Learn Japanese with Japanese friends!
At Blue House Okinawa Japanese School
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Close to Kadena Air Base Gate 1
We’re located in a cozy house right by Sunabe Seawall.
Authentic Language Practice
Because we have both English and Japanese classes in house, there are endless opportunities to practice with native speakers.
More Than a Language School
We are a close-knit community of English & Japanese learners. We teach each other and learn from each other.
Relaxed & Community-Centered
A great place to make friends, explore, and grow together.
Instead of a traditional school environment where students passively receive information in the classroom and then practice at home, we take a Blended Learning approach to flip the classroom. This means we learn fundamental concepts outside of class (via books and online content) so that we can focus on speaking, listening, and active interaction in the classroom.
With the Blue House Okinawa app, students can use what they’ve learned to build new habits! With electronic flashcards, virtual quizzes, and social interaction with native Japanese speakers, our app gives students the practice they need to succeed!
Our app is divided into two sections:
Our Study Room for watching lecture videos, reviewing flashcards / vocabulary, taking virtual quizzes, and playing study games!
With these study tools consolidated and easily accessible, students can study at work, at home, or on the go!
There is also a Living Room for using and practicing what you've learned through interaction in a social community of language learners!
Are you wondering where to get the best ramen on the island? Or where the locals shop? Ask your native Japanese peers on the Living Room!
Unlike traditional schools, we focus on actively using what you’ve learned, and provide lots of opportunities for listening, speaking, and communication practice in Japanese with native Japanese speakers.
We understand that rote memorization can be boring, so we’ve spent time and energy creating something unique and interactive to help you learn Japanese!
During classes, we practice language exchange with local Japanese friends who are learning English at our school. In exchange, we practice English with them!
You'll practice what you've learned in the lessons and use it in the group projects! See if you can communicate with native Japanese speakers in Japanese!
During group projects, you'll visit local places with your Japanese classmates to complete the project.
Explore Okinawa with local Japanese friends!
Give a presentation in Japanese!
After each field trip, you and your classmates will give a presentation about the field trip in both Japanese and English.
Host a Study Exchange with local Japanese friends and practice Japanese even more! Don't forget to help them with their English practice too.
We help each other and grow together 🙂
You'll make friends with local Japanese through lessons, group projects, field trips and study exchanges.
Make the most of your Okinawa stay with your Japanese friends 🙂
One of the most common challenges reported to us is how much difficulty Japanese learners have in interacting in their target language. At Blue House Okinawa, students are given the opportunity to develop all areas of language to build towards proficiency. We provide practical listening and speaking practice with both peer learners and native speakers. Our goal is to build students’ confidence and put their learning to use quickly and often.
If you have experience with studying Japanese and you’re wondering what class to take, then take our placement test to see what class fits you the best!
Beginners 1 *2 Months*
To start, you will learn pronunciation, counting, and useful phrases and greetings. Next, we move on to sentence structure while creating basic sentences using colors, adjectives, question words, and talking about what you like/dislike. You’ll learn a lot of vocabulary and will be able to write the first half of the Japanese Hiragana alphabet. | Japanese From Zero! 1
Beginner 2 *2 Months*
You will learn how to talk about what you want/don’t want, locations, dates (days, months, years), and time. In addition, we’ll practice asking for things, counting objects (a big topic in Japanese!), and using verbs as we learn about conjugation and the past tense. You will be able to write the entire Japanese language in Hiragana by the end of the course. | Japanese From Zero! 1
Beginner 3 *2 Months*
Learn how to use two very important verbs (ある, いる), talk about specific objects and their locations, count living things, and gain confidence with particles and other useful grammar. You’ll master the first half of the Katakana alphabet and learn new vocabulary in the process. | Japanese From Zero! 2
Beginner 4 *2 Months*
Learn about the Japanese family structure, adjectives, informal verb forms/conjugations, connecting sentences, and more key grammar concepts. You’ll learn the very important verb する and how to use it with your growing vocabulary to form more new verbs. After you complete the course, you will be able to write the entire Katakana alphabet and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve learned in only 8 months! | Japanese From Zero! 2
Pre-Intermediate 1 *3 Months*
Practice talking about your family and relatives, hobbies, nature, seasons, weather, and your town while you learn related vocabulary and kanji. In addition, you will learn and practice grammar concepts includingている form, normalizing verbs/adjectives, describing when actions take place using とき, changes in states using なる (become), and connecting adjectives/verbs to form more complex sentences. | Marugoto A2-1
Pre-Intermediate 2 *3 Months*
Practice communicating to meet up with a friend, plan an evening out on the town, discuss food/meal plans, and share your experiences with language study and culture. You will do all this while you learn related vocabulary and kanji, and practice grammar concepts including: connecting verbs to form complex sentences, asking if something is okay, going to/wanting to/trying to do something, relative time (before/after), and the various nuances of もう/まだ (already/not yet/still). | Marugoto A2-1
Pre-Intermediate 3 *3 Months*
Practice talking about business trips and an office environment, health and exercise, celebrations, and your feelings while you learn related vocabulary and kanji. In addition, you will learn and practice grammar concepts including: past experiences, doing too much of something, doing something for the purpose of, new ways to form complex sentences, and expressing your thoughts or what you heard someone say. | Marugoto A2-1
Following our blended learning approach, all classes incorporate a variety of study tools outside of the classroom. These include textbooks, YouTube videos, Quizlet flashcards, and our very own Blue House Okinawa Mobile App. Our app consolidates your learning materials, guides/tracks your course progress, facilitates assignments, and enables communication with your fellow students via direct messaging and group forums!
