At the age of 11, Riyo Saito began studying shamisen. While studying law at Hosei University, he joined the Nagauta Shamisen club and played at various theaters in Tokyo.
Riyo Saito has degrees from Los Angeles Trade Technical College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He studied music composition at The Juilliard School in New York City under Conrad Cummings, Raymond Lustig and Jude Vaclavik. He also studied the piano for over ten years privately as well as at The Juilliard (Evening).