We imagine that many of us, for fun or out of necessity, have assumed at least once in our lives the possibility of moving abroad and starting a new path. Usually, however, the first cities that come to mind are also the most famous: London in England, Berlin in Germany, Paris in France, New York in the USA and Tokyo (or Kyoto for those who like to go to the classic) in Japan.
But is it true that these are the best cities to live in Japan? There are many factors to take into account such as: transport, infrastructure, climate, just to name a few. One of the best travel magazines Aene has carried out a survey of Japanese housewives who have evaluated their quality of life and have drawn up the following best places to live in Japan!
The best places to live in Japan: Hiroshima
Port city and capital of the homonymous prefecture, Hiroshima is located west of the main Japanese island Honshu in the Inland Sea. Divided into 8 districts (Naka, Higashi, Minami, Nishi, Asaminami, Asakita, Aki and Saeki) it is sadly famous worldwide for being the first target city of a nuclear attack on August 6, 1945. Totally rebuilt after the atomic explosion, it welcomes many tourists who visit every year the Memorial Park, where the Peace Memorial was built, a museum full of objects, photos, models and films of the before and after bombing. Today Hiroshima is one of the best places to live in Japan!
In the middle of the park there is the Cenotaph dedicated to the victims (both the immediate victims and those who have been killed over the years) while on the other side of the Kyobashi-gawa river there is the ruins of the Industrial Promotion Chamber of Hiroshima, called A-bomb Dome, recently restored. What impressed the interviewees, however, was above all the kind and friendly attitude of the inhabitants and the fact that although it is the capital of the prefecture and therefore a well-developed city, it is not as crowded as Tokyo.
The best cities to live in Japan: Nihama
Nihama is located in the prefecture of Ehime, on the northern coast of the island of Shikoku.
Commercial port, is also home to chemical, petrochemical, metallurgical, mechanical and electrotechnical industries; a few kilometers away there are gold, silver, copper and sulfur deposits. All this brings good opportunities to find a job, but also to taste the seafood for which Nihama is among the best places to live in Japan.
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The best places to live in Japan: Moriya
Its status as a city is relatively recent, in fact it was founded on February 2, 2002, when it detached from Kitasoma District. Surrounded by three rivers, it is located on the new Tsukuba Express railway line that connects it to Tokyo in just 35 minutes. Twinned with Greeley (Colorado, USA) and Mainburg (Germany), it was also considered suitable for its modern shops and mentioned in the list of the best places to live in Japan.
The best cities to live in Japan: Ikoma
Ikoma can be considered a suburb of Nara just thirty minutes by train from it. It owes its entry in this ranking above all for its proximity to the numerous cultural and historically important Templiculturally and historically of the former capital. If you want to visit one of the best places to live in Japan, Ikoma should be on your bucket list.
The best places to live in Japan: Fukuoka
Fukuoka is the capital of the onomymous prefecture. Located on the northern coast of Kyushu Island, it is also the most populous city in the region. Here were born some very successful singers, famous in Japan and most of the Asian states, among them we find Ayumi Hamasaki, now better known as the queen of jpop, the duo Chage & Aska, author of the lyrics of their songs, Misia, R&B singer, Shiina Ringo and Yui, songwriters.
And always on the subject of music, it was here that on December 20, 1994, at the Fukuoka Dome, the singer Frank Sinatra performed the last concert of his career. In July 2001 the World Swimming Championships were held here. It is also considered one of the best places to visit in Japan and the home of Ramen and other culinary delicacies.
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The best cities to live in Japan: Matsuyama
Matsuyama (literally Pine Mountain) is among the best places to live in Japan for several reasons. Here stands the Matsuyamajo, a castle built on a hill 132 meters high. This is one of the rare castles to have been preserved in its original condition, although some parts of it were rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century.