8th Anniversary Campaign!
Save Your Spot Today!
Registration for the Spring term is open!
Beginners 1-4 courses are for complete beginners or those have some experience in Japanese but need a refresher course.
Please take our Placement Test below if you have questions about which class to start with!
Beginners Spring 1 Term (8 weeks)
MAR 6 – APR 27
Beg. 1 (afternoons) @ 10:55 am (Mon/Wed)
Beg. 1 (evenings) @ 6:30 pm (Tue/Thu)
Beg. 2 (evenings) @ 8:15 pm (Mon/Wed)
Beg. 3 (mornings) @ 10:55 am (Tue/Thu)
Beg. 3 (evenings) @ 8:15 pm (Tue/Thu)
Beginners Spring 2 Term (8 weeks)
MAY 8 – JUN 29
Beg. 1 (afternoons) @ 12:40 pm (Tue/Thu)
Beg. 1 (evenings) @ 6:30 pm (Mon/Wed)
Beg. 2 (mornings) @ 10:55 am (Mon/Wed)
Beg. 2 (evenings) @ 6:30 pm (Tue/Thu)
Beg. 3 (evenings) @ 8:15 pm (Mon/Wed)
Beg. 4 (mornings) @ 10:55 am (Tue/Thu)
Beg. 4 (evenings) @ 8:15 pm (Tue/Thu)
Advanced Spring Term (3 months)
MAR 6 – JUN 1
Pre-Inter @ 6:30pm (Mon/Wed)
JLPT N2 @ 6:30pm (Mon/Wed)
JLPT N3 @ 6:30pm (Tue/Thu)
Advanced Summer Term (3 months)
It depends on your goals. If you want to progress rapidly, you will need to devote a considerable amount of time studying, practicing, and generally exposing yourself to the language in as many ways as possible. However, if you're like most people, you are juggling various other commitments including work, family, school, etc. and you probably don't have endless time to devote to Japanese. Don't worry, that's okay! Many people have made considerable progress without studying for 10 hours a day. Ideally, we recommend finding a little bit of time every day (or even every other day) to practice — this will be much more effective than a multi-hour cram session every few weeks. And this practice doesn't necessarily mean you're sitting at a desk staring at a book. Reading road signs, playing audio flashcards while you walk the dog, watching youTube videos, and of course listening and speaking to locals are all great ways to practice! Compared to others learning Japanese around the world, living here in Okinawa, we are fortunate to be surrounded with endless opportunities to practice Japanese, so have fun with it!
According to the United States Foreign Service Institute, Japanese is considered one of the five most difficult languages for a native English speaker to learn, along with Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), and Korean. These languages require an average of 2200 hours of dedicated practice to achieve "professional working proficiency," compared to a language like Spanish which averages about one quarter of this time. So what does this mean? Probably not a whole lot. Language learning varies a lot based on the individual, previous language experience, dedication, interest, and countless other factors. In addition, most Japanese learners don't need to achieve "professional working proficiency." Your best bet is to talk to some of our current students and ask about their experiences and progress. We think you'll find that most students are absolutely amazed at how much they have learned in a short period of time! It is incredibly rewarding when, after a few short months, you can walk out your front door and immediately apply what you've learned to your daily interactions with Japanese speakers.
