Semester exchange programs: Students enrolled in fashion programs at their home institutions can opt for semester-long exchange programs at Japanese universities to experience a different academic environment and gain exposure to Japanese fashion culture.
  • Specialized workshops: Japanese fashion schools often organize specialized workshops or masterclasses conducted by industry professionals, allowing participants to focus on specific skills or techniques within a shorter timeframe.

Postgraduate Programs:

For individuals who have already completed an undergraduate degree in a related field or have extensive industry experience, postgraduate programs offer the opportunity to further deepen their knowledge and refine their skills in specific areas such as fashion design, textile technology, or fashion marketing.

Specializations within the Field of Fashion at Certain Japanese Universities

Some Japanese universities offer specialized programs or concentrations within the broader field of fashion, allowing students to focus on specific areas of interest. These specializations cater to different career paths and provide students with in-depth knowledge and practical skills relevant to their chosen field.

Fashion Business Management:

Certain universities offer programs that combine business and fashion education, preparing students for careers in fashion marketing, retail management, brand management, or entrepreneurship. These programs typically cover topics such as consumer behavior, brand development, supply chain management, and retail strategies.

Fashion Design Technology:

Some universities emphasize the technical aspects of fashion design by offering programs that focus on patternmaking, garment construction techniques, CAD (Computer-Aided Design), textile technology, and innovation in materials. These programs equip students with the technical skills required for careers as designers or product developers.

Fashion Communication:

Universities may also offer programs specializing in fashion communication, which encompass areas such as styling, visual merchandising, trend forecasting, public relations, and digital marketing. Students learn how to effectively communicate fashion concepts and create engaging visual narratives through various mediums.

In conclusion, Japan offers a multitude of excellent options for studying fashion. From prestigious universities to specialized schools, you can find the perfect place to nurture your passion for fashion in this vibrant country. Whether you dream of becoming a designer, stylist, or even a cosplayer, Japan has it all! If you’re interested in exploring the world of cosplay and want to find high-quality products, be sure to check out our collection. Feel free to get in touch with us anytime – we’d love to help you on your fashion journey!


Can you study fashion in Japan?

PIIF is the sole university in Japan that focuses on the business aspect of the fashion industry. It was established during the first major update of the Japanese university system in 55 years and offers a unique and practical curriculum designed to meet the specific needs of the modern fashion industry.

How much does it cost to study fashion designing in Japan?

The typical expense of attending a fashion school in Japan for one year, including tuition and additional fees, ranges from 800,000 yen to 1.5 million yen. This includes an application fee of around 35,000 yen and an admission fee of 300,000 yen.


Can I study in Japan as a foreigner?

American students have the opportunity to directly apply to Japanese universities and colleges for undergraduate programs. These programs, which can last for two or four years, provide students with a fully immersive experience in the Japanese higher education system. Upon completion, students will receive a certificate or degree from the university.

Is it good for foreigners to study in Japan?

When students study abroad in Japan, they typically receive high-quality education during their stay. Many universities provide classes in English, so students don’t have to sacrifice cultural immersion for academic excellence.

Is Japan a cheap place to study?

If you’re seeking an affordable yet high-quality education, Japan is a great option to consider. Many of Japan’s national universities have relatively low tuition fees, with some charging as little as $400 per year. This includes colleges under the National Institute of Technology.

Is Japan affordable to study?

The cost of attending college in Japan is significantly lower than in the United States and the United Kingdom. Additionally, many Japanese schools offer scholarships and programs to reduce or exempt international students from tuition fees. The table below outlines the average fees for the first year of admission.