Interview with a Foreign Family living in Kyoto!
I interviewed Mr. Mike, who has lived in Kyoto for 20 years!
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Michael Wyckoff from Canada. I have been living in Japan for 20 years. My wife is from France and we have two young children, ages 3 and 1 and a dog. My hobbies are playing softball and photography.
What brought you to Japan/Kyoto?
I first came to Japan as a high school exchange student. I had a great time and didn’t want to go back. Kyoto is a very easy place to live as a young person and I fell in love with the history and culture, I mean for example Gion Festival and Japanese people’s polite manners, and so on. There are so many things that draw me close to Kyoto and Japan.
The second time I came to Japan was in 1998 for 1 year as an exchange student, and that was the first year I started to participate in the Gion festival.
First time was 1997 for two weeks I’ve visited Kyoto with my school. Then I moved to Kyoto permanently in 2001 after my university
Why did you decide to live in Kyoto?
As I said Kyoto is a very easy place to live. I found that getting work in the city was quite easy, often times you simply had to walk into a place and ask if they had any extra work. There was no interview process at the time so it was quite easy going and fun.
Where are your and your children’s favorite places to play/visit in Kyoto?
I live nearby Fushimi Castle which is always free to enter so we often go there. I also think Umekoji park is fun as it’s also free. I also like to go to the Kamo River in the spring and autumn as it is spacious and relaxing.
Which restaurants in Kyoto do you recommend for foreign families with kids?
What Japanese foods do you like?
I like all Japanese food except “natto” and “amazake.” My kids love “okonomiyaki.”
natto: Fermented Soybeans. It is sticky and has a unique smell.
amazake: Fermented rice drink
What would you like to share about Kyoto?
Please use the subway as much as possible because the buses are way over crowded! There are many many places that are a little bit far from downtown yet so beautiful to visit as they are still unspoiled. I would avoid the bamboo forest, and instead maybe visit Daruma Temple, near Enmachi station.
More information about Daruma and Daruma Temple.
Mr. Mike really loves the Japanese culture.
He enjoys life in Kyoto with his lovely wife and children.
Thank you so much, Mr. Mike!