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OAKHOUSE KYOTO KAWARAMACHI

Resident Interviews

Our foreign staff asked our Kyoto residents: what's it like living in Kyoto?!

Days in the life in Kyoto

Oakhouse has opened our first share house in the Kansai area, in Kawaramachi in Kyoto. Kyoto has always been popular with foreign tourists and that is only increasing. Not only are there many great shrines and temples to see, but there are also many great old-style and modern shops to be found! This time, we interviewed three of our residents currently living in Oakhouse Kawaramachi to find out how they feel about Oakhouse life and Kyoto's many charms. Take a look at Kyoto from a foreigner's perspective!

Resident Interview #1: "I came from Norway"

My name is Karl
I'm from Norway. I quit school there, went to Shibuya to take a Japanese course for three months, came back to Norway, got a working holiday visa, and came back to Japan. I'm what you could probably call a NEET (laughs). I plan on wandering all across Japan.

A haori Karl purchased at a shop near Kiyomizu temple

It fits in nicely with the mood of the lounge

"What's great about Kyoto, you ask? It's hard to explain, but I love the atmosphere"

--How long has it been since you came to Japan?
I spent 3 months last year in Shibuya going to Japanese school. I went back to Norway to get a working holiday visa, so this is my second time to Japan. It's been about two months.

--So you've been here for a total of 5 months, then.
"Sayō" (an archaic Japanese expression for "yes", basically)

--You've only been here a relatively short time but clearly you've learned a lot of Japanese.
I study by watching anime and talking to other housemates.

The bathroom on the 3rd floor

--Where did you live before you came to Kyoto?
Oakhouse Tama Plaza (Kanagawa prefecture)

--What do you like about Oakhouse Kyoto Kawaramachi?
The beds are big, and the mattress is just right. And the bath. It's nice to relax in the bath!

--Kyoto is also known for its public bath houses. Have you been to one of the ones nearby?
Unfortunately no, not yet.

--Why?
It's a bit scary, for a foreigner. I mean, everyone can see you...

--It's fine! (laughs) Lots of foreigners try it out!

Our staff's pick for a good bath house, Tama no yu

"I want to enjoy Japan at my own will"

--How long to you plan on staying in Japan?
I'll probably be here for a year on the working holiday. Since it's a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I'd like to live in various places around Japan.

--Where will you go after Kyoto?
Wherever the wind blows. I might go to Okinawa, then come back to Kyoto...

Ruban; restaurant converted from an old home

Hot plate sirloin steak

Resident Interview #2: "I came from Sweden"

My name is Sophie

My name is Sophie
Sophie is a 21 year old girl from Sweden. She came to Japan in October 2016, and is diligently studying Japanese. She will go back to Sweden for a bit next March, but says she will come back to Kyoto.

--Did you come to Kyoto on a working holiday visa?
No, I came on a student visa. One of my classmates at the Japanese school who lives in Oakhouse invited me to an Oakhouse party on December 23rd. I became really interested in the house, and since it seemed easy and fun to meet people, I decided to move in.

--I see, you classmate introduced you? That's really great of them. We'd like to thank them! Do they still live here?
Right now they live in a serviced apartment near the school, but they told me they're always alone and the room is cold (laughs). The rent at the share house is affordable so it was perfect.

--It's probably easy to meet people here are they are always in the lounge.
Yes, it's a great way to practice Japanese conversation.

2016 Christmas party

"I love jogging along the Kamo river"

Great view of the Kamo river

--Don't you think Kyoto winters are cold?
Well, I'm from Sweden, so Kyoto feels positively warm!

--Have you been anywhere else in Japan?
I visited Osaka and Nara, and I also want to go to Okinawa, or somewhere up north.

--Japan is quite far from Sweden, so it would be nice if you got the chance to explore. Do you have any hobbies?
I don't go to a gym or anything but I love jogging along the Kamo river.

Jogging course

--I often see people running along the river. Sometimes I wonder if the breeze off the river is cold, but if you're from Sweden...
Right, as a Swede, it's not that cold (laughs).

--Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to talk to us. I hope you make a lot of friends here at Oakhouse Kyoto Kawaramachi!
Thank you very much!

Get a workout running by the river

Resident interview #3: "I came from France"

My name is Pierre
From France, Pierre came to Oakhouse Kyoto Kawaramachi in January 2017. Before that he lived in Oakhouse Tama Plaza in Tokyo, and moved to Kyoto to take advantage of one of our special deals!
He plans to stay in Kyoto for vacation for about a month.

Bonjour, Kyoto!

Sitting Japanese style

"The area around the house is so convenient!"

--Is this your first time in Japan?
No, actually. I came to Japan before to go to language school. This year I will study Japanese in Nara from April.

--What's it like living in the Oakhouse Kyoto Kawaramachi house?
It's a lot of fun. I often eat meals with other housemates or the manager, Hasegawa-san. There's a place with a lot of shops on the other side of the city hall, in Teramachi, and we'll go there to eat.

--What about the room?
The room size is just right. It feels big. There's a lot of storage, the beds are semi-double size so it's comfortable.

Teramachi shopping street

"It's easy to get anywhere in Kansai from Kyoto"

--What do you like about Kyoto?
Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima... you can get to a lot of great sightseeing spots really easily.
In one month I went to Osaka and Nara many times.

--Where do you plan on going after Kyoto?
My friend will come visit in a week.
After that, we'll probably head further west.
We don't have a plan yet, but yeah, we'll just go on a trip together.

--Thank you for spending time with us today. I hope you make great memories in Kyoto.
My pleasure!

Everything starts here, at Kyoto station

A message from our staff

Our staff were all raised in the Kansai region

We hope we have created a place were college students, exchange students, language students, travelers, business people, and freelancers from anywhere and of any age can come enjoy staying here.
It's perfect as a base for travel, to live in the city, and for long-term stays. Our Kansai-born-and-raised staff is always on hand to provide support for your stay (and in the Kansai dialect, too!). Ask us anything about Kyoto, Osaka, or Nara!