From the donjon visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the town and the islands of the Inner Sea of Seto. It is also home to the Dogo Onsen, one of the oldest thermal springs in Japan. The present building for the public bath is made of wood, built on three levels in 1894. There is also a special bath reserved for the imperial family and it is called Yushinden: it is no longer used, but you can visit it.
The entire complex is classified as an important cultural heritage. Finally here is the temple of Ishite-ji the No. 51 in the pilgrimage to the 88 temples of the Shingon school of Shikoku, known under the name of O-Henro. Some buildings are classified as National Treasures and Important Cultural Property.
But it is also an important city in the world of Japanese literature, as Masaoka Shiki, the father of modern haiku, and the famous novelist Natsume Soseki, who even set the story of one of his most famous novels, Botchan, stayed there. In his honor, therefore, the city of Matsuyama has put in place an old-fashioned tramway line, called “Botchan’s Train”, which allows you to visit the city in a very pleasant way.
The best places to live in Japan: Mitaka
Mitaka, one of the best places to live in Japan, is a town that is part of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The official foundation date is November 3, 1950, but the first settlements in the area date back to 1590. Places of historical, artistic and cultural interest include the Ghibli Museum, located in the greenery of Inokashira Park, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
Important historical value has the Tamagawa Josui canal: near the station, it was completed in 1653 to supply the surrounding cities. Here, in 1948, the famous writer Dazai Osamu took his own life. Mitaka is also home to the International Christian University, the largest and oldest American-style university, founded in 1949. Its proximity to the capital and its elegant and sophisticated atmosphere make it an excellent choice.
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Located halfway between Kobe and Osaka, Nishinomiya is the backdrop to Studio Ghibli’s film “A Tomb for Fireflies” and the anime series “The Melancholy ofHaruhi Suzumiya”. It is also the home of the Koshien, a multi-storey baseball stadium where you can watch the matches of the Hanshin Tigers, one of Japan’s oldest baseball teams, and the high school team tournament.
If instead of sports you love shows, you can go to the Hyogo Performing Arts Center and choose between orchestra concerts, ballets, operas, operas or traditional Japanese puppet shows. If, on the other hand, you love nature and want to live in one of the best places in Japan, you can stroll through the Manchidani Park, which is particularly impressive during cherry blossom. Finally, if you have a spiritual nature, you can go to the Shinto temple Nishinomiya where the Ebisu festival is held every year in January.
The best places to live in Japan: Inagi
Close to the capital Tokyo but far enough away to be surrounded by greenery, Inagi is a fair compromise. Not for nothing can also boast a branch of Ikea and Costco. In short, more clean air but also comfort at hand make it almost the ideal choice.
The best cities to live in Japan: Fujisawa
Fujisawa is a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, which also includes the island of Enoshima, connected to the mainland by a 600-meter bridge, used as a seaside resort as a backdrop for many anime series. Founded on October 1, 1940, the island is dedicated to the goddess of music and literature Benzaiten, who would reside there and who would raise it from the depths of the sea in the 6th century. Is there a better place to live in Japan?
But above all, it combines the relaxed atmosphere of a seaside town with the extreme comfort of public transport that will take you to Shinjuku, in the heart of Tokyo, in less than half an hour. Add to this a visit to Mount Fuji and local legends about scary dragons, who fall in love with beautiful princesses and it won’t be difficult to understand why he won.
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The best places to live in Japan: Tokyo
Of all the cities to study in Japan, Tokyo is the most popular. You will lose yourself in the streets of this huge megalopolis and breathe the sparkling and melancholic atmosphere of films like Lost in Translation by director Sofia Coppola.
Tokyo is one of the best places to live in Japan and for many people it is the first destination of the archipelago because it offers many possibilities for work, both part time and full time.
Despite its size and futuristic infrastructure, the city offers ample green spaces where body and mind can be refreshed. A stage for musical tours of all the most famous groups, it offers entertainment at all hours of the day and night. It is equipped with an efficient transport network and holds the record for punctuality and any other Asian metropolis, which is not bad since you will have to go from home to school every day during your Japanese course.
