College Students are about to revolutionize the tourism services of Kyoto!!


A tourism service born from the concept of “MOTTAINAI”

Kyoto is ranked among the great tourist cities in the world. Each year the city sees an increase in the numbers of visitors.

However, some concerns come to mind:
Does just walking the streets really show off the true charm of Kyoto?
Are the people of Kyoto really connecting with foreign tourists?
Is the true heart of Kyoto being missed by both residents and foreign tourists alike?

Overlooked allure, missed connections, and essential aspects uncommunicated.
By connecting Kyoto residents, places and cuisine, GENIUS TABLE in KYOTO has set out to solve these three mottainai ailments of Kyoto tourism.

What is “Mottainai?”

is a Japanese word that is impossible to translate directly. Even if you use words like ‘waste’ and ‘regret’ to translate one aspect of mottainai, you would still be missing a large aspect of the original word by restraining it by a single concept. When Wangari Maatha, who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her founding of the Green Belt Movement, visited Japan in 2005, she encountered the word mottainai and was deeply impressed. Maatha advocated for this beautiful Japanese word to be adopted into the global lexicon as a catchphrase for environmentalism; “MOTTAINAI” (Image:

The first tourism service to focus on connections

GENIUS TABLE in Kyoto works to bring together the previously disassociated concepts of people, places, and cuisine.
Foreign tourists with special talents and residents of Kyoto looking to improve their city meet in wonderful location still unlisted in any guidebooks to share a rare, delicious and visually delightful Kyoto bento box.

Our goal is that by bringing all of these things together, we hope to revolutionize Kyoto.

We will create new values for Kyoto

Communication – That will be the new value of Kyoto

We will create new avenues for communication by hosting events that combine people, places, and cuisine.

For example, in the above photo the foreign guest is Australian industrial designer Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman. An entrepreneur himself who wants to a hand in creating the next generation of entrepreneurs, as well as a start-up successful enough to join the prestigious “unicorn club.” Potocnjak-Oxman often speaks of the necessity of designers when developing a start-up. Of the Kyoto citizens who attended some were architecture students who asked many questions and enthusiastically joined in the discussion.

Managed by university students in Kyoto

While Kyoto is a globally famous location for tourism, it is also a college town. People at the forefront of their studies gather here and students in Kyoto approach their education with a high level of motivation. This was possible due to the dedication of the residents of Kyoto who have worked to improve the city while keeping true to its traditional heart. Students participating in the program aim to give back to the city by taking on the challenge of operating GENIUS TABLE in KYOTO as well as consulting with possible guests.

Let’s eliminate “mottainai” in Kyoto

Connecting people will give new value to Kyoto.

Help GENIUS TABLE in KYOTO bring a revolution to Kyoto!

Currently recruiting foreign guests!

We are looking for foreign guests who are passionate about their work, have their own philosophy, and who want to share their ideas with others.   It would truly be a waste to come to Kyoto and not connect with its residents. Come and find new value in Kyoto!

Apply Here:

渡邊彩華/Sayaka Watanabe
渡邊彩華/Sayaka Watanabe

日本/京都大学 法学部/京都が好きという気持ちは人一倍強いです。京都の魅力を皆さんに届けられるようにがんばります!ーーーJapan / Faculty of Law, Kyoto University. / My love of Kyoto grows stronger and deeper. I will do my best to deliver the charm of Kyoto to everyone! GENIUS TABLE in KYOTO, KOTO COLLEGE