When facing the choice of which city to live in, most of the students coming from abroad that I know of, would most likely want to live in either Tokyo or Osaka, which obviously are magnificent cities. However, many forget other cities that may not be commonly known for their splendid student life such as the one I will tell you about: Kyoto. Most foreigners that I know of and have never been to Japan, tend to perceive Kyoto as a traditional and breathtaking city but not one that a student would be as keen to live in as in Tokyo or Osaka. On the outside, that may seem like it, but coming from the point of view of the students living in it, we can tell you one thing: it’s fantastic!
To begin with, Kyoto may be crowded but it’s not nearly as crowded as Tokyo or Osaka, therefore when it comes down to all the noise and crowd that many may dislike about the city, these inconveniences aren’t very apparent in Kyoto. However, that doesn’t mean that Kyoto doesn’t have a “city vibe”. On the contrary, it is filled with many shopping streets, izakayas, foreign restaurants and bars. As uncommon as it may be, Kyoto nightlife is quite appealing. From Filipino bars to Hookah pubs in Kiyamachi, there will always be a new place to visit and meet students from other universities and countries. Moreover, Kamogawa, with its chilly river breeze, is one of the main areas for students to hang out, eat/drink and meet people. Movie theaters, shopping malls and bowling arenas are all over Kawaramachi and Teramachi. In addition, Gion balances the traditional and the modern with its fancy izakayas and breathtaking shrines.
Unlike Tokyo or Osaka, Kyoto is very balanced, having both crowded and “big city like” areas and on the other hand, its quite and relaxing areas filled with temples and shrines. Students’ life in Kyoto is just as balanced as the city is itself. While being both wild and calm, Kyoto combines the best perks of the big cities while providing its own unique traditional “vibe” that doesn’t allow its residents and especially students to get bored.