MLSS 2015 Kyoto

Frequently Asked Questions

Application to the Summer School, Registration Fee, Scholarships

Who can apply and who is this school intended for?

Anyone can apply from January 22 to April 10: the summer school is targeted for students (specially at a master/PhD level), academics (faculty, researchers and postdoctoral researchers) and professionals.

This school is suitable for all levels, both for people without previous knowledge in Machine Learning, and those wishing to broaden their expertise in this area. It will allow the participants to get in touch with international experts in this field. Joint publications, new research projects and exciting opportunities will arise from these interactions.


What will I get from attending the summer school?

For students, the summer school provides a unique, high-quality, and intensive period of study. It is ideally suited for students currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, research in Machine Learning or related fields. It will also allow research students to present recent research results through poster presentations.

Professionals who use Machine Learning will find that the summer school provides relevant knowledge and exposure to contemporary techniques. In addition, they will benefit by direct interaction with top-notch researchers and motivated students. Previous experience indicates that personnel from both the industry as well as national laboratories benefit immensely from the school.

For academics, the summer school is an excellent opportunity to help getting started in research on novel topics in Machine Learning. It provides an ideal forum for networking and discussions. Academics will also benefit from interaction with IT professionals which will lead to a deeper understanding of real life problems.


How can I apply?

Please refer to the application section.

What is the registration fee?

The registration fee to attend the summer school is:

  • Students
    • 45,000 JPY - 2 weeks
  • Academics (including post-doctoral researchers)
    • 80,000 JPY - 2 weeks
    • 55,000 JPY - 1 week
  • Professionals
    • 100,000 JPY - 2 Weeks
    • 80,000 JPY - 1 Week
    • 55,000 JPY - 3 days (social events not included)
    • 30,000 JPY - 1 day (social events not included)

Please note that we will only accept online card payments in JPY or domestic wire transfers to our bank account (in Japan).


When am I expected to pay the fees?

Applicants who have been admitted to the summer school will have to pay the corresponding fees within 2 weeks of receiving their acceptance notification either by credit card (paypal) for applicants residing outside Japan, or wire transfer for domestic applicants.

What is covered by the registration fee?

The registration fee covers the access to all lectures, talks, poster sessions and social events. The registration fee also covers light snacks and drinks during coffee breaks in between lectures.

The registration fee does not cover accommodation costs, nor breakfast, lunch and dinner except for what will be provided during social events. Please check the meals section to know more about meal options.


Who can apply for financial support?

Only students can apply for financial support. Students who have already attended a previous edition of the Machine Learning Summer School cannot apply. The amount of financial support that we will be able to provide to each student will not exceed 100.000 JPY.

Who should apply for financial support?

Financial support will be given in priority to students who would not be able to attend the summer school without financial help or a registration fee waiver, despite having an excellent academic background and a previously demonstrated interest in machine learning or any related discipline.

We particularly have in mind students registered in universities with limited means, exceptional undergraduate students who are not affiliated to a laboratory and are therefore obliged to cover the cost of attendance all by themselves, or students traveling from countries far away from Japan.

We would like to encourage undergraduate and master students that belong to any of the research institutions that have a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Kyoto U., listed on either of these two lists: (Graduate School of Informatics section only)

and who express an interest in joining the Graduate School of Informatics of Kyoto University as graduate students in the near future (Master course for current undergrads, PhD course for current master students) to apply for financial support. We have received a generous grant from Kyoto U. to support partially registration and housing for about 25 students that fall in that category.

Please keep in mind that any request for support needs to be addressed and explained by your referee in the reference letter.

Who will get financial support?

We will first screen applicants based on academic background, regardless of their wish to receive support. Once the list of accepted applicants has been decided, we will allocate what amount we have by weighting it based on need.

What will be covered by financial support?

Financial support will be given to cover partially either or both the registration fee and accommodation costs.


For International Travelers

Do I need a visa to stay in Japan during the Summer School?

Citizens of 67 countries – including most European countries, North and South America as well as many Asian countries – are exempted from visa procedures and will receive directly a tourist short term visa (usually 90 days, sometimes less) upon arrival in Japan. Please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' official website for more information and make travel plans accordingly.

If you need to secure a visa to enter Japan, you should start your application as soon as possible after you have been accepted to the summer school. We will provide you with a nominal invitation letter after you have paid for conference registration.


How can I get to Kyoto?

Arrival in Kyoto is best by train or bus from Kansai Airport (KIX).

  • Several direct flights connect major hubs from America/Europe/Asia to KIX airport.
  • It takes 75 min from KIX Airport to Kyoto Station by Train using the JR “Haruka” express. Other options, including shuttle buses that can drop you at your hotel are also available for a slightly higher fee.

Another possible route is to make a stop in Tokyo (Narita) Airport (NRT) which is well connected to Itami Airport (ITM).

