Gouda Cheese Shop - Kaashandel Peters
Buy Dutch cheese and several other Dutch products online. Perfect for corporate gifts.

Wafelhuis Stroopwafels
Freshly baked stroopwafels in Japan. Sold online or at various outlets in Japan

Estate Wines Japan
Wine gifts in Japan. Offers fine wines with home delivery anywhere in Japan.

Hilton Nagoya hotel
Stunning views over central Nagoya.

Hilton Osaka Hotel
Right opposite Osaka Station.

Japanese street fashion

KLM Japan
Book KLM tickets online.

Nederlandse Vereniging in West Japan > article

• Living in Japan • HyogoWhere to live in Kansai?

Although the Kansai is a huge area stretching from the Japan Sea to the Pacific Ocean, most expats end up in a small area round Kobe and Osaka. Here is a small orientation to the most attractive places to live for expats.


This area is conveniently situated between Osaka and Kobe and has long been considered, by the Japanese, as one of the best residential areas. It has a lovely layout around a river and cherry blossoms abound. Houses tend to be middling to large with small gardens. Lately however more and more apartment buildings are being built and the very grand image is suffering slightly because of it. However the area behind it, Mikage, is still very exclusive with extremely luxurious houses and gardens. Nearby Mikage is Rokko with many apartments but some fine houses and gardens are in this area too. A commute is from all of these areas is necessary to office and school but the international schools provide buses to all of these areas and the ex-patriates who live here find the bus stops for these buses very convenient.


Sannomiya is the very heart of Kobe and 30 minutes walk from the station, uphill all the way, lies the old foreign settlement of Kobe. Some of the old, old houses have been renovated and are put on show as open houses catering to the Japanese tourists who walk around this area on Sundays paying to view some of these old properties. Nearby and a little out of the way of the tourist there is a small expatriate community. Mostly the housing used by the expatriate community tends to be apartment buildings but with large airy rooms and lovely views. This area is very convenient for St Michaels International School, Elementary and Nursery education only, and also for the Kobe Club one of the main clubs for foreign residents. The other sport-orientated club for foreigners is a short car ride or a hefty walk away. Port Island with its international standard swimming pool and Kous, the large discount supermarket, is only 2 stops away on the Port Liner from Sannomiya station. Canadian Academy and Marist Brothers International Schools run buses into this area for school children. The area is convenient for access to the Shinkansen and the Kansai International airport which is reached by going directly across the bay in the airport ferry, the K-jet.

Rokko Island

This is a man-made island featuring mainly apartments. There are a few houses with gardens situated in a beautiful area and very near the international school (Canadian Academy), but most of the housing is in apartment high rises. These apartments with their close proximity to shopping compare very well with the houses as they are often more spacious and have everything at hand right in the complex itself. From the apartment complex the international school is only a ten minute walk away.


This area is seen as being the catchment area for Marist Brothers International School but that does not signify close proximity to the school. It is seen as the coutrified expatriate area but it is still highly populated. The Shioya Country Club caters for the relaxation of this fairly large expatriate population.


This has a small but steadily growing expatriate community. It is literally sits in the shadow of the Osaka International School and offers access to a large green, rather mountainous parkland immediately behind the school. The area also has an international food store. Buses serve this area well and most of the expatriates who live here are overjoyed to find themselves within picnic distance of the famous Mino Waterfalls which are frequented by monkeys. One of the buses which stops in front of the school carries occupants to Senri Chuo station where they can board a train for central Osaka. It is rather far out from the center of the city by train but is readily accessible by car.

Originally published by japanhomesearch.com

23 January 2005 - Kjeld Duits

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