Best Cities to live in Japan
Best Cities to live in Japan: Japan is a developed country with over 47 prefectures and numerous cities consisting of over approx the population of 12.68 crores.This country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and Sea of Japan to the west, and located in Asia.
Whether we talk about tourism in the country or if you are looking for accommodation, this country is best suitable for all your purposes.
Settling in Japan
Japan is a city of interesting and diverse cultures. A huge range of expats are settled here either for working and for settling down permanently as well. Though the reason behind their decision of moving to a different country varies according to person. Some are looking for a better opportunity to work there, some want to study in a better environment, some want to settle there with their families, or some just looking to experience something new in their life by changing their living style and accommodation.
Reasons are many, but we can’t change this fact that settling down in any other country is quite challenging. Several queries and confusions come to our mind, like which location to choose, how about the total expenses and what will be the job opportunities.
This article is all about clearing all your queries if you are looking to settle down in the Best Cities to live in Japan.
Japan is best known for its rich culture and is a home to the world’s largest cities and is majorly known for its arts, gardens and sculptures. The people are friendly and there you will be going to have so many varieties of yummiest dishes. Listed below are some of the major cities which are “must” to consider if you are planning for moving to Japan.
I mentioned all the required information of the particular cities below, like food facilities, shopping stores, accommodation details (rent & Buying both), jobs details, education system and healthcare facilities.
Best Cities to live in Japan #1 Tokyo
Foremost amongst all of the places we suggest is Tokyo. As expats always prefer to make an improvement in their living style while leaving their home country. Whoever is living in this capital city is happy anfriendld experiencing the high living style. Not only this, living in this city means you are going to have lots of entertainment sources on a daily basis. Exclusive shopping centres, restaurants, museums, art galleries are the finest attractions in the city. And if we talk about entertainment, then we can’t ignore talking about their lavish nightlife, which transparently can be seen through its nightclubs and bars.
Costing for living in the city
The most important point is how convenient it will be for settling down in this city. The major thing which you should know is that living here is expensive. Whether we talk about accommodation, food, transportation or any basic requisite on a daily basis, everything is costly. The exact costing is approx $2,669/month for an expat living.
Some Pros and Cons to consider
High quality education.
Good hospital facilities.
You will see here clean roads, no crowded and busy streets.
Lots of attractions located in the city.
High living style
You will not receive a friendly environment.
People don’t know English properly there.
Gets very cold in the winter.
Very costly living
Food & Culture of Tokyo
When it comes to choosing a perfect place for settling down, then thousands of thoughts come to our mind, and one of the major thoughts is the Food. What are the major dishes in the city?
And the list of best and affordable food spots and the supermarket stores where we can easily buy our food essentials. As the whole Japan is majorly known for its best food, but here i am sharing the list of some best dishes which you will easily find anywhere in the city and are the yummiest amongst all the cuisines which you may ever tasted.
And this surety has come up with the feedback of numerous people who have tasted their local food and just love the flavours which actually reflect their culture.
Listed below are some of the major dishes of the city along with the huge list of restaurants that are good and affordable as well.
List of best local dishes of Tokyo
- Tendon, made up of seafood and rice. Tendon is actually a bowl of rice mixed with fried seafood and vegetables. If you are looking to feed yourself with fast food by not affecting your pocket much, then “tendon” is the dish you will like the most.
- Tsukemen is another popular dish in this city. If you love noodles, then go for this dish. Tsukemen means “dipping noodles”, which is served in two bowls. One is filled with noodles and the other one is filled with the soup of meat and vegetables or we can say this “broth”. You can eat the stuff by dipping noodles into the broth.
- The next one is Abura Soba, which means “oil noodles”, despite this dish doesn’t contain much oil but still, it shines and looks a little bit greasy. You can eat the noodles by coating it with the sauce.
- Fukagawa-meshi, this name was derived from the name of a fishing town of Tokyo, Fukagawa. This dish is the rice cooked with clams.
- Tokyo buns refer to the result of different innovations in the bread. You can easily find the tokyo buns in almost every grocery or bakery store in the city.
- Chanko Nabe is also a popular soup made up of fish stock and chicken stock and pork (flesh of a pig).
- Sushi is the vinegared rice cooked with seafood and vegetables and usually topped with fruits. It is the most common and popular dish in Japan. You can find this in the street stalls and in the expensive restaurants in Tokyo as well.
