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 10, 2022

Last Day of Instruction: May 2023 (Exact Date TBA)

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 (July)

2021-2022 Japanese Language School Event Calendar Coming Soon…


Classes are full and registration is closed. Email jls@sjbetsuin.org if you have any questions.

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

San Jose Betsuin Japanese Language School


408.293.1171 (Saturdays 9:00am – 12:00pm Only)


San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Office

408.293.9292 (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm)
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

Japanese Language School Website