Discover the Best Japanese Classes in NYC
Japanese is one of the hottest languages among aspiring bilingualists today. Duolingo describes it as the fifth most popular language chosen for study by their app users in 2022. Anime, manga, and other Japanese cultural exports dominate the U.S. entertainment market, and their fans—ranging from Gen X to Generation Alpha—often learn Japanese to connect with their favorite books, shows, and music in its original language. Meanwhile, careers in the gaming, electronic, and automotive industries often involve dealings with Japanese giants in these fields, making the Japanese fluency a highly sought-after resume skill. While the basics of Japanese are relatively simple and systematic, high-level fluency in the language includes mastery of three writing systems, extensive vocabulary and grammar rules, and the complex hierarchical system of politeness known as keigo.
Why You Should Learn Japanese in NYC
As a major U.S. hub of Japanese culture and Japanese-American relations, New York City is one of the most exciting places to learn the Japanese language. NYC is home to the Japan Local Government Center—Japan’s Council of Local Authorities for International Relations American office—as well as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York. The Nippon Club is the only Japanese social club in the U.S., while the Tenri Cultural Institute promotes Japanese language learning and art appreciation from its Greenwich Village location. In short, the Japanese language offers exceptional opportunities to interact with NYC’s vibrant Japanese population, whether your plans are for business or pleasure.
Japanese is an attractive skill to list on your resume when seeking a job in NYC. Boasting a population of tens of thousands of Japanese expatriates and hosting numerous Japanese businesspersons and tourists daily, businesses in New York City are regularly seeking Japanese speakers for positions ranging from translators to paralegals to executive assistants. But even if you aren’t in the job market, learning Japanese can enrich your life as a fun hobby that not only increases your brain activity but also allows you to connect with your favorite Japanese art and entertainment and socialize with others with similar tastes.
In-Person Japanese Classes & Schools in NYC
Few educational methods compare to the experience of learning in a local classroom with a skilled live instructor, like-minded classmates, and a set schedule and curriculum holding you accountable for regular study and progress in your language-learning journey. Luckily, when you live in New York City, you have no shortage of choices when looking for an in-person Japanese class to suit your needs.
If Long Island City is a comfortable commute for you, RESOBOX will be a special treat in your Japanese education journey. The Japanese cultural center has called Long Island home since its original founding in 2009 by composer, videographer, and bassist Fumio Tashiro as a personal art project. Today RESOBOX—a portmanteau of the Resonating Box for artists to meet, collaborate, and create—features a rich gallery of Japanese-inspired artwork alongside a cafe and event space that hosts a rich variety of Japanese language and culture classes every week.
RESOBOX is home to NYU Department of East Asian Studies instructor Hiroko Miyashita’s unique cycle of Japanese classes which teach the language through the art form of anime. The Japanese Language from Anime is designed for individuals entirely new to the language. The ten-week course walks adult students through the acquisition of basic conversational skills by watching scenes from such popular anime shows as One Piece, Bleach, Spirited Away, Log Horizon, and Hyouka,
If you are a few steps into your Japanese language journey, Miyashita’s Japanese Language from Anime (Advanced) class for advanced beginners follows a similar structure to her other Japanese courses. In this course, you will learn elements of the hiragana and katakana writing systems along with verb conjugation and plenty of vocabulary as you watch your favorite anime characters.
RESOBOX also offers numerous Japanese cultural classes, from tea ceremony to karate, to supplement your Japanese language education. One popular choice is their Nihon buyō (Japanese classical dance) class, taught in the traditional Sōke Fujima style. Open to students ages 12 and up, the class guides students in this poetic style of dance, also known as nichibu, that dates back to around 1603 when it was first invented as a part of Kabuki Theatre.
The Brooklyn-based Aozora Community Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to support NYC schools providing services to families of Japanese heritage while also offering its own wide array of classes in the Japanese language, arts, and culture. The small class size of Aozora’s adult Ume (梅): Japanese Beginner course averages around eight students, allowing plenty of time to interact with the instructor and classmates as you learn the most essential Japanese language and cultural basics, from bowing and introducing yourself to understanding Japanese currency.
After completing their foundational Ume class, Aozora recommends you join their Take (竹): Japanese Intermediate Beginner course. The class is designed to guide students to mastery of many basic conversational topics such as travel and family. Like all of Aozora’s beginner-level courses, the intermediate beginner Japanese class utilizes the Genki I textbook and recommends you bring a notebook and pen.
Virtual Japanese Classes & Schools
While New York City offers no shortage of Japanese education options, you may find that online Japanese classes suit your personal learning needs as well—or even better—than in-person classes. While virtual classes may be more likely to require you to purchase your learning materials, they offer the perks of no commute time and being able to work from your location of choice.
If you are just beginning your Japanese learning journey, ABC Languages’ online Japanese - Total Beginner class provides a strong foundation in the basics of the language for students ages 16 and up. The eight-week course includes an introduction to all three Japanese writing systems, hiragana, katakana, and kanji, as well as instruction in basic vocabulary and conversational skills.
The International School of Languages offers significantly more advanced courses for those who have mastered their Japanese basics and beyond. Their online Japanese High Intermediate 2 class is the first of a three-course program designed to guide adult students to an advanced level of Japanese fluency. The course uses An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese as its textbook and follows a curriculum designed to build confidence in ordering food while dining out and making plans for outings with friends.
You can even find online Japanese classes for kids and young teens who wish to start their Japanese learning careers early. The International School of Languages welcomes students to their Japanese Beginner 3 for Kids Ages 11-14 course designed to teach conversational skills useful for traveling, shopping, and other situations. Their native-level fluent teachers lead classes with a curriculum utilizing a wide variety of visual, audio, and interactive elements to prevent boredom by fully engaging every young mind in the class.
Private Group Japanese Classes in NYC
Are you and your team looking to schedule private group Japanese classes for your business or organization in NYC? CourseHorse can deliver Japanese classes for private groups in NYC to meet your needs, whether they be to build camaraderie and team spirit or to prepare your organization for a trip to Japan.
Many enjoy enriching their Japanese language education with an exploration of the art, food, music, and other cultural expressions of Japan. RESOBOX’s private Japanese cooking class for your group in NYC offers a one-of-a-kind experience for team bonding and opportunities to practice their Japanese language skills in food and food preparation. Suitable for groups including a number of dietary restrictions, this Japanese vegan cooking class teaches up to 25 students to cook with two of the most popular and palatable ancient Japanese superfoods, tofu and miso, using organic and gluten-free ingredients.
For completely tailored private Japanese classes for your group in New York City, CourseHorse is on-call to design the exact course to meet your team’s goals. Share your situation with CourseHorse through their convenient contact form, and receive a reply within two business hours. Or if you prefer, you can schedule a phone call with a member of the CourseHorse team to start a discussion about your team’s Japanese education needs.
Once you’ve shared details about your group, desired experiences, and outcome goals, CourseHorse will take care of all the details of planning and booking your class for you and send you confirmation of your booking within 24 hours of your reservation.
They can even ship any supplies or textbooks needed directly to each of your team members. CourseHorse can even book your team’s private Japanese class before you know your exact head count: you can change your number of participants up to a week before your class start date.
If you’re setting up an online private Japanese course for your team in NYC, CourseHorse recommends Zoom as your video conferencing platform. However, if your group prefers Google Meets, WebEx, or Microsoft Teams, CourseHorse can accommodate your needs.
CourseHorse will never charge you a dime for a booking fee, but for just $150, their team can customize your course curriculum to include unique experiences you desire for your group, such as on-topic games or vocabulary or questions specific to your organization’s needs.