Nagoya lies at the heart of the Chubu Region of Central Japan, which includes nine “ken”, or prefectures; Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama and Yamanashi. It is the 4th largest city in Japan with a population of over 2 million people. Nagoya has a long history and is notable as the birthplace of three historically significant feudal lords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. You will find them and their exploits highlighted in many festivals and historical footnotes throughout the city.
While many traditional industries such as ceramics and textiles still thrive, Nagoya’s economy is dominated by modern industries including automobiles, aviation, and machine tools, and is considered the manufacturing heart of Japan. Sometimes overshadowed by Tokyo and Osaka, Nagoya is a great place to live, feeling much smaller than it actually is.
Nagoya consists of 16 wards, or “ku,” but most are not popular with expats due to a relative lack of services and convenience to international schools or common expat companies. These wards include: (Stars indicate a popular expat choice. More information and links to properties in these areas can be found below)
Relo Japan, another part of The H&R Group, is proud to bring you our FREE “Nagoya Destination Guide,” a special digital guide that incorporates inside knowledge of Nagoya from the view of an expatriate. This invaluable resource has everything you need to know about living and working in Nagoya, including:
More FREE city guides, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, and Hiroshima are available in the Relo Japan website.
The H&R Group provides a wide range of real estate, relocation, staffing, and life-enrichment services. The H&R Group Blog was created to help communicate the information, knowledge, and expert advice of the H&R Group family of companies to their clients. Ensuring clients and the community at large access to a reliable source for all the tools needed to take full advantage of and fully enjoy the experience of relocating to, living and working in Japan.
You can find articles relating specifically to the City of Nagoya at this link.
Having trouble working out which area is best suited to the type of lifestyle you would like to lead in Japan? See our comprehensive guide for information on the popular expat areas to live in Nagoya City.
Please note that the majority of people living in city areas in Japan use the name of the closest station to refer to their neighborhood. For example, those with an address in Naka Ku in Nagoya would say that they lived in Sakae if that is the closest station to their home.
Issha and Hongo are popular areas for expat families in Nagoya as they are located between the Nagoya International School and Toyota. The entrance to the Tomei Expressway is located by Hongo station and provides excellent vehicle access to both Toyota and Okazaki.
There is a wonderful selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as a number of English-speaking physicians and pediatricians located in the area. Sporting facilities are plentiful and there are a number of nice parks equipped with jungle gyms to keep the kids busy for hours. There are also several major shopping centers and an international supermarket located near Issha station. Meito-ku hosts many western-style houses with gardens and proves to be the most popular area with expats due to the convenient location and facilities available.
Hoshigaoka is on the Higashiyama Line, which runs through the city and is nicely located on the edge of the Higashiyama Park and Zoo. Visiting the park, botanical gardens, city library and sports center here are favorite pastimes for both Japanese and foreigners alike.
There are also a number of western restaurants and shops that are well frequented on weekends and fine days. The Aichi International School is located close by making the area a popular choice for those with small children. Single standing houses are scarce finds here, however, apartments are available.
Chikusa is conveniently located just a short train ride from the central business district in Nagoya city and is a popular place for dining after hours amongst young professionals. The Matsuzakaya supermarket here stocks an extensive range of imported products to enable you to catch a taste of home. The area is surrounded by greenery and is a popular choice of neighborhood for families. Western-style housing is limited, however, Japanese style apartments are readily available.
Yagoto is located on the Tsurumai Line, which runs between Toyota, Nisshin and Nagoya city. Whilst it is slightly further to the Nagoya International School than the Meito-ku area, the convenience of the commute to Toyota and the abundance of greenery draws many expats here. An international hospital with English speakers available is located in the area and Jusco, the main shopping center, stocks anything you could require for daily life.
There are 2 universities here and a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. For the health-conscious, there are a number of private gyms and health centers in the area. Yagoto is popular with Japanese executives and although housing is mostly Japanese in style, the properties are gorgeous and relatively spacious in comparison to standard Japanese housing.
Haruyama is a popular choice for those with some basic Japanese skills and looking for a more “Japanese” experience. Facilities catering to foreigners are scarce, however, there are some lovely and spacious Western-style housing options available for less in this area.
Tempaku-ku is located on the outskirts of Nagoya and offers excellent access to Toyota by train. Up until recently, the number of foreign residents living in the area was rather limited and thus it has only limited facilities catering to the foreign community. Recently the popularity of the Hara and Hirabari areas is increasing due to the cheaper housing prices available.
The Matsuzakaya supermarket located just by Hara station has a large range of foreign goods available. The Ueda International Preschool is also located here and enjoys an excellent reputation amongst the foreign community. Housing options are mostly limited to smaller apartments.
Sakae is Nagoya’s major business district and you will find all you want here from nightlife and shopping to dining, art, and entertainment. The area boasts many trendy places to shop, as well as upscale boutiques and the “3M” department stores (Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya, and Maruei).
Housing options are limited and tend to be more expensive and on the smaller side in the center of town.
The area around Nagoya station is host to many offices, restaurants and popular places to shop, including the Takashimaya department store and Tokyu Hands. Domestic travel is made easy here as you can jump on the bullet train from Nagoya station and reach almost all areas of the country in just a few hours.
The Nagoya International Center’s friendly and multilingual staff provide various useful services to the foreign community. Housing options are relatively limited and not as spacious as in other areas, however, there are many new developments taking place which will no doubt see an increase in the expat community in the not so distant future.
Fusihimi area is to Nagoya, what Roppongi is to Tokyo. This area is popular with those wanting to enjoy the nightlife and boasts many western-style restaurants and bars. The Higashiyama and Tsurumai Lines cross here making it a common transit point for those on their way out to Toyota. The Hilton hotel is also located in Fushimi making it a popular place to stay for visitors from out of town. Housing options are rather limited, expensive and on the smaller side in this central district.