Most affordable Shopping stores in Tokyo
Whatever city you are living in, shopping is the most basic need of people from groceries to accessories, from leather goods or clothes, these stuffs are always required, so below listed are some best shopping spots where you can buy all your required objects without harming your budget, though Tokyo is one of the most expensive city in the world, but still this city too is having some of the most affordable shopping stores which you must consider while settling in the city.
Shibuya is the name of the overall place of the shopping area and a perfect place for cheap shopping, and the best part is, you can still have quality products there despite the cheap prices, this seems interesting.
There you will find many shops selling products which are majorly for the youth of the city. A wide variety of clothes and accessories you can buy there at your budgeted cost.
Location – Shibuya, Tokyo
Timings – 10 am to 9 pm.
Along with affordable shopping, this place is also best known for its lively atmosphere. If you are not even buying anything, but still you should visit the place to experience the environment.
And consider making a list of your required products. Here you can easily buy clothes, leather products, notebooks etc.
If you are looking to change the color of your cloth, then this place is best in terms of this too. You will find many shops there for dying your clothes.
I am also sharing the name of some specific shops, which are worth visiting – “Camera”. “Kakimori”, “Maito”.
Location – Kuramae, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0051, Japan
Timings – 11 am to 8 pm.
The best part of this place is that here you will be getting a huge variety of products, especially gift items, art & Craft boutiques, and accessories. Address – Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-00032, Japan.
Timings – 9 am to 7 pm.
This is one of the most popular, crowded and the largest shopping areas, consists of several electronic stores, markets and malls. Do you know, every month, you can see the crowd of almost millions in the area. So, if you are fine with this huge crowd, then there are lots of interesting products you can buy which suit your budget.
Location – Shinjuku. Tokyo, Japan.
Timings – 11 am to 9 pm.
Listed above are the names of the shopping areas for your every specific need, whether it is cloth, accessories, stationery, gift items, art & craft or anything. All the items will not cost you much higher if you consider visiting these shopping centres.
Now, have a look at the most affordable grocery stores in tokyo
Supermarkets in tokyo
- Ozeki Supermarket
- Y’s Mart
- Gyomu Supaa
Best Cities to Live in Japan # 2 Yokohama
This city is not as much different from tokyo in terms of attractions and popularity. The only difference is that here you can get cheap accommodations, which is actually a beneficial point for most of the expats. Here you can also be entertained by visiting the city’s most amazing and beautiful gardens, art galleries and museums.
Costing for making a living in Yokohama
The average cost you can expect here for a living is approx $2,000 to 3,000 per month, which includes all the expenses like accommodation, transportation, food etc.
Pros and Cons
The City is full of attractions.
Good health care facilities.
Good network connectivity
People are less friendly.
Excessive use of tobacco here.
The Climate becomes excessive cold in winters.
Food & Culture
When it comes to food in the city, the “Chinatown” of Yokohama is the name we can’t forget to mention. This town consists of total 500 stores, and is very wide, which is why it consists of one of the largest in the World.
- Chinese rice porridge (chuka gayu) – one of the most popular dishes of Yokohama, this dish includes ingredients like rice, seafood, meat, chicken wings, thighs, tenderloin, scallops, whitefish, coriander, and century eggs. This dish is usually consumed in breakfast in Yokohama.
- Sanmamen – this is another local dish that you can easily find in the chinese restaurants of the city. Ingredients include mushrooms, bamboo shoots, carrots, chinese chives, chinese cabbage, Pork and bean sprouts.
- Tofu and vegetable chowder – the best and most interesting part of this dish is that this dish originated 700 years ago, and is the most popular local dish of Yokohama at this time. Ingredients are carrots, radish, taro, tofu, Konjac, green onions and sesame oil. The locals of the city love to have this dish in their meal.
- Mooncake – this yummiest cake is eaten by the locals and is a very admirable cake made up of wheat flour, sugar, lard, water to make a dough, tehn lotus seeds, red beans, dates, walnuts.
- Roasted pork fillet – this red coloured dish is prepared by grilling it over charcoal. The main ingredient of this dish is Pork, and loved by almost all the locals of Yokohama.
Apart from knowing the best local dishes of the city, there are lots of shopping opportunities too in this amazing city, which will also make you convince to settle down in Yokohama, below mentioned is the list of some best shopping stores which are best to shop for products like – clothes, accessories and even eateries.
