The following neighborhoods are known to be comfortable and foreigner friendly, making them popular among expats. In Tokyo these are Minato-ku (Aoyama, Azabu, Roppongi and Shirokane), Meguro-ku (Nakameguro and Jiyugaoka), and Shibuya-ku (Hiroo, Daikanyama and Ebisu). In Yokohama the popular area is Naka-ku. There are many international schools, shops and restaurants with English-speaking staff. Decide on the best place to live based on where you work, access to school for your children and the type of lifestyle you lead.
Hiroo & Azabu
Hiroo and Azabu are known as upscale residential neighborhoods. In addition to residences, these neighborhoods are home to a number of schools, parks, temples, shrines and churches, providing a safe and quiet environment. At the same time, these areas are known for having sophisticated shops and restaurants. The numerous embassies, western-style housings, and international schools naturally draw a large expatriate population and form one of the largest cosmopolitan communities in Tokyo.
Roppongi is one of the trendiest and most cosmopolitan towns in Tokyo with a number of shopping complexes, offices of internationally affiliated businesses, eateries, and various services catering to the expatriate population. There are some international preschools and bus stops for major international schools in Tokyo, and a good selection of medical facilities with English-speaking doctors in the area. Many of the housing options for expatriates are in residential complexes, some high-rise. There are also a number of upscale hotels and serviced apartments for short-term stayers.
Located only a station away from the bustling center of Shibuya and in close proximity to Ebisu, Daikanyama is easily accessible, rich in green areas, and home to an impressive number of upscale boutiques, first rate cafes and restaurants. In addition, Daikanyama is a convenient area in which to live, especially for foreign nationals, because there are stores that offer ingredients and organic foods which are not commonly available in Japanese supermarkets. There aren’t many high-rise residences, but more single or two-story housing options are available.