The 9th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (Evolang IX) will be held in the historical city of Kyoto, Japan, from the 13th to 16th of March 2012.
Please Note: According to the latest weather forecast, it will be quite cold during the conference period in Kyoto. Please consider bringing some warm clothes with you. For an updated weather forecast please see this page.
(Hotels, Lunch Options, Convenience Stores, Internet Cafes, and Places of Interest)
BBC has put a timely article on its website titled "Kyoto on a budget."
Japan is known for its safety. Violence and vandalism are extremely rare. However, this does not mean that we are completely free from pickpockets and other forms of petty crimes. We therefore ask you to apply the same safety principles that you exercise in your own country. Especially, please do not leave your belongings unattended in busy areas.
Unlike European/North American cities (e.g., at coffee shops), free Wifi access is very limited in Japan, due to security concerns. Wifi access will be provided at our venue. However, the service will be terminated at the end of each day's program. In Kyoto, there are a couple of internet cafe close to Kyoto Station Please check the above map (Internet Cafe). Also you may want to consider Boingo service. Now Porta underground shopping area (look for Porta Restaurant Complex on the above comprehensive map) starts to provide free public wifi. Look for SSID "KYOTO-PORTA." Note: although you may be able to find the signal almost everywhere in the shopping area, only its west side seems to be connected to the Internet (i.e., around from Starbucks towards the Metro Station).
Before visiting Japan, please check with your local career about its roaming service in Japan. Unless you have a legal residency, you cannot buy a pre-paid phone in Japan (due to past criminal abuse). Both Narita Intl. Airport and Kansai Intl. Airport have rental mobile phone stores. You can return a mobile phone via mail, so it would be a convenient option.
March is one of the best and most popular times to visit Kyoto. It is climatically stable season (spring), and if we are (really) lucky, we may be able to catch an early period of the famous cherry-blossom period. Average Temperature in March: 13/4 C 55/39 F (High/Low). Average Precipitation: 110mm
Japan operates on a largely cash based economy, and while credit card can often be used, they are not universally accepted. International ATMs are available throughout the country, including at all Seven-11 Convenience Stores and post offices (including the one next to Campus Plaza).
Many major hotels offer currency exchange services and there is also a specialized currency exchange desk, World Currency Shop; on the 8th Floor of Kyoto Station Building.
There is no tipping requirement in Japan, nor is tipping expected; leaving a tip on the table at a restaurant would just have a waiter running out after you with your money.
Once in Kyoto, buses will probably be the most useful mode of transportation for the majority of the conference attendants, as our venue is located near Kyoto Station, the largest bus hub in the town. There are two types of bus services available Kyoto City Bus (Pale Green with green stripe), and Kyoto Bus (Beige with red stripe). Detailed information (including "How to ride a bus") is available here.
500 yen one day pass by Kyoto City Bus is useful for city sightseeing. You can hop-on/off within most parts of the city. NB, this is only good for Kyoto City Bus and Metro. Please check this map for its valid area.
If you want to avoid Kyoto’s notorious traffic, the Metro will be useful. Basically it runs between North and South, and East and West. The official map is available here.
The majority of Kyoto taxi fares start at ¥640/650 for the first 2km. ¥80 will be added every after 339/385m or 2min 5sec/2min 20sec (if speed gets slower than 10km). Most Kyoto taxis are equipped with car navigation systems. Thus, it will help the driver if you have the address or phone number of your destination.
You may find this description provided by Lonely Planet helpful.
Kyoto is a relatively flat place, and as such maybe bicycle is the best mode of transportation. There are many places where you can rent bicycles. And most of hostels have their own rental service. Note, unfortunately bicycle theft is not rare in Japan. So, please lock bicycles as you do in your home town. Also, in certain places, most noticeably around Kyoto Station, bicycle parking is prohibited (albeit many cyclists ignore it). If you are unlucky, your bicycle can be towed, and you have to pay hefty ticket for it.
Click "Play" to start an animation. The default setting is from Kyoto Station to Campus Plaza Kyoto.
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- Wikitravel Guide
- Japan Guide Article
- Official Kyoto Website
Conference packs will include maps and basic tourist guides, but for participants arriving in Kyoto with time to spare before the conference, or others simply wishing to familiarize themselves with what Kyoto has to offer, we have received the following printable map and guide from the Kyoto Tourist Information Center: