Moving to Nagoya discussion

Neutral reviews


Lived in Nagoya for 2 years. Not too bad of a place. Love the chicken wings there. I was treated far far worse when I lived in Saitama. The Nagoya Int'l Center newsletter has groups to find friends.

The Chubu Treasure Trove is good for 2nd hand goods. So is Kimble. Treasure Bomb is hit or miss.

Work culture. It's rough. That's why I left. No fan of nomakais and being seen as a slacker for leaving on time (all my work was done).

John Crawley

Life in Nagoya, compared with eg Tokyo:

Plus points:

  • Getting around is easy - you can reach just about anywhere in less than an hour.
  • Rents are relatively reasonable.
  • Streets are wider, so there’s more sky.
  • The countryside is quite accessible, especially Gifu prefecture to the north.
  • The people are conservative but friendly.


  • While missing the feeling of a small country town, you also miss the cultural activity of Tokyo or Osaka. Concerts and exhibitions often pass Nagoya by.

Jonathan Fields

Nagoya is absolutely the most boring city in Japan. It's huge, sprawling, and has millions of people, but there's nothing to do. Sometimes the streets are so empty it looks like "The Walking Dead."

Positive reviews


No, Nagoya is great. Japan is pretty great in general. I haven't experienced any discrimination, everyone I have had contact with has been lovely (except the NHK guy, fuck them).

Basically what you're reading stems from this: it's more common to complain than to praise. There is some truth to the Japanese-Foreigner interaction being sometimes discrimination but it's not common nor flat out obvious all the time. Most people would change the term discrimination to xenophobia, because Japanese people are generally very accepting and love to get to know foreigners.

Take the offer if all else in the offer is good for you, because Nagoya is great. I love it here, and many other foreigners do, too. If you take the offer, there are some other subreddits you can use: /r/japanlife and /r/Nagoya. The Nagoya subreddit is pretty quiet, but good for getting specific and more helpful info on the area. Japanlife has a bunch of high horse old men who like to judge others quickly, but I think that's a loud majority, don't like them turn you off from a good resource. Also, there's a second hand goods Facebook club called "Chubu Treasure Trove." Best of luck!


I went to uni in Nagoya and loved it. It's a very underrated city. My knowledge is probably very outdated but I do second going to the Nagoya international centre - I found so many friends (and my boyfriend at the time) through there. I put an advert up on the board there for language exchanges. They also do bilingual events and classes - I took yoga there.

I would also recommend becoming a "regular" at a bar. Preferably not Shooters (does that still exist??) but something where lots of Japanese people go. You'll make friends quickly.

If you want to study Japanese, then there are lots of volunteer groups about teaching foreigners. When I moved to Mie this is how I made most of my friends.

I am very jealous of you being in Nagoya. Love that place and wish I could re-live my time there.


I really like it here! Nagoya is a very livable city, it's large but not dizzyingly so, there are plenty of options for entertainment, and rent's relatively cheap!

I'll probably leave in a couple of years. (I'm a student, so that'll be when I graduate.) I don't know where I'll go next, maybe Tokyo or maybe I'll leave the country!

Hm, I haven't talked to many white people about their experiences in Japan, so I don't know how different my experience is, but it's generally a nice one. People can't usually tell where I'm from. When they ask and I say "India", they react positively. So I guess Japanese people have a favorable view of India. I do get stared at sometimes on the subway or on the streets, but not as much as white people, I'm sure. I also speak Japanese fluently, so that probably reduces the amount of adjustment they'll have to make to my being a foreigner.

Jon Salichs

It’s quite small compared to a place like Tokyo, but it is really convenient. The subway system is really well laid out, so it’s very easy to get from point A to B if you live inside or around the city. The people are a bit conservative and ingroupy (new word), but it’s not too bad.

Walter Dunphy

Nagoya is an “easy-to-live-in” city. The people are very helpful and accommodating, esp. if (like me) you are non-Japanese. It has just about everything you might expect and need in a metropolis, while retaining a “home-town” atmosphere. Transport is good. Shopping is good, though you may need to keep your eyes open to spot where things are. Ask! There are good information offices at the main station and city-centre. If sight-seeing (things) is your interest, Nagoya has little to offer, but for a taste of day-to-day life (without the scramble of Tokyo, etc.) no place better. Avoid July/August - even Japanese find Nagoya’s summer intolerable!

Gus Martin

Like any other big city in Japan, really.

Nagoya as it is now is a fairly new city. It was nearly completely destroyed during WW2, and had to be extensively rebuilt.

Taking advantage of that, they did make the roads much larger and planned things a tad better, so you won’t find a lot of tiny roads like you will in Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo.

Other than that, it’s nothing special. People are nice. Weather is alright. It’s “near” some good mountain areas, it’s near Biwako, it has a nice harbor, it has Nagashima Spa Land theme park nearby.

Oh and it has delicious Uiro.


Hi, Al. Sorry to hear you're having a hard time.

While I don't live in Japan, I go over there often and one of the places I always go to is Nagoya as I have friends there. 

I'm sorta surprised that you're having problems in Nagoya as I tend to find Nagoya friendlier than Tokyo. While I find in Tokyo people automatically assume I'm a tourist, people in Nagoya tend to assume I just live in Nagoya. I'm assuming because Nagoya isn't much of a international hotspot compared to Tokyo. People talk to me in Japanese and are quite friendly.

I admit my judgement may be a bit shaded since I have Japanese friends there and 80% of the time I'm with them when I'm there. But I enjoy the attitude of the friends I've made in Nagoya I find them more laid back vs. my Tokyo friends.

With regards to speaking/listening I totally understand where you are coming from as I'm the same way. My reading/writing comprehension is way above my speaking/listening, but I can hold up my end of a conversation (I'm a JLPT 3).

And really the only way to approve is to just to make a lot of friends and just throw yourself out there. Have you tried joining Facebook in Japan or Mixi? If you have a high reading/writing level it should be easy to make friends online and then transfer that to meeting them in person. That's how I've met a vast majority of my friends in Japan.

Just a thought,