Kyoto vs. Tokyo: where to relocate with a family

Kyoto and Tokyo are very different cities and if you haven’t visited either, comparing them might seem pointless. Both cities have served as the Japan’s capital, Kyoto earlier and Tokyo now. Tokyo is a glittering megacity, while Kyoto emits a more provincial charm, defined by bamboo forests and ancient temples, rather than skyscrapers and subway lines. However, both of those descriptions are over-simplistic. Tokyo also has got history and tranquility. and Kyoto is in no way a small city. They have their differences, as well as their similarities. If you are thinking about whether you should relocate your family to Kyoto vs Tokyo, read about the advantages both cities have to offer. We at Kokusai Moving Express have come up with a list of characteristics of both cities. Read it and then you can decide which city is more appropriate for your family.

Japan at night which is one of the things you should see if you decide to move there
Tokyo is a vibrant city of bright lights and many opportunities

Traditional Kyoto vs. modern Tokyo

Tokyo was almost entirely destroyed during the aerial bombing in World War II, so there are hardly any traditional buildings left. Kyoto was almost entirely spared during the war, so the traditional buildings were spared and there are many of them. Kyoto experienced air raids 6 times, while Tokyo experienced air raids 104 times during World War II. Tokyo is the political and economic capital of Japan, so it’s much more modern and vibrant. Kyoto, on the other hand, is a quieter city, full of Japan’s traditional culture. So, if you prefer the bustling atmosphere of a modern and busy city, choose Tokyo. If you, however, favor tradition and being surrounded by the spirit of history, Kyoto is the city for you.

Cheaper Kyoto vs. more expensive Tokyo

Cost of living in Kyoto is around 30% less expensive than in Tokyo. That includes housing costs, whether you are renting or buying property. Transport expenses are also lesser in Kyoto vs. Tokyo, partly because Kyoto is a much smaller city. When you are moving your entire family, you will probably try to cut the expenses as much as possible. That is a rational aim, but don’t let it be the main factor when deciding where to move, if you can. You want your family to love their new city and be happy. Take everything else into consideration when deciding Kyoto vs Tokyo and then prepare your family for the relocation.

Two men on bicycles
Many people in Kyoto prefer using bicycles to get around.


Tokyo is famous for its train network that offers extremely punctual and fast train rides. A lot of use the train as their main form of transportation daily. But, navigating the complicated mess of tracks can be difficult and it will take you some time to master it.

In Kyoto you also have the option of riding the train. But, many people there prefer to use bicycles or city buses to get around. With the relatively flat landscape, bike riding is very popular. As we mentioned earlier, Kyoto is a compact city, much smaller than Tokyo, making buses or bicycles much more suitable.


When it comes to enjoying nature spots and Kyoto vs. Tokyo, there is simply no contest! Tokyo does have its fair share of city parks and green spaces, like Todoroki Ravine Park and Meiji Jingu shrine and its surrounding woodland. However, its modern metropolis simply takes over, making it a city of mostly concrete and steel.

To the contrary, Kyoto seems to have retained that sense of natural greenery and open space. The beautiful Arashiyama area of Kyoto and the surrounding hills are very close to the city. If you and your family love spending time in nature and consider that a priority, living in Kyoto will probably be more appealing for you.

Cherry blossom in front of the Japanese temple
Kyoto is the place where beautiful nature and rich history meet

Tokyo In a Nutshell

Much like all major capitals around the globe, Tokyo is an entity within itself, standing out from the rest of Japan. Tokyo is on the cutting edge of technology, modernity and internationalism. Japan’s government, media, leading institutions, and corporations are concentrated mostly in Tokyo. That is what makes this city so full of opportunity and many people find success there. Tokyo is fantastic for anyone working in technology, computing, or engineering. Animation and art are also booming industries there. Finally, Tokyo is famous for its automotive and robotics industries. If you specialize in any of these areas, there will be plenty of job openings for you to apply for. If this sounds like the right choice for you and you want to move to Tokyo from another country don’t hesitate. Pick the right moving company that offers international freight forwarding and start your new life with your family in Tokyo.

Kyoto In a Nutshell

Kyoto is in many ways the perfect Japanese city. It holds onto its beautiful nature and historical past. With it being untouched by the hands of time or war, it hasn’t lost any of its Japanese subtleties. It is a city that has dodged the bright lights, while still managing to welcome the rest of the world. Despite being one of the ancient capitals of Japan, the city is well maintained with up-to-date facilities. Of course, there are downsides to living in Kyoto as well. For example, there is always a huge number of tourists. Also, Kyoto tends to be very hot and humid in summer, and very cold in winter. If these little things don’t scare you but everything else sounds just right for you and your family, Kyoto is the answer. Just choose a reliable moving company to handle cargo export and you’ll be on your way.

Kyoto vs. Tokyo – conclusion

Kyoto vs. Tokyo is a dilemma between two very good options. Consider everything we mentioned above and we are sure you will make the right decision for your family. Whether you choose to move to Kyoto or Tokyo, your family will live in one of the best and safest cities in the world. Happy choosing!

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