There are so many fun places to explore when attending Kansai Gaidai. Being only a 30-minute train ride from two of the largest cities in Japan, makes for a huge list of things to do!
Both Kyoto and Osaka have great but very different dynamics. Osaka has an exciting city life with tons of arcades, restaurants, and shopping areas to go explore. While Kyoto has beautiful temples and traditional culture that is great to immerse yourself.
Hirakata, the home of Kansai Gaidai, is a quaint city with lots of night life activities and great food. It is a diverse mix between cultural integration and traditional Japanese lifestyle. At Hirakata-shi (Hirakata Train Station) there are a plethora of shops and great places to eat, but it is also a gateway to traveling to all sorts of areas around Midwest Japan.
If you’re wondering about the best places to find popular Japanese fashion, you’ve come to the right place. The two closest and best places to shop in Hirakata are Nitori Mall and the Kuzuha Mall in the northern part of Hirakata.
ABOUT KANSAI GAIDAI:
Kansai Gaidai has two different campuses: Nakamiya Campus and Gotenyama Campus (new). Both are very picturesque places to attend classes and live. The Nakamiya campus is the first campus that was built for Kansai Gaidai. It has a McDonald’s, Starbucks, and more great places to eat on campus, plus a great Indian restaurant across the street called New Delhi.
The new campus, Gotenyama, was just recently built in Spring 2018. It has an amazing dorm life with single person bedrooms, high quality kitchen with all necessary kitchen appliances, and some great common areas to hang out, do homework, and socialize. They also have a karaoke room on campus that you can rent out, plus a beautiful garden area that is great to lounge around at for lunch breaks or during time. You can check out more pictures of their dorm life here!
GREAT EATS AND GROCERY STORES:
(I’ll attach a map of where all of these are located)
- 業務スーパーTAKENOKO枚方西禁野店 – One of the local grocery stores near Hirakata-shi
- ラーメンどさん子大将 都丘店 – Delicious ramen shop near Gotenyama Campus
- ハッピース枚方 (Happies) – Another local grocery store
- New Delhi 枚方店 – Local Indian restaurant
- アミューズメントスペース (Ring Amusement) – A great hang out place with arcade games and bar games
- Cheers Jr. – One of the most lively and fun bars
- Sancra Bar & Café – Another great bar with great food and drinks
- オーマイカレー – Curry Shop in Hirakata Station
USEFUL APPS AND RESOURCES:
- Google Maps – this has all the necessary train and bus routes you’ll need to navigate around Japan
- Shirabe Jisho – a useful dictionary for all those tricky Japanese characters (you can also draw it out if need be)
- Duolingo – to keep practicing your Japanese language skills
- LINE – this is a very popular app within the student life in Japan. You’ll most definitely need this, because everyone will be asking you for it
- Peach Airlines – they have some of the cheapest domestic flights within Japan
- ICOCA Bus/Train Card – This useful (and cute) card will be your best friend during your stay in Japan. The pass is a reloadable money card that you can scan for all your bus and train fees as your traveling. I highly recommend this card, instead of having to buy a ticket for every station you go to.