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Montessori Schools / Enrichment Programs

Japan With Kids - Forums: Education in Japan: Montessori Schools / Enrichment Programs

By Marybeth on Friday, July 30, 1999 - 2:05 pm:

We're about to move to Tokyo from Singapore, a very child-centred city with tons of educational programs and enrichment classes for all ages.

I've been taking my 1-year old to Gymboree, Kindermusik and swimming lessons for the last 9 months now. . . unfortunately, the Gymboree and Kindermusik classes don't seem to be offered in Tokyo.

I've heard of a program in Japan similar to Gymboree called "Rythmic", but have had some difficulty in tracking it down.

Can anyone recommend any similar enrichment programs in Tokyo that may be suitable for kids below preschool age? In a similar vein, are there any Montessori-based programs that accommodate children under 18 months?

Thanks in advance for any guidance on this issue!

By Aileen on Wednesday, September 22, 1999 - 11:29 pm:


I'm a Singaporean and when I first moved to Japan a year ago, I had the same concerns as you do. There are many Japanese schools that use Montessori methods, but I don't any in Tokyo. I wrote to the Sunshine International School and here's what they told me:

Established in 1984, Sunshine has been run according to Montessori principles since 1993. It is a non-sectarian school, open to any child in the international community aged 2 1/2 to 6 years old. Whilst many languages are spoken by the students, all instruction is given in English.

The staff consists of 2 trained Montessori teachers who bring with them the experience gained teaching in Montessori schools in England and Canada as well as other international schools in Japan. They are joined by one teaching assistant and with a student enrolment of around 20, the student:staff ratio is 7:1.

There is also a large outdoor play area where both structured activities and free play are available to the children at all times.

Children staying for the afternoon session are offered a Japanese lesson once a week and a woodwork lesson once a week. In addition, all children have access to a computer in the classroom and instruction in the use of various programs.

Program A: mornings only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Monday through Friday

For those children entering their first school going experience.

Program B: full day
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 2:30 pm

This program is for the older children who bring lunch and participate in the afternoon enrichment programs.

School is open September to June.

A summer school is also offered.

The current Fee Schedule (Sept 97 through June 98) is as follows:

Registration Fee 100,00 (upon acceptance into the school)
Tuition Fee - Program A 1,000,000 p.a.
- Program B 1,200,000 p.a.

Tuition Fee can be paid in 3 installments.

For pamphlet and more info, write to Pete Juds at

By the way, my son has been enrolled with the Apple Rhythmic classes for half a year now and he positively loves it (asks to go). If you're interested, I will ask the teacher for the address in Tokyo.

Aileen (email:

By Aileen on Friday, September 24, 1999 - 2:51 pm:

Here's another Montessori-style school, it's called Montessori
Children's House. Details are as follows:
Children's House
Grand Manshion 202, 6-18-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

Phone: 03-3499-5440

2 1/2 to 6 yrs.

Note: Classes are taught in Japanese.

By Marybeth on Sunday, September 26, 1999 - 11:25 am:


Thank you for the great info! Yes-- I would love to know more about the Rhythmic classes in Tokyo. They were recommended to me by a Japanese mother in Singapore as well...

In the meantime, we are going to Kid's Play mother/child play sessions, and to a Kindermusik program held at Tokyo Union Church. We've also just started mother/baby swim classes, to continue the swimming sessions we began in Singapore some 6 months ago.

Re Monteessori: I visited another Montessori school in Hiroo, called Rainbow Preschool. They have a beautiful facility and are quite near the Sunshine school.

I'd be interested in hearing from those parents whose children are attending an international preschool in Tokyo (eg. Sunshine, JAC, Unida,PAL, Hiroo International Kindergarten, Rainbow, etc. etc.)and getting feedback on their experiences.

The Montessori Children's House in Harajuku sounds like a wonderful opportunity for second-language imersion, and I hope to visit the school in a week or so.


By Marybeth Stock on Wednesday, November 24, 1999 - 5:56 pm:

I'm looking for feedback from any parents out there who may have kids enrolled in the Rainbow Montessori School in Hiroo, or the Montessori Children's House in Harajuku.

