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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 and some English-speaking physicians and pediatricians located in the area.
Sporting facilities are plentiful, and there are some lovely parks equipped with jungle gyms to keep the kids busy for hours, several major shopping centers, and an international supermarket 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.
Many Western restaurants and shops are frequented on weekends and fine days here. 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 neighborhood choice 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. While it is slightly further to the Nagoya International School than the Meito-Ku area, the convenience of commuting to Toyota and the abundance of greenery draws many expats here. An international hospital with English speakers is located in the area, and Jusco, the main shopping center, stocks anything you could require for daily life.
There are two universities here and a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There are some private gyms and health centers in the area for the health-conscious. Yagoto is popular with Japanese executives, and although housing is mostly Japanese in style, the properties are gorgeous and relatively spacious compared to standard Japanese housing.
Haruyama is a popular choice for those with basic Japanese skills and looking for a more “Japanese” experience. Facilities catering to foreigners are scarce; however, some lovely and spacious Western-style housing options are available for less in this area.
Tempaku-Ku is located on the outskirts of Nagoya and offers excellent access to Toyota by train. Until recently, the number of foreign residents living in the area was somewhat 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 an extensive 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 central 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, upscale boutiques, and the “3M” department stores (Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya, and Maruei). Housing options are limited and tend to be more expensive and smaller 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 provides 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 undoubtedly see an increase in the expat community in the not-so-distant future.
The Fushimi 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 going 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 somewhat limited, expensive, and on the smaller side in this central district.