Sonrise English Preschool & Kindergarten l Okinawa Hai!

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Sonrise English Preschool & Kindergarten l Okinawa Hai!

Name of School: Sonrise Preschool
 Nakanishi 2-1-21, 901-2125
Phone: 098-878-7735 (Mr. Johnson’s cell) or 070-5535-7724 (school phone)
Ages Accepted: ages 2-5

As I was looking into preschool options for my son, a friend recommended that I use Sonrise English Preschool. We enrolled and have been very happy with the school thus far.

Around twenty years ago, Mr. Johnson was working in Japanese elementary schools teaching English but he wanted to be able to teach the children more. Thus, Sonrise English Preschool was created. The name of the school was derived from taking the Son – for Jesus Christ, and rise – for opening up horizons.

Mr. Johnson wanted to create a school where children were taught music, phonics, and sports in a bilingual setting. Exposing the children to many areas of interest would provide them with the opportunity to learn and discover many things, he felt. The phonics would in turn, help them learn Katakana and English, as some sounds are not used in Japanese language. This would prepare them for elementary school as they grew accustomed to new things and gained confidence in themselves to try them. The school has a Christian foundation and the children participate in Bible time, however, participation is not required. Sonrise embraces its Japanese heritage and regularly celebrates holidays and traditions.

The principal is Mr. Johnson, and there are three Senseis (teachers).

Sonrise English Preschool & Kindergarten l Okinawa Hai!

There are about 40 children attending the school from ages 2-5. Each age is a separate class; Duckling (2), Sparrow (3), Lamb (4) and Lion (5). School is Monday through Friday for all classes except for the Ducklings. They go to school two days a week.

Children may be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m., with class starting at 9:20 a.m. The pickup time is 2:00 p.m. for the basic plan. There are options for extended care (4:00 p.m.) and aftercare (6:00 p.m.), which can be used when needed or on a monthly basis. August is considered summer camp month and the regular curriculum is not followed.

The tuition is averaged over a 12-month school year and doesn’t change. Personal supplies and curriculum materials are not included in the price. Tuition is due each month by the 5th in yen only. There is a one-time entrance fee of ¥21,000. There is a list of supplies that you will need to buy for your child to attend school. This will include everything from gym uniforms to water bottles and hand towels. Anticipate it to cost around $200. The Sparrows will need a castanet and the Lambs and Lions will need a Melodeon Musical instrument (Piano). The school’s documents are included in this article; please refer to them for more information.

Sonrise English Preschool & Kindergarten l Okinawa Hai!

Sonrise English Preschool & Kindergarten l Okinawa Hai!The school is insured and is inspected by the Japanese prefecture every year for the health standards and accounting. All teachers are certified. They have two years of education in preschool and are required to know how to play the piano.

I didn’t realize how much Japanese my son had picked up until the other day when he was singing a song in Japanese and telling me the names of animals in Japanese. The Senseis tell me that it is common for the Japanese and American children to be talking to each other using English and Japanese phrases in the same conversation and fully understand each other.

Sonrise located outside gate one of Camp Kinser in the neighborhood of Nakanishi.

PDF with more information: Sonrise English Preschool

Directions: Go straight out Gate One of Camp Kinser. Turn left after the bridge. There is a car manufacturing building on this corner. Turn right on the 3rd street. There is a large hedge on this corner. Turn left at the second street. Sonrise is on the corner of this street and it is a white building.

Google map points: 26.246596, 127.700609


  1. My daughter have been going to this school for 2.5 years and we also attend the church on Sunday. This is by far one of the best if not the best preschool on the island. The staff is great and the teachings are outstanding! My daughter talks to me about everything that goes on in that school and not once has she told me about anyone being thrown on the floor or into a wall! If my child is disrupting class or being disrespectful then I expect them to be placed in the corner or timeout. I volunteer my time to the school on every event and talk to Mr. Johnson on a almost regular basis and I find that he has nothing but the best interest in his kids! If you child is a boy or girl I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this preschool. The parent is not telling the stories of how her son was attacking other children. As I said earlier….my daughter talks to me.

  2. My son has attended this AMAZING preschool for 2.5 years. He started as a Ducking and is now a Lamb, I also have my two daughters attending in the Duckling class. We LOVE this school! My children have learned so much! Far beyond the basics of a regular preschool. They are learning integrity, respect, kindness and obedience, not to mention exposure to the Japanese culture and food! Mr. Johnson is amazing with the children and so are all the great sensei’s. I wouldn’t imagine taking my children to any other school. I love that the kids learn musical instruments, gymnastics, physical education, Christian foundations and lots of singing and dancing. We enjoy the productions that are put on by the kids several times a year. My kids are so proud of themselves after their performances. As stated above, I have NEVER noticed my child being treated differently than all of the other children. If my child were to misbehave, I would expect him to be put in the corner to watch the wall. The above post is not sharing the whole story, don’t believe this disgruntled parent.

  3. Our son has gone to this school for 2 years. We loved it but had many reservations about it through the time. Recently we started to realizing our son was being mistreated by the Principal, Mr. Johnson. The senseis are great! We loved them. However, we did notice that the Japanese children were treated much differently than the Americans. The Japanese children do not get reprimanded at all if they do something wrong. My son was attacked multiple times by older and younger Japanese boys and these boys were NEVER in trouble for it. The minute my son got upset and reacted he was dragged by his EAR and forced to “watch the wall”. We were a little taken back by the pulling of the ear but it wasn’t terrible so we let it go. A few days ago my son was yet again attacked by a younger Japanese boy and when we retaliated by throwing the kids away from him the Principal THREW my son against a wall. We have pulled him from the school and his last few days there were very uncomfortable since the Principal and his wife had a huge attitude with us because we called them out on abusing our son and treating him unfairly.
    I used to recommend this school because of the immersion into the Japanese culture. Now…after finding out how my son had been treated I would NOT recommend this school to anyone. Unless, of course, your child is a girl…then you will be fine.

    • My daughter who is half Japanese and half American (primarily speaks English) attended this school. We knew all the staff including Mr Johnson very well and I gotta say the person claiming that their child was abused or in any way treated poorly is off their rocker. I don’t know this individual but maybe they have sone sort of crazy vendetta or something because that’s completely nuts. I know several other parents who have had children attend this school going back about a decade and have heard nothing but praises for that kind man and his wife.