Osaka is the second largest city of Japan and a major economic hub. It lies at the west side of Japan, at the mouth of the Yodo river. It is one of the most innovative cities in Asia and has a university that is held in very high regard globally. The Japanese culture is radically different from the Western society we live in, which shows in many aspects. One of those is the way day-to-day business is conducted, which will be an experience our students will never forget. Amazing firms like Panasonic and Daihatsu are based in Osaka as well along with a number of interesting startup promoters like the Osaka Innovation Hub and Osaka Entrepreneur Bootcamp. As Osaka has been on the top list of the SSU for years, it is a great opportunity to finally visit Japan this year.
Kyoto is the former capital of Japan. The City of Ten Thousand Shrines is regarded as the cultural heart of classic Japan. It was spared during WW II, meaning that the former glory of this great city still stands tall. Pre-modern Japan can be experienced for instance by visiting the historic Golden Pavilion, walking through the Gion, the most famous geisha district of Kyoto, and experiencing excellent local cuisine. Kyoto is also home to several well known firms, such as Nintendo and Kyocera. Furthermore, Kyoto University scores 26th on the Shanghai Ranking and Kyoto scored 5th in Asia on the Global Innovation Cities Index 2014.