The area’s in Tokyo within proximity of the JR Yamanote loop, Chioda- and Minato-ward, are considered prime real estate. The Yamanote line circles around most of Tokyo’s popular spots, like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, and Akihabara. This is due to their proximity to the political, economic, and financial districts, as well as embassies. Minato Ward is home to around 18,500 foreign residents of which Roppongi, Azabu, and Hiroo seem to be the most popular with Westerners. Yokohama is the favorite spot for families with small children. A key factor in deciding where to live with your children are choice of school and commute time. As the second largest city in Japan, Yokohama is growing rapidly. With its excellent train connections throughout Japan, it provides an easy connection with the capital city of Tokyo. As Japan is known for its megacities, an hour-long commute is generally well accepted and considered ‘normal’.
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Quietly nestled just beyond the city’s inner circle, Meguro district attracts a melting-pot of commuters, families, and artists alike who appreciate a more subtle charming set up over the hustle and bustle of the big city. Meguro district houses many famous local neighborhoods such as the hip enclave of Nakameguro and the area along the Meguro River, both equally popular among local people as foreigners. Despite its village-like residential feel, Meguro district manages to retain the hip feel of the city center. Organic cafes, famous Izakayas, second-hand vintage clothes shops and must-see bookstores generate enough buzz to sustain this vibrant cool neighborhood.
Jiyugaoka is rapidly becoming a very popular and hip area connecting Shibuya and Yokohama. It offers amazing shopping and nightlife, however, this ward also offers the more traditional Japanese towns along the Toyoko line such as the village of Komaba-Todai Mae, Gakugeidai, and Yutenji.
Shinjuku city has the largest population of foreign residents in the metropolis. Thirty-thousand Korean and other nationalities live here. Excellent Korean and Vietnamese restaurants and shops are clustered around Shin-Okubo station on the Yamanote line. Waseda University on the east side of Yamanote attracts many foreign students. The Metropolitan Tokyo government buildings, hotels, and high-rise office buildings dominate the west Shinjuku skyline. Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens in east Shinjuku provide a quiet retreat from the crowds and noise.
– Tokyo Korean School (G1-12)
– Easy access to Lycée Français International de Tokyo (Pre-Hight) in Kita Ward
Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most dynamic districts, packed with shopping, dining, and entertainment. Shibuya station is a center for youth fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends. Daikanyama, Ebisu, Shibuya, Omotesando, Hiroo, Shoto, and Yoyogi-Uehara are not only fashion and culture spots but also offers great luxurious residential neighborhoods with lush green parks, such as Meiji Jingu, Yoyogi koen(park), and Shinjuku Gyoen.
– Elite Open School (G5-12)
– International School of the Sacred Heart (ISSH) (K3-G12)
– Jingumae International Exchange School (Ages 3 – 11 yrs old)
– United School of Tokyo (Ages 3 – 12 yrs old)
Fukagawa is a neighborhood in Tokyo’s merchant and working class Koto ward.It is located just a few miles east of the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station, and across the Sumida River. The area consisting of the neighborhoods of Kiyosumi, Hirano, Fukagawa, Fuyiki, Tokiwa, Monzennakacho and Miyoshi is still commonly referred to as Fukagawa.Fukagawa is equally very well connected by subway. From Kiyosumi-Shirakawa stations (Hanzomon and Oedo subway lines) down to Monzennakacho stations (Tozai and Oedo subway lines) and out west of the north-south line, a station is always within reach. The area also has several temples, a major park and gardens and other cultural attractions which provide several beautiful morning walks. The “Rinkai” area” in the southern part of Fukagawa is developing into a place for business, entertainment, shopping, and museums. Along with many high-rise condos and buildings with modern facilities, the area is still expanding and very popular among young couples. The number of modern NY style shops and restaurants is increasing and people enjoy the mix of traditional and modern cultures.
Taito is a place where you can easily find yourself stepping back in time by simply wandering around in the most traditional Japanese style streets. Ueno park is one of the largest parks in the area with a long history widely known for its cherry blossoms and for the many museums found on its grounds. Among those are the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Science Museum, and zoo. Yanaka is the area which survived by the large earthquake of 1923 and the bombings during World War II. The magnificent temple of Senso-ji in Asakusa is Taito’s emblem.
Minato is a fairly sprawling ward with no single center. It is known as a very wealthy part of Tokyo and home to most of Tokyo’s foreign embassies, many of its large multinational corporations and a number of prestigious universities. Minato City in Tokyo is the most popular ward for international families for living, visiting and working. Roppongi, Shirogane, Hiroo, Akasaka and Azabu are the most popular areas among registered foreigners. Due to their location and proximity to Tokyo station, it offers a high quality of life. Living in this area, you can feel the heart of the city beating but it requires sufficient budget. If this is no issue, it will provide a great expat experience. The new area’s of Kita Shinagawa and Sengakuji, also in the Minato Ward, are increasingly reachable and offer great residential area’s to live. In recent years, shops and facilities of new business categories such as guest houses, co-working spaces, books & cafes, wine bars etc. have sprung to life one after another, attracting the attention of other entrepreneurs and alike.
