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Japan Top 5: Where do People Want to Live?

By Staff Writer
October 14, 2022
While Tokyo may be the first thing people associate with Japan, each of Japan’s many cities has its own unique culture, tempo, and attitude. A recent survey by lifestyle research group Seikatsu Gaido asked people “Where do you most want to live?”

1.     Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Yokohama has developed as an international trading port connecting Japan with the rest of the world and has been exposed to a variety of foreign cultures. For example, Chinatown reflects Chinese culture and is popular as an exotic city in Japan.

Yokohama is also a city that attracts many people because of its many commercial facilities and tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders.

In addition, the municipality's focus on child-rearing and education has resulted in many elementary and junior high schools with a high standard of education, making the city suitable for family life.
Yokohama Minatormirai district
 Yokohama Minatomirai: a modern district filled with fashionable shops and restaurants

2.     Sapporo City, Hokkaido

Sapporo's appeal is its abundance of greenery and nature, despite being an urban city. Hokkaido has many urban parks, with an average of 28.6 square meters of park space per person, more than double the national average.

Visitors can also enjoy seasonal scenery and events. For example, many people enjoy viewing cherry blossoms while eating Jingisukan around spring.
Sapporo Tower in daytime
"Hokkaido" Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park

3.     Fukuoka city, Fukuoka prefecture

Fukuoka City is famous for its tasty local dishes. Among them, Hakata Ramen (Traditional Japanese food that consists of ultra-fine straight noodles), Motsu-nabe (A hotpot dish with offal, vegetables and tofu), Mizutaki (Chicken Hot Pot), Gyoza/Dumpling, and Mentaiko (Spicy cod roe) are especially popular.

These specialties are not eaten at restaurants, but at food stalls, often lined up in front of buildings along the streets at night. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Economy, Tourism & Culture Bureau, Fukuoka City (as of March 1, 2022), there were 102 food stalls in Fukuoka/Hakata offering a wide variety of menu items.
Nighttime food stalls in Fukuoka
Food stalls in Fukuoka Prefecture

4.     Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture

Aichi Prefecture is located right in the center of Japan, between Tokyo and Osaka. As the one of the most populous cities in Japan, Nagoya is often viewed as an urban area, but in fact the surrounding region is a place where city and countryside coexist, which makes it a popular place to live.

The area around Nagoya is characterized by its thriving automobile industry and is home to the world-famous TOYOTA Corporation. With many famous companies and major industries based here, it is said that Nagoya and Aichi Prefecture are the supports of the Japanese economy.
A Toyota car built near Nagoya
Toyota vehicle, made near Nagoya

5.     Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

The individual wards of Tokyo are not very well known outside Japan, but each has its own characteristics and unique points. The first impression many in Japan have of Setagaya Ward is as a place where the rich live, but in fact the ward covers a very large area with several different neighborhoods. While these indeed include very upscale and expensive areas, there are also areas popular for family residences, and the Sangenjaya and Shimokitazawa neighborhoods which have their own lively subcultures filled with vintage clothing shops, retro bars, and fashionable cafes and restaurants.
Carrot Tower in Sangenjaya
Sangenjaya: There are a variety of stores around the station, including fashionable cafes and bars, as well as old izakaya (Japanese Pub) and snack bars
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