Wondering what is the best city to live in Japan? Here is our list for the top 5 cities in Japan to live in!
While it’s known for being crowded and expensive, Tokyo remains one of the best cities in Japan to live in. For foreigners with limited Japanese skills, Tokyo is one of the most accessible places to live. There are many train stations, clinics, government offices, and other establishments with an English-speaking staff member or two. Living in Tokyo, you can find almost anything you’re looking for. There are plenty of stores, restaurants, nightlife, and other places to have a good time. In addition, there are many more opportunities to find work in Tokyo, especially if you’re looking to use English or other language skills you may have.
While Tokyo is a densely populated urban area, you don’t have to give up on enjoying nature altogether. There are plenty of good hiking trails that are located near Tokyo. In addition, there are a variety of parks within the city that you can enjoy. If you’re moving to Tokyo, you should know that apartments, especially within the city center, can be quite expensive. But compared to other global cities around the world, it is surprisingly easy to find apartments in Tokyo at the right price for you.
Probably the most well-known Japanese city after Tokyo, Osaka is also an amazing Japanese city place to live. It’s a bit harder to live in Osaka with limited Japanese skills than in Tokyo, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop your language skills. Nightlife in Osaka has almost as much to offer as Tokyo, the same as its shopping.
There are also lots of fantastic restaurants and cafes you can go to. Osaka’s local specialties such as okonomiyaki and takoyaki mark them on the map, but there is a diverse range of food available. Living in Osaka, you’re likely to find an Indian, French, or Thai restaurant that you enjoy. While winters in Osaka are relatively mild, summers are brutal, so it’s not the best place for people who can’t stand the heat. But if you don’t mind dealing with high temperatures and humidity, Osaka might be your ideal new home.
Nagoya is located between Osaka and Tokyo and is a somewhat underrated Japanese city. While it isn’t anywhere near as popular as those two large metropolises, Nagoya offers all of the conveniences and joys of living in a large city. Even better, living in Nagoya is reasonably affordable. While there aren’t as many foreigners as in Tokyo, Nagoya has a medium-sized foreign community. If you’re an ex-pat with kids, you can expect to find an international school for your children to attend. While it is a big city, Nagoya has made an effort to preserve various cultural heritage sites, so you can enjoy being surrounded by both tradition and modern conveniences.
If you’re not a fan of hot, humid Japanese summers, you might get some relief by moving further north. Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku region, is an amazing place to live. Although it has been growing recently and the cost of apartments in Sendai has risen a bit, it is still a fairly affordable city to live in. Often described as a “city that feels like a small town,” Sendai has many conveniences available in larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Still, there are fewer crowds and more of a sense of community. Winters in Sendai are cold and snowy, so it’s a great place to live if you enjoy winter outdoor activities. Public transportation in Sendai is fairly good but not as robust as in larger cities. It’s somewhat more common to take buses than trains while living in Sendai, as there aren’t very many train lines.
Nara is a beautiful place to live if you enjoy nature and smaller cities but want to commute to Osaka for work. About half of working residents living in Nara commute to Osaka each day. It’s also close to Kyoto, making it a great place to live if you want to explore Kansai.
For those interested in Japanese history and religion, Nara is of the best places in Japan to live, with many cultural heritage sites. In addition, there are many amazing places to go hiking and enjoy the natural beauty Japan has to offer. Since many hikes lead up to temples and shrines, you can learn about religion, appreciate traditional Japanese architecture, and get some exercise on the same day.
Living in Japan is awesome for its food, rich culture, and safety! If you’re moving within Japan, consider a Village House apartment for low upfront costs!