» Kyoto Gakuen Website(English)

Kyoto Gakuen Website(English)


SGH  (Super Global High School)

What is The SGH program?

The Super Global High School Program aims to foster globalized leaders who will be able to play active roles on the international stage through education at high schools that contribute to this mission. Students will achieve goals such as awareness and deep knowledge of social issues, communication ability and problem-solving skills.


Kyoto Gakuen’s mission

Here at Kyoto Gakuen, we strive to create students who not only think globally but who also can act globally. Having the honor of being made an SGH high school, has aided us in our ambition. Our SGH initiative is based on two clear and separate strategies, instilling seven distinct skills that we nurture and foster in all our students, and our KOA global studies program. Through this dual focus we create  leaders who we’ve termed as ‘Global Navigators’, a person who can successfully explore, navigate and provide sustainable solutions to the myriad of issues that face us both globally and locally.


The Seven Skills

To become a Global Navigator, we’ve used the ideas of Tony Wagner the co-director of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group to establish 7 skills that we see are essential to foster: critical thinking, collaboration, agility, communication, information analysis, initiative and creativity. Through instilling these skills in their lessons and projects, they acquire both the confidence in their own ability and the skill-set required to be successful in what they wish to achieve.


KOA Global Studies

With a focus on ‘food’ especially in Asia and Africa our students conduct multidisciplinary, comprehensive and exploratory studies on food both on a domestic and global level, in collaboration with universities, local businesses, experts and international organizations. Some of the areas we’ve looked at are food distribution, food sustainability and the strong relationship between food, identity and culture. This provides our students with real world experience, that they will hopefully put into practice in the future. We have been honored to have had guest lecturers from the UN, international NGOs, universities, and international companies.


Global Partners

To allow us to build upon and apply the knowledge gained from the seven skills and the KOA  Global Studies we are in the process of building stronger partnerships through GCN and in the Asia region. We’ve established a strong relationship with High Schools in the Philippines  which allows the students from both schools to collaborate and work together on projects that provide food to people in need in some of the poorest areas of Manila. 


Kyoto Gakuen Website(English)

 This webpage is designed to help our English-speaking partners learn more about the school and its courses, goals, clubs and various exchanges.  Please click on any of the links above to find out more about each of these categories.  In addition, we will try to keep the site up-to-date with a live Twitter feed to record recent events and announce upcoming trips abroad.





Our Founder
As a young student in the United States at the end of the 19th century, the school’s founder Konan Tsujimoto pondered deeply about Japan’s struggle to reach out to the world after several centuries of self-imposed isolation.
While accepting the urgent need for a global perspective, Mr. Tsujimoto could not approve of the wholesale and indiscriminate imitation of Western culture and civilization by the Japanese, which he believed stemmed from blind admiration and not genuine appreciation and respect. The question lingering in his mind was whether the Japanese would ever be able to command the respect of the world community without first gaining a deeper understanding of their own culture. 
The philosophy which he subsequently created was to foster the development of Japanese people with a true Japanese spirit. At the same time, he believed they should be able to interact with other people of the world on equal footing and principles of mutual understanding and respect in a way that did not create a sense of superiority or inferiority.
Such ponderings came to fruition in 1925 with the foundation of Kyoto Commercial High School (the forerunner of the present Kyoto Gakuen Senior High School). Konan Tsujimoto was quoted as having said, “Education should be the building of a fine character.”


