11 Best Animation Schools in Japan

Interested in earning a degree in animation design? Then carefully go through the list of best animation schools in Japan and see the appropriate steps you need to take to become a creator of one of the world’s fastest-growing art.

Japan is a hub of technological and scientific advancement. They are the world’s highest producers of many of the machines and techs we see around. The fact that they are such intelligent, sophisticated people does not make them dull. The Japanese have one of the most colorful, fun arts in the world.

Growing up we watched a lot of anime shows such as Naruto, Dragonball Z, and several others. And as you must have already known, the Japanese is the mastermind behind these action-packed, fun, lively animations. It is part of the Japanese culture and most of them even talk about Japanese mythology and beliefs.

It is an interesting form of art that is currently making waves all over the world. Due to the many opportunities that the field presents, there have been a lot of interests, especially among the youths, to become animators and manga illustrators. Also, universities and colleges in Japan and other countries have seen this interest and are now teaching it as a program.

Yes, that’s correct. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in animation right where it all started – Japan – and where the culture is just pure and authentic. The field is growing at a fast pace and it is one of the highest paying jobs in the world. If you have artistic skills or are passionate about animation, you shouldn’t be shy or scared to enhance the skill.

Rather, you should look for a good school to sharpen your skill, build a network of connections, and meet people already in the field and learn from their experience. While higher institutions in other countries may teach animation, this article is focused on discussing the best animation schools in Japan.

You may want to consider going to Japan to pursue a degree in animation. Firstly, this is where it originated, therefore, they are much better at it and have the right tools and people to teach you effectively. Also, the universities in Japan are much cheaper for international students than in the rest of the world.


How to Study Animation in Japan

To study animation in Japan, you simply need to go through our list of animation schools in Japan and select the one that piques your interest. You have to ensure that the university or college you choose to study animation at meets your demands and standards.

Next, you need to go through the admission requirements which are outlined below.

Admission Requirements for Animation Schools in Japan

Interested in attending an animation school in Japan? Then ensure you meet or possess the following admission requirements:

  1. Prospective students must have finished 12 years of formal education in their country and earned a high school diploma.
  2. Possess a valid passport and passport photos
  3. Proof of financial records to show that you can afford the cost of education and live in Japan.
  4. Health insurance
  5. Recommendation letters from past teachers and professors
  6. Take the TOEFL or IELTS test
  7. All academic transcripts from past schools attended
  8. A letter of good standing from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in your home country
  9. Pass the university entrance exam

These are the typical requirements to study animation in Japanese schools.

How to Get Scholarship for Animation in Japan

To get a scholarship for animation in Japan you need to check in with the particular school you are applying for to know whether they offer scholarships or not. Most universities and colleges in Japan offer scholarships to international students to pursue a program of their choice which you can then apply for towards your animation degree.

To whether a school you are applying for offers scholarships, you simply need to contact the admissions office or check their websites for scholarships and financial aid opportunities. If any scholarships are available, ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before applying.

With all clarity observed, let’s get into the best animation schools in Japan.

List of Best Animation Schools in Japan

There are many animation schools in Japan but only the best ones have been outlined and discussed in this post. Links to each of the schools have been provided to offer you further guidance in case you see any of the schools that pique your interest. Through the links, you will also learn the application process, deadline, and available scholarship opportunities. Have a great read.

  • Kyoto Seika University
  • Osaka Animation College
  • Tokyo Designer School
  • Tokyo University of the Arts
  • Yoyogi Animation Academy
  • Aoba-Japan International School
  • Amusement Media School
  • Tokyo College of Anime
  • Osaka Amusement Media College
  • Sapporo College of Anime
  • Tokyo Animator Academy College

1.      Kyoto Seika University

On our first list of best animation schools in Japan is Kyoto Seika University, a private college located in Iwakura, Kyoto, Japan, and popular for its quality academic offering in animation. The university is more focused on animation education and houses the Faculties of Arts, Design, Manga, Popular Culture, Humanities, and Graduate Schools.

Through these faculties, Kyoto Seika University trains and equips students with adequate skills to become successful animators and manga illustrators in the future. Some of the courses offered are cartoon art, comic art, oil painting, animation, digital design, and graphic design. All the courses are taught in Japanese and international students are accepted.

School website link

2.      Osaka Animation College

Whether you want to be a voice-over artist, graphic designer, animator, or cartoonist, the Osaka Animation College is the place for you. You will gradually learn the basic skills and improve your abilities to a practical level and become a professional animator with good knowledge in both analog and digital techniques.

All courses are taught in Japanese and a handful is taught in English. The courses taught in English are Anime Production, Animator Course, Complete Comic Course, Story Comic Course, and Character Design Course. Cutting-edge facilities are available for students to enhance their practical skills and work with professionals in the field.

School website link

3.      Tokyo Designer School

Tokyo Designer School is one of the best animation schools in Japan offering a wide range of academic programs that cover animation and all forms of design. The institute nurtures designers with a wide field of vision and skills and a practical curriculum that meets the demands of the current field of design.

