My first week experience in Kyoto. !!

It’s been almost a week in Kyoto. Kyoto is beautiful city, full with tradition festivals and beautiful shrines. I now live in north part of Kyoto which is a bit far from central Kyoto and closer to Ritsumeikan University. It’s situated on the hill and surrounded by a small forest. So far, I have experienced both some challenges and interesting moments in Kyoto.


My first challenge was exchanging money at the Osaka airport. I exchanged some amount of Japanese Yen in Edinburgh. However, I had British sterling notes to exchange which includes both English and Scottish notes. Unfortunately, I could exchange only English notes because they didn’t accept Scottish ones. 😦 . I could withdraw money only in some areas in the city and there is no ATM near my apartment. 😦 . However, I could managed to withdraw money when I went to city centre. 🙂

Climate change,
The climate of Kyoto is very humid. I find hard to manage living with this climate and adjusting my sleeping time is quite difficult too. I could sleep just few hours and wake up in the middle of the night. So, I feel a bit exhausted in the afternoon. 😦 . Hope I will be used to this weather and get good sleep soon. 🙂

Communication with some local Japanese people,
Some local Japanese people have difficulties in understanding and speaking English even people who are working in local mini market. As I know just basic Japanese, it’s a little difficult to communicate with them in Japanese. I also had difficulty when I commuted from my apartment to other parts of Kyoto. I was lost when I went into Kyoto central area. 😦 . Now, I am getting better in finding ways out. 🙂

Very good experiences,

I feel really great being in this historical city Kyoto and studying at Ritsumeikan University. The university itself has rich culture of individuality and international awareness, peaceful and very welcoming environment for students is simply amazing. Spending time with my new friends, visiting to Peace Museum of Ritsumeikan University and Kinkaku-ji temple was splendid.

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I am super exciting to participate in upcoming Uni projects such as wearing Yukata in one of the most famous festival “Geon Matsuri”, Furoshiki wrapping workshop, Kiyomizu Pottery workshop, Taiko drum workshop and more… 🙂

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I am really surprised when I found a few small shops when I walked around near the village I now live in. The shop was displayed with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, chiles and so on.. but unattended. There is a small box to put money in it. I have never seen such a shop before and when I saw it at my first sight, I was asking a few questions by myself as such what if somebody took vegetables without putting money in the box; is there anyone buying those vegetables? Finally, I assume that there are people who buy those as the owner has displayed in that way and appreciated honesty and high morality of people who live around there. After thinking about it, I feel safe to live in this kind of environment. It was a great walk.

Although some Japanese people have difficulties to communicate with me in English, they are very kind and helpful. They approached me and offered me help when I was looking for some places to go in the map. They guided me which bus to take and where I should go. They tried to explain me both Japanese and English as much as they could. That’s so nice. I had amazing experience in one evening. When I came back from central Kyoto, I had to change a few buses to get home. There were no more buses going to my home after 11 midnight. On one evening, when I arrived to the bus stop where I had to change one more bus to home, I couldn’t catch the last bus. So, I had to either walk or take taxi. However, my house is a little far from that bus stop to walk. When I was standing at the bus stop, a young Japanese girl approached me and asked me if I am ok. So, we walked and had a short conversation. After a while, she told me that she has a spare bike which she is not using at all and she sincerely lend me that bike without expecting anything from me.


How amazing and surprised !!!! I was really surprised and appreciated her kindness and help. Finally, we exchange email address and went home. In the next day, we contacted and she took me to Japanese traditional restaurant, advised me where I should visited and shared our experiences and laughter. I had really memorable experience. 🙂

I Hope you all are having great time too. I will update more experiences of mine and upload photos in next week. Good luck and take care.


Won Maung Thein

Categories: Japan, Ritsumeikan, Study Asia: Summer ScholarshipsTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. Hi win glad you got your money sorted out. Its a lot of rubbish them not excepting Scottish money im sorry you had to go through all that worry. That’s a good enough reason for me to vote for an independent Scotland, our money is as good as England. I’m really happy to hear from you, your photos and letter was a nice surprise for me. I’m not very good with techno stuff and found your letter by mistake. Your writing is so good i forget YOUR A BLOODY FOREIGNER LOL. missing texting you , but im getting the hang of the keyboard now! Pleased that you have made some friends and you are getting out and about.
    We are just back from the beach with Zoe , what a laugh i had, Ian was throwing her favorite toy for her and she kept bringing it back until he threw out into the water, well she just looked at him, with a face saying you go fetch it, The tide was going out taken the toy with it. So Ian stripped down to his pants in front of everyone who were laughing and waded into the sea.The water was up to his neck but he got the toy back, and i could see Zoe smiling.
    Ive been busy working to cover holidays, so Im pleased Im keeping well. High as a kite and with lots of energy ive been changing my garden ,it really needed a makeover. When you come home you will see its changed.
    Weather has been sunny here and we went to Varis and James for his birthday bbq. It was fun. We will have one for you when you get back.
    Sending you hugs x : ) Lynn

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