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  • How to apply to Japanese public school?
    Follow these steps to apply to Japanese public schools: Where do I buy Randoseru? What exactly do I prepare for school? What do I wear for a formal school event? No worries, check our "Guideline to starting public elementary school" blog for a more detailed explanation. Also, feel free to reach out to us with any specific questions.
  • What is graduation like in Japanese schools?
    Graduation ceremonies are a big deal for most Japanese schools, and students spend countless hours practicing songs and rehearsing the entire ceremony. Usually, the whole school prepares a performance to say goodbye to the graduating class. Cherry blossoms often begin to bloom during this time, which is very beautiful.
  • Why are schools so specific about the items that students bring to school?
    I believe tradition is a huge reason why Japanese schools are specific about items. For example, a “pencil box ”is a minimalistic one-color case. Historically, these simple pencil cases were the only products on the market before technology was advanced enough to print cute designs. Given that Japanese people tend to not favor change, the custom has continued and has evolved into a tradition today. The positive side is that you can probably never find anything like the Japanese “pencil box” in the world. On the negative side, people like you and me who are live inside of the community, struggle to understand why it has to be this specific. I don't think the intentions of schools are to be micro-organized. But rather, the items that they require have been the same for generations so there is a common ground of understanding already.
  • What are the advantages of going to a Japanese public school?
    There are several advantages to attending a Japanese public school. Experience firsthand Japanese culture: Japanese public schools provide a unique opportunity for children to learn about Japanese culture and values. Children can practice and adapt to customs that may be new to them, and learn the importance of collectivism and working together with others. Create friendships that stretch outside of school: Because classmates usually live close to each other, it's common for them to gather after school and build lasting friendships. These gatherings can be fun and exciting, and provide a break from the restrictions of school. Interact with peers from different backgrounds: Japanese public schools are open to anyone, so children can make friends from different cultural backgrounds and learn to appreciate diversity. Explore nature and appreciate it: Japanese public schools often provide opportunities for students to explore nature, from going on picnics to harvesting vegetables. This helps children appreciate and connect with the natural world. Close and safe: Japan is known for being a safe country, and children can often walk to school by themselves from a young age. Schools also provide safe routes for students, and parents and teachers work together to ensure the safety of the students.
  • Why are there so many kinds of notebooks?
    Every notebook is designed for the optimum learning experience. In Japanese schools, notebook types can be divided into two groups: writing vertically and horizontally. Math notebooks have graph paper designs to write sideways, while notebooks to practice Kanji are designed to write vertically. This is because Japanese is traditionally written in a vertical way, and historically, letters and numbers were also written vertically.
  • What to do after you buy a notebook to use in class?
    Make sure to write your name, class, and grade on the notebook. Japanese culture values writing names on everything because school supplies can look similar.
  • What is "Osechi"?
    "Osechi" is a special food that is traditionally eaten during the New Year holiday in Japan. It usually consists of a variety of dishes, such as sweet black beans, simmered vegetables, grilled fish, and marinated seaweed, that are beautifully arranged in a 2-3 tier box called "jubako". Each dish has a special meaning, such as good health, prosperity, and happiness for the new year. Osechi is usually prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator, as many people take a few days off during the New Year holiday to spend time with family and friends.
  • How do Japanese people celebrate Christmas?
    Although Japan is not a Christian country, Christmas is still celebrated, and children often write letters to Santa and eat Christmas cake. However, it is not a national holiday, and parents often go to work while children go to school.
  • Why is everything paper in school? Not digital?
    Memorization is a highly valued skill in Japanese schools, and most tests rely on memorization skills. Writing on paper allows students to memorize faster according to research. Additionally, many teachers are not familiar with using technology as a learning tool, and implementing digital learning devices in schools is costly and can be a challenge.
  • What is Valentine's Day like in Japan?
    Valentine's Day is unique in Japan because only girls give chocolate to boys, and there are different types of chocolates, such as "friend chocolate" for good friends, "real chocolate" for romantic couples, and "Giri choco" as a showing of daily appreciation. Guys who receive chocolate give back small presents on March 14th which is also called "White Day".
  • How do Japanese students spend their summer?
    Elementary students usually spend time with friends and family, while junior high and high school students participate in club activities and competitions. Students are also given a lot of homework, such as worksheets for each subject and summer diaries. Some popular activities during summer break include eating Japanese shaved ice, going to the beach or insect hunting, visiting local summer festivals, and watching fireworks.
  • Why are club activities so serious in Japanese schools?
    Most clubs in Japanese schools are year-long and students continue in the same club for 3 to 6 years. This creates a strong sense of dedication and teamwork among club members. Summer is the highlight for most students to compete in competitions at the prefecture, regional, and national levels.
    Our service is unique because it is run by high school students with a strong desire to make a positive change in the field of education. TOMO has two meanings in Japanese, one meaning friend and the other meaning togetherness. Our big vision is to make classrooms in Japan more inclusive and diverse. In order to make this reality, our service first focuses on overcoming cultural boundaries. Ask us any questions from our "Contact us" page.
  • How to use TOMO CLASSROOM site?
    There are a few features on our site that you can explore depending on your need. 1. Blog You can check out blogs that introduce various aspects of Japanese culture. Such as school events and cultural habits. 2. FAQ This section has quick answers to our most frequently asked questions. 3. Goods Access to our full gallery of school supplies that are unique in Japanese schools. There are links to each product for you to make a purchase online. 4. Translation with documents If you need help with translating any paperwork, send a picture of the documents through our chat service and we will translate it.

Blogs you might be interested in:

3 Japanese Traditions You Don't Know During Summer
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