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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village Building Boom: If you build it, will buyers come?

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games will commence about two years from today, on July 24th, 2020, and construction of competition venues and the Athletes’ Village is proceeding at a feverish pace. Among the questions being asked about the... More

Area Guides

Harajuku Area Guide - Living Guide for Foreginers

Harajuku Area GuideHarajuku Area Guide

Harajuku in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo is made up of bustling world famous fashion centers wrapped inside quiet, cozy residential areas. The neighborhood’s vibe differs drastically depending on whether you live there or whether you see it as a destination. Main... More

Sakai Osaka Guide - Living Guide for Foreigners

Sakai Area Guide – Osaka Living GuideSakai Area Guide – Osaka Living Guide

Sakai's proximity to Osaka but relatively inexpensive real estate makes it ideal for families looking for more space or for those looking for somewhere peaceful that’s not too far from the beaten track.

Shibuya Area Guide - Living Guide for Foreigners

Shibuya Area GuideShibuya Area Guide

Shibuya is everything to everyone. Every little neighborhood around the station has its own vibe. It runs the gamut from low cost single-room micro-apartments to massive, luxurious seven-bedroom manors. Street food to Michelin-starred gourmet dining. Back alley smoking areas to young, fashionable vape cafes. Mass market department stores to one-of-a-kind designer boutiques. It’s every aspect of Tokyo life distilled into one location.

Guides to Tokyo Residential Neighborhoods

Tokyo Area GuidesTokyo Area Guides

Tokyo area guides to residential neighborhoods popular with foreigners.

Azabu Juban Area Guide

Azabu Juban Area GuideAzabu Juban Area Guide

Home to numerous embassies, excellent public and international schools, quiet narrow streets, expat-dense, international influences vie with Edo-period appeal. Popular with expats and cosmopolitan Japanese alike, this family-friendly suburb boasts top-class amenities.

Jiyugaoka Area Guide

Jiyugaoka Mini-Area GuideJiyugaoka Mini-Area Guide

Jiyugaoka is a neighborhood and train station on the southern edge of Meguro Ward. With its leafy tree-lined streets, fashionable boutiques, and many small restaurants and cafes, it is known as Tokyo’s Little Europe and is synonymous with “calm and sophisticated.”... More

Hongō Area Guide

Hongo Area Guide – TokyoHongo Area Guide – Tokyo

Hongō is a neighborhood located in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, west of Ueno Park and north of the Imperial Palace, that is synonymous with Japan’s top institution of higher learning, Tokyo University. It is also home to Juntendo and Toyo Gakuen... More

Chitose Area Guide

Chitose Area Guide – HokkaidoChitose Area Guide – Hokkaido

Chitose City, with a population of about 96,500, is located about 45-km southeast of Sapporo. Its main claim to fame is its proximity to New Chitose Airport, the main airport serving Hokkaido, but it is also known for being surrounded... More

Ōokayama Station Area: Tokyo Neighborhood Guide

Ookayama Area Guide – TokyoOokayama Area Guide – Tokyo

Ōokayama (大岡山) Station in Ota Ward, Tokyo is a relaxed and student-friendly neighborhood. Near the station is the area's most famous landmark, The Tokyo Institute of Technology. Not to be confused with Okayama Station in Okayama Prefecture.

Kyobashi Area Guide

Kyobashi Area Guide – OsakaKyobashi Area Guide – Osaka

Kyobashi is as central as you can get in Osaka. It has the distinction of being one of the city's largest business districts while being close to many tourist attractions, most notably Osaka Castle Park. It is known for its shopping and nightlife, especially its numerous izakayas and tachinomi, or standing bars.

Kyobashi Area Guide

Osaka Area Guide – Housing Guide for ForeignersOsaka Area Guide – Housing Guide for Foreigners

Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan after Tokyo and one of the largest in the world with a population of more than 19 million. It is located in the southern portion of Honshu, Japan’s main island, on... More

Living in Roppongi

Roppongi Area Guide – Housing Guide for ForeignersRoppongi Area Guide – Housing Guide for Foreigners

Famous for its iconic nightlife scene and more recently the upmarket Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown mega-complexes. Home to many foreigners living in a microcosm of Tokyo's many urban delights.

