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Kyoto and Doshisha University

Kyoto: Where Traditional Meets Modern


Since it was founded in 1989, KCJS has been based in Kyoto. KCJS offers students the unique opportunity to study and live in a culturally rich environment and to explore the heart of Japan.

As the country’s old capital, Kyoto is brimming with historical monuments, temples and shrines that you may have read about in history textbooks or in literary works. As a Kyoto resident and through field trips in your subject courses, you will develop a special affinity for and a more nuanced understanding of the breadth and depth of their history.


While traditional styles remain strong, Kyoto also has a modern face. In department stores, specialized shops and restaurants throughout the city, you can observe firsthand how traditional arts and crafts and cuisine incorporate modern tastes.

With its unique atmosphere in which the present and the past are interwoven, and where peaceful, serene sites of historical and religious significance are nestled amongst vibrant, contemporary shopping and dining districts, Kyoto is an exceptionally welcoming and comfortable place that you will come to call home.


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About Doshisha University


Doshisha University’s Imadegawa campus, where KCJS is located, is bounded on the south by the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) and to the northeast by the Shokoku-ji Temple. There is a subway station (Imadegawa) directly underneath the campus, which makes your commute and trips to the city center very easy. City buses regularly stop in front of the campus, too.

KCJS is housed in the Fusokan building on the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University. KCJS students have access to on-campus facilities including the main library, computer labs, cafeteria, and university Co-op bookstore, stationery shop, travel agency, and convenience store.


(left) Clarke Memorial Hall, one of the historic buildings on the Doshisha campus
(right) Fusokan building, where KCJS is located



Originally established in 1875 as Doshisha Eigakko (Academy) by Joseph Hardy Neesima, Doshisha University has always been regarded as one of the top private universities in Japan. Neesima studied at Phillips Academy and Amherst College after defying an overseas travel ban and leaving for the United States in 1864. After graduating from college, he entered a seminary and learned the importance of conscience and liberty according to Christian values. With this experience, Neesima returned to Japan with a strong ambition to establish a Christian university. Neesima died in 1890, at the age of 46, without fulfilling his dream, but others who shared his ambition finally established Doshisha University in 1912.

Currently, Doshisha University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The university comprises 14 undergraduate programs, 31 departments, The Center for Japanese Language and Culture, and 16 graduate schools including two professional schools (the law school and graduate school of business), and has a student body of over 29,000 students. Some of these students enroll in KCJS subject classes in the afternoons, and also participate in our conversation partner program. Moreover, as a KCJS student, you may also have the opportunity through our Community Involvement Project or “CIP” to participate in a Doshisha “circle” or university club, and get to know your Japanese peers while also polishing your Japanese conversational skills.

For more information about Doshisha University, please visit the official website.

(clockwise from top left) Ryoshinkan (view from Karasuma-dori), inside of Ryoshinkan, Multimedia Lounge in Learning Commons, one of the open plaza areas

(clockwise from top left) Cafeteria, beverage section of the convenience store, bookstore, snack section of the convenience store

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Comments from alumni about living and studying in Kyoto

“KCJS was still one of the most wonderful times of my life. Part of it was Kyoto itself—it is a city filled with a high level of artistic study, celebration, and exploration pervading its entire historical existence, and the importance of this one city to ideas in art is never-ending. If you want to be involved in the arts at KCJS, you merely need to exist in Kyoto and you will form a thousand connections that stay with you for your life, and I have lived out dreams because of them. The immersive study of and fluency in the Japanese language, too, is a pretty rare thing for any student, and that too continues to be valuable throughout my work and life nearly a decade later.” – KCJS 15 (2003-2004)

“My year in Kyoto was a gift—a year of intense study in a magical city. The year really solidified my language skills and gave me the confidence to spend the first few chapters of my career in Asia.” – KCJS 05 (1993-1994)

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Tell Me About KCJS

Alumni Talk over Zoom

Online Language Exchange Partners and Japanese Langauge Table

KCJS Students in Action

Request a

KCJS Summer Programs


Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement

606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027 USA
Tel: 212-854-2559
Fax: 212-854-5164
Email: uge@columbia.edu

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム

Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580 JAPAN

同志社大学 扶桑館2F

Tel: 075-251-4995
Tel: (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300
Fax: (+81-75-229-6300)
Email: fs2244@columbia.edu