Our research unit strives to become one of the most international laboratories at UTokyo. As of January 2024, international students make up 40% of graduate students (including regular students and visiting students), with a total 10 languages spoken: Japanese, English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, German, Tagalog, Urdu, Albanian.

As such, we are looking forward to engage in exciting new research with students and researchers from all over the world. So if you are interested in joining us, do not hesitate to contact us!

We are looking for people with:

  1. A strong interest in solving urban problems with a focus on transportation
  2. Problem solving abilities and drive to find, on their own initiative, the answers to questions and problems that arise during the course of a research project
  3. Quantitative analysis skills (i.e. knowledge of statistics, econometrics, etc)*
  4. Programming skills (We mainly use R, Java, and/or Python, but other languages are also OK)*

*Basic quantitative and programming analysis is enough, provided they have a strong incentive to further strengthen these skills in the future.

Main research topics

In recent years, our research focuses on three large pillars:

  • Deepening our understanding human activity-travel behavior:
    • Relationship between the built environment and travel (i.e., walkability, effects of urban form on walking behavior, and use of other non-motorized modes)
    • Social networks and travel behavior
    • Activities in virtual and physical spaces
    • Travel behavior changes during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Travel behavior during disasters (evacuation behavior).
  • Comprehensive evaluation of urban transportation related policies:
    • Public Transportation Systems/Public Mobility Assessment and Planning Methodology
    • Evaluation and planning methods for urban structures that support life without excessive reliance on automobiles
    • How cities and society will accept new mobility services and automated driving
  • Exploring the ideal state of practice of urban transportation planning:
    • With a focus on drawing up a vision of what the city and its transportation system should be, identify the measures that should be taken, and consider how to implement and realize these measures.

For more information on our research activities, see our recent publications here

If you are interested in joinin us, when contacting us, let us know:

  1. About yourself(CV, academic record)
  2. Why you are interested in our research unit
  3. What kind of research topics are you interested in
  4. What kind of analytical skills do you possess
  5. Evidence of research experience, if any (Journal articles, conference proceedings, thesis summary, executive summary of a project you participated in, etc.)

*Note that official admission procedures are conducted via the admissions department of the School of Engineering.


The department will allocate a limited number of scholarships by recommending candidates to scholarship organizations, MEXT (Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) and Asian Development Bank. In addition,

  • If you want to apply to the MEXT scholarship (Embassy recommendation) see this link.
  • If you want to apply to the CSC scholarship (PhD or Research Student) see this link.

More information on the department of urban engineering’s website.