The Ottawa Japanese Language School caters to students, who wish to learn or improve their Japanese, of all skill levels from beginners through to advanced, and all ages from kindergarten students through to adults.

School Closed for the Entirety of Second Semester

The Ottawa Japanese Language School will be canceled for the rest of this semester's classes due to COVID-19. Please refer to the attached PDF documents for a statement from the Board of Directors and the Principal of the school. We apologize for this inconvenience. In addition to this, there will be no summer courses offered this year.

Regarding the 2020-2021 school year, we have no dates to announce regarding registration at the moment. We will be closely monitoring the information provided by Ottawa Public Health and will provide an update as soon as we have something concrete to share. Thank you for your patience.

No Classes From March 14 to April 18

We regret to inform our students and staff that we will be closed due to school closures regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), for the next 3 weeks, effective immediately. We will keep everyone posted as this develops, and hope that everyone remains safe.

From March 14 to April 5th, there will be no classes due to the Ontario government announcement to close public schools as a safety precaution against COVID-19. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and look forward to seeing you again once class can be resumed.

Thank you for your understanding.

2019-2020 School Year Registration

Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will take place between 9:30 and 11:30 AM on Saturday, September 7 at the École élémentaire publique Mauril Bélanger. (307 Montgomery St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7W8) After the student has registered for the fall semester, there will be a short interview between the teacher and the student to determine the student's Japanese language skill level and class placement. 

Classes for the fall semester begin September 14, 2019. Child to Adult courses are available for all skill levels. For more information and to print a registration form, please see the Registration page. 

Cash or cheque will be accepted. Most credit cards will be accepted with a small service fee. Please see the Square accepted cards for more details.


Our curriculum is structured to take place over the course of the school year. It is difficult to start from the 2nd semester.

For security reasons, only one entrance is opened. This is normally the door behind the fence to the right side of the entrance next to the gymnasium.

OJLS Speech Contest Winners

The OJLS would like to congratulate all the winners of the first Speech Contest. They are as follows

For the Heritage Language Category:

  • In first place, Tomoharu Renaud Usami (Grade 5)
  • In second place, Miyuri Vennos(Grade 5)
  • In third place, Tabisa Watanabe (Grade 6)
  • For the judge’s award, Sheena Kishida (Grade 3)

For the Non-Heritage,
Youth and Adult Beginner Category

  • In first place, Rachel Bainbridge-Sedivy (Youth2)
  • In second place, Kyana Kama(Youth1)
  • In third place, Corey Burke(Beginner 1)
  • For the judge’s awards, Arine Karapetyan (Youth1)
  • and, Adnan Abidi (Beginner 1)

Non-Heritage Language/ Intermediate and Advanced category:

  • In first place, Leyla Rivet (Youth3)
  • In second place, Lea Hamilton ( Intermediate2)
  • In third place, Madiline Blondin ( Youth3)

The overall winner of the contest,

  • Grand Prize - Adam Mahon (Advanced2)

OJLS would also like to thank our judges, sponsors and staff members who have made all of this possible.

Teachers & StaffJudges

2018 - 2019 Scholarship

OJLS is very pleased to announce that the Otto's Subaru Scholarship 2018 - 2019 was awarded to Laurel Natsumi Gregan at the Year End Ceremony on May 25, 2019. We kindly thank Otto's Subaru of Ottawa for their continued support of Japanese culture and language learning.

Otto's Subaru logo

OJLS Speech Contest

The first Ottawa Japanese Language School Speech contest will be held on Saturday March 23rd at 13:30 at Kiwanis hall in Vanier community Centre.

The categories of the speech are as follows:

  • Children's Japanese as a heritage language
  • Youth and adult student's Japanese as a foreign language.

NERA Economic Consulting


Congratulations to Katherine Lu, Wei Yue, Tianwei Ding and Victoria Esnard!

Katherine Lu is the 1st prize winner of Beginner’s Level at the 29th Japanese Language Speech Contest in Ottawa, that took place last March 3rd, 2018 at the Embassy of Japan. She will participate in the national level competition in Edmonton on the 24th of March. Wei Yue also took the second place in the Beginner’s level. Tianwei Ding and Victoria Esnard also received special awards from the judges. Find contest details here

OJLS Celebrates its 40th Anniversary!

We are delighted to announce that, throughout 2016, the Ottawa Japanese Language School (OJLS) will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary. As part of the activities and festivities, we greatly thank all students who submitted designs for the 40th Anniversary Logo Contest last winter. The organizing Committee has selected the below proposal by Christopher Cooper, student at Adult Beginner 1 level, to represent all activities marking this year’s celebrations. He will be receiving a one-semester scholarship for the OJLS’ fall semester. Congratulations Christopher!

OJLSs 40th anniversary logo

OJLS donates $10,000 to the Earthquake Relief Fund

On April 20th 2011 at the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa, Ambassador Ichikawa received from OJLS a cheque for $10,000 for the Earthquake Relief Fund, presented by Tim Folkins (Chairperson), Kazuko Kobayashi (Principal), Yoko Mongeon (Vice-Principal) and Mike Haag (Treasurer). Many thanks to all those members and friends of the school that donated!

Aside from collecting donations,“Senbazuru” (one thousand origami cranes) with messages written on the wings were prepared for one of the elementary schools in the severely affected areas.

Originally the OJLS board had decided to donate $1000 directly and to match a further $2000 dollar-for-dollar for donations from students. In light of the generous total of $5,885.79 collected, the board voted to round-up the school's matching contribution to $3,114,21 in order to make the total donation to the Tohoku-Pacific earthquake relief efforts $10,000.

Tohoku-Pacific Earthquake Relief Donations

On March 11, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred in the Tohoku region of Japan. Minutes later, the coastline of the same area was struck by a massive tsunami. The damage seen on newscasts and websites is shocking and sobering for all of us. Every student and staff member at the OJLS has a connection to Japan in some way, whether it's family, hobbies, cultural interest or simply a love of the language. Japan and her people have given us many beautiful and interesting experiences, but now the Japanese people need our help.
OJLS will be collecting donations for earthquake relief on Saturday March 19 and 26. The fastest and most effective way to get aid to where it's needed is for us to donate money to an existing aid organization so that materials can be purchased in large, economical quantities as near to the affected areas as possible. For this reason, OJLS will only be accepting cash donations and we will immediately forward all donations to the Japan Red Cross. The OJLS Board of Directors is also organizing a donation-matching program, details will be available on Saturday at the school. A staff member will be located in the hallway near the school office to accept your donation.
If you would prefer to receive a tax receipt, you may donate on-line at: Please be sure to select the "Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami" campaign. Online donations will still be eligible for donation-matching as long as a copy of the receipt is provided to the school. Thank you for your support.