10 Best Places to Live in Japan
Where to Live in Japan Now
Have you ever dreamed of, or thought of moving to Japan?
Moving to a foreign country to live in is something that many people dream of. One of the more popular destinations of those dreams is Japan.
However, Japan is a large country with many different attractive locations. If you have a specific purpose or place that you want to live in, then everything’s good for you. But if you are not sure where in Japan you would like to live, then this is the perfect article for you.
Here, I will show you 10 of the best places to live in Japan as a foreigner. Hopefully, one of these destinations will catch your attention.
What makes a city good for living as a foreigner?
There are many factors that can make a city a good place for living as a foreigner. For the places that we picked for this article, we took into consideration the following factors.
1. The number of foreigners living in that city: Cities that have a large number of foreigners tend to have more restaurants and shops that offer services in English. This will make it easier for you to live there.
2. How convenient it is to move around: whether the city has a convenient public transportation system, or has streets with designated lanes for bicycles, it is important that moving around the city is as convenient as possible.
3. Whether there are tourist locations nearby: Living abroad won’t make sense if you can’t take the time to visit local touristic locations. Therefore, we believe this is an important factor as well.
10 Best Cities to Live in Japan as a foreigner
Based on the factors that I previously stated, here are our 10 picks for the best cities to live in Japan as a foreigner. The order of this list is from northmost going south as the list progresses.
The first location on our list is the city of Sapporo (札幌) in Hokkaido.
Sapporo is by far the largest city in Hokkaido, inhabiting nearly 2 million people. Out of those 2 million citizens, around 14,000 are foreign citizens.
Sapporo is also the northmost city on this list. So if you happen to like (or not mind) cold weather, then this might be the city for you. It is famous for having its annual snow festival and people from across the country and even from other countries come to ski at the large ski resorts.
It is also famous for its great seafood and Ramen.
Next on the list, we have the city of Sendai (仙台) in Miyagi prefecture.
Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region, inhabiting just over a million citizens. Out of those million citizens, over 12,000 are foreign citizens.
It is a city with lots of history, most notable known for being the city where the famous Sengoku samurai, Date Masamune, built his castle.
It is a city where you can feel both the presence of the mountains as well as the ocean, making it a nice place to live if you love being in touch with nature.
Another attractive point about the city of Sendai is that, in comparison to other larger cities such as Toyo and Osaka, the cost of living is much more affordable even though it is also a well-developed city.
Next, we have Tokyo (東京). Little introduction is needed for this city.
It should be no surprise that Tokyo is the largest city in Japan. The population of the 23 wards is just under 10 million people, over 450,000 of them being foreign citizens. Out of those 23 wards, Minato city, Setagaya city, and Shibuya city are especially popular among English-speaking foreigners.
Transportation-wise, both train and bus systems are well spread throughout the entire city, making it very easy to move from one place to another. It doesn’t get any more convenient! Also, since Tokyo is located in the center of Japan, it makes it easy to travel pretty much anywhere.
Tokyo is also convenient because you can find pretty much anything. Good food, great places touristic locations, and an abundance of job opportunities.
Next, we have the city of Yokohama (横浜) which is located in Kanagawa prefecture.
This is another large city, inhabiting over 3.7 million citizens, over 100,000 of them being foreign citizens.
Although located in a different prefecture, Yokohama is really close to Tokyo, meaning that the train and bus systems are as well established as Tokyo.
Since it is a port city, the night view of the illuminated buildings near the shore is fantastic scenery as well as the daytime port view.
Some of the famous tourist spots include the Redbrick warehouse, the Yokohama landmark tower, and Yokohama Chinatown.
Another internationally well-known city is Nagoya (名古屋), which is located in Aichi prefecture.
Famous for having the gorgeous Nagoya castle, exquisite food, and large foreign population.
2.3 million people live in Nagoya, and out of that number, over 80,000 are foreign nationals. An interesting point is that the proportion of different foreign-language speakers is pretty equally present, making this city a culturally interesting place to live.
Just like Yokohama, Nagoya is also a port city. But it is more famous for being a historically important spot.
Food is another well-known part of Nagoya’s culture. Tebasaki, Miso Katsu, and Hitsumabushi are just some foods you must try!
Both train and bus systems are well established, making it easy to move around the city. Also, the shinkansen (bullet train) makes it easy to travel to both Tokyo and Osaka.