Relocating to Kyoto?

This destination Guide for Kyoto, Japan, includes a brief overview of Kyoto-city with some pictures and information about expat-related facilities.

We hope this information will be a valuable resource to expats coming to or currently residing in Kyoto, as well as the HR department of foreign companies.

Kyoto Destination Guide

Among the 20 major cities of Japan (designated by government ordinance) Kyoto City has the 8th largest population (approximately 1,500,000). Kyoto City is located in the Kyoto Metropolitan Area which spans from the southern part of Kyoto Prefecture to the southwestern part of Shiga Prefecture. The population of the Kyoto Metropolitan Area is approximately 2,680,000 (2012 National census). This makes the Kyoto Metropolitan Area the fourth largest metropolitan area in Japan after the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the Osaka Metropolitan Area, and the Nagoya Metropolitan Area. The Kyoto Metropolitan Area is a part of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area which is a combination of the Metropolitan Areas of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe.

Advanced technology has evolved in Kyoto through precise and delicate skills and the techniques of local traditional crafts such as Nishijin textile, Kyoyuzen dyeing, Kyo-yaki ceramics, and Kyoto doll. Kyoto's history of craft creation is why many global manufacturing companies currently have their headquarters based here. More than a dozen foreign companies in the IT and Life Science business fields have already established their offices in Kyoto Prefecture. During recent years the technology of Kyoto companies, the research and development capabilities of universities, and the research institutes in Kyoto have attracted much attention from foreign companies.

Kyoto City is actively attracting foreign companies with its public support systems, and its ability to support foreign expats though public institutions and private entities. As an international city where many foreign students and expats have historically lived, Kyoto provides a good living environment with various geographical attractions, historical and cultural heritages, and a well-matured locality. There are international schools throughout the city providing a high quality educational environment. There are also several medical facilities that offer services in foreign languages so that foreign residents who don’t speak Japanese can live without worry.

The ancient city of Kyoto was ranked as the number 1 travel destination (in 2015) among the world tourist cities by a US travel magazine (Travel + Leisure). As a home to a large number of world heritages, and historical and cultural assets, Kyoto City functions well as a modern commercial city. Several professional sports teams are based in the city and various festivals and events are held throughout a year adding vigor to its active atmosphere.

There are several large commercial facilities along major streets where building large stores is relatively regulated. Behind these major streets are hundreds of traditional shops along a dozen long connected shopping street arcades that have everything you need for convenient shopping. On the weekend you can enjoy a day trip to Osaka, Kobe, Nara, or Wakayama which are also major tourist destinations in the Kansai region.

Useful Links for Expats in Kyoto

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