Major milestone reached in the establishment of Rugby School Japan

Written by BCCJ
July 29, 2022


Written by BCCJ
July 29, 2022

Rugby School Japan (RSJ) is scheduled to open in August 2023. The development of RSJ is led in Japan by BCCJ member, the Clarence Education Asia (CEA) Group, in close collaboration with the Rugby School Group.

On July 25th 2022, the Governor of Chiba Prefecture (Toshihito Kumagai) formally approved the establishment plan for Rugby School Japan, the first ever British boarding school in the Greater Tokyo area. This milestone moment for RSJ is accompanied by project partner and fellow BCCJ member Mitsui Fudosan’s impressive architectural renderings of the RSJ campus and development plans for the surrounding area, in the heart of Kashiwanoha’s Smart City in Chiba prefecture, Japan.


Highlights of the RSJ campus in Kashiwanoha Smart City include:


Design Concept:

  • Timeless design inspired by Rugby School’s architectural DNA, namely a traditional “quad”, townhouse building facade and a modern interpretation of Butterfield architecture.
  • Garden Campus, comprising 12 x green areas within the newly landscaped RSJ grounds, including a central green courtyard, house gardens, Principal’s garden and rooftop gardens. RSJ will preserve around 300 existing trees and plant over 100 new trees on the former Chiba University horticulture campus site.
  • Sustainable architecture, drawing on Mitsui Fudosan’s experience in Zero Emission Buildings and Zero Energy Houses. The RSJ project involves a hybrid approach – renovating legacy structures and weaving in new buildings to create a one-of-a-kind sustainable boarding school campus.


State-of-the-art Facilities:

In addition to regular classrooms, RSJ pupils will have access to international-standard learning and co-curricular spaces including science rooms, visual art studios, a gallery, design & technology rooms, a medical centre, a lecture theatre, an indoor swimming pool, a blackbox theatre, Harlequin floor dance studio, debate rooms, a Sixth-form centre, a library, a cafeteria, reading rooms, music rooms and recording studios, a gymnasium, rugby and soccer fields, tennis courts, multi-purpose courts, a formal dining hall and common rooms.


Strategic Location:

Just 30 minutes from Central Tokyo by Tsukuba Express Line and part of the Kashiwa-no-ha smart city and international campus town, RSJ will proudly sit alongside other world-leading academic and research institutions including Japan’s top universities, Chiba University and The University of Tokyo. The RSJ campus is within walking distance to Chiba Prefectural Kashiwanoha Park (which includes the multi-use Kashiwanoha Park Stadium with capacity for 20,000 spectators).



Peter Green, Executive Headmaster of Rugby School Group, says:
“Rugby School Japan will be an authentic interpretation of Rugby School England, respectful of the cultural context of Japan. We understand that boarding and our House system may be unfamiliar concepts. So too our wide range of co-curricular activities and our enthusiasm for sport, especially team sport. We are an unashamedly academic school but we believe that academic qualifications are just one aspect of a properly rounded education, so sport, music and drama are integral, not extras.”

“We are delighted at the level of interest already expressed by families living in Japan , especially as they find out about our small class sizes, our approach to learning which encourages creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, and our globally-minded attitude towards education and growing up. Opening in Japan is a very exciting development for us and we look forward to extending our spirit of community to our new sister school.”


Lori Henderson MBE, Managing Director of Clarence Education Asia, says:
“We are truly delighted by this most recent development, which comes as a result of three years of hard work by all parties involved. We are incredibly grateful to the Governor of Chiba, and all members of the Private Schools Council for approving our plan to bring one of the best international schools to Japan. This project has come to fruition with the unwavering support and trust from our most valued Japanese partners Mitsui Fudosan and Chiba University, as well as the Rugby School Group.”

“RSJ is situated at a strategic location in Asia – Tokyo is the largest metropolis in the world and home to over 38 million people. We look forward to welcoming international families from the East and the West to RSJ.”

“The CEA Group currently operates two international schools in Tokyo, Clarence International School (for ages 2-5) and Phoenix House (for ages 5-11) which will become official feeder schools for RSJ. RSJ pupils and the wider RSJ community will enjoy priority access to other facilities under CEA’s management: North Peak Enrichment Campus (Hidaka, Hokkaido) for outdoor and boarding-school education; and Hokkaido Home Farm (Abira, Hokkaido) for polo, equestrian and farming activities throughout the four seasons.”


Rugby School Japan Project Partners

Rugby School
CEA Group 
Mitsui Fudosan
Chiba University


About Rugby School Japan

–     RSJ is scheduled to open in August 2023, as a co-educational international school for 780 boys and girls (first-year admissions: 160 pupils)
–     RSJ will offer Boarding (Weekly and Termly) as well as Day School options
–     The Founding Principal of RSJ Tony Darby, appointed in December 2021, has held senior leadership positions at Rugby School (UK)
–     RSJ will offer the British Curriculum, IGCSE and A-Levels, enriched by the British House system
–     RSJ’s main feeder school will be Phoenix House International School (Tokyo)
–     RSJ Admission information (including assessment and fees) will be announced in September 2022 upon the Founding Principal’s arrival in Japan – one year before the school opens its doors to the first cohort of 160 pupils.
–     The RSJ Admissions Office formally opens in September 2022
–     Pre-registration for interested parents will open on temporary RSJ website, on August 1 2022