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Hanami Festival in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Kyoto, Japan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Kyoto?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kyoto, they said:

"Before moving to Kyoto, expats should know that the city is a blend of modern and traditional Japanese culture, with numerous temples, shrines, and historical sites. It's important to understand that Japanese is the primary language spoken in Kyoto, so learning basic phrases and etiquette can be beneficial. The cost of living in Kyoto is relatively high, especially when it comes to housing and dining out. However, public transportation is efficient and affordable, making it easy to navigate the city. Japanese people are generally polite and reserved, and they value respect and harmony in their interactions. Therefore, understanding and adhering to Japanese customs and social norms is crucial. Kyoto experiences four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold winters. It's also important to note that Japan is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons, so expats should familiarize themselves with safety protocols. Healthcare in Japan is of a high standard, but it can be expensive. Expats should ensure they have comprehensive health insurance. The work culture in Japan is known for its long hours and high levels of dedication and commitment. However, Kyoto, being a tourist city, may offer more flexible work opportunities, especially in the hospitality and education sectors. Finally, expats should be aware that while Kyoto is a safe city overall, it's still important to take standard precautions to protect their personal safety and belongings," remarked one expat who made the move to Kyoto.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Hanami Festival in Kyoto, Japan

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