Capital of Japan for almost 1000 years, Kyoto is considered even today as the heart of the Japanese culture. Home of a lot of famous festivals like Aoi matsuri, Jidai matsuri and Gion matsuri, the city welcomes tourist all over the year. The city seems pretty big but you can always find calm places everywhere to relax.
Home to 37 institutions of higher education, Kyoto is one of the academic centers in Japan. Kyoto University is considered to be one of the top national universities nationwide. You can meet students all over the city and it is a good place to make Japanese friend very fast. (The visitors session held by Nihongo Center also helps a lot)
Only studying at school is not the best way to improve your Japanese. You will really feel a difference if you try to go out and meet Japanese citizens with whom you will try to speak in Japanese as much as possible. A lot of Japanese will try to speak in English and it is kind a game to see who can speak the most in the other language. For this, Japanese are very friendly and if you try to respect some kind of “etiquette”, they will be more than happy to help and correct you. In this regard, there is a lot a places where young and older Japanese are having fun in Kyoto. The most famous place is without a doubt the Kiyamachi or Kawaramachi street (5min from the school), full of Karaoke, restaurant and bars. There are also a lot of events organized for foreigners students during the year (maybe once a month). Try one of these and if you do that regularly, you will reach a good level in Japanese in no time.
When you go to another country for a long time, you always wonder about the food. It is true that if you don’t pay attention, food in Japan can cost a lot. However, there are a lot of restaurants where you can eat at low cost, and also several supermarkets where it is good to go if you plan to cook by yourself. Take care about the difference between the convenience stores which are quite expensive and others supermarkets. Depending on where you live in Kyoto, you won’t have access to everything but here is a list of supermarket you might want to try.
– Aeon Mall
– Gyomu Super.
Also remember that a lot of product’s prices are cut from a certain time of the day (often from 18.00pm) which allow you to use less money on food.
Here is the point most of students are worried about but, yes, you are allowed to do a part-time job in Japan if you hold a student visa. The immigration will grant you a special permit to work for a maximum of 28hr/week while studying. This limit increases to 8hr/day during school holidays.
・Can I find a job?
The answer is yes. In Kyoto, because of the high number of tourists, you’ll be able find something quite fast in places like restaurants, guest houses, hotels. A lot of Japanese can’t really speak English or another language and any help is always welcome to offer services to foreigners customers. However, we really recommend you to focus on your studies for the first 3 months before starting to look for a part-time job.
・How much can I earn in a month?
Well, it will mainly depends on how many hours you will work but even if your are limited in the maximum hours per week, you can still do 2 or 3 different jobs to reach the 28hr/week.
Right now the minimum hourly wage in Kyoto is 850yens/hr which means you can do around 95,000 yens/month.