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Best Cities To Live In Japan For Expats in 2022

If you’ve always wanted to experience the Japanese lifestyle, take a look at this article to find out the top cities to live in Japan.

Japan is a unique and fascinating country with stunning scenery and rich culture. Japan is most famous for its neon lights in Tokyo and the latest technology. However, Japan is much more significant than the bustling city lifestyle.

 It is said that the Land of the Rising Sun includes 7,000 islands brimming with natural wonders like Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms and enchanting forests. Additionally, Japan’s eccentric tradition of anime, geisha and origami makes it an intriguing place to be a part of and live in.


Best Cities To Live In Japan For Expats

Tokyo is ranked first among the top places to reside in Japan due to its outstanding quality of life, continuous entertainment, and exciting attractions.

Additionally, as the second most popular city in the nation, Tokyo has a definite international vibe. It is a perfect city for ex-pats who do not have any knowledge of Japanese.

Even though it is a crowded city, moving around Tokyo is simple thanks to the reliable metro system. Tokyo is also among the most desirable cities in Japan for foodies as it is home to some of the top restaurants, sushi places, and Japanese restaurants across the country.

Furthermore, being Japan’s fashion capital, Tokyo is an ideal place to shop. Art galleries, museums, bars, luxury bars, and nightclubs are also everywhere.

Of course, living in one of the most well-known cities in the world comes with costs. Tokyo has the rate of the world’s most expensive city in Japan, including rent and food. In addition, if you’re uncomfortable, the constant crowds could be too to handle.


Yokohama is just an hour’s drive from Tokyo. It is also the second most significant city in Japan. It’s not too crowded as there are just 3.7 million residents, contrasted with the 14 million people living in Tokyo.

So, Yokohama is a good alternative for ex-pats moving to Japan. You can live the bustling city life without feeling like a sardine that has been squashed.

Yokohama is a major commercial and cultural centre that has plenty to do and see. The city boasts an amusement park of its own, a sprawling Chinatown, and futuristic architecture.

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Like Tokyo, Yokohama is an excellent destination for foreigners looking to get involved in technology since there are many jobs in this area.

Rent costs are lower here, so in recent times expats living in Japan have chosen to establish their homes in Yokohama instead of Tokyo. This is why the city has an increasing ex-pat population, with a large portion of them living in the towers of apartments located in areas along the water in the Minato Mirai district.

Because it’s easily accessible from Tokyo and Tokyo, it’s possible to reside within Yokohama and commute. But, this can cost you more.


Osaka is a port city located in Honshu. It is a large port city in the Kansai area of Honshu and is famous for its fantastic street food scene and friendly residents. With a population of 2.7 million living there, Osaka is more laid-back than Tokyo; however, it is equally enjoyable.

One of the most desirable locations to visit for tourists is Amemura (America Village). The area is full of young Western fashion, retro shops, hip-hop bars, and colourful street art inspired by America.

Because people in Osaki are so welcoming and friendly, Osaki is one of the most desirable cities to reside in Japan since you’ll immediately become acquaintances.

However, if you decide to stay in Osaka for a time, you might consider taking a Japanese course. Although English is spoken widely in Osaka, it’s not relatively so easy to live without knowing Japanese as Tokyo.

It is estimated that the cost of living in Osaka is about 30% less than in Tokyo. There aren’t as many jobs available. However, Osaka is a fantastic city to visit for a thrilling Japanese experience, especially if you’re a digital wanderer.


The gorgeous, culturally rich town is among the most desirable cities in Japan for expats wanting to learn about Japan’s traditional customs and culture and more about Japan’s rich history.

If futuristic technology doesn’t appeal to your boat, then you’ll enjoy Kyoto because it shows a historical aspect of the country that larger cities do not have. Also, there’s plenty to behold beautiful shrines, fairytale palaces, and stunning gardens.

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Kyoto is a city with solid food culture, particularly in Kaiseki dining, a classic multiple-course Japanese dinner. It is possible to enjoy this culture and the famed geisha culture in Gion’s entertainment district. Gion.

Along with its natural beauty and rich history, Kyoto is the cheapest area to reside in Japan, making it the top choice for digital nomads.

There are a few jobs available this may not be the ideal option for ex-pats seeking jobs. Also, it lacks the top-quality nightlife and shopping of larger cities.


Sapporo is considered the capital of the island of Hokkaido mountains and is a favourite among expats who want milder summers. The town is home to average temperatures of 20-25 degrees during the summer, but the winters are frigid and can drop below zero.

It’s still one of the top cities to view the cherry blossoms. If you’re planning to stay for a while in Sapporo, make sure you schedule your trip to view the natural beauty of Sapporo in April and May.

The city is a bit constructed, but the beautiful mountain scenery does provide Sapporo with an ethereal vibe. However, there are plenty of things to do in the city, including skiing, hot springs, exhibitions and museums. Also, Sapporo has the best Miso Ramen in Japan!

The lifestyle in Sapporo is highly affordable, with rents in line with Kyotos. Sapporo is also the most secure place to reside in Japan, with safety scores above 90.

While skiing resorts draw many foreign tourists, There isn’t much of an expat population or jobs for foreigners.


Fukuoka is located on the northern side of Kyushu Island and is the most significant city in Southern Japan. It is also among the most beautiful city, having mountains on all three sides and the beautiful Hakata Bay on the other.

Fukuoka is a wonderful city for expats looking for an unhurried lifestyle. You can enjoy beautiful beaches, tranquil temples, and lots of greenery.

The food and nightlife scene is excellent in Fukuoka. There are contemporary shopping malls as well. Fukuoka offers everything, which is supported by a low price of living.

Furthermore, it’s a highly secure place to reside in Japan and has a lower possibility of experiencing earthquakes. The downside is that there aren’t as many foreigners living here as you would find in the more well-known Japanese cities.

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Nagoya is a city of medium size situated on Nagoya, located on the Pacific coastline of Honshu, with a population of 3 million. While it’s not well-known to visitors, there’s a small expat community.

Nagoya is often described as a smaller variant of Tokyo. It features the same iconic features found in Tokyo, such as bright lighting, neon signs, Karaoke bars and colossal department stores. But, there are many places of cultural significance amid modern facilities.

One of the most attractive aspects of Nagoya is how simple the city is. Because it’s not a huge city, it’s not difficult to gain a sense of the place everything is.

In addition, it boasts an efficient rail system in Japan that’s also incredibly inexpensive. If you’re looking to escape Tokyo, the country’s historical three cities: Kyoto, Nara, and Hida Takayama, are nearby.


The city of northern Sendai is a major cultural centre growing due to many factors. The low cost of living, along with friendly locals and great food, are reasons ex-pats see Sendai as one of the top cities to reside in Japan.

Furthermore, despite all the amenities of big cities, Sendai maintains a small-town feeling of community, so it’s a great location to connect with residents.

The downside is that English isn’t widely spoken in Japan, so it is necessary to sign up for some classes in English. Sendai is a fabulous option if you’re looking to move to Japan in the long run.

There’s always something happening. The city is home to numerous annual events. In addition, since winters are frigid and snowy in the area, you could visit close ski areas.

Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Live In Japan

The Japanese cities provide a unique and equally unforgettable adventure in The Land Of The Rising Sun. Even though Japanese culture is sometimes like something out of the ordinary Many digital nomads choose Tokyo to feel comfortable.

But, after being a resident of Japan for a long time, it’s possible to visit the less-known cities to experience a more authentic experience.

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