Kyoto/Tokyo seminar


This course is under review and will not be available until further notice

The Kyoto/Tokyo seminar is a one-week intensive course held in Kyoto and Tokyo in February.

The Kyoto and Tokyo seminars are run by Ritsumeikan University as part of Japanese Ministry of Education special purpose grant for development of study programs in Japan.

The course aims to develop the general skills of comparative lawyers, to provide students with advanced knowledge and perspective to understand and critically assess contemporary developments in Japanese law and society. The course covers the basic history and structure of Japanese law; the role of law in Japanese society (e.g. criminal justice, civil justice, and gender and the law); and a number of select issues in substantive Japanese law (e.g. finance law, business law, and constitutional law).

The theme of the Kyoto Seminar is the "globalisation" of Japanese law in a wide range of subject areas, including civil and criminal justice, gender and the law, public law and some aspects of business regulation. The theme of the Tokyo Seminar is Japanese corporate and commercial law, analysing how law both reflects and has transformed Japanese capitalism in the 21st century.

Beyond the classroom, the course includes field trips to a local district court, the local bar association, and one outside legal institution. Furthermore, a large amount of the educational experience occurs in the exchange among the diverse students taking the course, coming from a number of different countries.

LLB(Hons) students enrol in LAWS4171 Kyoto Seminar: Japanese Law and Society, JD/LLM students enrol in LAWS8171 Kyoto Seminar: Japanese Law in the Global Era. Students will be required to engage in compulsory pre-departure or post-return coursework and instruction, the details of which will be advised once they are confirmed.

Dates & eligibility

Information for the 2022 iteration of this course will be available on our website in mid-2021

Law students in LLB(Hons), JD and LLM are eligible to apply.


Participants are expected to make their own individual transportation arrangements to, from and within Japan. Participants must arrive in Kyoto no later than the day prior to classes commencing – though participants are strongly advised to try and arrive in Japan several days earlier

Students are advised not to make travel bookings until they have received official notification from the ANU College of Law that they have been accepted into the program. Travel advice for Japan is available at Australian citizens are advised to register their travel and contact details with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) prior to leaving Australia.


Australian passport holders do not require a visa to visit Japan for this program. Other nationalities are advised to enquire with the Japanese Embassy or Consulate as to the visa requirements. Chinese and Russian nationals are advised that the visa process may take up to a month. Ritsumeikan University will provide you with supporting documentation for your visa application, however it will only cover the duration of the Seminars. If required, students are responsible for obtaining their visa from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate and The Australian National University accepts no responsibility if a student is unable to obtain a visa.


Students must organise their own accommodation. Suggested accommodation options are available on the Ritsumeikan University website for the program. Students can liaise with fellow ANU participants prior to departure to discuss travel and accommodation options.

Program costs

ANU tuition fees

As you will be enrolled in an ANU course (LAWS4171 or LAWS8171) normal 2020 course fees will apply, in addition to the costs listed below.

Other program costs*

Item Cost
Service charge for all students payable directly to Ritsumeikan Law School AUD $887 approx
Estimated accommodation in Japan for 7 nights AUD $850
Estimated living expenses while in Japan (7 nights) AUD $650
Airfares (ex Canberra, incl taxes) depending on departure date From AUD $1,300
Total estimated costs (excluding tuition fees) From AUD $2,700

*These estimates are based on 2019 costs and do not include any additional travel a participant may decide to undertake. Estimated living expenses in Japan are based on a ‘normal’, comfortable, but not lavish lifestyle.

Selection criteria

  1. Applications will be considered by reference to the following criteria:
    (a) academic merit based on ANU GPA;
    (b) stage of study, with preference given to those in their final or penultimate year of study;
    (c) demonstrated interest in Japanese or Asian law and society.

Canberra course

If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place in the Kyoto/Tokyo course, please be aware that we are offering a new course on campus in Summer 2020 - LAWS4227 Japanese Law and Society. This course is very similar to the Kyoto/Tokyo course - but offered on campus in Canberra - and available as a law elective to LLB(Hons) and JD students.

How to apply for 2021



Please contact College Student Administration

T 02 6125 3483

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team