Can I learn good enough Japanese to live there within ~9 months, as well as how can I learn to speak and listen to Japanese

Can’t add anything helpful to the pot here, other than wishing you two (you and your sister) good luck and hopefully, you’ll get to live at least part of your dream. :+1:


This thread is such a wild ride :sweat_smile:

I guess the main thing I’d say is you really need to focus on the whole visa situation, you can’t simply come to Japan and work on it from there. You can visit for 90 days on a tourist visa, but you’ll need to be sponsored to apply for a visa that will let you live here. This can be from a University, a language school, a job, or something similar.

However, a job at a convenience store/part time working at a clothing store/etc will not sponsor you for a visa, even some full time positions I’ve seen list that they won’t/can’t support a visa sponsorship. Even if your sister gets a job and is able to come here, your own visa will be a completely different issue. Enthusiasm is great! And you’re researching a lot, but slow down the pace slightly and figure out what you’ll do if/when you come to Japan, your visa will need planning.


I have never heard of that before. N1 doesn’t mean you’re perfectly fluent at the language whatsoever. A lot of people who pass N1 are still not able to comfortably comprehend Anime, let alone converse in a natural way. I highly doubt you could work in the medical fields with N2 and while N1 seems great and all, unless you reached that level without specifically studying for the exam, I doubt it will suffice either.

Japanese takes years, maybe even decades to get good at. To get to the level you want to get to it would already take at least one year, maybe even longer. No matter how easy all the grammar and sentences in JLPT might seem, once you get thrown into RL Japanese you will be lost.


Reading through this thread, I think that the most realistic thing for you to do, is to take things in two steps.

Step 1 (right now-half a year): move away from your mother and start your own life. You can move anywhere, just away from there, as that seems to be the main issue for you right now. If need to, contact the authorities for support in starting up your new life. Would your sister be willing to go with you (moving to a different State or town?

Step 2 (1-5 year plans): move once more, but this time to Japan. Sort out visa requirements, apply for scholarships, study Japanese, meanwhile your sister needs a steady job and a visa sponsor, and if she wants to get into the gaming industry, she also need to study Japanese. Get all these things sorted out and you have a very realistic chance of getting to live in Japan.

But, you don’t have to move to Japan to just get your life right now sorted out. That seems like the bigger priority, and Japan can happen anytime after that.


honestly, I would say just keep going with the levels on here and learn with grammar books and at the same time focus on school … it sounds like you’re studying already somewhere. this will help for visas in the future, either for higher education there or work. I have a friend IRL that did that and was able to get accepted into a university in Japan after passing the N1 test.

by taking your time and doing it this way you ensure that your experience will be great. I follow a few expat to japans that did small jobs there while living at guesthouses and the experiences there aren’t the best sometimes :laughing: just saying.

Just take your time, no rush. The fastest wanikani finish was just over a year. And a lot of lvl 60 people say they are still behind, conversationally. There’s still the kana words to learn and grammar etc … do your reviews, after a week/a month the pace will pick up good. this is a long-term game IMO, and if you’re studying at the moment, it’s best to keep not rush if not needed to, even tho irl situation might not be at your ideals.



As somebody who lives and works in a foreign country (Thailand), let me try and have input here.

First of all, congratulations on starting your Japanese journey! Studying the language before arrival is definitely the way to go. As somebody who can speak a decent level of Thai (more so than 95% of other ex-pats here), I can confirm that your language ability will only increase once you’re eventually living in Japan. However, don’t become complacent about learning Japanese before arriving in Japan - it’s always good to be a step ahead of the game.

Sure, you can be at a good enough level to comprehend Japanese within 9 months when it comes to language. No problem there. However, I’ve seen a few other people raise this concern here: how do you actually plan to live in Japan on a visa? I’m not sure what the situation is with your sister in Japan, maybe it’s of a big convenience to you, but I can guarantee you it’s not as easy to rock up to Japan on a visa as a 17/18-year-old high school graduate. Trust me, buddy, it’s just not. So you absolutely 100% need a plan in place.

Most ex-pats who live in Japan are - or begin lives - English TEFL/TESOL teachers. I, myself, should be moving to Japan next year for that purpose. I was supposed to move last year, but I had to defer because of COVID. This brings me to another point: the Japanese government is stringent on foreign access to the country right now, probably even more so after the country reluctantly went ahead with the Olympic games. So 9 months may be an unrealistic expectation, but I thoroughly admire your zeal!