Our Emblem
Our emblem, a mirror known as yata no kagami in Japanese, contains the initials of the school – K and G. Kyoto is the name of the city, the and ancient capital of Japan, while Gakuen is the Japanese word for “school” or “academy”. Legend has it that Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess in Japanese mythology, presented the yata no kagami to an ancestor of the imperial family.
The emblem symbolizes a patriot who excels in the virtues cultivated since ancient times among the Japanese and is armed with simplicity, integrity, fortitude, cheerfulness, and pureness of heart.
The school color is an ancient purple color regarded traditionally as noble and profound, and which has always decorated the imperial palaces in Japan. Like in ancient Roman times, it is considered a symbol of royalty and aristocracy. 
Our School
Kyoto Shogyo was founded in 1925 as a school specialzing in shogyo ka, or commercial education.  In 1969, futsuu ka, or general education course was added and later the Tokushin Course was created within futsuu ka in 1988.  It wasn’t until 1990 that the remaining commercial course students graduated and the school changed to its present name, Kyoto Gakuen.
Over 32,000 students have graduated from Kyoto Gakuen since 2012, and our school system has gone through many changes and improvements during this time.  In addition to the high school and junior high school, Kyoto Gakuen also has an affiliated university and kindergarten whose campuses are located in other areas of the city and prefecture.
For its 80th anniversary in 2005, Kyoto Gakuen broke ground on a brand new building for the high school and named it Konankan after the school’s founder.  This began a 10-year plan to rennovate the entire campus continuing with a new junior high school facility and gymnasium set to open in 2015.  Aside from replacing older facilities, the new buildings have been designed to comply with strict new building codes for earthquake safety.  The rearrangement of our buildings from an enclosed ground to a more centralized placement has opened up the campus considerably from the outside hopefully making it more attractive for prospective students.
Our Uniform
The Kyoto Gakuen high school uniform was updated in 2006 to the present one displayed on this page.  Several unique features were added to it in order to distinguish ourselves from other schools.  For example, each shirt is emblazoned with the silhouette of our most famous graduate, Eiji Sawamura, a baseball pitcher and legend in Japan. And, Accenting the pockets of the girls’ skirts and belt loop of the boys’ pants are Japanese textile fabrics added as a nod to Kyoto’s strong cultural traditions.
The junior high school has a distinctly different uniform with blazers that prominently display the junior high logo on the left pocket, and red-blue plaid skirts for the girls and navy-green plaid pants for the boys.
Our Location
Kyoto is an ancient city located in the so-called Kansai area of Western Japan. Some 1200 years ago, the capital of Japan was transferred here from Nara, and remained for about 1100 years before moving to its present location, Tokyo, in 1868. 
Today, Kyoto is one of the premiere tourist spots in Japan and is well known for its thousands of historic temples and shrines (including 17 World Heritage Sites) and beautiful natural environment. Though the city only has about 1.5million inhabitants, it attracts over 30 million tourists annually. 
At the same time, the city is also a modern metropolis where a large number of high-tech industries have flourished. It is home to two of Japan’s most famous technology companies, Nintendo and Kyocera. In addition, it is also home to the internationally ranked Kyoto University, which has produced five nobel laureates.
Kyoto Gakuen is situated in the northwest quadrant of the city just east ofMyoshin-ji temple and south of Mount Kinugasa, home to one of Japan’s most famous tourist sites – Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion).  Nearer to the school is another temple, Ryoan-ji, which also attracts thousands of visitors a year who come here to meditate in its world-famous rock garden.



