On Sunday my wife and son drove to his juku, or evening preparatory school (a.k.a. "cram school"), for a formal meeting with the teacher who oversees his studies there. Next year my son starts the third year of junior high, which is the beginning of juken hell as he prepares for the entrance exam to get into high school, and the meeting was to make a concrete study plan for the next 18 months. Japan's educational system is complex and difficult for Westerners to understand, but basically, compulsory education ends at junior high, making high school effectively optional, which creates competition for the best schools. Under Japan's meritocracy system, students who want to attend one of the top schools must study hard, and there's an entire ecosystem of large and small juku schools to help students reach their educational goals. My son is interested in engineering and has decided to shoot for the top boy's high school in our prefecture, a difficult goal which will mean many hours of studying on top of his normal schoolwork. It'll be hard for him, and also for me, since it means many months of doing almost no father-and-son stuff like playing catch or evening lightsaber battles. But it's all part of raising a kid in Japan.
Yoyogi Seminar is one of the largest "cram" schools in Japan.