15 Free Online Courses in Japan with Certificates

Learning should be part of our daily lives. While there are many forms of learning, online classes are more convenient, easy, and accessible. With the global crisis ravaging the world, you can keep learning by enrolling for any of these free online courses in Japan with certificates.

Due to popular demand, educationists are offering better learning opportunities to students across the globe. Schools and teachers now understand that a busy lifestyle in a bid to make ends meet might make adults cut short their learning experience.

Hence, they draft up programs that allows student work and learn at their own pace. Basically, online schools across the globe keep innovating and re-inventing best ways to give students the best learning experience.

Some of this programs come with printable certificates which are duly recognized by relevant bodies of institutions and even professional authorities. Therefore, you should take a quick glance at the table of contents below.

It gives highlights on all sub topics discussed in this article.

Why Online Courses in Japan?

With the first Corona virus case confirmation in Japan and across the globe, educationists are now considering better learning options. Online classes are gradually becoming an alternative to traditional classes.

As a means to curb the spread of the virus, medical experts are insisting that citizens observe social distancing. While this may affect other sectors of the economy and life at large, education may not suffer greatly.

Currently, other institutions in other continents are exploring their online learning options. So, online courses in Japan will be quite beneficial to both working class students and everyone. By this, even with a second phase of the virus, online courses will ensure that you learn while staying safe.

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What are the Benefits of Online Courses in Japan?

There are quite a number of reasons why you should consider an online course. Aside from staying safe, online courses in Japan will benefit all and sundry. In fact, the benefits of online courses in Japan cannot be over emphasized.

First and foremost, online courses in Japan gives more audience and bridges the gap of communication. What this simply implies is that you can enroll for one from any part of the country.

Basically, you can attend your best school in Japan without being physically present. Imagine taking a lecture in Tokyo and taking the next class in Nara. That is it, online courses avail you the opportunity to study, learn, and live your best life.

In addition, improving yourself over time should be an effort everyone should make. Actually, the world is dynamic so is your profession and field. You should take a course from time to time to remain abased with the latest information.

Interestingly, you do not have to attend a conventional school. With an online school, you can take as many online courses as you can from the comfort of your home. Hence, one of the benefits of online courses is that it is a win-win situation.

How Long Does Online Courses in Japan Take?

How long you spend on an online course in Japan is determined by the curriculum. So, researchers and educationist develop courses on particular areas. Depending on the sub topics, the course is designed to cover, the duration of the program is stipulated.

For emphasis, online courses can last anywhere from 2 days to 15 weeks or even more. The goal is to cover the curriculum and equip students with the best knowledge. So, online courses are designed to last as long as possible to allow students to get value for their time.

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How can I get a Free Online Course in Japan?

You are probably wondering what a free online course is? Well, some reputable sites, academic authorities, and professional bodies organize and package courses on a particular topic for their audience.

All you are practically expected to do is to find a course that best suits your immediate need and simply apply. To get a free online course in Japan, you should do the following:

  • Decide what course you need to enroll for.
  • Find out the options available to you. This simply means discover if the course is offered by two or three online schools.
  • Ascertain the curriculum of each course. Does it cover all you need to know for the moment?
  • Confirm from the official website if the online course is free. Free courses will not redirect you or ask you to pay any amount to access.
  • Finally, click the apply button. Then set a reminder on the start date, take all classes and complete the coursework
  • Pass all quizzes, tests and projects to print out a certificate.
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Where Can I find Free Online Courses in Japan?

Actually, you can take free online courses offered in Japan or any other country from home. This is the beauty of the internet. In fact, the online course you take must not be offered in Japan.

There are numerous online schools that offer free online course experience to interested students. Interestingly, distance is not a barrier. This simply implies that even in Japan you can access classes in the USA, Europe, China, and other universities across the globe.

Some of these online schools may not be totally free especially, depending on the course you wish to enroll for. Introductory class may be offered for free, but to get a certificate you may have to part with a few Japanese yen.

Most universities offer these free online courses by outsourcing it to online schools or agency for wider reach. Some universities that offer free online courses in Japan include:

  • University of Tokyo
  • Keio University
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Waseda University
  • Grifth University
  • Sophia University

Below is a list of places to find online courses, some may be free but majority of the courses are paid for:

  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • Skillshare
  • Future Learn
  • EDX
  • Open2Study
  • World Mentoring Academy
  • Alison

Free Online Courses in Japan With Certificates

The subsequent paragraphs will now itemize courses offered online for Free by Japanese universities. All courses listed here come with a printable certificate.

This certificates indicates that students have completed the coursework and reached the pass mark stipulated by the organizers. These japan free courses online may be short course, diplomas offered by Japan Universities through any online school or agency.

