Best Places To Live In Japan

With so much to offer Japan is often considered when people consider moving abroad. Japan is a safe and clean country with benefits such as ample job opportunities, a good climate, and nice locals which puts it at the top of the list of possible relocation options.

Best Places To Live In Japan

Here we look at five of the best places to live in Japan for foreigners and local Japanese people. We look at the cost of living, accessibility, and what each place can offer that makes them unique and a good place to live.

5 Of The Best Place To Live In Japan

The below list goes in order of how expensive the cost of living is, starting from high and ending with the lowest cost.

Place: Tokyo

Place Tokyo
  • Cost of living: High
  • Accessibility: Excellent

If budget is not an issue for you, Tokyo is a fantastic place to live.

It is the central hub of most things in Japan and you can easily travel to other parts of the country and world.

Tokyo is bustling and filled with people from all over the world so if you are hoping to meet new people and press refresh on your life so far this is the perfect city to do this.

Accommodation tends to be small and expensive but with so many expats and foreigners living in Tokyo, it is possible to arrange a house share which would help speed up finding accommodation as well as giving you an instant circle of friends.

If you are not willing to spend a lot of money on your new lifestyle then Tokyo is not for you but any of the following four places could be a match made in heaven for you.

Place: Osaka

Place: Osaka
  • Cost of living: Average
  • Accessibility: Excellent

Osaka offers mostly the same things as Tokyo but in a considerably smaller-sized city.

Transport links from Osaka are fantastic as it boasts an international airport that connects the West of Japan with the rest of the world and the rest of the country.

Osaka is renowned for its nightlife and has incredible party districts like Namba, Horie, and Amemura. If you are looking for a good time this would be the perfect city for you as you can work and play while also exploring Japan.

Place: Kyoto

Place Kyoto
  • Cost of living: Average
  • Accessibility: Very good

Kyoto is a fantastic place to live if you want to immerse yourself within traditional Japanese culture but still within the confines of a city.

Kyoto is much cheaper to live in than Tokyo and has all the necessary transport links necessary, however, it is missing an airport but you can easily travel to Osaka airport from Kyoto via train and bus or alternatively, you can whiz your way there within 13 minutes on the shinkansen.

You will never be bored in Kyoto as it has thousands of stunning, historic temples and buildings as well as being home to the Gion festival which is one of the most famous traditional Japanese festivals.

The summers are incredibly humid as Kyoto is in a basin, surrounded by mountains, but with air-con and swimming spots like Lake Biwako nearby, there are plenty of ways to cool off.

The tube system in Kyoto connects smaller suburbs to the city with Yamashina being a very popular commuter town that boasts a shopping center, schools, temples, and lots of restaurants and bars.

Place: Sapporo

Place Sapporo
  • Cost of living: Low
  • Accessibility: Very Good

Sapporo is located on the second largest of the Japanese islands, Hokkaido.

Hokkaido is known for its gorgeous scenery and amazing snow sports scene. If you like snowboarding and skiing, Sapporo is the place for you.

Sapporo offers a very different style of life to the main island of Honshu, where cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are located as Sapporo has grown from a village but has maintained the quaint qualities that a village may have, including a low cost of living.

The city is an oasis for sporty types and has even hosted events like the Winter Olympics and World Cup football and rugby in its iconic dome.

Place: Naha

Place: Naha
  • Cost of living: Low
  • Accessibility: Good

If island life is what you are after but Hokkaido sounds too snowy and white for you then you should consider moving to the city of Naha. Naha is located on the tropical Japanese island of Okinawa.

Okinawa is the smallest of the five Japanese islands but should not be overlooked solely based on its size. Okinawa has a subtropical climate meaning the winters are mild and the winters are hot but this climate does mean slightly more rain is common to the area.

The gorgeous island is almost 40% cheaper to live on than the main island of Honshu. It is very popular for digital nomads as it can be awkward to travel too so once you get there you end up staying for quite some time.

There is also a US Military base in Okinawa so there are a lot of young American families on the island.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has opened your eyes to a number of wonderful places in Japan where you could someday call home.

Whether you are moving to start a new life, to retire or just to spend a few months overseas one of these cities would be a wonderful choice for you. Take time to focus on what you want to get from your new lifestyle and where you should end up will become obvious to you.

If travel is important to you, staying on the main island of Honshu may be best but if you want a quiet, island life you can have a choice between sun or snow.

There are many other beautiful places to live in Japan but the five that made our list should definitely be your top considerations for your new life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Japan A Safe Place To Live?

Japan is a very safe country to live in for both local people and foreigners. It has low crime rates, political terror and there is very little internal conflict.

The only dangers that Japan faces are natural dangers as Japan has suffered from terrible tragedies as a result of tsunamis, mudslides, and other natural disasters. Japan is a neighbor to North Korea and this is another possible danger that could affect the country.

Where Do Foreigners Live In Japan?

Most foreigners that live in Japan are centralized and live in Tokyo, Osaka, and the Nagoya Prefecture.

Most foreigners that move to Japan do not have a choice where they move to as they must go where their job is, which is the case for anyone who works for Toyota as their headquarters are based in the Aichi prefecture so workers would be sent to live and work here.

If you have a choice regarding where in Japan you live, carefully consider the cost of living, accessibility, and also what type of city you want to live in before making your final decision on where your new home will be.

Is Japan A Good Country To Live In?

Japan has a unique mix of some of the largest cities in the world and serene, rolling countryside.

As a country, Japan is a bustling and growing place that has advanced technology and architecture that coexist alongside the older ways of life that are still visible in more rural parts of Japan.

The country has fantastic transportation networks and the local residents are extremely polite and another bonus is that health insurance is easy to get but there are negatives to living in Japan.

Basic chores such as opening a bank account and securing private accommodation can be difficult but overall the advantages that you can find from living in Japan far outweigh the negatives.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has opened your eyes to a number of wonderful places in Japan where you could someday call home.

Whether you are moving to start a new life, to retire or just to spend a few months overseas one of these cities would be a wonderful choice for you. Take time to focus on what you want to get from your new lifestyle and where you should end up will become obvious to you.

If travel is important to you, staying on the main island of Honshu may be best but if you want a quiet, island life you can have a choice between sun or snow.

There are many other beautiful places to live in Japan but the five that made our list should definitely be your top considerations for your new life.

Aura Ruggeri
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