Living in Nagoya

Nagoya Area Guide – Housing Guide for ForeignersNagoya Area Guide – Housing Guide for Foreigners

Nagoya is situated about midway between Tokyo and Osaka. Many foreigners who have lived in both Tokyo and Nagoya will tell you that Nagoya offers everything Tokyo does, only on a much more liveable, convenient, and affordable scale.

Living in Kichijoji

Kichijoji Area GuideKichijoji Area Guide

A youthful and creative neighborhood situated in Musashino City, just west of Tokyo. Close enough to the central wards to be convenient but far enough away to have a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere. Its diverse and vibrant shopping center is surrounded by peaceful residential areas and home to the famed Inokashira Park.

Living in Meguro

Meguro Area GuideMeguro Area Guide

A residential area that’s as well connected and convenient as anywhere in the world’s largest city can be. But distinctly calmer, quieter and far more liveable than many other parts of Tokyo.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village Building Boom: If you build it, will buyers come?The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village Building Boom: If you build it, will buyers come?

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games will commence about two years from today, on July 24th, 2020, and construction of competition venues and the Athletes’ Village is proceeding at a feverish pace. Among the questions being asked about the... More

Renting in Tokyo

What can you rent near Shibuya for $550 or less a month?What can you rent near Shibuya for $550 or less a month?

If you want to live near the bright lights and frenetic energy of Shibuya without paying Shibuya prices, this article is for you! Below we highlight some neighborhoods and properties located within one to five stops of Shibuya, which you... More

Real Estate and Taxes

Lowering the Tax Basis of your Condo for Japanese Inheritance Tax PurposesLowering the Tax Basis of your Condo for Japanese Inheritance Tax Purposes

By Jeff Wynkoop The National Tax Agency (“NTA”) recently published its 2018 Roadside Land Values (路線価 or rosenka) for calculating inheritance and gift tax when ownership in land is transferred, and values were up 0.7% on average nationwide in the... More

Local Guides to Neighborhoods Around Japan

Nishi Shinjuku Go-Chome: Where I Live in TokyoNishi Shinjuku Go-Chome: Where I Live in Tokyo

Nishi Shinjuku Go-Chome is a station on the Toei Oedo metro line in Nishi (West) Shinjuku. It is centrally located just west of Shinjuku Chuo (Central) Park and the Nishi Shinjuku skyscraper district. It’s also just one stop from Shinjuku... More

Living in Japan

Record Number of Foreigners Living in Japan: 2018 Japanese Govt SurveyRecord Number of Foreigners Living in Japan: 2018 Japanese Govt Survey

As of January 1st of this year, the highest number ever of foreigners, 2,497,000 (a 7.5% year-on-year increase) has been recorded living in Japan, according to a survey of population dynamics recently announced by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and... More

Living in Japan

Variable Rate Mortgages in Japan Hit New All-Time HighVariable Rate Mortgages in Japan Hit New All-Time High

By Jeff Wynkoop The number of people taking out variable rate mortgage loans in Japan has hit a new all-time high. In the second half of the fiscal year 2017, 56% of all new mortgages were variable rate loans, which... More

Living in Japan

The top disasters caused by heavy rain and typhoons in Japan: 2011 to 2018The top disasters caused by heavy rain and typhoons in Japan: 2011 to 2018

In a recent post, we explained how to prepare for the typhoon season in Japan, and noted that typhoons are dangerous not only because of high wind speeds: many deaths in typhoons are caused by flooding and landslides. As of yesterday... More

AirBnB in Japan

Why the Japanese Government Was Right to Regulate AirBnB in JapanWhy the Japanese Government Was Right to Regulate AirBnB in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop Recently some commentators have been taking the Japanese authorities to task for how they dealt with implementation of the June 15th Minpaku law. They say poor planning and heavy-handed regulation led to thousands of foreigners losing their... More

Living in Japan

Where are the most popular places for foreigners to live in Osaka?Where are the most popular places for foreigners to live in Osaka?

In this post, we take a look at the most popular places for foreigners to live in Osaka. The data comes from the Osaka Prefectural Government. 1. How many foreigners live in Osaka? In 2016, there were 217,656 foreign nationals (from... More

Buying a Home in Japan

What can you buy for $200,000 in Osaka?What can you buy for $200,000 in Osaka?

In this installment of our series on “what can you buy” in cities throughout Japan, we head to Osaka, the unofficial capital of western Japan! The average price of a re-sale apartment in central Osaka is about 33 million yen... More