GUIDE ON EMIGRATING TO JAPAN

Japanese cities

If Japan is the country of your expat dreams but you’re not sure where to settle then read all about the country’s top three cities!

Tokyo

As the capital of Japan and the largest metropolitan area in the country Tokyo is a sprawling city comprised of a strange combination of the old and the new. Before 1868 Tokyo was formerly called Edo and has been the stronghold of the Japanese Imperial family for centuries. The city is one of the most densely populated urban areas on Earth with over 13million people living inside the cities limits.

Facts

Tokyo is home to the most expensive restaurant in the world. At Aragawa, a meal of kobe beef costs ¥35,000 per person.

The Sobu Main Line (Kinshicho – Ryogoku), is running at over 203 percent capacity.

Takao-san is the world’s busiest mountain. Located on the outskirts of Tokyo it attracts up to 2.6million visitors every year.

There are 259 outlets of Starbucks in the city

In the movies Godzilla has attacked and destroyed Tokyo no less than 28 times!

Main attractions

The district of Akihabara is quite simply a geek’s heaven on earth. The district is home to countless shops that deal in every manner of fan boy products. Videogames, TV, Manga and electronics and technology lovers will never want to leave. Many of the stores are several stories high and crammed with products. This is the best place to go to see and experience the modern aspect of Japan, and truly feel as though you are on another planet or been flung into a neon future.

One of Japans most famous landmarks and you can frequently find thousands of tourists climbing its slopes. Mount Fuji is one of Japans three holy mountains. The mountain is in fact an active volcano it last erupted in the 1700s. A well-known Japanese saying suggests that anybody would be a fool not to climb Mount Fuji once, but a fool to do so twice. Many thrill seekers come to the mountain to partake in mountain climbing, and paragliding. The best time to climb the mountain is July/August with the best time to view the mountain is in the winter.

Yokohama

Japans second largest city is relatively young having only being made a city in the mid 1800’s. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo in the Kanto region and today is one of the country’s major ports. Yokohama was the first port to be opened up to foreign trade after the end of Japans isolationist policies and rapidly became the most international city in the country.

Facts

Yokohama has been rebuilt twice–after an earthquake in 1923 and after U.S. air raids in 1945 during World War II.

Yokohama is 19 miles from Tokyo, capital of Japan, and 6 miles from the industrial city of Kawasaki.

The city is nicknamed the city of cultures

Japans first daily newspaper was first made in Yokohama

1872 saw the country’s first gas powered street lamps being introduced into the city

Main attractions

Yokohama is home to one of the largest and most vibrant China Towns in the world. Its streets are packed with shoppers and tourists from dawn till dusk. The area is home to over 300 restaurants and food stalls offering patrons authentic Chinese cuisine and products.  Minato Mirai 21 is an area near Yokohama Bay containing several neighbouring attractions within walking distance of each other. Take one of the world’s fastest elevators, complete with speedometer, up to the observatory deck on the 69th floor of the Yokohama Landmark Tower. Spend an afternoon contemplating contemporary masterpieces at the Yokohama Museum of Art. Roam the decks of the elegant Nippon Maru, a retired four-mast exploration ship. Or take a relaxing ride on Cosmo Clock 21, one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world.

Kyoto

The city of Kyoto was the capital of Japan for centuries and was the seat of imperial power for 1,100 years, until 1869 when the emperor moved residency to Tokyo. It is an ancient city but one that has reinvented itself many times to keep up with modern developments. With a population of over 1.5million Kyoto is one of the largest cities in Japan.

Facts

50 million tourists visit Kyoto every year, 100,000 of those are American

Kyoto was the top target for the atomic bomb in WW2 before the US secretary of War changed it to spare Japans cultural centre.

Japans TV and movie industry is based in Kyoto

The global warming battling initiative of the United Nations is named after Kyoto, the city where the deal was signed.

Nintendo has its headquarters in the city!

Main attractions

If you’re a big fan of ancient Japanese culture and in particular the age of the beautiful geisha’s then you should definitely visit Gion. This area of Kyoto is packed with traditional Japanese houses, tea houses and you can see geisha’s and their apprentices walking the streets. You can have your picture taken with them but be sure not to harass them as is seen as low-class behaviour.

For animal lovers you should check out the Iwatayama Monkey Park. You can feed the monkeys and enjoy the views from the top of the mountain at the heart of the park.