My friend, unless you have a solid job in place to back up the visa, it’s not going to be easy for you to enter Japan as an ex-pat. But there are options for you. When I was your age, I wanted nothing more than to move to Asia, and I’m able to work in many different Asian countries.

Your options are:

  • Study at University/College (idk if you’re American or British) so that you can obtain a TEFL/TESOL qualification and teach English. However, most schools and language facilities do not accept teachers without a BA, so keep this in mind.

  • Your best option is to go to Japan on a student visa. I’m not sure what the process is here for this; I studied at a Thai University, but as an exchange student, I was given a generous grant and student loan. Can you find a similar program?

  • Visiting Japan as a tourist and outstaying your 90-day visa exemption for as long as possible.

To be completely honest with you, I will say it’s not looking bright to migrate to Japan within 9 months. To visit Japan as a tourist, maybe, but if you want to live there, you’re going to need the credentials. You’re still young; I didn’t migrate abroad until I was 22. If you spend the next 5 years studying Japanese and figuring out a way to gain employment in Japan in that time, it’ll be great. Remember, Japan - like Thailand, is a very homogenous society. It’s pretty unheard of for foreigners to gain employment working in a grocery/clothing store etc.

Take your time, enjoy the process. I wanted to be in Japan nearly two years ago, and I’m still not there. If all doesn’t work, I hope your sister can cover for you!

My sincerest wishes!


I have a friend who’s on the MEXT scholarship, and I think it’s really great: at the undergraduate level, you even get a one-year prep course where you learn more about (or revise) key knowledge for higher education in various fields, and also brush up on your Japanese (students are split up for Japanese classes based on their Japanese level at entry). I mean, OK, you could see that as a waste of time (because that means you only get your bachelor’s degree five years after entering Japan instead of after the usual four), but at least that means you get plenty of guidance. Certain entry requirements for prestigious universities may also be waived because some universities allow results from the MEXT prep year to substitute for entrance exam results. (I don’t want to reveal too many details without my friend’s permission, but if you want to know how prestigious, let’s just say he’s in one of the universities that ranks in Japan’s top 10.) I believe there isn’t any preparation for graduate students who get the scholarship, but I’m pretty sure that your tuition fees are still covered, and that you get a stipend.

@McYodo As far as the practical side of moving to Japan goes, I think you really need to look for information like what’s offered in this post:

I’m currently in France and about to embark on my master’s degree in engineering, and I intend to do a second master’s degree in Japan in about two years while seeing if I want to move there permanently. I’m planning to do internships or get a few years’ work experience there in order to get a feel for what it’d be like living there long-term. I hope to have my mother move there with me, and all I can say is that… yeah, there aren’t many options. The only ‘easy’ way out involves leveraging my mother’s age to get the Japanese Ministry of Justice to give her special permission to stay with me so I can care for her, and that’s really not likely to happen because I have a brother who’s not likely to move to Japan, meaning I won’t be able to justify that she’s fully dependent on me. (And this MoJ option isn’t even a standard visa – it’s granted on a case-by-case basis.) All the other common options for her require either that she be employed in Japan, or that she be a business owner, so she’s thinking up ideas in those departments while doing her current job. It’s definitely easier to get a visa when you’re younger, but you have to give Japan a reason to let you stay. That’s how visas work. Any long-term/permanent residence permit only comes after you’ve had some of these short-term visas for work or studies for a while. (It’s the same thing in France, where I’m an international student.)

As for learning Japanese quickly… Here’s something I wrote recently about rapidly preparing for one of the higher levels of the JLPT:

In essence, for any language, in my opinion, the fastest way forward is always the same:

  1. Learn enough of the basics (grammar, but also vocabulary) to start deciphering things on your own and to understand simple things
  2. Start immersing yourself while learning more advanced core structures and words (more grammar, usually, but in the case of Japanese, it’s also going to be a lot of special structures that are basically vocabulary, but which people call ‘grammar points’). Make sure you use a good dictionary during your immersion study sessions in order to look up new words and see how they’re used. (In other words, a dictionary that only offers translations is not enough. Get one with example sentences. is one, and it’s better than Jisho, especially since it has all the same data and more. Trust me.)
  3. Immerse yourself much, much more once you’re no longer able to get much out of textbooks. Continue to read specialised works on grammar and vocabulary if you want, but they’re not really essential at that point. Also, if you haven’t already done so at step #2, transition to a monolingual dictionary ASAP. That way, your lookups become reading practice too, and you learn lots of common (albeit slightly formal) expressions from dictionary definitions. Monolingual dictionaries also typically have more detailed definitions.

