Tokyo and Yokohama are both great cities. When I first moved here I was really ecstatic to be in Tokyo because there’s so much to do and everything happens in the huge metropolis. However, in my previous post I briefly mentioned that the cost of living was too much and I became broke. Yokohama on the other hand is less expensive, but is living in the smaller, quieter city worth relinquishing Tokyo’s conveniences?
If you have a choice between the two for a job or place to live, you’ve come to the right place! In this post, I’m going to to summarise the pros and cons of both over three categories.
First: Rent and cost of living
Yokohama wins this round. No questions. Even if you take the greater suburbs into account, Yokohama is much cheaper. If you want an apartment bigger than 132 meters in Tokyo, then you’ll be spending way above 70,000 yen ($US700). I recommend share houses, and checking out “Oakhouse” for either city. They have a good range, super safe environment, and decent prices. But everything in Tokyo is just generally more expensive and it takes a while before you find those good bang for buck gems. Don’t forget I went broke in Tokyo.
Ok so this round goes to Tokyo. It’s just a bigger city so you have a bigger variety of things to do. So many different themed restaurants, bars, places to hang out. If you’re into clubs, then Tokyo has countless places you can visit and often some with big headliners. I once saw DJ Sneke and didn’t even realise it. On top of that, there’s still all those touristy places such as the temples, parks, and many shrines spread across Tokyo.
Yokohama is nice too. You have an ethnic Chinatown, the hip area Minato Mirai with the classy Red Brick Warehouse and its monthly events, and the bayside area of Yokohama with different restaurants, shops, and cafes. But there just isn’t quite that range you can find in Tokyo. While the capital is better for entertainment, I often prefer Yokohama as there can be far less people. The good thing about either is it’s close to the other. You can easily do a day or weekend trip.
Third: Nearby places and accessibility
Final round. Yokohama is close to a lot of great things. Outside the city you are a stone’s throw away from Kamakura and the big Buddha, awesome beaches from Zushi to Fujisawa, and the quaint town of Enoshima from whose lighthouse you can see Mt Fuji. Fuji itself and the hot spring village of Hakone are also just an hour or so by train away. You can also get to Tokyo within thirty or forty minutes, and Haneda International Airport is close by too!
Tokyo, on the other hand, opens you up to all other areas beyond the Kanto region. If you’re looking at places nearby, then you have Mt Takao and hour away, Yokohama is the same, and Mt Fuji is not even an extra hour longer by train. It’s also easier to go to other cities in the north like Sendai, and also Osaka, and Kyoto. And I guess Tokyo Disney Resort also counts.
To put it short, Yokohama has great places nearby but Tokyo can get you to those distant weekend destinations easier. Personally though, I’d go with Yokohama. It’s only thirty minutes to Tokyo if you need to go further by bullet train, but it’s closer to great beaches and nature. I grew up next to the beach so it just feels right to be in Yokohama.
But by all means, if you prefer to be in the hustle and bustle of millions of people at the cost of having a bit more convenience, then Tokyo is for you. Yokohama however, has a lower cost of living, great entertainment, and plenty of things to do nearby. Sorry for being so inconclusive, but it’s really up to your preferences.
That’s just my opinion! What’s yours? Think Yokohama is trashier than Tokyo? Leave it in the comments below!