When one (either he is Japanese or foreigner) said about Yokohama, this is where it means. Developed as an international port city at the end of Edo era to welcome American envoys, portside zone of Yokohama city has become major commerce and government area. The municipal office and other historical architectures in Kannai areas are designed with respect to modern western architectures. Yamate hills located in south of the city zone has been historically expats dwelling area where large houses and two international schools (YIS and St. Maur). Nowadays, it is the most luxurious residential area of Yokohama, with houses and apartment priced over 100milion yen. Many expats has chosen the Yamate hills as their living area with good access to schools and comfortable environment, yet recently some become to choose high-rise apartments built in Minato-mirai and Yokohama station area. Minato-mirai, which is a triangle area cornered by the Yokohama Station, Sakuragicho and bayside contains the office zone represented by the Land Mark Tower, amusement and shopping zone, and residential zone on over 1.8square kilometer land. Many famous international companies place their offices in this area: such as Nissan, Apple, Ericsson, JGC, Chiyoda Corporation and more.
While south side of the city zone (Kannai and Yamate hills) can be said old town with scent of history and local enthusiasm, Minato-mirai is the most modernized area with high-rise office building apartments built in this 30 years.
The central Yokohama attracts tourists for beautiful scenery of oceans, seaside parks, large shopping malls, baseball stadium of Yokohama Baystars and the world safest China town. If you would say that “I live in Yokohama,” this is the most suitable area.
Yokohama station vicinity / Minatomirai/Kannai/Bayside / Yamate/YIS-YCAC/Honmoku
High-rise apartments in Minato-Mirai area, mostly built within this decade
View of Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal
Scenery of a street in Yamate-cho area, where YIS and St. Maur are located
While the central Yokohama is a city zone, other area of Yokohama city can be described as commuter town with hills and green. Northwest of Yokohama such as Tsuzuki-ku (where DSTY is located), Aobaku, and Kohoku-ku is carefully designed residential area with beautiful houses. 3 Lines by Tokyu Railways run this area that accesses to Shibuya station. Expat families who prefer German education tend to live in this area, and Bosch office is located here, too. Along the municipal subway, there is huge shopping mall on both Center-minami (south) and Center Kita (north) that attracts families from surrounding area in weekend. Shin-Yokohama station of Shinkansen is located in this area, yet, it is more business zone where corporate offices of distribution companies and Nissan stadium are located. Apple R&D office, TÜV Rheinland and other automotive related companies locate offices here valuing access to factories and environment.
Other zones of Yokohama can be classified by railways.
North-east side: where JR Tokaido line and Keikyu lines run between Shinagawa and Yokohama, along seashore. It is mostly industry zone.
West side: Where Sotetsu line runs. It is hilly and much more local town.
South-east side: Where Keikyu line runs between Yokosuka, and Yokohama. Flat area is factory and distribution storage zone, and hill side is residential zone represented by Kanazawa-bunko station.
South-west side: where JR Tokaido and Yokosuka line run. BASF factory is in Totsuka, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has research center in Fujisawa.
German School/Tsuzuki / Kohoku-NT/Azamino/Shin-yokohama / North bayside/Kawasaki station / West Yokohama/Sotetsu Line / Southwest/Totsuka / Southeast/Keikyu Line
Located between Tokyo and Yokohama city, Kawasaki has two features as city, heavy industry and commuters’ dwelling. Because it stretches to east and west along south side of Tama River, those two totally different features stand together. For a long time, the city name is referred as industrial zone for factories and iron mills built on seashore, yet nowadays, residential zone located in center and west side become popular for good access to center of Tokyo by Denen-toshi line and Toyoko line. Particularly, Musashi-kosugi of Toyoko line comes under the local spotlight by re-development around the station with high-rise apartments and fashionable shopping malls. The city has a competitive J-League football team, Kawasaki Frontale, that has Todoroki Stadium as its home ground.
Kawasaki station vicinity/Musashi-kosugi/Mizonokuchi/Tama riversideOdakyu Line vicinity
The seashore of Sagami bay and west side of Yokosuka peninsula is known as Shonan.
The first samurai government was located in Kamakura, and this historical venue attracts tourist from all over the world. Enoshima, Kamakura, Zushi and Hayama located along the Route 134 that runs seaside features ocean resorts near from Tokyo. While Kamakura is a possible choice as commuter town of Tokyo, Hayama and its vicinity are much more of resort zone represented by Imperial Villa.
Because the Yokosuka Naval Base is located on the east side of peninsula, this area is favored by U.S. military personnel as off-base housing zone.
Yokosuka/Zushi/Hayama / Kamakura/Fujisawa/west seashore
Zama & mid Kanagawa
U.S. Zama Camp is located in mid Kanagawa, where is much more rural area of Kanagawa prefecture. There runs Tomei highway and Odakyu Line, yet there are not many large houses or apartments in this area. Expats and military personnel who works in this area (Sagamihara city has factory and distribution center zone) and seek larger residence tend to live in Yokohama or Kawasaki area for better house choice.
Yokohama living information
About International Schools
There are three major international schools in Yokohama: Yokohama International School, St.Maur, and Deutsche Schule Tokyo Yokohama. YIS and St.Maur is located on the hills of Yamate-cho, where has been expats living area and most luxurious residential area since the opening of the port of Yokohama. DSTY is located in northwest of the city, accessible by the blue and green municipal subway.
Popular area to commute international
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