Of course, if you have the chance along the way, do some output practice with a teacher or conversation partner. But if you can’t, at the very least, this provides a basic framework for learning from input.

If you’re willing to pay for a textbook that I think allows one to learn pretty fast, and which is definitely cheaper than Genki I & II or Minna no Nihongo (it’s supposed to cover as much content as the first two beginner levels of either of those series), then I’d suggest you look at this:

This is the English edition of the course I used to start Japanese. (I used the French edition.) I don’t think a print edition has been released, but the e-course should contain all the same content. (You just have to get used to the interface.) You can try out the first seven lessons to get a feel for whether it works for you. Some people find the grammatical explanations too skimpy, but they were fine for me. The only possible issue is that – even if there are furigana and a pronunciation guide you can check for every lesson – the course starts using kanji right away. That wasn’t an issue for me because I’m a Chinese speaker, but it might be an issue for you, especially if you intend to use WK as your sole source for kanji. You can always try picking those kanji up on your own though, perhaps while imitating the WK method.

My advice for learning kanji is essentially this post:

Here’s my mnemonics thread, which I update every once in a while, albeit mostly with advanced kanji:

That aside, honestly, I think learning how to write kanji might be worth it. It’s not compulsory by any means, but really, so much of why I can learn new kanji easily is because I can write them. If nothing else, studies have shown that writing is helpful for retention, even in English. If it doesn’t interest you, fine, and many people will say it slows you down, but I’d say you should just do a little writing practice at the least (maybe five times per new kanji, and then once per review session, reading the kanji aloud and thinking of its meaning each time) while doing your best to remember the stroke order and general shape, without giving yourself any pressure if you don’t manage to do it. It’ll stick eventually, and if you’re able to write a lot of basic kanji (which often appear as components of more complicated ones), you’ll be able to learn much more quickly later. You can achieve reading and typing proficiency without knowing how to write kanji, sure (and many people on WK do), but I think knowing how to write them makes life easier at the advanced level as far as retention goes.

A bit about me and languages if you're curious

Languages I’ve studied seriously in order of proficiency:

  • English (native, fluent)
  • French (fluent, doing my science/engineering university course entirely in French, outscoring maybe 50-75% of my mostly native classmates on literature/philosophy exams)
  • Chinese (native, fluent but deteriorating)
  • Japanese (working on it, around N2 now)
  • German (decent grasp of basic grammar, poor vocabulary due to lack of practice)
  • Spanish (can read some of the news thanks to French and grasp the gist of conversational sentences, again thanks to French)

Order in which I learnt them: English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Japanese

Anyhow, I wish you all the very best, both in finding a way to get a visa, and in learning all the Japanese you need.


As other people have already focused on the practicalities of getting to Japan and living here, I’ll focus on learning the language.

There are a number of websites and apps you can use. I’ve personally found very useful as it’s very similar to wanikani but it focuses on vocab, listening and grammar for different JLPT levels. I’ve also found websites like Bunpro (for Japanese Grammar) and (vocab) useful too.

For apps, I’ve used Coban (which also has a website called Nihongo Library) which was great for studying for JLPT N5 - lessons and quizzes. As well as the JLPT Test app which has a long list of JLPT practice tests for when you get to that stage.


That whole thread was a wild ride… it’s amazing that you are so thrilled to start a new life, but as multiple others have already pointed out, take a deep breath and try to think about it rationally. No one is trying to rain on your parade, but it seems like you and your sister totally misjudge the whole situation and might run into major problems down the road if you don’t think this through and approach it slowly.

If you both want to go to Japan - yes. There are ways. But I highly doubt they can be achieved that quickly and easily as you (both?) might think. And the language is the least of your problem.

I have lived in Japan for some time - my company has a branch in Tokyo and I was working there for a year. And again - visa is no joke. I was so glad that I had assistance from both my office and also the Japanese side, because I would have just cried in a corner with all the application guides. Also I have a university degree in Japanese. So if you both want to work in Japan, maybe also consider joining a company in the US first which also has a branch in Japan and offers some exchange program. And yes, it will take years, but that should be worth it, if it’s your dream.