No, you can join whichever class is most appropriate for your skill level. You can even join a class mid-term; no need to wait until a new class begins. To achieve the best fit, check out our course descriptions, and take our replacement test, and of course, talk to us during your trial lesson at Blue House Okinawa. We will work with you to ensure you're placed in the best class for your skill level, which may even include sitting in on a class or two to gauge your comfort level with the material. We recommend selecting your skill level based on your speaking ability, as this is usually hardest to master.
Unfortunately, we are not able to refund or make-up individual classes that you may miss after registering. Please review our school policies for further information.
Unfortunately we do not offer a military discount. Please review our school policies for more information on our discount program.
Unfortunately our school is too small to support a student visa. However, many of our classes are only two to three months long, so you can complete one on a tourist visa!
We find that a community approach to language learning (practicing with classmates and native speakers) is most effective, and one-on-one instruction does not provide this same opportunity.
We accept online payment only.
No. At the moment, our curriculum is not designed for drop-in or short-term (less than 2 months) students.
I remember my first class at Blue House Okinawa! I was brand new to Okinawa and the Japanese language. I was able to have basic exchanges, and it made me so happy to practice with native speakers and have such a fun community to learn in. I’m two years into studying now and am so glad I found Blue House Okinawa from the beginning — it introduced me to some of my favorite people in Okinawa and is such a special place ❤️
Ms. Sara Wray
I had spent about 8 months using online based methods to learn Japanese. Blue House Okinawa gave me the opportunity to learn Japanese face-to-face with native Japanese speakers. The language exchanges forced me to step outside of my shell and speak among our Japanese peers, which was exactly what I needed to do to gain confidence to apply my classroom learning to the real world. Most importantly, it has been an incredibly fun experience to learn Japanese while helping others to learn English!
Mr. Tom Nelson
Blue House Okinawa is my family! We are leaving island soon and Blue House Okinawa was really the best part of my Okinawa experience. It’s worth every penny. Learning Japanese at Blue House Okinawa is fun and very. I have made friends here and Monica sensei is kind and patient. My classmates are also kind. Japanese is hard and I get shy when I talk in Japanese but Blue House Okinawa helps me learning.
Ms. Janice Blanchard
I recommend Blue House Okinawa to anybody that wishes to learn Japanese. I learned that Japanese is difficult at Blue House Okinawa but students here are motivated to learn, Japanese people are kind and helpful.
Blue House Okinawa is like a family where everyone is welcomed.
Mr. Garion Hallmon
I love Blue House Okinawa. It works with my busy schedule and is extremely flexible. My favorite aspect is that you are learning Japanese and practicing alongside students who are attempting to learn English.
1. Class Registration & Payment
Students are required to use the Blue House Okinawa app or website to register for your class. This guarantees your place in class. If you are signing up for Beginners 1, please register at least 1 day prior to the 1st day of class. If a class is already in session, please wait until the next term starts to register.
For current students enrolling in the next level, please register by the 20th of the preceding month of your next class. Payment after the 20th will incur a late fee as follows:
21st – 25th = 10% of your tuition
26th – on = 20% of your tuition
*Tuition fees cover one term regardless of your attendance.
2. Cancellation Policy
In order to keep class sizes small, we strictly limit the number of students enrolled per class. If you have to drop out of a class for any reason, we unfortunately cannot enroll another student to replace your spot in a class. For this reason, our cancellation schedule is as follows:
100% refund for cancellation greater than 7 days prior to the 1st day of class
50% refund for cancellation 1-7 days prior to 1st day of class
NO refunds for cancellation after the 1st day of class
3. Class Cancellation
Currently we are operating classes only if a minimum of 6 students are enrolled in the class. If a class does not have at least 6 students enrolled, we apologize, but we will have to cancel the class. If your class is canceled due to this, you can: 1) retake a class that is open; or, 2) wait until your class has 6 enrollees. Let us know what your preference is, and we will do our best to accommodate you!
4. Delays / Absences / Vacations
Delays – If you are running late, please send a message your instructor via Blue House Okinawa app.
Absences – Please let your instructor know ahead of time if you know you via Blue House Okinawa app that you are going to miss a class.
Vacations – Please notify your instructor via Blue House Okinawa app and remember to register online for the term you return to save your place in class if you choose to continue with Blue House Okinawa.
