If you are thinking about moving to Japan, Saitama Prefecture is where I recommend for your first place to live in.
If you don’t really like living in a big city like Tokyo or you don’t want to pay too much for rent, Saitama might be suited for you.
Where is Saitama?
Saitama is next to Tokyo and surrounded by 6 other prefectures and Tokyo.
- Easy access to Tokyo
Since Saitama is just next to Tokyo and many train lines have very easy access to and from Tokyo that takes a reasonable amount of time to get to most of the stations in Tokyo. For example, It takes only 30 min from Kawaguchi station to Shinjuku station.
I personally recommend you to live along the Keihin-Tohoku line. It is more convenient than living along other lines, and the train usually comes every 5 min from early morning, about 4:30am, to the late evening, about 1am.
Of course, Saitama has a lot of places to see and have fun at too (Kawagoe, Chichibu etc).
In addition, not only Tokyo, but you can also go somewhere else like Gunma or Ibaraki Prefectures easily to travel for the weekend.
Saitama is really convenient as it has easy access to almost anywhere in Kanto area, not only Tokyo.
While a Tokyo address may seem a bit cooler to some people (especially to Japanese people) the rent in Saitama is about 40,000 yen cheaper than the rent in Tokyo.
For example, if you live in the center of Tokyo, the rent is about 100,000 yen for a small studio apartment, while the rent for a bigger studio apartment room is about 60,000 in Saitama where is just about 10 min away from Tokyo.
3. Not too busy but not too countryside
Saitama is not only convenient enough to live, but it’s also not too busy like Tokyo, so it is quieter, meaning you can relax more when you come back home.
For shopping, Oomiya and Koshigaya Laketown are nice places for that kind of activities. Although Oomiya is the second biggest Shinkansen (blue train) station, it is not too big like Shinjuku, so less stressful to walk around. It is kind of compact, that’s why easy for shopping without hitting people in the crowd.
4. Safer from earthquakes
Since Saitama is not surrounded by mountains or ocean, you needn’t worry so much about dangers from natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunami.
Also, Saitama is pretty much flat land everywhere, so it is easy for you to walk, drive and ride a bicycle.
5. Nice and friendly people
People of Saitama are relatively nicer than people in Tokyo I think. Maybe that’s people in Tokyo seem a little colder than those people outside of that area.
I feel that my neighbors are more friendly and chill than people in the center of Tokyo.
People in Saitama tend to be less busy and therefore less irritated, so if you don’t want to be rush all the time, Saitama is a good place for living, as maybe a slower pace when it comes life.
So, welcome to Saitama ～