One of the most popular things about Japan is its cities. There can be positives and negatives and we will look at them in our article.
Japan has a plethora of places to live and they can fit any lifestyle. The large countryside is great for people looking to get away from the busy city life. It is a stark contrast to the city and offers different kinds of pleasures. City life will present its own difficulties and rewards for those who want to live there. In our article, we will look at the pros and cons of city life in Japan.
Cost of Living
One of the biggest things to consider about life in the city is the cost of living. Typically, if you look at places to rent or own in the countryside, you will find plenty of affordable housing. There is no shortage of places to find that will fit a small budget. The city can be much more expensive for housing of the same or smaller size.
Japanese cities do not have much room to give their inhabitants and the residents have to cope with this. The average apartment is a single room with a small kitchen, bathroom, and shower room. The size is usually as small as a children’s room in the US and the kitchen has just enough room for you to stand in and do light cooking.
These rooms can vary in pricing depending on the distance to the station and what city you will be living in. When you start looking for bigger housing, you will run into the same problems at a higher price. You will find some places as low as 45,000 yen, but it will be far from the station and in an area without much to do. Searching for housing between 60,000 and 90,000 will find you apartments within 15 minutes of walking distance to the nearest station. Anything closer to the station can almost double the price, so try to find a place that will be near the station but not too close.
To combat the lack of size, you will need to adjust your way of living to fully utilize your space. If you are coming from a western nation, you will be accustomed to larger rooms and having some kind of yard. You will need to downsize your normal amount of clothes and other items and try to keep only the necessary things for your new house. 100-yen stores will be the most helpful to find hooks and small containers to help store your things in the smallest spaces possible. Always look at your new apartment before signing a lease or you may find yourself in a bad situation.
One of the most obvious benefits of living in a city is the access to all of the conveniences that people have created. You will have access to convenience stores that are on almost every corner and the train stations have a variety of shops nearby. You will never be far from a grocery store or restaurant as long as you are around a station. The amount of shopping in the city is greater than in other parts of the country and you can generally find more things there that you can’t find anywhere else.
Finding import goods is easier in the city as well, but you will pay a higher than normal price. There are a few stores made specifically for import goods as well and they can be found in most areas of the city. You will be able to get food that you would not be able to buy in the countryside.
There are plenty of restaurants and entertainment areas in each city. You can find some western restaurants as well. These places offer delicious and affordable alternatives to constantly cooking in your tiny kitchen. There is a large variety of places to choose from that fit any pallet. You will be surprised to find the kinds of restaurants you will be able to choose from.
Getting around the city will be easy and straightforward thanks to the fantastic transportation system. The trains run almost perfectly on time and you can guarantee that they will arrive and leave on the minute. The systems running through the city are connected and can be confusing when you are first finding your way around the city. Once you are accustomed to it, you will know which trains to take to get everywhere in the city. It helps that almost all stations have signs and maps in English as well as Japanese. You can find your train easily and check maps to ensure you are going in the right direction.
The buses may not be able to run completely on time thanks to traffic, but they still get you where you need to go. There are many areas in the city that are more convenient to get to by bus than by train. The buses have multiple stops that you can use in any direction. They have English on their signs as well, but they can be difficult to navigate due to the number system on the signs. Look carefully to try and find your destination, as sometimes information will not be available in English.
The cities boast the best job opportunities for both Japanese and foreign residents. Many places look to employ workers and will hire bilingual workers faster than usual. The cities see far more foreign visitors than the countryside and business owners want to get as much of the tourist money as possible. The ability to find work outside of teaching goes up in cities as well. You will be able to get more opportunities than anywhere else in the country.
If you need a place to relax from your busy life, there are many places in the city that can help you out. There are bars to enjoy a quick drink after a long day, and it is a pastime of Japanese businessmen to drink with coworkers to build team morale. There are izakayas where you can enjoy food and drink with your friends after hours. Karaoke bars are usually open 24 hours a day and can be rented out for a few hours at a time. You will never run out of places to relax in your city.
The city has a lot of things that will draw people who want access to conveniences and general leisure activities. The downsides are the cost of living and travel expenses, though convenient, can cost you a lot over time. You can find a balance between all of these aspects over time, and some places are more affordable than others. Do your research and carefully choose your new residence.