1. Studying at Japanese Universities

The University of Tokyo offers a free online course for international students who intend to study at a Japanese university. The course is designed to help students discover great programs they can apply to in Japan and is taught by Yujin Yaguchi and Yuko Itatsu.

It collates different programs by different Japanese universities and prepares a study plan through project-based learning. The course offered in English through Coursera introduces a number of options to match a variety of goals, from full degree to non-degree programs, programs taught in English, as well as short-term programs in Japan.

During the course, international students at UTokyo will provide you with useful information and advice to start you on the path to studying in Japan. The course is available for undergraduate students, however, most of the materials are also applicable to graduate programs.

2. An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

This Japanese online course is offered by Keio university through Future Learn online schools. The course explores Japanese subcultures and allows students to learn about their history from the 1970s to today.

Taught by Professor Niijima, Professor Takahashi and Professor Ohwada, the course explores girls comics, boys comics, the Hatsune Miku vocaloid, cosplay, and J-pop idols, focusing on the themes such as Love, Battle, Technology and Fan culture.

Students will understand the different cultural creations that underpin Japanese subcultures. If you enroll for this course, you will get a basic knowledge of key Japanese subcultures, learning the recognizable traits of each with materials for cultural analysis.

The course can be completed in four weeks and awards a certificate to students who complete and pass their coursework.

3. The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books

Also offered by the Keio university through Future Learn, the online course in Japan explores the history, production and design of papers used inside Japanese rare books. Deepen your understanding of rare books and Japanese culture.

At the end of the course, students will have indepth knowledge of the materials and technologies used to produce Japanese papers, particularly the use of traditional washi paper.

In addition, the course allows students explore the crafting process used to create Japanese rare books, including the use of design and decoration techniques alongside the different types and varieties of papers used in Japanese rare books.

Taught by Makiko Shiroto and Takahiro Sasaki, the online course will last for 2 weeks and comes with a printable certificate.

4. Sino-Japanese Interactions Through Rare Books

Also offered by Keio University,  Sino-Japanese Interactions Through Rare Books is a course that explores the role of books in the relationship between the cultures of Japan and China.

Students through this online course discover more about the different types of Chinese books, their characteristics, and their history. In fact, the course allows students to study books with strong Chinese influences and examine the culture of the area of the world that use the Chinese writing system.

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Taught by Takashi Horikawa of the Humanities and Literature department at Keio university, the course will further explore the connections between publishing and religion – examining the influence of Zen Buddhism on Japanese culture in 3 weeks.

5. Japanese Culture Through Rare Books

The Keio university offers this online free course with certificates through Future Learn. Just like Sino-Japanese, the course explores the important roles that books have played in the cultural history of Japan.

This introductory course is open to anyone with an interest in the history of Japanese books. However, students who have a basic knowledge of the history of Japan and Japanese literature may have an edge over others during learning.

The course makes use of a number of visual resources which may unfortunately make some of the activities not accessible to learners with visual impairment.

Taught by Takahiro Sasaki, students will at the end of this 3 weeks course be inspired to further explore the field of rare books and have a good understanding of the various types of traditional Japanese books and their history.

In addition, students will also develope a unique perspective on the origins and development of Japanese culture through book history.

6. From the Big Bang to Dark Energy

This free online course is offered through Coursera by the University of Tokyo. This 4 weeks course explores daily Life to the Big Bang and the Birth of Elements and Higgs Boson. Also, students will get indeth knowledge on  dark matter and anti-matter alongside some of the more mysterious sides of the Universe.

Taught by Hitoshi Murayama, students will get a better understanding of inflation, ‘mysterious’ dark energy, and the possible fates of our Universe.

Basically, more than 80% of matter in the Universe is mysterious Dark Matter, which made stars and galaxies to form. The newly discovered Higgs-boson became frozen into the Universe a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang and brought order to the Universe. Yet we still do not know how ordinary matter (atoms) survived against total annihilation by Anti-Matter.

To get clear understanding of this and more, click the button below:

7. Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity.

Offered by Harvardx through edx, the free online course examines Japanese history and uncovers the skills and questions involved in reading history through digital imagery.

As an introductory module, the course will enlighten students about methodologies historians use to visualize the past. The course is taken in three modules as themes of Westernization, social protest, in Tokyo’s 1905 Hibiya Riot; and modernity, as seen in the archives of the major Japanese cosmetics company, Shiseido.

Offered by Andrew Gordon, Gennifer Weisenfeld, John W. Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa, students will at the end of the course understand the strategies for learning and teaching.

8. Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Structures

This free online course is offered by the University of Tokyo and delivered by edX. This course introduces the two primary methods used to determine the geometrical structure of molecules: molecular spectroscopy and gas electron diffraction.

Students who enroll for this course, are able to understand molecular vibration and how it plays an important role in determining the geometrical structure of molecules.

