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Northern Star - We help you move to and live in Japan

(Note: Northen Star is run by the Japanese teacher I had when I was in London. She's helping me with making textbooks, so I've added this page to help her out. I've no direct experience with the company, but knowing her, I'm sure it's run extrememly well. Enjoy!)

What we do

Japanese language teaching

We can teach one-to-one and small group lessons. Lessons can be given face-to-face or online.

Cultural briefings (focused on the client's needs)

We can teach you about the customs and etiquette, and give you information on items such as shopping, transportation, education and natural hazards.

Accomodation, transport and school search

We can help in finding a Japanese language course which meets your needs, and can arrange accomodation nearby. We can also book flights and other transportation as you require.

...and if necessary, we also have contacts who can speak English to help out in emergency situations.

Sawako Irie - Northern Star

My experience

I have taught a wide range of age groups, at various levels of Japanese proficiency. I an able to teach people from complete beginners to higher advanced learners who can speak Japanese almost as well as native speakers.

Examples of people we've helped

A Russian woman, who wanted to learn Japanese in Japan and subsequently travel around Japan. Because of her nationality, she needed a visa to enter Japan. I helped prepare all the necessary documents, found a Japanese language school, and managed all accommodation and transport bookings while she was there.

A British family who were transferred to Japan. Northern Star provided two months of intensive Japanese language tuition as well as cultural briefings about daily life, Japanese customs and basic etiquette.

The family had a young baby, and the mother was concerned about which baby products they could buy in Japan, as well as what they would eat every day. I gave her information about what was available in Japan. We went to Japanese shops in London to learn about the kind of products available, and to become familiar with them. We also researched some online stores for Japanese supermarkets and helped her register on a site. (Some sites have an English version but most are only written in Japanese.)

American travellers who lived in London but wanted to travel to Hokkaido. I provided detailed information of the area and helped to organise a local guide.

A British doctor who would wanted to stay in Japan for one month and learn Japanese. Northern Star arranged his school and accommodation in Tokyo.


"Northern Star was a huge asset as my family and I moved to Japan. Although my company was taking care of a lot of the relocation, there were tons of things that no one told us about - from how to get our dog into the country, to what's the best mobile phone provider, or the most foreigner-friendly bank. Northern Star knew all of these things. There are local agencies here in Tokyo that will also help you get this level of local knowledge, but their fees start at 10k GBP! We saved a lot of money, and had a very smooth transition." - Jessica

"I was speaking at a conference in Sapporo and wanted to travel around afterwards - but didn't want to go on a package tour, or see the usual sites. I spent two sessions with Sawako narrowing down various hiking options and accommodations, and she arranged a trekking guide. It was the perfect trip." - Megan

"After studying Japanese for some time I decided to go there and experience its unique culture first-hand. Northern Star was the company I went to help me out with accommodation and school in Tokyo, as well as making arrangements for travelling inside the country, and visa issues.

As I required a visa to go to Japan, Northern Star was very helpful within the process, and contacted the embassy of Japan in London on number of occasions to make sure everything was going well. I was happy to receive such help, it made the overall procedure less tiring.

As I naturally didn't know my way around Tokyo, I was glad that Northern Star, in the process of finding apartments, took into account all my requirements. I was very satisfied with the apartment, which was located in a safe part of Tokyo close to underground and main road, and yet not noisy. The room itself had everything one would need, which is certainly the trait of Japanese culture.

To commute around Tokyo Northern Star gave me a Tokyo Metropolitan Area travel pass, Suica (similar to an Oyster card), so the only thing left was to learn was to how to top it up, which you would not find to difficult as great number of machines in Tokyo Underground have English option. It really made my life easier!

The school that I went to study Japanese at was suitable for all levels, because even staff there spoke English, so in the beginning I was a bit shy when I used English. I was very satisfied with teachers' level of professionalism; they were also trying to bring into lesson the topics that are of most interest to me. I honestly enjoyed studying.

Moreover, I went travelling Hokkaido, Hakodate, Shikotsuko and Kyoto, from Nagasaki to Okinawa. Northern Star helped to book hotels and ryokans, as well as plane and train tickets, and arranged a wide range of information that I would need to not get lost. I could also contact Northern Star during the trip for help, even if it was Sunday.
I had a great experience visiting places I've never been to, where sometimes people pronounce Japanese numbers a way I don't understand them. Unbelievable beautiful views over Hakodate and Shikotsu lake, old and grandiose temples and shrines of Kyoto, and the many faces of Nagasaki (WWII, only port in Japan that was opened for trade for 200 years and adaptations of European culture, landscape of Kyushu province), and in lazy sunny Okinawa, where in Ocean Expo Park you will find world's second largest aquarium. But certainly, Tokyo is the one not to be underestimated, because even after spending there over a month and visiting different places every day, I still have a feeling I've hardly seen it all.

I thank you Northern Star for organising such a great trip that I will always treasure." - V.V.F

For an obligation free discussion, please contact us, or visit our website.