A friend of mine is going to study in Japan next year - hopefully. If covid allows it. She is N2 level (passed JLPT already), an amazing high school student with the best grades and already reached out to teachers last year, because she needs support on this. She does complain every once in a while that the applying is a nightmare - even with the help of her high school teachers and Japanese teacher and a tutor. I would always advise you to get some teacher to help you figure out how to study there if this is your plan. They usually know scholarships (also which one would be good for you) and how to apply - or have the better connections to even look it up.

Next story: I have friends living in Japan. One is married to a Japanese man and has a daughter - yet she needs to re-apply for her visa (I think every other year? Though last time she said she got a longer span, which even surprised her). She is super nervous, every single time. She is N1 level, has been working in Japan for 9 years, has been married for 4 years, daughter is 2. Still. Visa. We are all serious here when we say the visa is the biggest obstacle.

The whole car and dog story does worry me a bit. Because… yeah, I think you are both just super excited, but don’t really have any idea what you are even trying to do… For instance the car: I don’t think this would be a wise idea at all. It first depends on where you live. If you aim for a bigger city, you won’t need it. I am also in doubt you can just drive an American car in Japan. As some have pointed out, you even drive on the “wrong” side of the road for you. Also housing. Some have mentioned it here as well, but not everyone is happy about foreigners in Japan. You will meet racism. I never expected it to be this bad, but yes. You run into it, even in Tokyo. I thought it was a joke that people would refuse to sit next to you on a subway. No. They got up as soon as I sat down. As far as I know there are still restaurants, which won’t allow foreigners? Though I wonder if Olympia at least has tackled that. I really thought this were just myths. No. You run into a lot more problems than you can think of.
A lot of tennants refuse to rent to foreigners. It’s already annoying enough for a Japanese person to find an affordable apartment in Tokyo; double that trouble for foreigners. And if you say even two dogs… costs aside, but this is something immensely you want to tackle within a year. You can’t just land in Narita with two dogs and say, let’s find an apartment. This is really way too illusional. I could barely fit a friend in my apartment for a sleepover. But to live with my sibling and two dogs… how would that even be possible. Sleeping on top of each other?

And something I just want to warn you about, because that hit me extremely: culture shock.

I have been interested in Japan since forever. I had studied it during high school on my own, I studied it at university, graduated even. I thought I knew how life would be there. But the culture is different. You will feel homesick. You will run into things that will not suit well with you. I always thought I wanted to stay longer, because I enjoyed my holidays there, but living there… I was glad when I could go back to good old Europe after that one year. I had friends there, I had a secure job, I could read and talk with Japanese people. I wasn’t lonely, and yet I knew that this would never be my home.

Before starting a new life half across the world with no way back, I would visit said country first. Multiple times. And yes, not possible right now, but your plan to live in Japan will take time either way, so you have a lot of time to think it through and study. Japan is not anime-land. I know it often sounds too good, but it’s really not for everyone. Which is absolutely fine! That’s why I think student exchange programs are always the best start. You have a set time in which you will live there and you will also figure out how life really is there, and if you will ever will feel home. I did read that you have a hard time at home now and the thrill to escape is all too familiar to me. The further, the better, right? But it doesn’t have to be Japan. Japan can always be your favourite vaccation country.

And last, I might sound strict on this one, but I do mean this with the best intentions and I don’t want to sugarcoat it.

I think it’s not really fair how you drop the responsibility on your sister. You said quite often she has invited you. She might have, yes. But you still need to apply for your own visa, you will still have to provide half the rent, you will still have to figure out how you want to live in Japan. You can’t just drop everything on her. What if she marries? You will just move in with them? Do you even know how small apartments are in Tokyo? What if she can’t pay half of the rent due to unforseen reasons? What if she wants to move back after a year? What if she wants to move to Australia next? You will just follow her wherever she goes? You can’t always just tell her, “But you invited me”. That’s not how it works. You will want internet, a phone (and those stupid phone plans are expensive!), you need money for public transportation. You can’t just always say, “But you invited me” and not provide for yourself to 100%. Whenever people asked you here about how you will approach it, you often said, “My sister invited me”. Yeah, she might have given you the idea, but honestly. You have to figure it out on your own.

You might want to move to Japan as siblings, but you cannot depend on her like this, you need to be equal partners. You have to treat this as if you would move on your own. She might also run into problems and then she might need you to help her through and offer her advise, and not someone just saying, “but you invited me!”