International Course
The International (Kokusai) Course is designed for students wishing to play an active role in the international arena in the future. Students of this course become qualified to apply to any of the major universities around the world, as well as top-tier universities in Japan. The main focus of the course is on helping the students acheive English proficiency and to prepare them for examinations such as IELTS, TOEIC, and TOEFL which are required for entry to universities abroad. Current enrollment for the course stands at about 60-72 students per yer. In their second year of study, international students have the option of studying for 7 to 10 months in England or 10 months in Canada. Upon returning to Japan in their third year, they begin preparation for university entrance exams.
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Basic Course
Starting in 2000, Kyoto Gakuen introduced the Tokushin Basic Course, which differs slightly from the Advanced Course in terms of class hours and university focus. For the students studying in this course, the curriculum is designed to prepare them for top-tier private schools rather than national public schools.  As with the Tokushin Advanced Course, weekend study camps are also available to maximize students’ test preparation opportunities.  In addition, they are also able to choose a humanities or STEM subject focus depending on their strengths and preferences. Students in the Basic Course travel abroad in their second year to America for a one-week homestay in Modesto, CA along with the Preparatory (Shingaku) Course.
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Preparatory Course
The Preparatory Course changed its name in 2011 from futsuu, meaning “standard,” to Shingaku, meaning “preparatory”. This change reflects our increased focus on sending as many students to university as we can and giving each student adequate learning opportunities to prepare themselves for entrance exams. Like Tokushin Basic, Prepartory Course students aim for private universities rather than national public schools. Many of these students are also actively involved in sports, so a different track (S) was created to appeal to those who want to focus on more training time. The Preparatory Course also sends its students abroad to Modesto and San Francisco, CA in a week-long exchange that began in 1990. 
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Junior High
Kyoto Gakuen Junior High School was created in 2000 to offer a unique alternative to public schooling most popular with students at this age. We offer three courses: Kokusai (International), Tokushin A (Advanced Prep), and Tokushin B (Preparatory), each designed to match its high school counterpart. While there is some freedom in the choice of course once students reach the high school, most remain in the same course. This allows us a unique opportunity to design a 6-year curriculum for those who join us at the junior high school level.
It is also one of the few middle schools that offer English classes taught by native English-speaking teachers.  Beginning in 2013, each International Course classroom will also have one native English homeroom teacher to assist in further developing their language abilities and building strong relationships with the students.
All Kyoto Gakuen Junior High School students have an opportunity to travel abroad in their 3rd year to England, Canada, and previously to the United States. This particular exchange experience is one of the primary reasons why parents and students choose this school.
Kyoto Gakuen bases its policies on the original intent of our founder, Konan Tsujimoto. He believed that the goal of education was to produce people of fine character who could interact with the world in complete confidence of their abilities. Kyoto Gakuen aims to build strong relationships with students and parents in order to acheive such a result.
1.Develop better academic performance and create the best possible future for the students
2.Foster students’ social consciousness, civic sense, spirit of cooperation and public morality
3.Strengthen teacher-parent relationships
4.Promote international understanding
5.Constantly think about what we can do for you students and put those ideas into practice.
Each year our school chooses a new motto and asks teachers and administrators to use it as a guiding principle in the creation of new ideas. Below are this year’s current motto and those of previous years:
‘14  Creation through Action
      Creation cannot be accomplished unless ideas are put into action.
’13  Enthusiasm and Sincerety
’12  Work hard to make our school a better place for students
’11  A school that is like an oasis
’10  A school that has a place for each student
’09  A school that aims to please students
University Goals
As a private school, the predominant statistic we must always be mindful of is the number of students we are sending to university. While the admissions process traditionally focuses on test scores, these days there are other considerations such as extra-curricular activities, high English/Math/Science ability, and long periods of studying abroad. Therefore, our aims are to help students find their strengths and interests in order to maximize their chances of gaining entrance to the highest possbile universities. Below is a graph of the substantial progress we have made from 2004 to 2012.


Most of the extra-curricular clubs at Kyoto Gakuen are sports clubs. Our school has a strong tradition of sporting success, and this has played a big part in the culture and reputation of our school.  Several famous athletes have graduated from here over the years beginning with baseball legend, Eiji Sawamura. Another notable athelete is Takako Kobayashi, an Olympian at the 1992 Barcelona games in judo.  The school has so far produced four Olympians. 
Our school tries to maintain as many athletic clubs as possible to give all students the chance to challenge themselves and build lasting relationships with their fellow teammates and coaches.  The sports clubs offered are:
    • Badminton
    • Kendo
    • Sumo
      Table Tennis
      Track & Field



Most of the extra-curricular clubs at Kyoto Gakuen are sports clubs. Our school has a strong tradition of sporting success, and this has played a big part in the culture and reputation of our school.  Several famous athletes have graduated from here over the years beginning with baseball legend, Eiji Sawamura. Another notable athelete is Takako Kobayashi, an Olympian at the 1992 Barcelona games in judo.  The school has so far produced four Olympians. 
Our school tries to maintain as many athletic clubs as possible to give all students the chance to challenge themselves and build lasting relationships with their fellow teammates and coaches.  The sports clubs offered are:

    Baton Twirling (Cheerleading)
    Brass Band
    English Speaking Society (ESS)

    Fine Arts
    Railway Enthusiasts
    Shogi (Japanese Chess)
    Tea Ceremony





to America
In 1989, Kyoto Gakuen contacted a school district in the Central Valley of California to find host families for its 2nd year high school students. This began an exchange relationship with Modesto City Schools, Ceres and Turlock Unified that has recently entered its third decade, and has seen thousands of students brought to the city in that time. Every October, Kyoto Gakuen’s Shingaku and Tokushin Basic students spend a week with American host families, and at least one full day at a local high school where they perform at a cultural assembly, and experience life in the United States while making new friends. They also take side trips to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco where our founder once lived and formulated the idea of one day creating a school.
In addition to the trip in October, we also offer a 3-week summer study trip for students interested in improving their conversational English. This new exchange is done in partnership with CSU Stanislaus and Turlock Unified School District. The course is run by TESOL students from the university and the facilites are provided by Turlock High School. In addition to the language classes, students also gain the experience of spending this time with their host families and visiting San Francisco, Monterey, and Six Flags Marine World.
to Canada
In partnership with the Calgary School District, we offer a 10-month study abroad program for our International and ICT Course students wanting to travel to Canada for one full academic year. Students are placed in regular high school classes where they experience life as a Canadian student and build their English proficiency.

Kyoto Gakuen Junior High School students in the International Course also travel to Canada on a one-week trip that includes a visit to the glaciers where they study the effects of global warming and its impact on the environment. This trip is the culmination of the bio-science curriculum they are taught in their 3rd year.
to England
The majority of our International Course students are sent to England for seven to ten months at various colleges in the southern area of the country that include Sussex Downs, Eastbourne, Chichester, Bath, Guildford, and. Those studying for seven months enroll in language programs where they work to improve their preparation for English exams such as IELTS and TOEIC. In addition, they are given the choice of studying a range of vocational and elective classes such as Cabin Crew, Health & Beauty, and Animal Care. Ten-month students attend A-level classes where they study a number of academic subjects alongside British students.
Tokushin Advanced students also travel to England through a Cambridge program for English learners. They stay for two-weeks preparing for English exams and visiting some of England’s most famous sites.
Likewise, our Tokushin Advanced and Shingaku (Preparatory) students in junior high school also travel to England. For one week they visit London…
to Kyoto
With the various relationships Kyoto Gakuen has with schools abroad, naturally there is a lot of interest in coming to our city. Over the years we have hosted a large number of students from all over the world, including America, England, Australia, China, and Taiwan. Usually these visits come in the spring when the city is literally blooming with cherry blossoms, or in the fall when the maple trees turn red making for an impressive backdrop to the sites they see while they are here.
In Kyoto, foreign students and their chaperones are paired with host families and given an itinerary full of the best places to visit in the area. Due to our school’s close proximity to some of the most impressive historical sites in Japan, visitors are treated to a wide variety of experiences in just one week. Some of the highlights include photo opportunities at the Golden Pavillion (Kinkaku-ji), Kiyomizu-dera, and the Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji. Some students also take the chance to try on kimonos, taste authentic Japanese cuisine, and learn how to create Japanese characters in the traditional style of calligraphy.
As a member of the Global College Network, our school also offers a year of study to students enrolled in other member colleges from around the world.




Area Map


8 Teranonaka, Hanazono, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 616-8036   |   TEL: +81 (75) 461-5105


Copyright ©2013 Kyoto Gakuen Junior and Senior High School. All rights reserved.


School Websites

Kyoto Gakuen High School(Japanese)

Kyoto Gakuen Junior High(Japanese)



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