What if I work and
live in Kyoto…

The 6 compelling benefits that KYOTO presents to overseas companies.

Kyoto, a city steeped in history and culture, offers a unique and attractive environment for global companies seeking to establish a business base in Japan. This leaflet outlines the 6 compelling benefits that Kyoto presents to overseas companies.

01Center of History and Culture

Kyoto's rich cultural heritage and popularity as a tourist destination can also benefit businesses. The city's status as a globally-renowned cultural icon can enhance brand recognition and attract customers who seek products and services with authenticity and high quality.
• Kyoto was the capital of Japan for 1,000 years until about 150 years ago.
• Population: approximately 1,440,000 people
• Tourists: Over 50 million people per annum

a. Cultural and Historical Richness

Kyoto's unique blend of modernity and tradition offers an exceptional quality of life for executives, employees, and their families. The city is renowned for its cultural heritage including historic temples, gardens, and traditional tea ceremonies. The rich cultural tapestry creates a vibrant and inspiring environment, enhancing the overall well-being of individuals, and promoting creativity.

b. Sustainability and Green Initiatives

Kyoto is committed to sustainability and environmental conservation. As a birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, it symbolizes Japan's dedication to combating climate change. Many local businesses and organizations actively pursue green initiatives, making the city an ideal location for companies with strong sustainability goals.

Signing ceremony of the Kyoto Protocol
Signing ceremony of the Kyoto Protocol

02Industrial City

a. Innovation and Technology

While traditionally known for its cultural heritage, Kyoto has also embraced technological advancements and innovation. Companies in technology-related industries can benefit from working with companies in Kyoto which provide products integrating Japanese tradition and modernity.
The city houses prominent research institutions, universities, and technology companies, fostering an environment that encourages cutting-edge research and development. This attracts global businesses seeking to collaborate with leading experts in various fields, including, electronics, biotechnology, and green technology.
• Examples of global companies in Kyoto that integrate tradition and modernity:
KYOCERA Corporation / Nintendo Co., Ltd. / ROHM Co., Ltd. / SHIMADZU CORPORATION etc

b. Contents Industries

Kyoto has a thriving creative industry, including traditional crafts, art, and design. Businesses in the creative sector can find inspiration and collaborations with local artisans and artists, leading to unique and marketable products.

03Top-tier Talent Pool

One of the most crucial factors for the success of any business is access to a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Kyoto boasts some of Japan's most prestigious universities, such as Kyoto University and Kyoto Institute of Technology. These powerful educational institutions produce a steady stream of highly-qualified graduates in various fields. This pool of talent spans across science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), offering global companies a diverse range of skills to meet their needs.
• There are a total of 36 four-year universities and two-year colleges in the city.
• 150,000 university students live in Kyoto City, accounting for 10% of the city's population.

Additionally, Kyoto's cultural and historical significance attracts a cosmopolitan population, fostering a global mindset among its residents. This cultural diversity enhances a company's ability to tap into a multicultural talent pool, facilitating effective international operations.

Top-tier Talent Pool

04Innovation Ecosystem

Kyoto is not only steeped in tradition but also at the forefront of innovation. The city's commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing modern advancements creates a unique environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Global companies can benefit from Kyoto's thriving innovation ecosystem through:

a. Collaboration Opportunities

Kyoto is home to numerous research institutions, technology hubs, and innovation centers that actively promote collaboration between businesses and academia. Global companies can leverage these connections to engage in research partnerships, access cutting-edge technologies, and stay ahead of industry trends.

b. Start-up Culture

Kyoto's start-up culture is flourishing, with numerous incubators and accelerators supporting entrepreneurial ventures. This provides global companies with opportunities to invest in promising start-ups or establish partnerships to foster innovation and growth.

Research and development in the public institution
Research and development in the public institution

c. Supportive Business Environment

The City of Kyoto and business associations actively support foreign companies in establishing their offices in the city, and aid with legal procedures, permits, and navigation of the Japanese business landscape. The City also offers incentives such as grants to attract and retain foreign investments.

Networking event with new Kyoto companies
Networking event with new Kyoto companies

・Subsidy Program for Establishing the First Business Facility in Kyoto City
・Subsidy Program for Trial Establishment of a New Business Facility

05Quality of Life

a. Safety and Cleanliness

Kyoto offers a high quality of life, with a low crime rate, excellent healthcare facilities, and a clean environment. Executives and employees relocating to Kyoto can enjoy a safe and comfortable life, which can enhance job satisfaction and productivity.

b. Low Cost of Living

Japan used to be one of the most expensive countries in the world, but in recent years, it has become a relatively inexpensive. Also, compared to Tokyo, which has the highest cost of living in Japan, Kyoto is lower at the cost and has a comfortable environment to live in. For example, the rent is about half that of Tokyo.

c. Cultural Value

The city's relaxed pace of life and proximity to natural landscapes, including picturesque mountains and forests, promote a healthy work-life balance that contributes to employee well-being and productivity. In addition, international schools, museums, and art galleries in Kyoto City provide a high-quality educational environment for children.

Four seasons and scenery
Four seasons and scenery

06Locational Advantages

a. Proximity to Major Markets

Kyoto enjoys a locational advantages within Japan, situated in the Kansai region, which includes major cities like Osaka and Kobe. The location provides access to a combined population of over 20 million people, making the city an ideal hub for businesses targeting both domestic and international markets. Furthermore, Kyoto is just a short Shinkansen (bullet train) ride away from Tokyo, Japan's economic and political center.

b. Gateway to Asia

Kyoto's proximity to Asia's burgeoning markets is a significant advantage. With well-developed transportation infrastructure such as Kansai International Airport, global companies can efficiently connect with Asian markets including China, India, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. The geographical advantage enhances supply chain efficiency and facilitates international trade.



Global companies seeking growth, innovation, and international opportunities will find Kyoto to be an ideal destination that combines tradition and modernity, fostering both business success and personal well-being. As the city continues to evolve and adapt to global business needs, the advantages of investing in Kyoto become more apparent and enticing.

For further inquiries or assistance in exploring business opportunities in Kyoto, please do not hesitate to contact us. Kyoto stands ready to welcome and support global companies in quest of success and prosperity in Japan and beyond.


city of kyoto

Business Attraction Promotion Office Industry and Tourism Bureau



京都市 産業観光局 企業誘致推進室