FAQs, Student Agreement and House Rules

Table of Contents


How much time do I need to spend studying outside of class?

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! 

How fast can I learn Japanese?

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.

I've already studied Japanese.
Do I still have take the beginner classes? Which class should I take?

No, you can join whichever class is most appropriate for your skill level. 
To find your best fit, take our placement test, and talk to us during your trial lesson (if applicable) at Blue House Okinawa.  
We will work with you to ensure you’re placed in the best class for your skill level! 

What if I miss some classes?

Unfortunately, we are not able to refund or make-up individual classes that you may miss after registering.
Please review our student agreements for further information.

Do you offer a military discount?

Unfortunately, we are not able to refund or make-up individual classes that you may miss after registering.
Please review our student agreements for further information.

Do you support a student visa?

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!

Do you offer private classes or private tutoring?

Unfortunately not.  

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.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept online payment only. 

Can I take this course for less than 2 months?

No. At the moment, our curriculum is not designed for drop-in or short-term (less than 2 months) students.

Student Agreement


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 term, please register by the 20th of the preceding month of your next class. 
Payment before 21st will get an early bird discount as follows:  

Up to 20th – 20% off discount: 55,440 yen / term
After 20th – Regular price: 66,530 yen / term

*Tuition fees cover one term regardless of your attendance.


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:
90% 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


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!


*Delays – If you are running late, please send a message to your instructor via the Blue House Okinawa app. 

*Absences – Please let your instructor know ahead of time via the Blue House Okinawa app that you are going to miss a class.  

*Vacations – Please notify your instructor via the Blue House Okinawa app and remember to register online for the term when you return to save your place in class if you choose to continue with Blue House Okinawa.


The Blue House Okinawa app is for tuition-paying students.
Your access starts 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 ¥3,300 usage fee per month for up to 3 months maximum. Please ask your instructor.


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.


Damage to or loss of personal property or injury on premises or off-site: 
We do not assume any responsibility, either real or imposed, for the loss of personal property or injury of any student.

House Rules

Bring Your Own Slippers

Make sure to remove your shoes and put on slippers at the school entrance.
If you prefer to bring your own slippers, choose ones that are comfortable and suitable.
Label your shoes to prevent mix-ups.
This habit enhances hygiene and preparedness for school, ensuring a smooth and organized day.

Beverages Are Self-Service

Water, tea, and coffee are available at the school, so please help yourself as needed.
Please wash your cup after use and place it in the designated dish basket.

Be Persistent

Learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint.
Be okay with being uncomfortable.
Mistakes, awkward situations, and vulnerability are critical in language-learning.
When you are discouraged, remember: you’re not only learning a language — you’re building your ability to persevere in life.

Take Initiative

Make eye contact and greet others.
Although many students might be shy, don’t hesitate to break the ice and introduce yourself.
Be proactive in your learning as well.
Don’t just wait to be taught; seize every opportunity to learn.

Got a question? Look it up online.
Forget what you learned? Use Study Room to review and enhance your memory through repetition.
Struggle with listening? Listen to children’s stories on YouTube to improve.
Unsure about the best study method? Go through this Orientation course multiple times to discover your answers.
Looking for more speaking practice? Partner up with a study buddy and ask for their assistance.

Be proactive and fully engage with your learning journey!

Include Other Students in the Conversation

When practicing conversations with fellow students, aim for simplicity and clarity.
Consider whether the conversation topic is relevant and engaging for everyone involved.
Imagine how it feels when native speakers converse in Japanese without you understanding much.
It can be isolating and disheartening.
The same applies to native speakers when conversations are held solely in English.

We encourage you to keep lengthy discussions to a minimum and focus on being concise and straightforward.
If native Japanese speakers find it hard to follow you, please slow down and use straightforward, simple words and sentences to facilitate better understanding and inclusion.

Show and Tell

If your peers have difficulty understanding your verbal communication, enhance it with pictures, videos, sounds, music, gestures, and body language.
Who doesn’t appreciate a game of charades occasionally?
Let your intentions and ideas be visually understood.

We advise against relying on translation apps, as they can often produce inaccurate or nonsensical results. Instead, opt for using real photos to SHOW what you mean.
This approach not only bridges the language gap but also adds a layer of interaction and fun to your communication.

When in Doubt, Ask

You can often gauge your partner’s comprehension through their facial expressions, but if in doubt, don’t hesitate to ASK.
Sometimes, they might claim to understand when they actually don’t.
In such cases, ask them to explain what they’ve understood.

Leave it to the Instructor

Leave the technical grammatical explanations to your instructors, as attempting to explain Japanese grammar in Japanese by native Japanese speakers could lead to confusion, offering little benefit to anyone.

It’s best to steer clear of asking your Japanese friends about Japanese grammar specifics—this is what your instructors are there for.
Instead, concentrate on honing your pronunciation, listening, and speaking skills.
This focused approach facilitates more effective and enjoyable language practice.

Use Your Indoor Voice

While we recognize that lessons are enjoyable and engaging with the opportunity to interact with native speakers, it’s crucial to maintain a low noise level.
Remember, some of our students are hard of hearing.
Additionally, we have students who find it challenging to speak loudly.
Therefore, we kindly ask you to use your indoor voice during conversation practice. This consideration ensures a conducive learning environment for everyone, allowing all students to participate comfortably and effectively.

Japanese Learning Tips

Language Exchange

Study Exchange

Japanese Classes

Who We Are

More Than a Language School

We are a close-knit community of Japanese and English learners! We teach each other and learn from each other.

Authentic Language Practice

Because we have both English classes and Japanese classes, there are endless opportunities to practice with native speakers.

Relaxed & Community-Centered

We believe in a community-oriented approach to learning. We support each other, grow, and laugh together.