Introduction to Japanese Universities

Below is a sample of some of the universities that our members have attended.

The information is based on the opinions of members who have studied there and does not necessarily reflect either the opinions of the institutions themselves, or of BAMS.

If you require further information regarding universities please feel free to contact us and we will try to offer you any information we may have.

Hitotsubashi University

Hitotsubashi is a highly regarded social sciences university located in the relaxed leafy suburb of Kunitachi, about 30 minutes by train west of central Tokyo (Shinjuku). Compared to other universities it quite small with approximately 5000 students, and only four faculties (Commerce, Economics, Law, and Sociology), giving it a more friendly and intimate nature than some of the other larger institutions. It has a particularly high

reputation in business related disciplines and is often known as the “Captain of Industry”. As well as this it invests a lot in foreign students and has a purpose built dormitory on campus for foreign students.

Nick Wall (Undergrad, Law, 93-97)

Hitotsubashi University Official Homepage

Kyushu University

Kyushu University, a former Imperial university, is well respected throughout Japan. It is highly regarded in many academic fields, particularly Agriculture, Engineering, and in Law. The host city for Kyudai (abbreviated term) is Fukuoka, which was voted best Asian city 2 years running by Asia Week magazine. In short, Kyudai offers sound academic training whilst at the same time students can enjoy the pleasures of living Asia`s most up and coming city! For lawyers (my discipline) there is also an internship programme run by the law faculty which provides visiting postgraduates the opportunity to experience life working for a Bengoshi (lawyer). Overall the legal training here is second to none in that it provides substantive as well as practical training.

Damon Dean – Kyushu University

Kyushu University Official Home Page

Kyoto University

Kyoto University: commonly referred to as Kyodai, is one of Japan’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious universities. A national university, Kyodai attracts large numbers of foreign students (both MEXT scholars and alternatively funded students).

The university boasts excellent facilities and has a strong reputation in most academic fields. It is often referred to by the general Japanese population as 'the second best university in Japan' (after Tokyo University). Kyoto University arguably has the best overall record in Japan for notable progressions in academia evidenced by it having been awarded more Nobel prizes than any other Japanese university. The university regularly figures near the top in lists compiled of the best universities in Asia and has steadily moved up the worldwide rankings.

As a MEXT scholar you will usually, at the discretion of your academic supervisor, spend your first six months studying intensive Japanese. This may not be as concentrated as it sounds since there is surprisingly little tuition. This is especially so if you arrive in April and therefore nearly two of your six months are lesson-free due to the summer holidays. It is, however, an excellent way to make lots of friends and ease into your life in Japan. Once you have started studying in earnest after the Japanese course you will find that your success depends almost directly upon your own motivation and the quality of your supervision. Kyoto is a very good balance between a big city with all its attractions and the more quaint, slower, traditional image that it is often associated with. Accommodation at university dormitories is usually offered for the first year and thereafter securing suitable digs is usually neither cumbersome nor expensive. Kyoto is also very conveniently placed for travel elsewhere in Japan or abroad. Overall, Kyodai comes highly recommended and you cannot really go wrong with choosing this university.

Lyle De Souza - Graduate School of Letters, Department of Sociology, Kyoto University

Kyoto University Official Home Page

Submitting reviews

We are hoping to create summaries/reviews of the institution that some of our members have attended in order to offer prospective scholars some sort of advice on the various options. We are keen to hear of your experiences of Japanese Universities and are hoping to get reviews of Japanese Universities.

To submit a review please email us on with your review, name, course attended and dates at the university.