About Kyoto, Shiga Kusatsu and Osaka Ibaraki
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan with over 1,200 years of history, is surrounded on three sides by mountains. The city has served as the heart of culture in Japan for many years and it is now considered one of the most well known and inviting international cities in the world, welcoming more than ten million foreign tourists per year.
Not only is the city home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Nijo Castle, there are also more than 2,000 shrines and temples in Kyoto. Kyoto can also be enjoyed during each of the four seasons, with picturesque pink cherry blossoms followed by lush green leaves in spring, local cuisine served on decks known as “Kawa-doko” above the river in summer, deep red leaves in autumn and snowscape in winter.
While everything a university student could need is available in Kyoto, when you are ready for a change of scenery, Kobe and Osaka are both located within a 60-minute train ride. The Tokaido Shinkansen Line also makes travel to Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Hakata easy.
Ritsumeikan University has two campuses in Kyoto, Kinugasa campus, close to Kinkaku-ji temple and Suzaku campus, close to Nijo Castle.
Directions to Kinkaku-ji from Kinugasa Campus:
5 minutes by taxi or 15 to 20-minute walk. To get there on foot, turn right at the exit of the main gate of Ritsumeikan (near the bus loop), and follow the main road for approximately 1 km, the entrance to Kinkaku-ji will be on the left side.
Directions to Nijo Castle from Suzaku Campus:
Take the subway from Nijo Station to Nijojo-mae Station. The castle is directly next to the station. By foot, the castle can be reached from Suzaku in about 15 minutes by walking approximately 150 meter north and turning east on Oshikoji Street (wide East-West street, located approximately 100 meters north of Nijo Station). After walking along the castle wall and mote for about 500 meters, the entrance will appear on your left just around the corner.
Kusatsu was an important transportation hub during the Edo period, with special luxury inns for people of the privileged upper class. Kusatsu is located within Shiga prefecture, and the surrounding area is home to Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. The culture of Shiga can be experienced at historical locations like Hikone Castle and Ishiyama Temple, where the famous novel The Tale of Genji was written about 1000 years ago. Its industrial advancement is showcased by the technological centers of companies such as Panasonic, Fujitech and Murata Manufacturing. Ritsumeikan University Biwako-Kusatsu Campus is adjacent to a large Panasonic factory and residential area, and also located near the Meishin Expressway, Kusatsu-Tanakami Interchange. From Biwako-Kusatsu Campus, Ishiyama Temple is one of the best nearby destinations for a quick visit.
Directions to Ishiyama Temple from Biwako Kusatsu Campus:
Take the JR Tokaido line (also known as Kyoto line) from Minamikusatsu Station to Ishiyama Station. From there, ride for 10 minutes on a bus displaying one of the following destinations: “石山団地”, “新浜”, “大石”, “南郷二丁目東”.
Ibaraki city is located between Kyoto and Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city. While having many ancient tombs including the Oda Chausuyama-kofun Burial Mound (Mausoleum of Emperor Keitai), the city is well supplied with commercial districts, supermarkets and large shopping centers near the stations and across the city. The northern part of Ibaraki city is filled with scenic nature including the Oinosaka mountain range and Tanba Plateau.
Ritsumeikan University Osaka Ibaraki Campus is built in an urban area situated in the southern half of the city.
There are also many parks and areas of greenery within the city, one of which being the remarkable Expo ’70 Commemorative Park.
Directions to the Oda Chausuyama-kofun Burial Mound from Osaka Ibaraki Campus:
From JR Ibaraki Station, ride for about 30 minutes on a bus displaying “Hanazono Towaen-bound” operated by Kintetsu Bus to the bus stop “Oda”.
Directions to the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park from Osaka Ibaraki Campus:
Take the Osaka Monorail from Unobe Station to Banpaku Kinen Koen Station. The transit takes about 3 minutes.