Tutors for Japanese

Parent Q&A

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  • Japanese tutor for business

    (3 replies)

    Hi BPN hive - I am in search of a Japanese tutor who could help refresh and get my very foggy Japanese speaking skills going again (it's been 10+ years) and also help work me up to some sort of basic business proficiency. Happy to take suggestions of online tutoring services (if you have a rec for an individual from a service that'd be even better) or someone local to work with via Zoom and maybe socially distant if it's not super cold outside. Thank you!

    I recommend my tutor, Keiko Ohara. We meet over Zoom--I have been working with her for 11 months, and my daughter worked w/her as well when at ECHS, taking Japanese. She is in Japan at the moment, back in early Dec--but here us her email: ohara.keiko [at] gmail.com. She is helping me on my Japanese food blog--www.thanksforthemeal.net.




    check out lingolive.com. A couple years ago I used it through my employer for Japanese and it was great!

    Hello, I was taking Japanese lessons in AZ from a tutor who is helping me as I have business based out from Japan.  I have moved back and we do lessons via skype and it is working out great so far.

    I would be more than happy to refer you if you message me.



  • Looking for a Japanese tutor for teen

    (4 replies)

    Hi all,

    My 13year old is very interested in learning Japanese. Can you all recommend a tutor or local classes? We live in Berkeley.

    thanks so much!

    Hi! Our daughter has been attending Japanese school on the weekends at Sakura Gakuen in Pleasanton for 3 years.  It has classes for native and non-native speakers. They may also offer private classes or tutoring.  Good luck! 

    I know a wonderful Japanese tutor who lives in El Cerrito. His name is Ellis and he is out of town until June 5th. He has been tutoring students in Japanese at community colleges and will be a junior at UC Berkeley in the Fall as a Japanese Studies major. Please email me at jen [at] spiritualgiftinstitute.com and I will put you in contact with him.

    I don't know about classes or tutoring but I work with a group of Japanese high school students at UC Berkeley each summer called the TOMODACHI Initiative. We have a mentor program where we invite local students to interact with our students in casual settings, e.g. an ice cream social, shopping expeditions, etc. Japanese is not a requirement as many of our students are eager to practice English. If that sounds interesting, please email me at dbeiser50 [at] gmail.com and I can send you more details.

    Buddhist Church of Oakland used to offer Saturday classes, quite inexpensive if they are still doing it -- try calling them to ask.

  • Hi! My son started learning Japanese informally with a tutor last year for fun, but she isn't available anymore! Does anyone know of a Japanese tutor who has experience (and is interested in!) working with a young enthusiastic beginner? He is in 5th grade and our family does not speak Japanese. Thanks!!

    Hi there, our daughter attends a Japanese school in Pleasanton on Sundays. She really enjoys it and is learning quite a bit. It's called Sakura Gakuen. You should check it out to see if your son would be interested in classes there. Good luck!

    Patrick Havel 510-220-8638

    He used to teach Japanese at Sacred Heart High School in SF. Studied and worked in Japan and has a BA in Japanese from Notre Dame University. He has a lot of experience working with teens, young adults, and individuals with disabilities. 

  • Seeking Japanese tutor for Berkeley family

    (2 replies)

    Hello!  Our family of four (including kids ages 4 and 7) will be traveling to Japan for vacation in December, and we are all interested in learning a little Japanese before we go.  We're seeking a tutor to give us a few family tutoring sessions that cover some basic Japanese phrases and perhaps some brief, kid-accessible lessons on Japanese culture.

    If you know of someone who might be good for us, we'd love to hear from you.  Thank you!

    Hi! My spouse actually majored in Japanese at Notre Dame, studied the language and did social work with individuals with disabilities in Japan for 4 years, and used to teach Japanese to high school students. He also has experience teaching and running programs for younger children. If you are interested, you can reach him at patricklhavel [at] gmail.com or 510-220-8638. Sounds like you're going to have a fun trip. Good luck! 