Yokohama is home to one of Japan’s most futuristic cities to live in: the port of the future in Minato Mirai, where the heart of a city that is in some ways more liveable than nearby Tokyo beats. The two cities are part of the same conurbation and getting to the capital from Yokohama is as easy as it gets: it only takes thirty minutes by train to get to Shibuya.
In addition to one of the country’s main ports, the city boasts a wide and relaxed promenade for a stroll between historic Akarenga buildings (赤煉瓦 a complex of former red brick customs offices now used as a shopping mall) and charming green spaces (such as Yamashita Park). In addition, Chinatown is located in the city center, and Yokohama is one of the largest Chinese neighborhoods in Japan, with many restaurants where you can taste typical Chinese dishes.
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The best places to live in Japan: Osaka
We’re moving west to a modern city that doesn’t monkey Tokyo. Osaka maintains a strong identity as demonstrated by the daily use of the typical dialect of the Kansai region (used mostly among friends and relatives) and the proverbial loquacity of its inhabitants.
The city is located near other best places to live in Japan such as Kyoto, Nara and Kobe which are easy to reach and are a diversion for those who want to leave the metropolitan fabric. With only 30 minutes by train you can reach these traditional tourist destinations, to spend pleasant weekends.
Osaka’s food is also renowned and very characteristic: the local cuisine offers takoyaki octopus meatballs and “Japanese pizza” okonomiyaki, delicacies that go well with the jovial and familiar atmosphere of the city.
Osaka, like Tokyo, also offers a lot of entertainment and fun, especially the Namba district is very lively, and is even more crowded in the evening. It’s the best way to have fun after a long day of studying Japanese in school.
The best cities to live in Japan: Kobe
Located between Osaka and Kyoto, Kobe overlooks the sea as well as the mountain. It is a place of attraction for many tourists, both foreign and Japanese, because of its peaceful atmosphere, and its location far from the chaos of the big metropolis.
In Kobe there is one of the oldest harbors built in Japan, whose purpose was to entertain trade relations with China, and it was also one of the first points of contact with the outside world in the 19th century. Along the harbor is Chinatown, in the Nankinmachi district (南京町), as well as Western-style brick buildings, very similar to Yokohama.
Life in Kobe is cheaper than in Tokyo, especially for rent. If you want to save money and are looking for a quiet place to attend a language school in Japan, Kobe is one of the best places to live in Japan.
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The best places to live in Japan: Kyoto
The pearl of Japan, Kyoto, is the city where the ancient still prevails over the modern. Spacious and relaxed, the ancient capital of the Japanese archipelago offers magnificent views at every corner, breathtaking temples and sanctuaries and a cultural heritage that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Studying Japanese in Kyoto will give you the opportunity to get to know many students, Japanese and foreign, with whom you can make friends and cultural exchanges, thanks to the high concentration of universities and language institutes. You will live in one of the best places in Japan, in an atmosphere of yesteryear.
In addition, being a city built on a regular basis, travel by bike, or by bus, is much more popular here than on the subway.
The best cities to live in Japan: Sapporo
Sapporo is a city that offers many attractions despite being located on Japan’s northernmost and consequently coldest island, Hokkaido. For those who are not intimidated by the harsh winter climate and love skiing, spas and snow, good food and nature, Sapporo is your best place to live in Japan. There are certainly fewer job opportunities than in Tokyo, but you are also lucky enough to avoid the humid heat that hits the capital in summer.
There are also many more opportunities to come into contact with unspoilt and lush nature that offers seasonal produce and fresh fish from the sea.
From Sapporo you can visit other areas, during the day, such as Otaru, a very suggestive port city, or Noboribetsu, characteristic for its spas and autumn landscape.
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And now the word to you: do you like the place where you live or you would go to one of the best places to live in Japan? Would you recommend it? Or would you like to live somewhere else? If so, where? Let us know…