RLP ReportResidential Learning Program (RLP) On-site Report Vol.1

〜 Theme: Living in the local community  Session 1 “Learn about Kamigyo Ward” 〜

Residential Learning Program (RLP) is compulsory for all the students living in the Keishiryo Dormitory.
How is the program being operated to increase creativity and collaboration among the dormitory residents?
Below is the on-site report of the very first RLP session.
We interviewed two dormitory residents in attendance and asked what they thought of the program.

Student interviewees

Kyoto has been my dream city since high school, and I’m excited about getting involved in it not as a tourist but as a resident.

2nd year in the Department of Global and Regional Studies
Faculty of Global and Regional Studies



By learning more about Kamigyo Ward where Doshisha University and the Keishiryo Dormitory are located, I want to find out about the town planning ideas that are possible only in Kamigyo.

1st year in the Department of
Faculty of Economics



Lecture starts

Today’s lecture was held in the Keishiryo Dormitory workshop room, inviting Mr. YAMASHITA Masahiro, chief of the Kamigyo Ward Urban Renewal Promotion Division, as the speaker. Mr. Yamashita is a specialist with a deep knowledge of the culture and history of Kamigyo Ward, taking charge of the promotion of vitalization of local communities.

1st Half

About “History”

In the first half of the lecture, Mr. Yamashita introduced by period how the townscape of Kamigyo Ward has changed through battles, commercial activities and disasters over years, from the Heian period when the capital was moved to Kyoto to the present day after the capital relocation to Tokyo. Having been the political center of Japan for over a thousand years, Kamigyo Ward has many traces of its long history engraved in place names and existing buildings today.

MoeIn his talk, Mr. Yamashita mentioned many times names of people and places that I learned in history class, and I was thrilled with the realization that I now live right in the middle of a place where numerous historically important events took place. It made me want to walk around the town and to visit some places of historical events.

2nd Half

About “Culture”

The second half explored the cultural features of Kamigyo Ward. According to Mr. Yamashita, many of the unique features of Kamigyo Ward are rooted in the traditional court culture. Even trivial information that seemed unrelated to traditional culture, such as “there are no chain cafes in Kamigyo Ward” and “Kamigyo Ward has once ranked first nationwide in terms of bread consumption,” turned out to have deep historical relations as we explored them in more detail.

KenjiroI was very intrigued by the efforts of Kamigyo Ward to utilize its old townscape effectively, such as recommending newly opening cafes and shops to use empty houses. I would like to participate in local events as much as possible in order to preserve its good old culture.



In response to the question “Why does Kamigyo Ward attract tourists even to narrow alleys set back from the main streets?” Mr. Yamashita analyzed that “there are many long-established stores in narrow alleys, and they are attracting people even though they are off the main streets.”
The knowledge gained from the lecture will surely help the participants make more new discoveries while they live in Kamigyo Ward.


Lecture ends

After the first RLP session

OSAWA MoeThis lecture gave me a range of knowledge about the history and culture of Kamigyo Ward. I want to learn more deeply about this town because it’s right where we live and study. In future RLP sessions, I hope to gain firsthand knowledge as I explore the neighborhood myself and interact with people of the community. I have been interested in a variety of social issues since high school, and the reason I decided to live in the Keishiryo Dormitory was also because I want to acquire a broad perspective and mindset which will help me to contribute to society. I hope to gain more knowledge and experiences through RLP so that I can take initiatives in solving social issues in the future.

TANIGUCHI KenjiroBefore entering this dormitory I already had an impression that Kyoto was unlike any other place, but now that I live here, my feeling that Kyoto is “special” has become stronger. I had thought that it would be because it’s a famous tourist destination and has many foreign residents, but today’s lecture made me feel that its accumulated history and culture are at the core of what makes Kyoto look “special.” As I grew up in a planned town, I’m fascinated by a town like Kamigyo Ward, where traditional culture remains and there is a strong bond among local residents. In future RLP sessions, I am looking forward to meeting people of the local community and hear what they think about the city of Kyoto.

Learning about the history and culture of Kamigyo Ward in this lecture seems to have raised the awareness of the participants as Kamigyo residents and inspired them to think about the meaning of living in harmony with local residents. Keishiryo Dormitory RLP is held periodically and is scheduled to offer opportunities for students to enlighten themselves on various themes including disaster prevention, environmental management and multicultural society.