This 6 weeks course is taught by Kaoru Yamanouchi, a Professor of Chemistry at The University of Tokyo for intermediate students in English language.

9. Basic Analytical Chemistry

Delivered by edX, this free oline course in Japan is packaged by the University of Tokyo. The course is 6 weeks long and its taught by Takeaki Ozawa and Liang-da Chiu.

The course introduces the principles of analytical chemistry and provides how these principles are applied in chemistry and related disciplines – especially in life sciences, environmental sciences, and geochemistry.

Basically, the course curriculum is designed to accommodate all and sundry background. At the end of the course, students will understand the fundamental analytical concepts and their practical applications.

10. Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Theory

Architects in Japan can take this online free course that explores the four facets of contemporary Japanese architecture, theory, technology, city and humans.

The course is packaged by the University of Tokyo and delivered by edX. The course is delivered in English, and last for 5 weeks. At the end of the course, students who complete their coursework can print their certificates.

To apply, click the button below:

11. Basic Japanese Civil Law

Students or individuals who wish to learn a thing about the Japanese Civil Law, can enroll for this free online course in Japan.

This course is offered by the Tokyo Institute of Technology but delivered by edX. The course is designed to cover current issues in Japan especially those faced in daily life from a legal perspective.

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Taught by Hironao Kaneko, the online course covers sovereignty, separation of powers, basic principles of the constitution, principles of contract freedom (laws’ socioeconomic activity promotion functionality), and meaning of property rights (relativization of absolute principles of ownership by aging society and commons).

Also, students will understand the tort and contract comparison, accident and tort law, characteristics of Japanese family law, international marriage divorce and child protection, learning of labor-related law and reform of Japanese-style employment and way of working, court as dispute resolution system, and the Japanese court system.

12. Japanese Business Management 

Waseda University offers an online course through edX for individuals who intend to start a business in Japan. Actually, the JBM free online course is an introductory course that teaches its students the Japanese business management.

Anyone aiming to be a global leader can enroll for this course as it is designed to explore factors ranging from socioeconomic to international interventions that helped shape Japanese corporate culture, strategy and vision.

Taught by Jusuke JJ Ikegami, this free online course with certificates is designed to give future leaders the right mindset to be a global leader and lasts for about a week.

13. Introduction to Business in Asia

The Griffith university in Japan offers a free course through open2study that serves as an introduction to business in Asia. This is a beginner course for students who wish to start up a business in Asia.

The course gives you some beginning ideas on how to understand and negotiate business in Asia. It emphasizes the social and cultural aspects of business,  such as leadership, management and personal relationships.

Taught by Peter Woods, the course focuses on China, Japan, Korea, and some countries in South East Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

This course is currently not available, but you can request information by clicking the button below.

14. Japanese

Japanese is a language spoken by over 120 million. Students who wish to speak or learn this language can enroll in this free online course in Japan.

Basically, this course is a complete basic level program designed by the Defense Language Institute (DLI). Students will get to study for over 25 hours distributed across weeks.

Also, students will get the reference manual of over 360 pages of exercises and drills that supplement the audio portion of the course.

The course is delivered by the World Mentoring Academic. Though not currently available, students can request to know when the course will begin.

15. Japan in the Age of Great Voyage: History of Cultural Exchange Between Europe and Japan

This course explores how Europe viewed Japan and positioned it geographically. This history-based course is created by Sophia University to last for four weeks.

Taught by Masayuki TOYOSHIMA and Shinzo KAWAMURA, students will analyse a new culture characterized by Renaissance and humanism.

In addition, the course will examine the very first printed example of  “Kirishitan-ban”, “Prayers” , as well as the most complicated example of the Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, “Manuale ad sacramenta ministranda”, which has music and printing in color (red and black), both in the Sophia collection.

Online Courses in Japan FAQs

Are there Free Online Courses In Japan?

Yes, there are universities, and online schools offering online courses for free to interested individuals.

Where Can I find Free online Courses In Japan?

Students can find free online courses from universities or professional bodies delivered by online schools. So, you can find online courses from the following:
Future Learn
World Mentoring Academy

What are the Requirements for Online Courses in Japan?

To enroll for an online course, you must have a laptop or desktop, access to the internet at a reasonable speed and basic knowledge of prerequisites.


Free online courses are usually created by institutions and delivered by some online schools. These courses are designed to be beneficial to students and individuals who are either looking to get more insight on some topics.

These Japanese free courses online are usually very convenient to enroll and students can enroll from any part of the country. So, if you wish to understand the history of Japan and its neighboring countries, data science, or even learn the Japanese language, then, this article is ally you need.

There is definitely, a course for you to satisfy your curiosities. Simply click the apply button once you find one.



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