Student Life in Kyoto
Open any travel guide about Japan and you are certain to encounter a description of the dichotomy of modern Japan—a country of paradox where cultural traditions are entrenched, but advanced technology is embraced. No city encapsulates this dichotomy better than Kyoto. Neither the neo-metropolis of Tokyo nor the colorful mercantilism of Osaka come close. Kyoto is a unique balance of modernity and tradition, and accolades like “Best City in the World” by US Magazine Travel & Leisure demonstrate its appeal.
Studying in Kyoto
Kyoto’s history as the capital of Japan spans more than 1,000 years. This history of being at the center of Japan has influenced Kyoto’s culture tremendously, and Kyoto remains a Japanese cultural capital to this day. In addition, Kyoto is not only a city of culture but also a city of accumulated wisdom.
There are more than forty universities in Kyoto, and KUAS is one of them. One out of every ten people in the population is a university student, which is the highest percentage in Japan.
Therefore, there is a lot of cross-cultural exchange among students and a lot of support for international students.
From a business perspective, Kyoto is a city of innovation. Kyoto hosts the headquarters of many world-class electronics manufacturers. These include one of the world’s largest videogame manufacturers, a globally renowned electronics and ceramics manufacturer, the world’s largest electric motor manufacturer, a famous automotive manufacturer, and many other electronics and precision instrument companies. The practical curriculum of the Faculty of Engineering is made possible by the fact that Kyoto is a Japanese heartland of high technology.
Living in Kyoto
Kyoto is a perfect place for students to live. The compact city contains many shopping areas that can fulfill all your shopping needs. If you are looking for stimulation, you can visit the many museums, art galleries and theaters in the cities. The most common mode of transportation around Kyoto City is cycling, which is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to travel. Public transportation such as trains, subways, and buses are also available, and an international airport can be reached by a single shuttle bus from Kyoto Station.
Despite preconceptions, the cost of living in Kyoto is actually cheaper than in many North American, European, and some Asian cities. Even in Japan, Kyoto's prices are lower than Tokyo's, making it a city with both ease of living and convenience.
There is no need to worry about food, either. Cuisine from all over the world can be found in Kyoto, including vegan and halal options. If you would like to cook for yourself, there are many well-stocked supermarkets. Of course, trying traditional Kyoto-style food is also a great way to experience life in Japan.
Four Seasons in Kyoto
Kyoto has four distinct seasons, and every season has its own beauty, which is why so many tourists flock to Kyoto all year round. Of course, when you live in Kyoto, you get to enjoy the sights throughout the year.
In spring, cherry blossoms bloom all over the city. This warm season is perfect for exploring the outdoors. Kyoto has many beautiful mountains and rivers, and there are many spots near Kyoto City where you can enjoy mountain climbing and rafting.
After the rainy season in June, summer arrives. Summer in Kyoto can be very hot, but you can still enjoy dining outdoors on riverside terraces. Summer is also the season when the whole city comes alive for the Gion Festival, one of the biggest summer events in Japan.
Japan is famous for its cherry blossoms, but the autumn leaves are just as beautiful. The scenery of fall foliage decorating temples and shrines is not to be missed. You will find spectacular views everywhere in Kyoto.
In winter, Kyoto occasionally has snowfall. The historic streets of Kyoto covered with snow are like a beautiful painting. During the New Year holiday, Kyoto’s market streets are filled with traditional food sold from stalls. There are also other events throughout the year, such as setsubun and hina matsuri, which are excellent opportunities to learn about the many unique customs of Japan. All of this makes Kyoto one of the most charming places in Japan.
Highlights in Kyoto
Kyoto has many traditional events throughout the year. In particular, the aoi matsuri, gion matsuri, and jidai matsuri are famous as the top three festivals. These attractive events are known for their spectacular costumes and parades.
Kyoto is also the home to traditional kabuki and noh theaters, and many geiko and maiko can be seen walking along the streets of Gion all year round. All of this culture, which has been handed down for hundreds of years, is still alive and well in Kyoto.