– Nishimachi International School (K-G9) in Minato Ward
– American School in Japan, Early Learning Center (Age 3 – 6 yrs old only)
– Children’s House Montessori (Infant – 12 yrs old)
– The Montessori School of Tokyo (Ages 2 – 14 yrs old)
– Tokyo International School (Aes: 4 – 14 yrs old)
Shinagawa Station is one of the principal transportation hubs of Tokyo. The station connects many lines, including the Yamanote Line and the Tokaido Shinkansen. The Takanawa side offers many hotels and houses branches of the Prince hotel chain and mall. If you walk to the top of the hill, you will find several embassies and high-class residential neighborhoods called Gotenyama.
The area around the Konan Exit has recently undergone extensive development. Many large office buildings and company headquarters are now located in the area.
Chiyoda is a special ward located in central Tokyo, Japan. Chiyoda consists of Tokyo Station, the Imperial Palace and a surrounding radius of about a kilometer around this area. The residents here enjoy jogging around the Imperial Palace grounds which offers a tranquil breath of fresh air in the densely populated metropolis of Tokyo. Akihabara, famous worldwide for its specialized shops: anime, manga, figurines, cosplay costumes, electronics, robots, old video games are also located here… Walk near Iidabashi and Kudanshita stations to discover Japanese culture, see many facets of the Shinto religion and enjoy the delicious vegetarian food. Chioda stretches across a vast area where you can certainly enjoy French cuisine and many other types of restaurants which the Kagurazaka street has to offer. In general, this area remains a safe business district, where the daytime population is more than ten times the nighttime population.
Setagaya is the second largest ward of the 23 most centered wards in Tokyo. Although mostly residential, it offers a few extremely trendy neighborhoods with lots of affordable shops, small art galleries, great izakayas (bars), cafes, as well as small theatres and live music clubs. The unique area of Shimokitazawa, has attracted many artists, and musicians alike and offers special creative atmosphere. The main residential areas of Setagaya are spread over the neighborhoods of Sangenjaya, Todorogi , Denenchofu and Futagotamagawa. Where the first two attract young families, students and artists due to its creative vide and reasonable prices, Denenchofu, on the other hand, offers more European style streets with large houses and big gardens and attracts celebrities, sports stars, politicians,…who of course are willing to pay higher real estate prices. Futakotamagawa is the newly developed area of this ward and offers a well-planned layout combined with vast park-like green areas and beautiful river.
Nihonbashi is the city’s geographic center in Chuo ward just west of Tokyo station. It is a business and commercial hub with history dating back to the era of the Shogun. The name is derived from the Euro-Japanese designed bridge connecting the two sides of Nihonbashi River and is the starting point from which all distances around Tokyo are measured.
Being the center of trading in Tokyo and due to this excellent location many big corporations, as the Bank of Japan or luxury department stores Takashimaya and Mitsubishi have located their headquarters in this district. Ginza, Hachobori, Marunouchi neighborhoods are located in this ward and provide a look out onto the Imperial Palace and surrounding gardens. This area is a green lung in the most densely populated city of the world and is excellent for joggers and runners alike. Also as it is under constant transformation it attracts many highly educated young potentials working in the various big companies located in this district. It is a great spot for singles as well as relocating families.
Japan’s second largest city has a long history as a business and trading partner for foreign powers. This resulted in a flood of foreign culture and influence which spurred Yokohama‘s growth into an international metropolis with a worldly flair of its own. As it is home to the countries’ second largest subway station, it is well connected to Tokyo and the rest of Japan.
The beautiful seaside Yamashita Park and European-style Yamate neighborhoods are perfect destinations for a romantic outdoor stroll. Yokohama’s spectacular nighttime cityscape viewed from Japan’s tallest building, the Landmark Tower at the Minato Mirai 21 district, will leave you breathless. A mere thirty-minute jaunt from Tokyo, Yokohama has it all and is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Motomachi is home to many foreigners due to the presence of international schools and China Town. In this area, it is possible for the children to walk or bike to school, which is rare in a country so densely populated. The connection via the Toyoko line makes it possible for children in other neighborhoods as Denenchofu or Shibuya to commute to the international schools in this area.
– Yokohama Overseas Chinese School (Taiwan) (Age 4yrs old – G12)
– Saint Maur International School (Ages 2.5 yrs old -G12)
– Yokohama International School (Ages 3 yrs old – G12)
– German School, The (Deutsche Schule Tokyo Yokohama) (K-18 yrs old)
– Horizon Japan International School (Pre-G12)
– Yokohama Yamate Chinese School (Mainland) (Age 3 yrs old – G9)
Chofu is a city in the western suburbs of Tokyo outside the core 23 wards. Chofu is established as a city in 1955 and offers a perfect balance between the convenience of living in the city with the homey feel of a small town. The train ride on the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station to Chofu only takes about 15 minutes. Due to space, the international schools offer the most extensive facilities in Japan. Due to the proximity to these school and the lower prices, many expat families choose this location.
– The American School in Japan (ASIJ) (K-G12)