About the Japanese Language School

The San Jose Betsuin Japanese Language School (“JLS”) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1907 to preserve the Japanese culture and language for the children of Japanese immigrants.  The school continues to provide Japanese language education for the next generation of students from every background.

Our teachers are native Japanese speakers that conduct classes in both English and Japanese allowing students to learn in a comfortable and inviting environment. Students learn reading and writing (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji), speaking, and important aspects of the Japanese culture.   Creative teaching methods such as games and other fun activities (such as Radio Taiso, look it up!) are used to facilitate learning.   Once the students learn some phrases, let’s take a field trip to visit shops in San Jose Japantown and practice shopping in Japanese!

The JLS Parents Association is vital in supporting on-site school activities (snack sale at recess), yard duty, and other learning events during the school year.   The Parents Association also supports the Japantown and Betsuin community through volunteering for the Nikkei Matsuri festival in May and the Obon festival in July.   Parents and families of students are strongly encouraged to join and participate in the Parents Association.

While affiliated with the Betsuin, the JLS welcomes both San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin members and non-members!  Students periodically visit the church to listen to the Principal’s message on Japanese traditions and the Buddhism’s influence of Buddhism on Japanese culture.  The beautiful Hondo is worth seeing!


Beginners through Intermediate (Advanced class if requested), and Adult class.

Students should be at least 6 years old or entering first grade in the Fall.

Classes are offered every Saturday, 9:00am to 12:00pm

First Day of Instruction: Saturday, September 9, 2023

Last Day of Instruction: May 11, 2024

School Events

  • Bunka-no-hi Japanese Culture Day (November)
  • New Year’s Celebration (January)
  • Mame-maki (February)
  • Girls’ Day (March)
  • Speech Presentation (March)
  • Boys’ Day (May)
  • Nikkei Matsuri (May)
  • San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Obon  Festival (July)


Registrations for the next school year is open. Please email jls@sjbetsuin.org if you have any questions.

Registration and Tuition by 9/9/2023

Student’s Full Name

Class Schedule

9:00am – 9:45am   1st Period
9:45am – 10:00am   Radio Taiso Exercise / Recess / Snack Sale
10:00am – 10:45am   2nd Period
10:45am – 11:00am   Recess
11:00am – 12:00pm   3rd Period
12:00pm   Dismissal

Contact Information

Or San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Office