Moving/Relocating To Kyoto: 6 EVERGREEN Pieces Of Advice That Work Wonders

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Kyoto is a beautiful city in Japan. This city is home to cultural and historical sites like shrines and palaces.

However, before moving to Kyoto, it is best to learn about these 6 evergreen pieces of advice to ensure you are well prepared. We will also share about the cost of living in Kyoto, Japan, to help you make a budget before your relocation.

1. Learn The Dos And Don’ts About Living In Kyoto

Living in Kyoto will be your best experience since this city offers so many things to enjoy like culture and nature.

Before leaving for Kyoto, below are some dos and don’ts that you need to know. These pointers will help you adjust yourself to Kyoto’s new environment.

The Dos When You’re Living In Kyoto

Learn The Japanese Language

You may find many English speakers at your workplace. However, most locals do not speak English. Therefore, learning the Japanese language is important.

You can join an online course to save time. If you want to make new friends, then offline classes will be your best option.

Enjoy The Outdoors

Kyoto is a cultural city with many beautiful open spaces like parks and gardens. Therefore, spare some time to enjoy the outdoors instead of being stuck indoors.

Visit the scenic walking areas, such as Gion, Arayashima, Philosopher’s Walk, and Nanzenji Suirokaku.

Explore Local Transport

The best way to familiarise yourself with the routes of local transport is by exploring. Use one of your days off to explore the city by taking public transportation.

It will be easy for you to memorise the routes if you try them yourself.

The Don’ts When You’re Living In Kyoto

Giving A Tip For Services

Leaving a tip for a waitress or waiter is a common practice in many countries. However, this is not common nor advisable in Japan.

If you really feel thankful for the services or assistance, put the money in an envelope before giving it.

Talking Loudly In Public

It is considered rude to talk loudly in public, especially when taking public transportation.

As much as possible, try to wait until you reach home to talk on the phone. However, if you must talk or take a call while you’re commuting, it is best to speak at a low volume.

person standing between tall trees
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2. Do Your Research About The Housing Costs And The Neighbourhoods

One of the most crucial things to do before moving to Kyoto is to find a home. If you find a home before arriving in Kyoto, you won’t need to spend more on temporary accommodation.

The average monthly rent in Kyoto is about ¥60,000 (461.01 USD) to ¥100,000(768.35 USD) in a non-expensive area. The rent prices can double if you live in an expensive area or city centre.

Of course, you have to consider the distance and traveling time between the area and your workplace. Here are 3 recommended residential areas in Kyoto for your reference.

Karasuma Oike

One of the attractive points of Karasuma Oike is the access to recreational places like Nijō Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. You will also find shrines and traditional Japanese townhouses here.

This neighbourhood offers proximity to Kyoto’s kitchen’ Nishiki Market and Karasuma Shijo, where you can buy evening meals. On top of that, Karasuma Oike is very walkable. You can enjoy strolling around the neighbourhood while shopping.


Kitayama is located in the Northern part of Kyoto. This area exudes a city vibe with plenty of green spaces.

With excellent public transport connections to other parts of Kyoto and Osaka, Kitayama is an attractive option for many.


Katsura sits in the Western part of Kyoto city. It is a residential area that is perfect for young professionals, families, and students. Katsura has excellent amenities such as well-connected public transport, recreational places, and its location near a university.

This area is home to Katsura Imperial Villa, which is considered the pinnacle of traditional Japanese architecture and garden design.

3. Prepare Your Cost Of Living In Kyoto, Japan

The overall cost of living in Kyoto is around 30% lower than Tokyo. This means you will be able to save when you live in Kyoto.

For your information, the average living expense for a single person is around ¥210,123 (1,614.5 USD) per month. If you move with your family, you will spend around ¥400,000 (3,073.4 USD).

Even though Kyoto is considered affordable, you’ll still need to manage your finances well. Make a budget plan each month to track all your income and spending.

brown and white houses under white sky during daytime

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4. Find Better Opportunities In Koyoto’s Biggest Industries

Aside from being the best place to live, Kyoto is also perfect for pursuing better job opportunities.

To help you navigate the local job market, check out the following list of major industries in Kyoto:

  • information and technology,
  • electronics,
  • traditional crafts and design,
  • tourism, and
  • fashion.

You may also want to find out the average monthly net salary in Kyoto to serve as a benchmark when getting a job offer.

Most people in Kyoto earn ¥505,000 (3,880.18 USD) per month before the income tax.

Lastly, ensure that you get the health insurance benefit from your employer. An insurance policy can save you a lot in the event you need medical care.

5. Take Some Time To Explore The City And Try The Local Foods

Kyoto is Japan’s cultural capital. That’s why it will be best to explore the city while you’re here.

You can enjoy the scenery, cultural scene, and food. Below are our recommendations for your exploration of Kyoto.

roadway between buildings at nighttime
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The Must-Visit Places

It seems that you won’t run out of places to visit when living in Kyoto. This city offers plenty of remarkable tourist destinations that you can enjoy during your off day.

Here is a list of the must-visit places in Kyoto to guide your exploration :

  • Nijo Castle,
  • Red Torii Gates at Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine (pictured above),
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple,
  • Gion’s Geishas and Temples,
  • The Kyoto National Museum and Municipal Museum of Art, and many more.

The Must-Try Dishes

Being familiar with the local cuisines will eventually help you settle in Kyoto. The good news is there are many good foods around this city.

You won’t regret sparing a day for a culinary adventure in Kyoto. Below are the must-try dishes around Kyoto that you can include in your wish list:

  • Kyoto-style Ramen,
  • Nama-fun (pictured above),
  • Sushi,
  • Soy Milk Doughnuts,
  • Chirimen Sansho, and many more.

Most foods in Japan are not spicy. If you love spicy food, it is advisable to bring your own spicy condiment.

Japanese lantern light during night time

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6. Engage A Professional To Help With Your Relocation

Engaging a professional or a moving company like Sanelo will save you from stress. You won’t need to carry heavy luggage because we will ship your belongings to Kyoto for you.

Additionally, we will ensure that your relocation process goes well by adjusting the process to meet your needs.

Conclusion On Moving To Kyoto

If you want to experience a piece of ancient Japan and still have access to excellent city amenities, Kyoto will be your best option.

This city offers safe neighbourhoods with access to cultural sites and nature. Kyoto also provides job opportunities for professionals. On top of that, the cost of living here is relatively low.

If you want your relocation process to be less stressful, you need to engage Sanelo. Our team is more than happy to assist you through the relocation process, including the shipment of your belongings and the paperwork.

Check out our other articles to find out more about moving to Porto, Brisbane, Edinburgh, and Zurich.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Kyoto

Is Kyoto A Good Place To Live?

Kyoto is perfect if you want a slow-paced life. This city has many temples and shrines. There is also a river that runs through the town.

Living in Kyoto will give you the vibe of living in an ancient Japanese city. You can even experience the more cultural scene in the geisha district.

Can Foreigners Live In Kyoto?

Foreign students and workers are very welcome in Kyoto. Kyoto City International Foundation (KCIF) often makes engaging activities to connect expats and local citizens.

KCIF even offers many activities such as Japanese language classes, culinary festivals, and volunteer activities, to help expats settle into Kyoto.

Can Foreign Students Live And Work In Kyoto?

People who come to Japan with student visas are not supposed to work. If they want to take a part-time job, they have to obtain permission from local authorities.

The maximum working hours for foreign students is 28 hours a week.

Can Sanelo Help With My International Relocation To Kyoto?

Yes, we can! In fact, we have years of experience handling local and international relocations around the world.

Contact us to get more information, and do not hesitate to consult us about your relocation needs.


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