We are thinking of registering our daughter in Rainbow's 18month-old class, and would love to hear from anyone whose kid may have had experience at either of these schools.

My email address is

By Peggy Wills on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 11:40 am:

To MaryBeth and Aileen:

My family is aticipating a move to Singapore early next year. I have two chilrens, 3 and 5 year olds, both girls and am wondering if you have any info on schools, ballet, or other child related activities. Both of my girls attend Japanese schools so I don't have much information about montessor schools but I would be happy to provide any other info if you have questions. You can email me directly if you have time. Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from you.


By Robyn Thompson on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 11:46 am:

To MaryBeth

I hope you are still reading this site. I have just moved to Tokyo from London and am desperate to find mother baby swim classes for my 13month old son - he loved going in the UK. I would also be interested in details on the Kindermusik program at the Tokyo Union Church. I have heard good things about the Rainbow school - I have an appointment next week to have a look re booking my son in for September.


By Diana Thomas on Saturday, March 11, 2000 - 12:00 pm:

To: Marybeth
Two years ago, we came to Tokyo totally unprepared about preschools, resulting changing my little girl from one school to another for many times....which was unfair for her. She was 3 yrs and 6 months.

Here is something I learned about preschools in Central Tokyo. The facilities are varied. Sometimes one proper toilet for the whole school. So please make sure you visit the school before enrolling. But then, very often, you will have no choice. There seemed to be a great increase in no. of foreign preschool age kids in Tokyo, hence, you need to put the names down on the waiting list.

Most international preschools accept children from age of 2.5, some starts at 18months. There is a very good information day organised by the Tokyo American Club Women's Group every year for international preschools and kindergartens. They normally hold it in January. It is open for the public. If you are in town during that time, be sure to attend.

From my personal experience, choice of preschool is a function of location, facilities, staff, and education style, mixture of children. You have to see it for yourself as everyone's expectation is different. If the school is not open enough to let you observe, they are not worth your consideration.

I am happy to provide you further information or fax you the information I got from the information day. One further point, I find that many schools claim that they use the montessori method, there is a difference between a montessori school and a montessori method school. The later incorporates the montessori materials in the classroom but not the practice.

email: dianali[at]

By Cornelia on Thursday, March 30, 2000 - 7:15 am:

A fairly complete list of international pre-schools can be seen at:


I am also very interested in any Kindermusik, Gymboree, swimming, and other lessons available anywhere in Japan.

By marybeth on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 6:07 pm:

Just thought I'd pass the word on that there's a new Montessori school opening in Tokyo as of this January.

It's called Discovery Montessori School, 4-6-18 Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0063 Tel/Fax 03-3710-9377 email:

According to their brochure, they accept ages 1 year-6 years, and offer three different programs according to age groups.

By Christina Meyerson on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 1:46 am:

Please help: We are a U.S. family with an opportunity to live in Tokyo for two years. I am concerned about continuing a Montessori education for my five year old daughter. She is completing her primary years (Kindergarten) now. From what I've read at this site, I'm concerned that there may not be Montessori education in/near Tokyo beyond age 6. Does anyone have information about this? We feel it is critical for her to continue her Montessori education, materials and practice. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Please respond to

Thank you.

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 10:33 am:

I don't think there is Montessori beyond 6 in English in Tokyo. But, let's check around.

By Karyn Robson on Thursday, January 25, 2001 - 11:45 am:

Hi! My family and I will be moving to Tokyo this summer. I am also interested in finding out about Montessori programs. I am a certified Montessori teacher (6-9 year olds) and am also looking for a school in which to teach. I would appreciate any information or help.
Karyn (

By kat on Wednesday, February 7, 2001 - 8:41 pm:

Both of my kids go to Sunshine Montessori in Minami Azabu and we think it is an excellent program. The kids like it, I like it, the teachers are very approachable and have a sense of humour, the other parents are friendly. If you check it out, ask to see one of the many videos of the classroom that are made on a regular basis.

