PWS Research Bases


The Birthplace of Japanese Primatology

PWS students visit Koshima Island as one of the first PWS field courses they attend. Koshima is a 0.32km2 island located in the southwest of Japan, off the coast of Kyushu. There are approximately 100 Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata, popularly known as snow monkeys) on Koshima. The Japanese macaques on Koshima, are well known for the behavior of washing sweet potatoes. Sweet potato washing behavior was first observed in Koshima, in 1953; then regarded as a pre-cultural behavior in nonhuman animals. At the revered birthplace of primatology in Japan, PWS students learn fundamental fieldwork skills over the course of an intensive week. Students learn actively, by designing and conducting a field study or experiment by themselves.



Fieldwork at Yakushima, an UNESCO World Heritage Site

PWS co-hosts a series of practical training courses (Yakushima Field Science Course and Genome Science Course) designed for participants intending to carry out both laboratory work and fieldwork. PWS students, together with invited participants from abroad, collect samples from the field and perform various experiments and analyses at Kyoto University laboratories.



Learn survival skills at an elevation of 1,300 m

PWS organizes a course, that runs three times per year, on a high-altitude plateau , surrounded by the Northern section of the Japanese Alps. The'Sasagamine Field Science Course' equips participants with essential survival skills; skills that can minimize the chance of accidents when conducting research in the field. Throughout the course, participants stay at the Sasagamine Hütte, first built in 1929 by several members of the Kyoto Imperial University Travel Club, including the late Kinji Imanishi (1902-1992). Participants can observe a wide variety of flora and fauna within the Sasagamine area. In this peaceful and pristine area, they will feel connected to nature. It is especially quiet in the winter season when deep snow blankets the ground, muffling all sound. Such an experience strengthens participants' resolve to act to conserve our precious natural environment.


Deepen and broaden your perspective by investigating topics at different levels of analysis.

PRI website WRC website KS website

Japan Monkey Centre

Hands-on experience from experienced curators

The Japan Monkey Centre (JMC) is a museum and zoo housing over sixty different species of nonhuman primate. In cooperation with the JMC, PWS offers a course on which participants can learn, through practical experience, how to maximise the welfare of primates in captivity, and about public engagement from the JMC curators. This presents an invaluable opportunity for participants who aim to become specialists in animal welfare and/or conservation; a huge step towards reallizing their dream.

Research Bases Abroad

Collaborating Institutions