5. Access to Online Materials
Blue House Okinawa app is for tuition paying students. Access to it is from the first day of the term through the last day of the term. If your tuition is not paid for the next term before the last day of the term, your access ends. Once tuition is paid, it will then be restored.
*If you are taking time off from class but intend to return and need access to online class materials to continue your studies, you have the option of paying a ¥1,000 usage fee per month for up to 3 months maximum. Please ask your instructor.
6. Making Friends
Blue House Okinawa is a wonderful school to learn from and make new friends. We encourage students to work together and use their new language skills with each other. We offer events to encourage intercultural learning and experiences. However, we are not a dating service and discourage the use of our school and events being used to that end. Our expectation is that students interact respectfully and contribute to a healthy learning community.
7. Damage or Loss of Personal Property
We do not assume any responsibility, either real or imposed, for the loss of personal property or injury of any student.
8. Military Clause Policy
*Active Duty members (only) going on TDY/TAD or Deployment with Orders: Please provide a copy of your Orders and you will receive a prorated refund of your current or future paid tuition.
*Active Duty Members and Family PCSing with Orders: Please provide a copy of your order to receive a prorated refund of your current or future paid tuition.
Below are our discount offers:
Family & Friends discount: Sign up with your family member or friend and get 10% off your tuition! This can apply each class you sign up with a family / friend.
Review discount: Write us a review on Google or Facebook and receive 10% off your tuition! Applies only to your first class.
Referral discount: Recommend us to your friends, family, coworkers, or anyone! If they sign up and mention that you referred them, you’ll get 2,700 yen off your tuition!
One of the most common challenges reported to us is how much difficulty Japanese learners have in interacting in their target language. For example, despite perhaps years of dedicated study in Japanese, many learners feel paralyzed and defeated in interactions with native Japanese speakers.
This challenge is largely due to the fact that language-learning is multifaceted. Proficiency requires separate yet overlapping skills, such as reading, listening, writing, cultural awareness, speaking, pronunciation, etc. Schools often emphasize grammar, reading and writing over other aspects.
Thus, learners become discouraged and feel as if they don’t know anything after years of study, when in fact they just haven’t had sufficient practice in a particular skill to make them a balanced learner.
At Blue House Okinawa, students are given the opportunity to develop all areas of language to build towards proficiency. We provide practical listening and speaking practice with both peer learners and native speakers. Our goal is to build club students’ confidence and put their learning to use quickly and often.
We’ve seen learners struggling in Japanese conversation, as sometimes they’re unsure of how to say specific words or phrases.
This is a regular concern that is easy to overcome once you become a student of Blue House Okinawa.
You can prepare for conversational success by communicating in Japanese with native speakers in our class. These tools are most valuable because you learn:
1. It is ok to make mistakes, and
2. How to correct those mistakes.
You will soon find you know more than you think you do! The more you try and do, the better you will become.
Remember that for Japanese people, English is just as hard for them, as Japanese is for you. They appreciate your attempts to converse in their language and will try to find a way to communicate with you.
Just keep trying and you’ll do great!
As we also have Japanese speakers who are learning English, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful Language Exchange program as a part of our curriculum.
In the Language Exchange, you can practice Japanese speaking with real Japanese people, native Japanese speakers. Here’s where the give-and-take of learning happens! It’s student-driven and set up as a mutually-beneficial learning program.
In the Language Exchange, don’t wait for perfection to speak Japanese — start with what you can, even if it turns into charades, and let your native speaking peers guide you to accuracy! Ask questions, share cultural insights, and provide feedback to each other while building your Japanese speaking confidence.
This Language Exchange program will let you be able to learn Japanese in a practical way and practice what you have learned right away. You will meet some of our Japanese friends and make real connections with them to learn the Japanese culture and deepen your intercultural understanding.
It’s a fantastic way to bridge the gap between textbook learning and communicating in the real world!
We pride ourselves in our focus on building the ability to learn and succeed beyond learning language. We seek to nurture independent, lifelong learning.
Our goal is to get comfortable operating in Japanese in everyday, practical interactions. Much of successful language learning is going beyond your comfort zone and just going for it!
As many native English speakers are coming from cultures that greatly contrast that of Japan’s, Blue House Okinawa provides ample opportunity to learn about the values, history, and influences in Japanese society.