• Easy Living in Kyoto - Necessary Information for Daily Life - Community and Communication

Easy Living in Kyoto

III Necessary Information for Daily Life

4.Community and Communication

4-1 Japan’s Customs and Public Holidays

◆Daily Life

・Shoes are removed in the entranceway to homes. Slippers are not worn in rooms with tatami mats.

・Wash before getting into the public bath or onsen (hot spring). Towels and soap are not used in the bathtub. The bathwater is not replaced after each user.

・Greet others with a bow, not a handshake.

・Contracts often require a personal seal (inkan) as well as a signature.

・For Kyoto addresses, “上る” (agaru, which means “going up”) indicates heading North, and “下る” (sagaru, which means “going down”) indicates heading South

・By law, people under the age of 20 are prohibited from drinking alcohol and smoking in Japan.


・A 5% sales tax applies, and is included in the price of the product.

・Except for a few retail stores, prices are generally not negotiated.

・Tipping is not necessary either.

◆Public Holidays in Japan

・Government, municipal offices and most businesses are closed from Dec. 29 to Jan.3.

・From the end of April and into the first week of May there are a number of national holidays. This period is called “Golden Week”. During this time businesses and stores remain closed.

・Most businesses are closed during the Buddhist Obon season, which lasts from August 13 to 16.

<Public Holidays in Japan>



New Year’s Day

1 Jan.



Constitution Memorial Day

3 May



Autumunal Equinox Day

About 23 Sep.



Coming of Age Day

Second Monday in Jan.



Greenery Day

4 May



Sports Day

Second Monday of Oct.



National Foundation Day

11 Feb.



Children’s Day

5 May



Culture Day

3 Nov.



Spring Equinox Day

About 21 Mar.



The Day of Sea

Third Monday in July



Labor Thanksgiving Day

23 Nov.



A day to reflect on the Showa Era

29 Apr.



Respect for the Aged Day

Third Monday in Sep.



The Emperor’s Birthday

23 Dec.

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4-2 Japanese Classes

◆Japanese Classes at the Kyoto International Community House (kokoka)

①Japanese Classes

Japanese classes are taught by volunteers registered at the Community House. Anybody can join, at any time, regardless of their level of Japanese. Purchase tickets (¥50 per class). Appointments are not required. Every week from Tuesday to Sunday.

②“Easy Japanese”

Twelve Japanese lectures aimed at easing non-native speakers’ of Japanese into life in Kyoto. Introductory and Elementary classes are available (with fees). Meets once a week for three months. Summer session meets twice a week for two months.

*Apply at the Kyoto International Community House

◆ Other Japanese classes in Kyoto

Kyoto Prefecture International Center “Beginner’s Japanese Course for Foreigners” 342-5000

Location Kyoto Station Bldg, 9 F, Shiokoji-Sagaru Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Schedule 1)Saturday Course (Once a week) 

2) Monday/ Thursday Course (Twice a week)

*Both courses meet from 10:15 to 12:30

Fees  1) ¥4,000/ 3 months  2) \6,000 / 3 months.

URL  http://www.kpic.or.jp/f_nationality/index.html

Kyoto International Cultural Association (KICA) “Private Japanese Lessons” 751-8958

Location Kyoto International Community Center 3F

Schedule Day and time (from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM) selected by student. 

Fees ¥500/90 minutes (Lessons conducted by volunteers) 

URL  http://kicainc.jp/lesson/lesson-v/lessonjV.htm

¥2,000/60 minutes (Lessons conducted by qualified



Kyoto YWCA “RAKU-RAKU”  431-0351

Location 44 Konoe-cho,Demizu-agaru,Muromachi,Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto

Schedule Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 8:00PM

Level based grouping and inquiry required

Fees  \2,500/ Month (plus additional \900 charge for texts)

Fushimi Youth Center  611-4910

Location Fushimi Youth House (39-2 Takajo-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto)

Schedule  1) Every Monday from 7:00 to 8:30 PM

2) Every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:30 AM

Fees 1) ¥2,000/ 10 classes

Japanese Space Kyoto  361-0882

Location Trademark Kyoto 

180 Fudo-cho, Takoyakushi-Shinmachi Nishi-iru

Nakagyo-ku (North of Dog Café) ,

Schedule Every Week M•W•F 10:00-12:00AM, 1:00-3:00PM,


Fees ¥1,000/120 minute lesson

URL  http://j-space.sakura.ne.jp/JapaneseLesson.html

The Japanese Room Kyoto

Location West Sakyo Community Living Center

(149 Tanaka-genkyou-cho, Sakyo-ku)

Schedule Every Friday 10:30-12:00

Fees ¥2,000 (Four times a month)

Tachibana Clubhouse

Location Yamashina Youth Center Conference Room

Schedule Every Friday 7:00-9:00 PM

Fees ¥2,000 (ten lessons)

◆Japanese Language Institutions, Universities and Schools.




Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

(Kyoto Gaikokugo Daigaku)

6 Kasame-cho, Saiin,



Ryukoku University

(Ryukoku Daigaku)

67 Tsukamoto-cho,

Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku


Doshisha University (Doshisha Daigaku)

Japanese Language/Culture Education Center


Imadegawa, Kamigyo-ku


The Kyoto Center for Japanese Linguistic Studies, Kyoto Japanese Language School

(Kyoto Nihongo Kyoiku Center Kyoto Nihongo Gakko)

Muromachi-nishiiru, Ichijo-dori, Kamigyo-ku


Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language

(Kyoto Bunka Nihongo Gakko)

24 Kamihate-cho, Kitashirakawa Sakyo-ku


Kyoto YMCA Japanese Language Courses

(Kyoto YMCA Nihongo-ka)

Sanjo School:

2 Nakanomachi, Yanaginobanba Higashi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku


Kansai Gogen Gakuin

39-12 Shimogawara-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku


Kyoto International Academy

(Kyoto Kokusai Academy)

North side of Kitano

Tenmangu Shrine,

627-1 Kitamachi 2-chome

Imadegawa Agaru,

Onmae-dori, Kamigyo-ku


Kyoto International School of Etiquette and Music

(Kyoto Reigaku Kokusai Gakuin)

513 Kamiitabashi-cho,



Kyoto National Japanese Institute

(Kyoto Minsai Nihongo Gakko)

69 Kitaooiri-cho Nishi-kyogoku, Ukyo-ku


Kyoto Computer Institute, Kamogawa Campus

(Kyoto Computer Gakuin)

11 Tanaka Shimoyanagi-cho, Sakyo-ku


JCL Foreign Language Academy

(JCL Gaikokugo Gakuin)

6-4 Fukakusa-nishiura-cho, Fushimi-ku


Karen Academy, Kyoto Campus

(Karen Gakuin)

#84 Koyama Shimouchi

Kawara-cho, Kita-ku


Arc Academy, Kyoto Campus

349 Nishiiru Otomoishi-cho, Manjuji-dori

Karasuma, Shimogyo-ku


Japanese Center

(Nihongo Cenber)

356 Tominaga-cho,

Bukkoji Sagaru,

Kawaramachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku


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4-3 Message Boards-Living Information

Message boards are a great source of useful information. So, if you want to make new friends, buy and sell things, learn foreign languages, or look for a room etc., you should visit the following places. Also, message boards allow you to find out about various events and meetings taking place in Kyoto.

◆Kyoto International Community House (kokoka)

◆Kyoto YWCA

◆Kyoto Prefectural International Center

III-5. Taxation and Insurance

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