Moving to another country does mean you have to be an adult for yourself, so you have to start acting like one. Figure out if you want to study or work. You first said working, then suddenly studying, then back to working. It doesn’t work like this. Japan is not America. You need a strict plan. Figure out what you really need for visa. Not just skip over it and think “oh yeah yeah, awesome”. Sit down. Read. Make a list what you need and how you can get it. It will take time, probably years. And that is good, because you need to be ready. Not just “wheee, I am ready for a new advernture”. Japan isn’t like this, it’s much stricter than you are used to in the US.

The time when you figure out how to move to Japan is part of your big journey, and also a time you should enjoy. Not just grab a suitcase and run out of the door - you are most likely to fail with this approach and no one here wants to see you fail. Everyone is here to offer you advise and help you step by step. If you are serious about this, be prepared that it will take years and lots of hurdles. But if it is your dream, it will be worth every second that you are investing.

I wish you and your sister the best of luck!


I also highly recommend


Since many people have brought this up, I thought to comment.

My Japanese host dad is a skilled driver with an imported European model Mercedes, meaning the steering wheel is on the left side like in most European countries and the US, and not on the right as is customary in Japan. So it seems it is possible. I don’t think I would recommend it though. Driving in Japan is very different from driving in Europe or most definitely in the US, I would assume. Japanese roads are much narrower and the terrain has steep height differences.

Also, bringing a car to Japan is probably very expensive, so unless your car is super important and irreplaceable, I don’t see why you wouldn’t rather just buy a car in Japan. Especially since they are often smaller and more suited for the local traffic anyways.


That’s a very good point. As someone who lives on a visa myself (albeit no in Japan) I can really empathize with her situation. You’re building life, working, getting friends etc but you have a constant though at the back of your head: “my visa will get renewed this time as well, right?” It is quite stressful until you secure you position and get a permanent residence permit.

And Japan has very strict requirements for getting a permanent residence permit. To begin with you need to have lived there for 10 years.

In your situation, I completely understand that you want to move out of that town and you don’t want to be dependent on your mother. There are many other ways to do that than trying to move to Japan (which might be one of the least realistic options). Unfortunately, most countries don’t want people just coming to live there.

A country has specific reasons to let people immigrate. In some cases being wealthy is good enough to get a citizenship immediately (citizenship by investment). For most people that’s not an option. But you could come as a skilled worker, which is essentially an investment of human capital. Countries want that too. And they often want to get the exchange of academic knowledge going, so they also allow students. On some occasions they also allow unskilled workers to move, but they usually have far less “rights”. For example, in Europe it’s common to invite unskilled labour for the seasonal harvest. But they are not welcome to stay after.

In your case, you need to think how you want your life to turn out. Don’t just get obsessed about going to Japan because your sister moved there. By the way, I am don’t think I understood what she is doing there. You said she’s pretty young too, is she studying?

You can move to another country with more favourable immigration policies. Check out Europe for example. In some countries you can even go to the university for free. Or if you don’t mind living in the US in principle, start from looking into ways to move to a different state?


If you want to study at a Japanese university, chances are you’ll need an N1 or N2 certificate if you want to take any classes conducted in Japanese (and, as far as I’m aware, most Bachelor’s programmes are not in English)

I’m in a very different situation, I’d say, but I can still talk about it, of course. I’m in my third year of studying computer science at a reputable university in Europe, and my university offers many possibilities to do international exchanges. I have applied for studying at Kyoto University for a semester, and luckily enough, my grades and my essay convinced them enough to choose me; it is quite competitive though. Anyway, I will only be able to take classes conducted in English, since they require an N1 certificate if you want to take classes in Japanese. It’s not that much of a problem for me though since I’m only going to study there for one semester and didn’t plan on taking classes that help my main studies in computer science anyway, so I can just study some interesting topics I would normally not learn about.

Originally, I was supposed to go this fall semester. As others have pointed out already, Japan still doesn’t grant visas to almost all foreigners; being vaccinated doesn’t change that. Because of that situation, my exchange semester was cancelled, but luckily my university offered me to go next spring semester instead. By the way, all of my documents for Kyoto University have to be submitted until mid September for my enrollment in April, including (if it was applicable) my JLPT N1 certificate; what I want to say with this is that things do take time, especially in a place which is as notorious for its bureaucracy as Japan. You probably can’t just take the JLPT in July, and then start university in October when the fall semester starts, I would guess.

I do wish you good luck and hope you’ll be able to find a way which is good for you, but right now, it seems like you’re very excited about the whole thing without having figured most of the stuff out yet. Personally, I doubt that just winging it will be an effective strategy, but at the end of the day, I’m not an omniscient being


You’re overestimating the n2 quite a bit. N2 is a small fraction of what the average native who has been through school can do.


