Schools are categorized into three types according to the management jurisdiction. National schools are run by the national government, public schools are run by local municipalities, and private schools are run by incorporated educational institutions.
Entry into public elementary schools and junior high schools as a general principle is determined according to the school district that students live in, and an entrance exam is not required, whereas students who wish to enter a private school must pass an entrance exam.
A school year in Japan begins in April and ends in the following March.
In most schools there are three terms in a school year.
The first term is from April to July, the second term is from September to December and the third term is from January to March. Each term is followed by a vacation: around 40 days of summer vacation, and two weeks of winter vacation and spring vacation respectively.
* In some schools, a school year may consist of two terms. In such cases, the first term is from April to September and the second term is from October to March. Apart from summer vacation, winter vacation and spring vacation, four to six days of autumn vacation are given between the two terms.