The school houses 11 departments that cover all aspects of design, offering highly specialized courses that create capable professionals. The courses offered are animation, game creation, manga, character design, and computer graphics.

School website link

4.      Tokyo University of the Arts

Tokyo University of the Arts is a prestigious art school in Japan offering programs in animation and other genres of illustration and design. It is a public school located in Taito, Tokyo, Japan but has facilities in Toride, Ibaraki, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Kitasenju, and Adachi all in Tokyo. The courses offered here lead to an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

The university is divided into the Faculties of Fine Arts, Music, and Graduate Schools of Fine Arts, Music, Film, and New Media. Scholarships and financial aid opportunities are offered to students to reduce their tuition load and encourage them to follow their dream.

School website link

5.      Yoyogi Animation Academy

This Japanese animation school is Japan’s largest animation and art institution with a high reputation. It is among the best animation schools in Japan and all courses are taught in Japanese therefore students must have the ability to fully understand the Japanese language to attend Yoyogi Animation School.

The institute has facilities in Miyazaki, Takamatsu, Sendai, Sapporo, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Harajuku, Osaka, Hachioji, Nagoya, and Wakayama. Each of these facilities or campuses has features and courses are taught differently. The courses offered include animation, multimedia creator, illustration, animation AV operator, and digital animation artist.

School website link

6.      Aoba-Japan International School

Aoba-Japan International School is another of the best animation schools in Japan with two campuses in Hikargoaka and Meguro. Students can decide to apply to either of them, they offer the same programs but the environments are different which is what students need to look out for before sending out applications. Ensure it is an environment that fits your needs.

The institution accepts international students and uses an international curriculum to develop future leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the field of animation design, voice acting, and game design. A handful of courses are taught in English to satisfy the needs of incoming international students and cutting-edge facilities and resources are constantly available to support students’ experiential learning.

School website link

7.      Amusement Media School

Amusement Media School was established in 1993 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan and continues to offer quality academic offerings and innovative curriculum to meet students’ needs and fit the current business model and needs of the animation field. The multimedia school provides training programs in various genres of design such as computer and graphics design, animation, game design, manga illustration, and voice-over.

The school equips students with the latest animation design techniques and connects them to a professional network of successful individuals in the field to gain business ideas that can be efficient in turning your skill into a successful career.

School website link

8.      Tokyo College of Anime

Tokyo College of Anime is located at Nishikasai, Edogawa-Ku, Tokyo and it is one of the best animation schools in Japan that you should add to your list. You can take courses in voice acting, anime design, or e-Sports which typically take 2-3 years to complete, and join the growing community of animation designers to make your work known in Japan and the world.

International students are accepted and there is an office for international students where you can get all the details you need to apply. Other programs offered include Digital CG animation major, anime sound major, novel & scenario major, super pro gamer major, e-sport management major, and illustration & character design major.

School website link

9.      Osaka Amusement Media College

Osaka Amusement College is one of the best animation schools in Japan. It is located in Nishinakajima, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka. The college is designed to train and develop your ability in various art forms ranging from voice acting and animation to character design and game programming. These courses are offered via its 8 departments of;

  • Game programmer
  • Game creator
  • Character design
  • Game / animation 3DCG
  • Animation
  • Manga illustration
  • Novels literary arts
  • Voice actor

Innovative programs are offered through these departments to enhance your skill and develop your abilities to make you number 1 in the industry.

School website link

10. Sapporo College of Anime

On our tenth list of best animation schools in Japan is the Sapporo College of Anime, a prestigious animation and graphics school in Japan. The school is mainly focused on anime and manga illustration and doesn’t offer gaming design/programming courses like the others. Students here can easily meet like minds, as the program offering isn’t very broad, and share ideas that can uplift them in the industry.

International students are welcome to apply for any of the courses offered at Sapporo. These courses are Manga Major, Comic Illustration, Major Voice Actor, Anime Song, and Animator.

School website link

11. Tokyo Animator Academy College

And last, but not least on best animation school in Japan is the Tokyo Animation College. The college offers four professional courses in voice acting, animation, cartoonist, and illustration. These courses are designed to equip students with the skills and connections they need to succeed in their respective careers.

The application process and deadlines can be found in the link below.

School website link

This brings an end to the best animation schools in Japan and I hope they help you to achieve your dreams of being an animator, voice actor, or manga illustrator. This is an interesting, fun field and it is obvious from the manga and anime we see around and if you have a talent or passion for it, do not hesitate to pursue it further.


How much does it cost to study animation in Japan?

The cost of studying animation in Japan ranges between 50,000 yen to 300,00 yen depending on the school you attend.

How many years of college do you need to become an animator in Japan?

2-3 years is the required time to complete an animator program in Japan

Can international students study animation in Japan?

Some animation schools in Japan accept international students but students have to be fluent in English or Japanese.

Can I study animation in Japan in English?

A handful of international animation schools in Japan offer animation programs in the English language to satisfy the needs of international students.