Shopping stores in Yokohama
Yokohama Bay Quarter
If you are looking to have shopping while having a beautiful sea view, then this shopping mall is perfect and just near the Yokohama station. This mall contains many restaurants too.
Address – 1-10 Kinkoucho, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa.
Yokohama Redbrick Warehouse
Established in 1920 and formerly was known as the custom Inspection house, now this warehouse is best known as the shopping mall and dining area of the city. Address – 1-1-2, Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0001.
Again, here you will be going to experience the shopping stores and restaurants and also get enjoyed in the movie theater. Address – 2-2-1, Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa.
One of the popular shopping centers, and the best spot especially in the context of delicious food in the restaurants here. Address – 1-6-31, Minamisaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture.
The next and the foremost requirement is the affordable grocery and supermarket stores in the city, have a look below
Best Grocery Stores in yokohama
- OK Minato Mirai
- Shinsen Isezaki Ichiba
- Shokuhinkan Aoba Kannai Ekimae
- Motomachi UNION Honten
- OK Shin-Yamashita
- Shokuhinkhan Aoba Motomachi
Best Cities to Live in Japan # 3
This is another beautiful city situated in Japan, where you can settle easily. The job opportunities are slightly less, if we compare this city with Tokyo, but people love to live there due to the friendly atmosphere. The best part here is that this city is perfect for food lovers, and everyone here is fond of delicious food. The cost of living here is a bit less in comparison to other cities. So, overall, it is worth considering this city while planning to settle in Japan.
The total costing for living here goes around $1,658 per month, which is quite less as compared to the other cities mentioned above.
Pros of choosing Osaka to live
- Safe environment
- Fast network connectivity
- Good health care facilities
- Democratic city
- Perfect place for doing business
- Good education system.
Cons of living in Osaka
- Lack of friendly atmosphere
- People don’t know English here.
- Crowded city
- Very cold in the winter season.
Cheap and best shopping spots in Osaka
As you can see its name, this shopping spot is mainly for kitchen wares, and household products, so you can have the best kitchen products at the cheapest price here.
Address – B1F, namba City Honkan, 5-1-60, Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi.
Again the best spot for buying the household products, and apart from this, seasonal items there are also in high demand amongst people.
Address – B2F, 1-3-02-64-2, Umeda, Kita-ku, osaka-shi
One of the best spots for buying daily use items as well as fashion accessories.
Address – B2F, namba CITY Honkan, 5-1-60, Namba, chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
This shopping store is especially for girls. All the kinds of products like clothes, fashion accessories, sandals and daily use items for girls and ladies are available in the shop.
Address – 2-1-18 Johoku-cho, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka
Grocery stores in Osaka, Japan
- Hankyu Oasis
- Super Tamade
- Kansai Super
- Supermarket Sun Plaza
Best Cities to Live in Japan # 4 Fukuoka
This is one of the most popular cities in japan and also suitable in terms of living in the city due to the low cost and happening environment. Also, a huge list of excellent restaurants can’t get ignored. So, this city is simply the best to experience most of the country.
Cost of Living
$2,044 per month is the approximate cost of the total expenses in the city.
Fast internet connectivity
Lots of attractions in the city
Good education system
Less Friendly people
People don’t speak english.
Shopping stores in Fukuoka
This mall is the shopping paradise for numerous people living there, even people include this mall in their tour list while visiting Fukuoka. So, in short, a perfect stop for youngsters.
Address – 1-11-11 tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka 810-001.
Shintencho Shopping Street
This place is perfect for buying outfits and accessories and is one of the oldest shopping places.
Address – 2 Tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka 810-0001.
Canal City Shopping mall
Best spot for entertainment and shopping both. Address – 1-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka 8120018.
The clothes here showcase the innovative fashion culture of Japan, so you will surely like it.
Address – 2-2-43 Tenjin, chuo Ward, fukuoka
Grocery stores in the city
- Reganet Tenjin
- Max Value Minatocho
- Nishitetsu store
- Costco wholesale Fukuoka Hisayama
- Bon Repas Yakuin Mutukado
These are the top 4 cities and one of the best cities to live in Japan that you should consider while planning to live in the country.
Now, below I have mentioned the other big concerns, which are essential to know before settling in Japan.
The biggest concern of every expat will be accomodation. Will this city provide convenient accommodation?
Do we get a rented house there easily, and what are the conditions to buy our own property there.
Thousands of questions like this usually we face while settling to a different country. Below is the complete guide for accomodation in Japan.
