All About Japan

Yokohama: The Most Desirable City in Kanto

Rankings Life in Japan Yokohama Kanagawa

The Kanto region is composed of a cluster of seven prefectures in central Japan, and chief among them, of course, is Tokyo. More remote prefectures like Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi are known for their gorgeous nature, and Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba are desirable because of their proximity to Japan's biggest metropolis.

But where in Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba and Tokyo are the most desirable places to live for Japanese locals? According to a recent survey by real estate information site SUUMO, the most people out of the 7,000 men and women surveyed voted Yokohama as the place where they would most like to live.

It’s not really surprising, considering this is the second year in a row that Yokohama has come out on top. As a beautiful bayside city, the downtown area of Yokohama has lovely waterside views, lots of museums, plentiful shopping and a plethora of delicious eateries. With so many fun things to do there, and relatively better work-life laws, Yokohama is and has been especially popular for people in their twenties.

Most locations in the Yokohama municipal area are also a breezy 30-40 minute train ride to Tokyo, and, although it’s a heavily crowded ride, that could be a major factor in its popularity; that and the fact that housing in Yokohama does tend to be a bit cheaper than in Tokyo.

Plus, while the Minato Mirai area near the port of Yokohama is usually the most visited spot in the city, Yokohama Station itself has done some remodeling around the station area, which has made it more family friendly, and might be why it was the most desirable city to live in for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

The full list of top ten most desirable cities for 2019 is as follows:

1. Yokohama (Kanagawa)
2. Ebisu (Tokyo)
3. Kichijoji (Tokyo)
4. Omiya (Saitama)
5. Shinjuku (Tokyo)
6. Shinagawa (Tokyo)
7. Meguro (Tokyo)
8. Urawa (Saitama)
9. Musashi Kosugi (Kanagawa)
10. Kamakura (Kanagawa)

Coming in at number two is the trendy Ebisu area of Tokyo, which tends to be a bit on the ritzy side, since even fast food chains put on a fancier face. It’s centrally located, just south of Shinjuku on the city-circling Yamanote Line, so it’s a convenient place to live, but at a fairly hefty price, so perhaps many people consider Ebisu more of a place to aspire to live than a place that’s actually attainable for the present.

At number three is the shopping haven Kichijoji, which isn’t very surprising given that it’s not only a popular area with lots of restaurants and shops, but it’s also the location of the beloved Ghibli museum. Plus, Kichijoji is somewhat more affordable than Ebisu, with pretty good connectivity into central Tokyo, which is probably why it’s number three on the list.

Omiya, at number four, is a city with good access into Tokyo that’s also great for families, while Shinjuku, the hub of much of Tokyo’s activity, is surprisingly only at number five. Perhaps that’s because, for everything going on, the area is so busy and crowded that the appeal of living there is somewhat diminished, compared to less bustling areas like Ebisu and Kichijoji.

Each of the places on the list, however, have their own appeal for different people. For some, being close to work in Tokyo, like in Shinagawa, is necessary, while for others, the convenience of shopping and restaurants is what’s important. The the cost of living–such as rent, childcare costs, and food prices–often plays a major role in the desirability for a certain location, although scenic locations, like Meguro with its cherry blossom-lined river, and Kamakura with its beaches and mountains, are also highly desirable.

Yokohama does seem to tick all the boxes, however, and considering it’s also going to get a moving, life-size Gundam in 2020, it’s really not surprising at all that it would be the most desirable city for living in the Kanto area.

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Source: Nihon Keizai Shinbun via Otacom
Insert Images: Pakutaso

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