Where to invest in Japan's local regions

KyotoActive in Attracting Foreign Companies

PR video:Succeed together in Kyoto and beyond (5min)

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kyoto University

Innovation Capital Kyoto

Regional News

Contact

Economic Exchange Division, Department of Commerce, Labor and Tourism

Yabunouchi-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, 602-8570


Basic information

Population *1

2610 thousand

Labor force *1

1246 thousand

Nominal GDP*2

10,487.6 billion yen

Number of Establishments*3

118,716 establishments

JETRO office
  1. *1

    Population Census 2015, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

  2. *2

    Prefectural Citizens'Economic Accounts 2016, Cabinet Office

  3. *3

    "2016 Economic Sensus", Statstics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Basic information updated on:Nov. 2020

Business Environment

Kyoto is not just a tourist city. It is one of Japan's leading "City of Manufacturing." It has evolved traditional technologies into high-tech industries while passing down long-established industries based on artisan skills over its long history and created numerous global companies.
It is home to many universities, including Kyoto University, and is an academic city with one in ten residents being a university student. Kyoto University has produced countless talents, including many Japanese Nobel laureates. Some companies choose to establish a business in Kyoto to access excellent human resources.
In recent years, support centers for startup businesses have launched one after another, and the government and private companies have enhanced acceleration programs for startups, furthering innovation and industrial revitalization.

Incentives

Industrial clustering strategy 21 special project grant

Subsidies

Following subsidies are available for companies in the manufacturing and information-related industries that establish a base in Kyoto Prefecture invited by the prefectural government or municipalities.
Subsidy to promote offices' establishment: 10% of invested capital in fixed assets (excluding land). (Different subsidy rates or cost estimate standards apply in the case of establishing in Kyoto City)
Employment Subsidy: 100,000 yen to 500,000 yen
The maximum subsidy amount is commensurate with business locations and the number of full-time employees within the prefecture.

Taxation for the Promotion of Forming Manufacturing Industry Cluster

Tax reduction

Reduction of real estate acquisition tax by up to 50%, subject to job creation, for enterprises establishing or expanding plants in designated areas promoting manufacturing clusters

Startup Support

Support for startups

We have experts to advise on startup visa support, market by sector, etc. and provide free co-working space (STC3 (shared offices operated by Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of KYOTO), and shared offices provided by cooperating businesses in Kyoto Prefecture) and rent subsidies to foreigners and foreign companies looking to start a business in Kyoto Prefecture.
Target business areas:
Businesses that contribute to strengthening the international competitiveness of industries in Kyoto prefecture, expanding employment, driving the regional economy, and developing Kyoto as a global economic hub, in the following fields.
Manufacturing in the traditional industries and advanced industries, AI, IoT, and information and communications, environment and energy, life sciences and wellness, social business, culture, arts and content, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and Kyoto food culture, tourism (excluding souvenir shops, restaurants, etc. that mainly cater to tourists), other areas authorized by the Kyoto Prefectural Governor

Industrial cluster information

IT & Life Sciences

Many global companies with advanced technologies gather in Kyoto, accelerating cutting-edge ICT research utilizing IoT and AI. Research of iPS cells, developed in 2006, for medical care such as regenerative medicine and drug discovery continues to progress at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University (CiRA) headed by Shinya Yamanaka M.D., Ph.D., and others.
Support by the industry-academia-government collaboration to create innovation, research and development, and business offers a significant advantage for developing business in Kyoto. Kyoto boasts high students to population ratio, another attraction of Kyoto from a human resource acquisition perspective.

Local companies

Shimadzu Corporation, KYOCERA Corporation, Takara Bio Inc.

Educational/research institutes of the industry

Kyoto University, RIKEN, Japan, Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of KYOTO (ASTEM), Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)

Inbound Tourism

Kyoto is a popular tourist destination domestically and internationally and is constantly ranked among the top in various travel magazine surveys, etc., as a place to visit. There is a strong demand for new mobility technologies and services for disperse tourists.
Kyoto has another face as the "holy ground of the game." The world-renowned Nintendo has its headquarters, and BitSummit, Japan's leading indie games festival, is held every year. There are also communities of gamers and programmers, where active international exchange is taking place.

Local companies

Nintendo, TOSE CO., LTD.

Educational/research institutes of the industry

Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University

Others

Kyoto by the sea (DMO), Forest Kyoto (DMO), BitSummit

Smart cities (AI, IoT, robotics, mobility, etc.)

There are 146 research facilities and R&D-oriented industrial facilities in the Keihanna Science City (officially known as the Kansai Science City) located in southern Kyoto Prefecture, adjacent to the neighboring Osaka and Nara. They conduct demonstration and implementation tests with the main focus on AI, IoT, robotics, and mobility to realize a smart city in collaboration with industry, government, academia, and neighboring residents.
The Keihanna Open Innovation Center, located in the City, is an open innovation center that promotes advanced R&D. With ICT as the foundation, the center is promoting innovation in various areas, including energy, health care, and infrastructure. The Keihanna Robotics Engineering Center in the facility is a new base for venture businesses and research institutes and supports the development and implementation of next-generation robotics technologies.
The Kyoto Smart City Expo, an international event held here, cooperates with Barcelona in Spain, a pioneer in smart cities, participated by many Japanese and overseas ICT companies.

Local companies

SHIMADZU Future Co-Creation Lab, KYOCERA Corporation, Keihanna Research Center, OMRON Corporation, Keihanna Innovation Center

Educational/research institutes of the industry

Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Public Foundation of Kansai Research Institute, Keihanna Open Innovation Center (KICK)

Links

Living environment

Kyoto boasts diverse geographical features, such as the sea on its northern coast, mountains in the middle and urban area in the south, and its attractive features for tourism with many historical and cultural treasures. Kyoto is also an international city with international students and many other foreign residents, making Kyoto an excellent place to live. Many organizations, both public and private, run programs to support foreign residents.

Hospitals with foreign language support

Logistics and infrastructures

Kyoto is geographically close to Osaka and Kobe, making up a single integrated area closely linked by rail and road networks.
Railways are particularly prevalent in this area, with multiple lines run by JR and privately owned operators providing frequent service and excellent access to all parts of the region. The Kyoto Jukan Expressway opening improved access to the north and south and shortened travel time to neighboring prefectures.
The Port of Kyoto in Maizuru, located in northern Kyoto, was selected as the major port along the Sea of Japan in 2011. Its development as a hub for the interaction of people, goods, and information in the Sea of Japan rim is underway. Already, it serves as the gateway to the Kansai economic area from the Sea of Japan.

Kyoto Station is a core stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen, just around 140 minutes from Tokyo and 40 minutes from Nagoya.

Map of Kyoto

Support

With JETRO Kyoto at its core, the "Kyoto Overseas Business Center" has been established as an all-Kyoto public support desk for overseas businesses by Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, etc. The center promotes foreign companies' establishment in Kyoto, promotes joint businesses between local and overseas companies, and supports foreign entrepreneurs.

Success Stories in Kyoto

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