Rent and housing in Japan, all things which you need to know
This is the most important factor that leads to make a space for Best Cities to live in Japan list. If you are looking to rent a house, then it’s not as difficult for foreigners as well. The only condition is, you need to have a guarantor, or we can say a co-signer who is fully responsible in case if you create any obstacle in your rental terms, or if in any case you won’t pay the rent amount, then this “guarantor” is legally responsible to pay the due amount. And the major thing is that this guarantor must be a Japanese citizen. So, it seems quite a tricky situation for an expat. But that doesn’t mean that this problem is not having any possible solution.
Maximum japanese landlords allow you to recommend the companies there who serves as a guarantor for the expats. These companies are usually named as “hosyo gaisha”.
Total Cost for Rent
If we talk about the total costing, then it varies according to the area you choose to live and the apartment type.
On an average, the cost ranges between 20,000 JPY to 150,000 JPY for a single room, which is equivalent to US dollar 190 to 1,400.
For a two bedroom set, the costing is approx 200,000 JPY, which is 1,870 USD monthly.
Apart from the rent costing, there is a huge list of hidden costs too. These hidden cost list include – insurance fee, Realtor fee, Guarantor fee, changing lock fee, cleaning fee, other deposits etc.
Documents required for Renting
- Japanese Bank account
- Visa/ Residence card
- Japanese Phone number
- Income proof
- Emergency contact
- Japanese stamp
These documents are “must” to have when looking to rent an apartment.
Buying property in Japan
Buying your own house in the Best Cities to live in Japan is not as difficult as some people think. It is the most important factor which must be included by you when selects the Best Cities to live in Japan. If you are not a citizen of Japan, that doesn’t mean that you are not legally allowed to buy your property in Japan. And buying a property in the country will also not permit you to be their permanent resident.
But the major point is, that not having a permanent residency will make it quite difficult for you to own a house in the country.
These all statements seem tricky, right? Let’s make it simple for you.
- First, make it clear in your mind which type of property you are looking to buy.
- Then, plan a budget according to your house choice.
- For choosing property type, you can also go online for having online assistance.
- Next step is applying for the particular property you choose, you need to fill an application form, which also charges a fee of approx 20,000 to 100,000 JPY, which is 190 to 930 USD.
In Japan’s most expensive city, buying an apartment will cost you around 46 million JPY, which is 430,000 USD. So buying a house in Tokyo is very costly. If you are looking for some cheap option, then “Niigata prefecture” is what exactly you are looking for.
Here the average cost of buying a house will not cost you higher than 56,000 USD.
You must have permanent residency in Japan, or must be married to a japanese citizen, this is important because this makes banks assure that the person to whom they provide a loan is staying in the country for longer. You can also show your work visa which ensures that you are in the country for enough time. You also need to pay japanese taxes.
Process to apply for a mortgage
Your approval for loan only depends on the type of visa you are having, Permanent residence visa will make your chance higher to get a loan, though having a work permit is also enough,
First you need to final the property you want to buy, then fill a home loan pre application and submit it to the bank.
For approval, your bank will check your credit history, income, employement status, and debts. You also need to ensure that you are physically fit.
Consider taking help of an expert who can make your loan process easy by helping you out and guiding you step by step, go through the link, here you can connect with the experts.
Let’s talk about other utilities to Select the Best Cities to live in Japan
There are two providers in the country – TEPCO and KEPCO.
Gas setup is easy, you only need to call the local gas company of your area in which you are staying. They will set up your gas connection instantly, so here you don’t need to do anything. In the country, there are two major gas providers – Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas.
Apart from all the essentials, there is no shortage of Internet facilities too. The major internet providing companies there are – Softbank Corp, Fusion Gol, NTT Communications Corp, Asahi Net, KDDI, SonixNet ISP.
The total cost is between 30 to 85 USD/ month, it will take approx two weeks, if you are looking for some fast option, then there are numerous options of free wifi in the country, through which you can instantly connect with the network.
Documents required for connecting to the network in the country
- Rent Agreement
- Japanese contact number
Healthcare Facilities in Japan
Most important factor (Healthcare) to choose the Best Cities to live in Japan. The major thing to be noted is that there is a compulsion to have health insurance both for Japanese citizens and for foreign residents in the country. And there is no difference in the country in catering to the health needs for both Japanese citizens and for expats.
Which in result makes this country in the top of the list of the countries all over the world, where you can experience the highest life expectancy.
