“Why Kyoto?” – the familiar and well-known magazine monthly publicises by Kyoto city in order to promote their tourism and guide tourists to its featured spots.
“Why Kyoto?” – the constant question of interviewers from either private or governmental organisations for those who’d like to apply for scholarships or internships at the universities or colleges in Kyoto area, especially, at Kyoto University.
“Why Kyoto?” – the common question that I’m frequently asked by my Japanese as well as foreign friends when the first time they know that I am studying and living in Kyoto.
“Why Kyoto?” – an expression which I am sometimes screamed and yelled in my head when I have to struggle with Japanese Kanji characters or get troubles with something or even someone in Kyoto.
So, Why? Why Kyoto? Here is my list of 4 top reasons that why I chose Kyoto to live, but Kyoto University to study as well.
- The first reason is because of this University – Kyodai is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan and the leading academics in various fields across the Asian region. Obviously, over 100 years of founding, Kyoto University has produced 9/24 Nobel Prizes for Japan and the world. And many other notable prizes like Field medals, Gauss Prize, and Lasker Award .. were also presented for researchers and scientists of this University. That is impressive! Recently, our professor – Dr. Sawamoto has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry. Therefore, we must admit that Kyoto University deserved to be called “the University capital of Japan”. Also, with the tradition of freedom in academic and the development path of more and more international (there is 9% of foreign students who come from around 100 countries in the world have been studying here), Kyoto University is definitely such a right place for a foreign student like me to pursue my dreams through its interdisciplinary studies.
- Kyoto city – the most ancient capital, the heart of Japan is a perfect place to travel for the people who love nature and who want to experience the Japanese culture in-depth. This is my second reason. I’ve found out that with a long history of over 1,200 years, but Kyoto has been preserved its culture and traditions really really well. A case in point, with 17 UNESCO world heritages (like Kiyomizu-dera temple, Kinkaku – ji temple, Nijo castle,…) and rich traditions of many festivals throughout the year, Kyoto has been ranked the most popular tourist destination worldwide for 2 years consecutively by “Travel + Leisure”, a famous travel magazine in the US. So many friends of mine said that they must visit Kyoto for the first if they’ll travel to Japan. And to me, when I have free time, the Kamo river and surrounding mounts here are my favorite spots to go to. Every Saturday, I enjoy feeding the birds out there and spending time with my books on the green grass along the river. What a peaceful and comfortable life of here! I’m also interested in hiking with friends, that’s why Daimoji-yama, Hiei-san,.. always become our targets for the holidays. 😉
- Thirdly, not only is the life in Kyoto peaceful and harmonious with nature, but it also gives me invaluable experiences of spending time with very kind and nice people. Residents here, they are pretty friendly, open-mind, and modest. Whenever you need a bit of help, they will be ready to help you regardless of who you are and where do you come from. Moreover, Kyoto people in particular and Japanese citizens in general, they are very enthusiastic and full of energy when they work or study. This is an aspect that I have learned and really like from them. I am truly admirable them and learned a lot of other great things from them.
- Eventually, I believe that Kyoto is a suitable place to live for students like me. Not only because the living cost here is slightly lower than Osaka or Tokyo I supposed. But Japan is also a very safe country (86.9% of safety ratio), and Kyoto either. Kyoto city is equipped with a wide range of urban infrastructures such as transportation and public facilities, hospitals, commercial establishments, and so on, it’s affording a convenient lifestyle for foreign students a lot. Additionally, about the foods, I am a big fan of Japanese raw fish – sashimi, and Ramen noodle you know. ^^ The unique Kyoto cuisine which is known as “Kyoryori” is sophisticated and so attractive to me. I love spending time with my friends on the weekends around Kyoto downtown to discover the foods over there. There are many famous and delicious restaurants and food stores to try. But ramen is always the best choice since it is perfectly fit for my pocket of a student :). And especially in the autumn and winter, when the weather becomes colder. Moreover, “Kyoto yasai” which is regarding Kyoto vegetable, also very popular. I am also really really into the vegetable, and the vegetable here are so delicious and I really love it. But sometimes I must say that “Yasai wa zen zen yasui kunai desu yo” ^^. I am just joking.
Oh yes, to sum up, I must admit that I had been already fallen love with this city, this University of Kyoto. Thank you!