If you are studying abroad in Japan, you will definitely need some resources to help you pay for the experience. Even if its reputation for being expensive isn't as much of a hard fact as might be thought, travel to and from Japan itself is quite expensive, not to mention the difficulty you might have finding part-time work to keep up with the payments you have to continue to make in America (no, unfortunately, life doesn't stop and you must continue to make payments on your student loans). Luckily, there are many scholarships available to people interested in Japan and studying there (so your student loans can maintain their incremental decrease instead of growing to a more unmanageable size)!
Links to these scholarships are provided on the side bar, for more detailed information.
Home University Scholarships
Your home university may apply the scholarships you receive for a regular year of attendance to your study abroad, if you would like to participate in a program which they support. Speak with your study abroad and financial aid counselors to determine if this kind of program is available. It may narrow your choices - my school offers study only in Tokyo or Nagoya - but this does not mean you'll be prevented from learning and experiencing as much as you can.
The Gilman Scholarship
If you are an American undergraduate student who receives a Pell Grant, you may be eligible for this very generous scholarship, which serves to aid those students who may be less represented in study abroad programs (because of disability, cultural, or financial adversity). It rewards an interest in less traveled or less familiar territories and languages, such as those of Asia and Africa. All disciplines of study are welcome to apply. Recipients of the scholarship must prepare a follow on project to promote the scholarship and the experience of international study.
The Asia Pacific Education Scholarship
This scholarship is also offered in hopes of allowing those of less represented backgrounds to experience international education, specifically in the Asia Pacific. The program is entirely non-profit and relies on donations to fund its assistance of students interested in study abroad. The scholarship is open to any college student of Canada or America, so long as they seek to study in one of the countries listed on the site (from the Asia and Pacific regions of the world, ie China, Laos, New Zealand, Fiji, etc.)
Your study abroad program, like your home university, may offer some small scholarships to cover the costs of travel and books. IES, for example, has several scholarships available to those enrolled in their study abroad program.
Besides the scholarships offered by your home university, study abroad program, or foreign university, you can also look into scholarships by searching online for those specific to your region or language. For example, if you are looking to study in an area which receives less international attention and less foreign students, or if you are studying a critical need language such as Arabic or Korean, among many others, there is probably a specific scholarships offered to help you fund your study. Also, if you are a minority or disabled, you may find help from scholarships aiming to help you show a more diverse America to the world.