By marybeth stock on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 1:09 pm:

A new Montessori school will open this April 9 in Yokohama. This is a "sister school" of the Rainbow International Montessori Schools that are located in Hiroo and Denenchofu. The address and contact info are:

Rainbow International Montessori School
16-5 Honmoku Makado
Contact: Jenny Vyvial 070-5080 3792

They're holding an "Open House Fun Day" this Saturday, March 17th from 10am-1pm.

By Karen on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 11:55 am:

Does anyone have any information on the Kindermusik classes offered by the Tokyo Union Church. Are these still being held?

Thanks in advance,


By Karyn Robson on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 7:32 am:

Attention parents,
An international Montessori elementary school is opening in Tokyo!

The team that brought you Sunshine Montessori pre-school has decided to open a Montessori school for children aged 6-12. The school will use the proven Montessori method which enables children to understand the interrelatedness of language, mathematics, the arts, and science while learning at their own pace.

Classes will be taught in English.

The school will open in September 2003 in the Azabu-Juban area of Minato-ku. We will have a series of information nights to explain Montessori Elementary Education. Our first information night will be on Tuesday January 28th at 7:30 pm. For more information and directions to the school, please contact Pete Juds at (03) 3452-4244 or e-mail sunshine[at]

By Mark A. Germain on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 5:09 pm:

Whitehorse Montessori School, an international Montessori preschool and kindergarten, opened in Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama earlier this year.

Please call Mark at 045-944-1009 for more information or visit our website at

By Brett Alten on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 9:55 pm:

Does anyone have any recent feedback on the Rainbow Montessori school in Denenchofu? We've heard great things so far.

By hiromi ishimoto on Saturday, December 25, 2004 - 10:49 pm:

Hello, we're actively looking for an international pre-school to place our 2 year old son. Are there any parents who have a child attending the subject school in the "little people" program? We would love to hear feedbacks, suggestions, concerns, complaints, etc. Thanks.

By Robin Lancien on Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:18 pm:

In Sanbancho, in Chiyoda-ku, there is a private Montessori school, in Japanese, that I have sent both of my kids to from 18 months up until they started the French school and then for the holidays and summer my 5 year old still goes. It is a bit more structured than an American style school, but given the fact you can take them at 8 am and pick them up at 6pm, they serve hot lunches, potty train and teach the kids wonderful manners, the desire to learn, and Japanese, a working Mom in the area would find it hard to do better.

Chiyoda Montessori School
SanBan-cho 14-7, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
They also have a branch in Setagaya.

By Maple Leaf Montessori School on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 2:50 pm:

Canadian-owned Maple Leaf Montessori
School, a small international preschool
and kindergarten has just opened in
Tokyo, located a two-minute walk from
Yoga station on Den-entoshi line. We also
offer a three-day-a-week Montessori
elementary programme in the afternoon.
For more information, please visit our
website at:

By a2002 on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 1:43 pm:


Can anyone help us with kindermusik classes or suzuki violin classes in West Tokyo...



By Ruth Kim on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 4:55 pm:

It's a new column about using the Montessori method at home. Plus there are daily tips for educating young children. Any feedback would be great.

Thanks, Ruth

By Tia Tanaka on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 8:19 pm:


I have a question regarding the montessori system in Japan. I would appreciate if anyone can share his or her knowledge on this.

I have taken a montessori course, and understand the usage of the system"s study apparatus. The question is do you need a montessori diploma in order to teach in a school in Japan? I have no teaching diploma either but am very interested in doing teaching to preschoolers. Where are the montessori schools located in Japan, and besides Tokyo, where else?


By Scott Hancock on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 5:49 pm:

Suggest you contact the various Montessori schools mentioned in the thread above. Especially get in touch with Montessori School of Tokyo ( ) I doubt there is any official licensing, but I believe there are some standards self-imposed by the schools. Call and visit them. I'm sure you can learn a lot - and maybe find a job.

By Admin on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 12:24 pm:

Dear Tia, because your last name is Tanaka, I am wondering if perhaps you are fluent in Japanese? In that case, you may want to do a search in Japanese for Montessori Schools in Japan. Most of the people using this web site are looking for schools teaching in English. But there are a whole bunch of local schools that use Montessori methods to varying degrees.

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