Learn Art in Kyoto

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Learn Art in Kyoto

Learn Art in Kyoto

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An Introduction to Kyoto’s Art Universities

Kyoto City University of Arts

Summary of the University

The Kyoto City University of Arts , dubbed “Kyo-Gei” or “Kyoto Geidai”, is a public art university located in Oeda, Kutsukake cho, Nishikyo ward. It is expected to transfer locations closer to Kyoto Station in 2023.

In the year 1880, Kyoto City University of Arts began as the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting, thereby earning its status as the oldest art college in Japan. 140 years after its founding, having steeped in the richness of Kyoto’s artistic climate, Kyoto City University of Arts has produced countless internationally acclaimed artists and designers who operate both within and without Japan. Contributing directly to the world’s artistic environment, these artists have drawn the global eye towards the importance of Kyoto and the Kyoto City University of Arts in particular.

Points to Consider

  • Kyoto City University of Arts is expected to transfer to a campus near Kyoto Station in 2023.
  • There are some options for international research students to enter the undergraduate departments without taking the technical examination. However, the acceptance of international students is generally restricted to those pursuing a Master’s program.
    (These are required to take the same national examination and technical examination as Japanese students.)

Kyoto Seika University

Summary of the University

A private school located in Iwakura, Sakyo ward, Seika University (Seika Dai or simply Seika for short) is approximately 10 minutes away from the Kyoto International Conference Center by bus.

The university as it stands today was started in 196 8, with an emphasis on promoting the ideals of humanity and autonomy; it is also known as the first Japanese university to dedicate an entire department to manga (Japanese comics) as a disciplinary art form.
In the midst of an abundance of nature on ca m p us, students explore the meaning of diversity and its special importance in leading the world of art and design.
In cooperation with the City of Kyoto, Seika University has also opened the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and continues to be a forerunner in the production, development, preservation, and research of manga and other media.

Points to Consider

  • True to its school policies, the population of students attending Seika University is very diverse: roughly 15 % of students enrolled are international. Seika is also active in cooperating with schools and colleges abroad, with 25 partner colleges in 13 different countries.
  • Seika University is a productive and encouraging environment for students, promoting them to be active and passionate in their artistic research.
  • Bridging traditional and modern values in developing artistic media, Seika University links Kyoto to the global artistic community.

Kyoto University of Art and Design

Summary of the University

Located in Sakyo ward, the privately run Kyoto University of Art and Design is expected to be renamed “Kyoto University of Art” in April of 2020.

Founded on a core philosophy of building the nation on an artistic foundation, Kyoto University of Art and Design aims to develop independently-minded individuals who are capable of societal leadership. With an array of disciplines including but not limited to painting, design, movie production, theatre, and literature, Kyoto University of Art and Design boasts a solid and yet diverse system of 13 departments and 23 courses, all of which emphasize societal development and real-world practice. The employment rate of graduates is numbered at 91.1 %, the highest out of all Japanese art universities (as of March 2018).

Points to Consider

  • Kyoto University of Art and Design has taken the lead in developing a program for the implementation of art on a societal level.
  • Programs include working on projects with acclaimed artists.
  • The variety of departments and courses offered by Kyoto University of Art and Design is a feature that sets it apart from m any art universities.

Kyoto Saga University of Arts

Summary of the University

Located in the city of Kyoto near the breathtaking Arashiyam a, Kyoto Saga University of Arts (known as Saga Bi), was founded as a junior college in 1971 and rechartered in 2001.

The university offers a robust design education, ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge in artistic expression, and carefully nurtures each student’s individual strengths and talents. With a focus on small classroom settings, Kyoto Saga University of Arts raises the next generation of artists who are able to produce work of lasting and universal value, transcendent of place and time.

Also offering a 2 year program for those students looking to develop specialized artistic skill sets, there are additional courses in uniquely Japanese arts such as tea ceremony and flower arranging.

Points to Consider

  • Kyoto Saga University of Arts offers a flexible variety of options, including a 2 year program, and 4 year program, and a master's degree program.
  • Ensures personal atrium space for students to work in.
  • Historic treasures such as Ten-Ryu Temple, Daikaku Temple, Koke Temple, and Matsuo Shrine are easily accessible from campus.

Seian University of Art and Design

Summary of the University

Despite its location in Otsu City of the neighboring Shiga Prefecture, the privately owned Seian University of Art and Design hails from its predecessor of the same name in Kyoto, thereby including it as a member of Kyoto art universities.

With an educational philosophy of societal contribution through artistic practice, Seian also emphasizes small classroom settings and an inter-disciplinary approach to art education. Because these attributes enable it to address each student’s individual needs, Seian provides students with a uniquely warm campus atmosphere in which to work and thrive. By prioritizing personal direction, education directed towards actual practice, and career support, Seian University of Art and Design ensures that individual students achieve their artistic career goals.

Points to Consider

  • Seian University of Art and Design is 20 minutes away from Kyoto Station by train.
  • Offers a wide selection of disciplines, with 6 departments and 21 specialized courses.
  • Also offers generous grants to students of exceptional ability, determined by critique in the pencil still-life technical examination.

Kyoto Institute of Technology, Department of Crafts, Field of Design

Summary of the University

A public university located in Matsugasaki, Sakyo ward, the technological institute dubbed “Ko- Sen” also boats thriving design and architecture programs, all of which are highly evaluated amongst universities centered in engineering and technology.


Kyoto University of Education, Department of Pedago gy, Field of Art Education

Summary of the University

A public university called “Kyo-Kyo” located in Fukakusa, Fushimi ward. With a heavy emphasis on art pedagogy, courses such as painting, design, and sculpture are offered.


Kyoto Prefectural University, Faculty of Human Life Science, Field of Environmental Design

Summary of the University

A public university dubbed “Fu Ritsu Dai”, located in Shimogamo, Sakyo ward. Programs such as architecture, interior design, and product design are offered in addition to general courses.


Kyoto University of Arts and Crafts

Summary of the University

Located in Sonobe, Nantan City of Kyoto Prefecture, the trade school dubbed “Kyo Bi” offers specialized courses in crafts and architecture.


Kyoto Women’s University, Department of Home Economics, Field of Lifestyle Design

Summary of the University

A private women’s university dubbed “Kyo Jyo” located in Imakumano, Higashiyam a ward, programs such as design, apparel, and architecture are offered.


Choosing a School Based on Programs

For students interested in Manga and Character Design:

Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Seian University of Art and Design

pick up  Kyoto Seika University

Having established the first Department of Manga, Seika University offers a wide variety of courses which continue to boast the unwavering popularity of its students.


For students interested in Japanese Traditional Painting:

Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Kyoto University of Art and Design

pick up Kyoto City University of Arts

Students interested in studying Japan’s oldest art form need look no further than Kyoto’s oldest art university, where they can share in 140 years’ worth of artistic knowledge and expertise. This university prides itself on its number of acclaimed alumni.


For students interested in Creative Studies:

Seian University of Art and Design, Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Kyoto University of Art and Design

pick up Seian University of Art and Design

By learning in an environment stressing localization and real-world learning, students gain and develop such invaluable skills as management and problem-solving.


For students interested in Design:

Kyoto University of Art and Design, Kyoto Seika University

pick up Kyoto University of Arts and Design

Not only are the design courses offered at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design especially diverse, students also have the unique opportunity of learning from and working directly alongside world-class artists.


For students interested in learning in a Small Group Environment:

Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Seian University of Art and Design

pick up Kyoto Saga University of Arts

Kyoto Saga University of Arts offers the dual advantages of having a small classroom system as well as specialized courses leading up until master's program.