  • The flight from NRT to ITM takes about 1 hour
  • It takes about 1 hour to go from ITM Airport to Kyoto Station by Airport Bus. There is also a bus service that can drop you at your hotel for a slightly higher price but you need to book 48 hours before your arrival time in Japan.
  • It takes about 3.5 hours to go from NRT airport to Kyoto Station by bullet train (Narita Express to Tokyo station + Shinkansen)

Finally, Tokyo (Haneda) Airport (HND) also has several international flights. As with NRT it is also possible to stop at HND and fly to ITM or KIX (1 hour) and join Kyoto by shuttle bus or train, or take the bullet train to Kyoto station (3 hours, Keikyu line to Shinagawa + Shinkansen).

These routes (except the HND route) are summarized in the image below, more options are described on this webpage.


Venue, Accomodation, Meals

How can I get to the MLSS site once in Kyoto?

The MLSS lectures will take place in the main lecture hall of the Law and Economics Faculty, which appears in the map below.

View MLSS in a larger map

This building is right next to the Clock tower building of Kyoto University.

Both are located in the main section of the Yoshida Campus of Kyoto University. Yoshida campus is the historical campus of Kyoto University and is conveniently located within a 5km radius of Kyoto's most prided cultural assets.


Will you offer wi-fi in the lecture hall?

We are currently looking for different options to provide basic wi-fi connectivity to attendants. We must however warn you that our bandwidth will only be sufficient to check emails and download slides.

Where can I stay?

Please refer to the Accommodation page for information on hotels we have pre-booked.

How can I get to the MLSS site from these hotels?


If you are able to cycle, we recommend that you rent a bicycle to cover the distance from your hotel to the venue. Weather can be hot and humid in August, but if you ride early in the morning and late in the evening you should be fine. Riding in Kyoto is very pleasant and the city is relatively flat. The bike will also allow you to explore Kyoto conveniently, as most interesting spots are easier to reach by bicycle. Here is a review of your options to rent a bicycle in Kyoto:

  • The best option is to rent a bike from a rental shop close to the university for as low as 2.000 JPY for 2 weeks. The bicycle might be a bit old, but they are well kept and the price is hard to beat.
  • Attendants staying at the Coop-inn can rent a bike directly from the hotel for 500 JPY a day. Please arrange the reservation of your bicycle in advance.

Please drive safely and be extra-careful if you have no prior experience of cycling in Japan. When riding, always carry proper identification with you as Police officers sometimes have checkpoints to look for stolen bikes, specially late at night.

Although this rule is not strictly enforced, be aware that it is illegal to ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol.

Finally, take extra-precautions: some streets in Kyoto are very narrow and are shared by pedestrians, bicycles and cars without strict delimitations.


You can also use Kyoto's bus system, which is air conditioned and very reliable. The closest bus stop to the MLSS site is Kyodai SeimonMae (京大正門前) as can be seen on section A2 of this map. From Coop-Inn you can use line 31. The ride will cost you approximately 200 JPY.

Taxi Pooling

A very convenient option for small groups will be taxi pooling. There will be taxis close to your hotels, as well as inside the university. Up to 4 passengers can ride a taxi. From Coop-Inn expect about 1,100 JPY. Divided by 4 this can be a far more convenient option than the bus.

Are there other hotel choices?

Kyoto has a wide selection of hotels and youth hostels. For those who prefer to select accommodation on their own, a good selection of hotels and hostels is listed in the TripAdvisor website for Kyoto. You can also check rates and book a hotel through Rakuten Travel. Rates for some youth hostels go as low as 2.500 JPY day.


Do all hotels in your reservation lists have internet connections?

The Palace Side Hotel, Kyoto Travellers Inn, Heian-no-Mori and Coop-Inn all have internet connections (wired, LAN) in each room for free, plus wi-fi (sometimes restricted to the lobby area).


What about meals?

  • Within a radius of 100m from the MLSS site:
    • The basement of the clock tower building has a convenience store with a very large selection of snacks and affordable lunch options.
    • Participants will have access to the university cafeteria (meals for about 500 to 600 JPY) which has a very diverse selection of foods, including vegetarian options.
    • The Cafe Camphora and Restaurant Latour (french) provide more expensive lunch/dining options.
  • Within a radius of 500m from the MLSS site, the Hyakumanben crossing area provides lunch and dinner options for all tastes,
  • Further away,

keep in mind that plenty of local students and attendants will be able to guide you and help you navigate meal options.

Please consult the map provided in the Around the venue section to get a better idea of where your best options for dinner are.


What should be my budget for meals?

The university cafeteria is a safe bet for students traveling on a tight budget. It has a large and diversified selection of japanese style meals as well as some vegetarian options, is rarely crowded by this time of the year and will provide you with a meal for an average meal price of 500 JPY or less.

The Hyakumanben area also has many budget options (from 500 to 1,000 JPY per meal) since this is the area where students usually hang out.

A typical meal in a more sophisticated restaurant costs from 1,000 to 2,000 JPY for lunch and 2,500 to 5,000 JPY for dinner. More to the south, the areas around Gion and Pontocho street are very famous for both upscale restaurants and more reasonable choices.