    My 12 year old daughter took Japanese lessons this past summer with a local mom and native Japanese speaker. She is warm, engaging, kind and easy to work with. She knows the culture well and is a terrific teacher. I shared your post with her and she encouraged me to pass along her number. Her name is Aki Mills and she can be reached at 925-890-1382.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Japanese tutor or lessons for high schoolers?

Feb 2013

My son, a sophomore at BHS, has expressed an interest in learning Japanese. I don't know how serious he is, but I'd like to present him with some options and encouragement. Any recommendations for courses or (more likely) tutors? We'd be interested in something more fun than academic (that can come later if he really gets interested), and someone who has some language teaching experience would be favored over a fluent speaker who hasn't tried teaching. Any experience with the church in El Cerrito that offers Japanese classes? (I'm pretty wary of the evangelizing aspect, but can imagine it being tolerable?) Thanks. Mom of would-be Japanese speaker

For a summertime option, UCB's ATDP (Academic Talent Development Program) offers Japanese classes (six weeks, three times a week for 3.5 hours a class). http://atdp.berkeley.edu/about/sd/catalog/language/#course-id-7887 Brenda

I can highly recommend Emiko Iwasara Larson, who gives private lessons from her apartment in El Cerrito (near the Plaza). She tutored my daughter, when she expressed interest in learning Japanese independently, and then again a few years later. She is highly organized, a thoughtful teacher, and very nice. eiwasawa7 [at] hotmail.com (510) 528-5145 =Natasha

I can highly recommend my daughter's Japanese tutor, Junko Kenmotsu. She teaches at the San Francisco Japanese School and lives in Berkeley. Junko has been working with my daughter for about two months now. She is extremely professional and talented tutor. My daughter is so motivated to learn because of her teaching style and teaching aids. Junko was born in Japan, so she is a native speaker. She raised her two daughters here in California, so she also understands my daughter's learning style and expectations. Here is her email: junekudo (at) gmail.com Ruth

My son took Japanese at Laney College when he was in high school and had a very good teacher. Check it out.

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

Japanese tutor for 4.5 and 6.5 year olds

March 2007

I am looking for a Japanese tutor for my children, ages 4.5 and 6.5, for a one hour lesson once a week in the late afternoon, preferably on Monday or Tuesday. They have been studying Japanese for 2 years, and use it on occasion at home. I am hoping to find a native Japanese speaker with experience teaching small children. Please email me directly. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Erika

I can't address tutors specifically, but the East Bay Christian Japanese Language School (EBCJLS) offers Japanese language instruction and Japanese cultural activities for children on Saturdays from 9:30am until noon. Tuition is very reasonable and non-Christian families are welcome. For further information, you can contact EBCJLS coordinator Nobuko Satake (senseiwebsite[at]yahoo.com ) or access the EBCJLS website: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/eastbayjschool/

April 2006

Someone asked about a Japanese teacher for their teen earlier. I would like to recommend our Japanese tutor. Her name is Miyako Tsujimoto. She comes to our home and tutors our two teens in Japanese. She is really wonderful. She has a lot of patience and makes learning for the kids fun mixing in games with her teaching. They are learning conversation as well as how to read and write Japanese. She is very flexible and can work well with different levels, as both of my children have varying levels of competency with the language. I highly recommend her. Her phone number is 510-595-3293. Sharon

March 2004

My 8 year old is interested in learning Japanese (!) I'd like to find a tutor who has fun around children and has some idea of how to approach language learning. I can set up a group of 2 or 3 girls who will be together for the class. I'm open to any alternative, but would need someone who could come to the Albany/El Cerrito area. Please call or email. 510-527-2268 Gladys

The Albany Kumon offers Japanese. http://www.berkeleykumon.com/

2003 & Earlier

June 2003

Hello, I was looking for a Japanese tutor for two children in Oakland. I checked on the website and there wasn't anything. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for a good Japanese tutor? Sharon

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