Mention Japan and almost everyone will have something they can mention that they like and admire about the country. Some love the country for its rich and historical culture, others enjoy going there for the scenic views, and almost everyone in Singapore loves Japanese cuisine! Other aspects of Japan and its people that are universally admired are their ability to harness cutting edge technology at work, home and play to improve quality of life, as well as their hard working and resilient spirits.
With its high living standards, Japan has become one of the countries that many Singaporeans enjoy travelling to, study in, as well as work at. Seems like Singaporeans are not the only ones. The number of foreigners living in Japan has steadily increased over the years, with foreigners (or Gaikokujin in Japanese) growing by almost 150,000 in 2017, pushing up the total number of foreign residents to approximately 2.4 million.
The majority of foreigners live in the metropolitan city of Tokyo, which is divided into 23 wards. One of the districts that has surged in desirability for residency is Shinagawa. With a confluence of multiple train lines, such as the JR Yamanote Line and the Tokaido Shinkansen, and direct train connections to Haneda Airport by Keikyu Railways and Narita Airport by Narita Express, Shinagawa has earned a reputation as a major transportion hub. A bustling district, one can see white-collar workers heading off to the offices of major corporations in the day. But Shinagawa is not all work and no play. Visit one of the many shopping streets or shotengai in Shinagawa and one can uncover many hidden gems. At 1.3km long, Togoshi Ginza is the longest shopping street in the capital, and also one of the longest in the Kanto area known for its pleasant walkways and some of the best street food that Tokyo has to offer. Also running through Shinagawa is Musashi-Koyama Palm, the longest covered shopping street in Tokyo, offering another good place to while the afternoon away.
A new station between Shinagawa station and Tamachi station is slated to open in time for Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games, and a number of new residential buildings and office towers are expected to sprout in the areas surrounding the station. High rise office buildings, condominiums and commercial facilities line from around the Konan exit of Shinagawa station to the expansive area of Tennozu Isle train station, while the eastern part of Shinagawa faces Tokyo Bay. Though a little further away from central Tokyo, the southern and western part of Shinagawa is a mature residential area popular with families. The facilities and amenities such as schools, supermarkets, hospitals and parks make everyday life convenient for residents.
The northern part of Shinagawa ward is where we find the JR Meguro, Gotanda and Osaki stations. There is much going on at Osaki station, especially with the redeveloped commercial areas Gate City and ThinkPark, attracting many major corporations. Newly completed in the high end residential area of Gotenyama is Grande Vance Gotenyama The Residence, which is a mere 5 minutes walk from JR Osaki station. Comprising a luxurious 10 storey block of only 31 apartments, Grande Vance Gotenyama The Residence is an urban sanctuary promising an elite lifestyle. Each unit offers a spacious living and dining room, an open plan kitchen, a well-proportioned balcony plus bedrooms with walk in closets, as well as special floor panel heating as an added comfort feature. Each apartment has been constructed with the finest materials and fitted with high grade appliances providing residents a comfortable standard of living.
Other than Shinagawa, three other neighbourhoods in Tokyo have gained a name for themselves as being some of the best districts to live in Tokyo.
Kichijoji is a fashionable neighbourhood with trendy singles, couples and young families who are drawn to its diverse atmosphere. Situated in the western suburbs of Tokyo, Kichijoji makes for an ideal choice of residence while being close enough to the city centre. Linking Kichijoji with the central parts inside Tokyo are the JR Chuo line and the Keio Inokashira line. Apart from many unique restaurants and shops, Kichijoji is also home to the famous Ghibli Museum and Inokashira Park, one of Tokyo’s top spots to view cherry blossoms.
Ebisu is considered one of the most desirable places in Tokyo to live. With a number of embassies and international corporate headquarters in the vicinity, the high-end neighbourhood is popular with expatriates. Located on the southwestern end of the JR Yamanote Line, the urban hub is only one station away from Shibuya and Roppongi. Just five minutes walk away from Ebisu Station is Yebisu Garden Place, a major entertainment, retail and office complex consisting of roughly a dozen buildings and skyscrapers, and includes restaurants, a departmental store, offices and residential buildings, offering plenty of amenities.
Ikebukuro is a unique district with diverse popular subcultures that is great for young people, especially those with a love for Japanese anime or manga. Apart from Sunshine City, which comprises a 60-storey mixed-used skyscraper with an observation deck, aquarium and planetarium, there are large departmental stores, major electronic chains and restaurants, leaving residents spoilt for choice. Ikebukuro Station houses the JR Yamanote, Saikyo and Shonan Shinjuku Lines, as well as the privately operated Seibu Ikebukuro and Tobu Tojo lines and three subway lines, providing easy access to multiple locations in Tokyo and the Kanto region.