To our future residents
I opened Expo House in 2007 because I wanted to make friends with foreigners and exchange students, cook, eat, go to the bathhouse and enjoy life with new friends. My first tenant was an exchange student from the Philippines. I had a lot on my mind in those days and when I came home he would often greet me with a cup of hot tea and listen to my stories. We were neither family nor friends, but to me he was the most awesome sharemate. Even now we keep in contact and I sometimes go visit his Family in the Philippines. Since then, many people from different countries, as well as many Japanese, have come to live here. The time spent living together might be short, but I'm always happy to see that even after parting ways former sharemates are still keeping in touch, with some even becoming friends for life. That's the kind of living space I would like to continue creating for everybody.
Expo House Manager
I spent two unforgettable years of high school in the US learning English and playing basketball every day. During my stay, my host family took me in like a real member of the family. Afterwards, I enrolled in Ritsumeikan University, where about half of the students were exchange students from abroad. I really enjoyed my time spent with such a culturally diverse group of people as we played sports together and held events. After graduation I entered the Japanese defence force. Life on the base lacked the freedom I was used to - I would have to ask for permission to go out after work and on days off. However, as I slept, ate, bathed and worked alongside my fellow colleagues and seniors it gave me an experience that I could never have imagined if I was working in an office. Living in a share house is not the same as living by yourself. While sharehouse life can create nervousness around living with others and cultural differences, I want to turn that around and create a place at Expo House where in 10 or 20 years time people will reflect and be glad that they made the decision to live here.
Expo Designer & Cafe
Nice to meet you! I am Mariko. I am responsible for the design, event planning and cafe operation at Expo House and Hostel. I graduated from Osaka University of Arts with a Media degree and went for a working holiday in Korea where I was able to learn Korean. I was also a resident of Expo House. It was so much fun. Really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart. If possible, I want to live at Expo House again. However, I think it is moreso my former sharemates from Expo House that I want to live with again. But that's a wish that can't be granted. Both myself and my sharemates went our separate ways and as time goes on we are less likely to be able to live together again. Our life at Expo was filled with love, something that I will treasure deep down forever more. You become so used to your everyday life here that sometimes it is difficult to realise that unfortunately it must come to an end. Living with other people is difficult. But somehow, amidst the difficulty please enjoy it. As the people living here change, the House also changes. There will be no other house like it again. When you stay at Expo House with your fellow sharemates, that sharehouse will be your special Expo House. Please value this moment in time and make friends for life. To our future residents, I'm looking forward to the day we can meet!
Expo Hostel Manager
Seeking a place where I can speak English, even in Japan, I moved into Expo House in 2012. I became more interested in languages and now as a staff member at Expo I am the main manager for the Hostels and Cottages. I really like living at Expo House. When your days are spent at work or school, the best part is being able to spend your off time together at the sharehouse. From casual conversation, to hanging out with your housemates and even cooking and eating meals together, you can have a lot of fun. However, half a year and then a year passes and as to be expected members of the house and respectively your lifestyle changes. With this, you come to realise that the special relationships you have made are only restricted to a certain period in time. Because of this, the relationships that you make become something so beloved and dear and it is these relationships that I want to continue creating at Expo House. I hope that my feelings can serve as a sufficient self introduction and look forward to meeting many more people from across the globe!
In 2016 we opened our lodging facility called "Expo Hostel". Hostels -Nishi- and -Ori- are located in the same Nishijin area as Expo House.
*All seven rooms are private rooms with shared toilet and shower facilities.
Japanese bathhouse, Funaoka Onsen.
Together with new friends
As a place where you can stay comfortably and easily even when your friends and family visit Kyoto as well as a place you can always come home to once you leave Expo House.
Your "Home" in Kyoto
Have you ever dreamt of having your own place in Kyoto? In 2017 we completed "Expo Cottage", a completely pivate space for you to rent. We hope that you enjoy the extraordinary feeling of living in this home away from home.