This Healthcare section of the article will let you be aware of the major aspects of the healthcare system in the country.
It is legally essential that everyone in Japan must have the coverage of either public or private health insurance.
The two major healthcare insurance schemes that you should opt for
Japanese National Health Insurance
These is the scheme of unemployed people, or who are working less than 30 hours per week, these can be students or self employed, these scheme is highly suitable of the expats are in the country without any job offer, the only condition to enroll for this insurance plan, that applicant must have the visa for the country for over more than 90 days.
This plan allows the people to bear only 30% of the healthcare expense, the rest 70% comes under the japanese government.
Japanese Health Insurance
This plan is only for full time working employees.
Have a look at the step by step procedure for applying for the Japanese National Public Health Insurance
You first concern should be find a perfect place where you can get settle in the country, you might need some help in the whole process, so better is to prefer going online, as language is the major barrier in this country, it might be difficult for you to find the people who knows another language too apart from Japanese. So, go through this site, there you might find some experts who can help you out with the procedures.
First, you need to connect with your prefecture’s govt for registering your address and other details. After that, you need to fill up a form at the “National Health Insurance Department”.
The form will ask you to fill –
- Monthly Income
- Name and address
- Social security card
- Residence card
Japanese Health Insurance Plan
This plan is only for the employees, who work more than 30 hours a week. Here you don’t have to visit any health department or government office, only your employer is responsible for signing up your health insurance. Your employer will need some documents from you which include –
- MyNumber card
- Residence card
Child Benefit Payments
Apart from the overall maternal and child care facilities in the country, there is another beneficial program running by the government of the country, which every foreign resident must know.
According to your overall house income, you will get the “child benefit payments” from the Japanese Government. Until your child turns 15, you will be facilitated by the financial support from the government. To receive the payments, you are required to connect with your area’s municipal office and submit a Birth notification of your child there.
After that, your payment process will be started and you will be getting it thrice a year.
Employment Factor in the Best Cities to live in Japan
Unlike earlier in the country when the country didn’t seem good and welcoming for the foreign workers, now expats are easily getting jobs in the country due to the rise of numerous international companies in the cities of japan.
The major concern of every expat is how to get a job in this country. Finding a job is not as difficult here, you can easily get the job with a high average annual salary package of approx 37,800 USD. 5 days working Monday to Friday.
Step by step procedure for applying for the job in Japan
The foremost tip is try to apply for a specific job after arriving in the country as this increases the chances for getting hired.
Candidates must hold a bachelor degree or either at least 10 years of experience in the relevant job profile.
You must have a basic knowledge of the Japanese language, as according to companies this will make you involved in the work environment of the country. For this, you have to be ready to clear the Japanese Language Proficiency test, so that they can check your language proficiency.
Apart from this, the Japanese employers also required some references from your side, to make them assure that you are fully capable for the specific job role.
Professions for foreigners in the Country
- Sales staff
- Service staff
These professional fields are most likely to be filled with the foreign workers.
Education System in the Best Cities to live in Japan
This is another requisite for the expats who want to settle in the country, and many questions are connected to this requirement.
Hope many of the people are aware of the fact that Japan is considered as one of the best in terms of the education system.
That is why this country is ranked 5 over the World, which is actually enough to get assured of having the best education after settling in the country.
“Subjects” which are common in the schools of the country are
- Social science
- Physical education
- Home economics.
The most popular schools in Japan
- Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Asuka High School.
- Nobeyama Elementary School.
- Nanzan Elementary School.
Total Costing of schools
The tuition is free there, but you have to bear the expense of other school materials such as uniforms, stationeries, shoes, lunch etc, which will cost you not higher than approx 35 to 6 USD per year.
Document required to enroll your child to the school in Japan
- Enrollment application form
- Transcripts from the previous school
- Residence card
This is all about if you are settling there with your kid, if you arrive in the country for higher education purpose then below listed is the name of top universities in the country.
- Doshisha university
- Waseda University
- Tokyo University
- Sophia University
Most popular studies for International students in Japan
- Game Creation
- Interior design
Though there is a huge list of courses that the top institutions of the country offer, above mentioned is the list of most common studies which maximum international students get interested in.
Documents and eligibility
- Acceptance proof from a japanese university
- Passport sized photo
- Accommodation proof
- Financial stability proof
For undergraduate level – approx 5,000 USD per year.
For graduate level studies – approx 6,000 USD per year.