We don’t live in Japan, but you just brought up a lot old feelings that we could finally put aside after my wife got citizenship. She was on a work visa. If there is job loss, it’s super, super, super fun that it gives you three months to find a job, or you are deported. And then she’d have exceeded her vacation stay limit already, so our family would be ripped apart and she’d have to stay out of the Schengen territory for six months before she’d be allowed to come back and try again.

And only companies registered with the government to employ non-EU citizens can legally hire them. Only after they make a case why they are unable to hire a native citizen. Depending on the laws, hiring a foreigner and hiring a native are two completely different ballgames.

We also found out that the immigration and naturalisation department of the federal government knows nothing. They’re useless. Ask the same question of three different people, and you’ll get three different answers. Two, or all three of those answers will be wrong. Their incompetence ensured there was a lapse in her residence, so while she was two years into the five year requirement to start citizenship, it was reset to zero. So you also have to slog through endless pages of unclear government drivel to try and learn what you need to do.

Trying to build up a life under visa restrictions is savage, knowing it can be ripped apart by events you have no control over. It should never be understated how stressful it can be. Just thinking back on it makes me want to head-desk.


I second looking into the MEXT scholarship program. If you can get it it’s a golden ticket to Japan.

But it’s been effected by COVID just like almost everything else, it’s been straight canceled in my country for 2 years for example, and as @Meghana said, many students have been waiting for over a year to enter Japan.

MEXT also sends its scholarship recipients into a language school in Tokyo or Osaka, so that would be wonderful for your Japanese studies.


I haven’t read through everything above.
Yes, a young person can study effectively for 8-12 hours each day. You will advance tremendously in the language if you do that. Also, you will be able to advance on all fronts, listening, speaking, reading, writing, kanji.
Where you end up is hard to say, but you will be way ahead of where you are now, as far as the language goes.
Come up with a wide plan, stick with it, and re-evaluate your plan each month.
I have seen people here make miraculous progress, with great effort.


I just took my time to read this thread a bit. And this is my two cent
(My initial reply I just answered in term of langauge perspective)

I think you are over confident about things you just have learned for a few weeks.
I think you are wrongly prioritized what is important in you current situations. Japanese is probably the lowest priority for you right now.
I think you are underestimate how things work differently on the other side of the world. For example; how visa work, and how difficult it is to bring your pets to the other countries.

From a boomer(sort of) who study/work/live aboard for about ~10 years in different countries.

If you are passionate about Japanese langauge so just go for it. You will move closer to your goal even if you fail. However, it’s looks like you are putting your time and effort in the wrong place.


I’m not American but I’m planning to apply for the MEXT undergrad the next time it opens in my country (if? lol).

As you said it’s a hidden gem of a scholarship for undergrad, specially considering you can apply for free from the comfort of your country essentially, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t competitive!

AFAIK the average person who earns the MEXT undergrad for natural science has an equivalent of about N3 (according to the MEXT test), and N2-N1 for the social sciences course. You also need to study Japanese math and science for the natural science course which takes a lot of time (ask me about it).

The selection itself takes about a year, from April or May of the year you applied till February of next year, and you don’t get the final result until the last couple months. A lot of people can pass the primary screening in July and August only to be rejected by MEXT in February. If we assume a sufficient knowledge of Japanese it’s gonna require at least a year of preparation (imho).

However, there are easier options than the undergrad, like the college of technology and vocational school scholarship. You only get a diploma with these two, but (assuming “excellent” academic record) you can extend them to study at a university and earn an undergrad degree. They both still need a high level of preparation though.

As for the entry requirements though, you only need a high school diploma and be under 24. But some embassies have special requirements for you GPA in high school and language certificates.


Woah, this thread is wild.

Seriously. With your objectives, your time is probably better spent not leaving all the “official stuff” to your sister as it is the limiting factor. Getting a suitable visa will the hardest part of this journey. Until you have a solid idea of how you will get the visa, the Japanese language stuff, as it relates to your trip is, frankly, superfluous. After all, the trip will not happen if you don’t have a useful visa. This is harder than it seems.

I have the type of passport that necessitates that I get a visa for virtually all sorts of travel to almost all countries, and I’ve worked in multiple places, so, take it from someone who’s had to apply for many visas many times (a Japanese one included): it is not trivial. In fact, even the Japanese tourist visa is not trivial.