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Living in Nagoya
A comprehensive guide about living well in Nagoya
Nagoya is a city between past and future: on the one hand the modernity of a cosmopolitan city and on the other the rich cultural Japanese heritage make the city a perfect encounter that all expat living in Nagoya are bound to enjoy.
Life in Nagoya
Culture and Leisure
Nagoya is a city renowned for its cuisine. Recommended local specialties include misokatsu (pork cutlet with miso sauce), tebasaki (chicken wings), and kishimen (a flat udon noodle). Food in Japan is mostly produced locally and fresh, at a low cost compared to western food of a similar quality.
For those willing to delve into the deep and rich heritage of Nagoya, the Atsusta Shrine is the place most will want to visit first. The shrine dates back to 100 CE, and within you can find the holy sword Kusanagi, one of the most important relics of Japan’s imperial history. Other cultural highlights include Nagoya Castle, housing a large collection of items from Japan’s history, as well as Nagoya City Art Museum, featuring collections of artwork from both classical and modern eras.
For those who love to shop, Osu Kannon is a must. It is famous for its small traditional shops, while Sakae and Yaba-cho are the places to go for more familiar high street brands.
Education in Nagoya
The education system in Nagoya is comprised mainly of state-run primary and secondary schools. Most of the state and privately run colleges are found in the Western area of the city. Nagoya University acts as the main University and was set up as a medical school. Nanzan University is another of the main educational institutions and was set up as a high school and later incorporated Nanzan Junior College and the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture.
Nagoya is also home to an international school which caters to the educational needs of most expats living in Nagoya. Moreover, a healthy collection of foreign language books can be found at Nagoya International Centre. If you are already in Japan, you may be able to get a student visa by enrolling in a school in Nagoya, with the school acting as your sponsor. A student visa will allow you to legally work 20 hours a week. Applications must be submitted to the Immigrations Bureau.
Safety and Security
As is the case with all foreigners moving to a far-off place, some important safety and security information should be kept in mind as you travel to and around Japan. Nagoya has a relatively low crime rate when compared to other large Japanese cities, with burglaries across most wards of the city at a steady decrease since 2011. While such incidents are especially rare in expat communities, they are still possible.
The best way to prevent such crimes can be as simple as building up a rapport with other people in your community. If you are willing to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for others, you will find others more than willing to do the same. Simple and cost effective alarms and locks can also serve as good ways of keeping your property safe while living in Nagoya.
Tenants in Japan pay a mandatory housing insurance, yet as this is mainly for liability purposes, it is highly recommended to purchase additional insurance cover for your property and belongings.
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