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Working in Atsugi, where to live? 2008/4/12 05:40

I recently have been given a great opportunity to relocate to Japan from the US (Tennessee) with my company for a 2-3 year engagement. My wife and I are relatively young (27 and 35 respectively). I will be working at an office in Atsugi (although I am told that I would probably enjoy living in Yokohama or Tokyo more). We have no children or pets.

We will have a 480k yen monthly housing stipend and a vehicle.

All things being perfect, I would love to live in Tokyo. My wife is a practicing attorney in the US, but right now will not have a job when she enters the country. If she is able to find work -- it would likely be with a larger US based law firm (and they are all in Tokyo).

However, I am very concerned about the potential long commute to Atsugi (by car or transit). I have been told that Yokohama may present a better living and commuting situation -- but I am concerned about my wife and her ability to find/get to work. How easy is it to live in Yokohama and work in Tokyo?

We have not yet visited Japan and we will get a week long house hunting trip. We would not be moving until October 2008.

I would very much appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance.
by SKrill  

... 2008/4/12 19:21
I think for you Yokohama would be a good place to live in. Yokohama to Atsugi would be something like 40 minutes by train, and Yokohama to Tokyo station/Shinjuku station would be 25 - 30 minutes or so. If you lived in central Tokyo, you are going to have a long commute, though 1 hour 20 minutes or so of commuting time one way for people who live in the suburbs of Tokyo is common.

It also depends on exactly where your office is (in terms of train station), and where your wife intends to find work in Tokyo, but either in Yokohama or somewhere in between Tokyo and Yokohama, possibly along Toyoko Line, would be fine. Many people do commute from Yokohama area to Tokyo, by the way. You could ask for your colleagues' suggestions :)
by AK rate this post as useful

where? 2008/4/13 07:06
I agree that Yokohama is a better place to live (with 3.6 million it is not a small suburb but a very interesting town with great shopping, a lively waterfront, a big Chinatown and close to the historical city of Kamakura). Going to Tokyo is easy and fast.
by monkey see rate this post as useful

Where to live? 2008/4/13 13:18
If you live in Yokohama, you can take a rapid express train to Ebina on the Sotetsu line, where you would have to transfer lines (Odakyu) to get to Hon Atsugi Station. It really depends on where you would live in Yokohama and how close your residence is to a train station. If you were to live in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, you could take the train on the Odakyu line to Hon Atsugi, but it's at least an hour on the train (if you get the express or rapid express), and you would have to take into consideration walking times to the station. Some websites to check out train times are: Jorudan and Hyperdia. For starting stations, type in Shinjuku and Yokohama, and then Hon Atsugi for the destination--you'll get the fare, train times, and how many times you need to transfer lines. I hope this helps! Talk to some of your future coworkers too!
by LH rate this post as useful

living i n Japan 2008/4/13 16:23
I know it is a bit too early to worry about all that but when you look at trains schedules and length of a trip don't worry about the fares. The Tokyo region has smart transit cards (Suica and Pasmo) that can be loaded with commuter passes. Commuters only "buy" their usual route from home to work and back. It isn't that expensive. Trips outside the regular route are charged extra. Read all about it by Googling Suica and Pasmo. Check also www.urbanrail.net and click on Asia then Tokyo on the map of Japan. Check also all the tabs at the top of this page. Japan A-Z, especially, has lots of info on everything. Driving to work isn't easy-compared to your home--due to the traffic-left hand driving--the high price of gas,toll fees etc. and of course the need to get a Japanese driver license. Eventually you will, but mainly for sightseeing etc. My Japanese friends, like my European ones, prefer to take rapid transit to/from work. When looking for a place to live do have a look at places with Japanese bathrooms rather than the usual North American ones where everything is in one small room. Check the following site: http://www.housingjapan.net/tokyo_apartment/index.php and click on the photos of a couple of properties to get an idea of layouts and to view some photos.Yodobashi cameras, despite its name, has lots of amazing small-and big--appliances like microwave ovens that also bake,broil and steam cook.
by Monkey see rate this post as useful

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