This combined metropolitan area of three cities, Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe (also known as Keihanshin) is home to over 19 million people and contains seven universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017. The combined GDP of the area is so strong that if it was a country, it would be within the top 20 of the world’s economies.
The former capital of Imperial Japan, Kyoto is one of the country’s leading destinations for both tourists and international students, second only to capital Tokyo. Kyoto University is currently the second-highest ranked institution in Japan, at joint 37th in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017.
For those who want to study in Japan but feel overwhelmed by the size and pace of Tokyo, Kyoto offers city life on a smaller scale, with plenty of opportunities to explore both traditional and modern Japanese culture – from beautiful Buddhist temples, to all-night karaoke bars and an eclectic selection of pubs and clubs.
Around 40km from Kyoto, Osaka has a long history of being an international gateway for trade, politics and knowledge. Today, it remains a key economic and cultural hub, with a large and diverse population and an economy bigger than some entire countries. It offers a good selection of art exhibitions, live music and drama, as well as being known for its excellent and varied cuisine. Universities in Osaka also hold their own, with Osaka University placing joint 63rd in the QS World University Rankings.
The sixth-largest city in Japan, Kobe is the capital of the Hyōgo Prefecture, and is home to Kobe University, which ranks 369th in the world. Around 1.5 million people live in Kobe, which is located about 30km west of Osaka, in a picturesque location wedged between the sea and the Rokko mountain range. It is another vibrant cosmopolitan city and strong economic hub, with international companies such as Nestlé and Procter & Gamble having bases here.
Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe appears in the top 10 in the new Student View category (reflecting the results of our student survey) which shows that students certainly enjoy their experience in these cities, and are often keen to stay after graduation.
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Internationally ranked universities in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
More about Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
Number of universities ranked by QS
Kyoto University (joint 37th)
Average international fees (at ranked unis)
Employer Activity rank
Student Experience rank
To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.