The customs of Japanese public schools – Is there a ’clean up time’ at schools in your country?!

  • Even if you come to Japan on a trip, it is difficult to know about Japanese schools.
    Therefore, today, I would like to introduce some Japanese public elementary school customs. Buy the way, if you are native English speaker and have a degree, you could be an English teacher at Japanese public schools.


    A Randoseru is a backpack made of leather or fake leather for Japanese elementary school children. Traditionally parents or grandparents give a Randoseru to their child or grand child as a present for entering elementary school. Average of a Randoseru’s price is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen. Children use the same Randoseru for 6 years during elementary school. The word Randoseru came from Dutch “ransel” meaning backpack. But now, we use the word especially for elementary school bags which are in the above picture. Untill a few years ago, there were only 2 colors for Randoseru, black was for boys, red was for girls. However, nowadays, there is a variety of colors.

    Getabako and Uwagutsu

    All students take off shoes inside the schools as well, there are shoe lockers called Getabako at school entrances. Students swap their shoes to inner shoes called Uwagutsu which are shown in the picture above before they enter. That’s why each box of Getabako has 2 tiers, one is for shoes, the other is for Uwagutsu so that inside floors won’t get dirty.

    Daily clean up time

    A clean up time takes place after the lunchtime at schools everyday. The above picture is what clean up time generally looks like in Japan. Students don’t use vacuum cleaner, they use only brooms and wiping cloth and take turns cleaning the different areas of the school and using the different tools. Therefore, usually, there are no adult cleaner at schools.
    Students clean up swimming pools as well before the swimming season starts in early summer even though pools can get really dirty with lots of slime!