Welcome to Yokohama, a Multicultural City and International Business Hub of Japan

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Night views in Yokohama: ©Hideo MORI

The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in Yokohama, Japan, a cosmopolitan city that supports startups and global companies. A similar growth mindset permeates many aspects of life in Yokohama, from the inclusion of tech into urban planning and projects to make living there easier for foreigners.

It’s easy to live and work in Yokohama and stay connected to the rest of Japan and the world. It’s only a 30-minute train ride from central Tokyo and maintains connectivity to other major cities via bullet train. On top of that, Yokohama is easily accessible from Tokyo International Airport and Narita Airport. Yokohama’s proximity to Tokyo and the abundance of business opportunities point to a bright future for the city and its residents.

Thinking Global in Yokohama, the City of Innovation and Creativity

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Buildings in Yokohama: ©Hideo MORI

Yokohama is a thriving city with new talent, governmental support, and strong industry-wide networks, including major industries like IT, life sciences, and high-tech manufacturing. The city also houses many global corporate headquarters and R&D centers for companies such as Bosch, Nissan, and Shiseido.

Yokohama’s self-declaration as “Innovation City” in 2019 called for cooperation and exchange between industry, academia, and government. This, with support from initiatives such as “Yokohama Cross Over (YOXO)” is intended to cultivate an environment for startups and global businesses to thrive. Programs such as the “Startup Location Promotion Subsidy” are also available for overseas startups.

A Yokohama resident of three years and CEO of Nekotronic, Aaron Benedek says: “Yokohama has been very supportive in mentoring, introductions, and projects,” including his own high-tech transportation start-up. It was part of the YOXO Accelerator Program, designed to support start-ups; this is how Nekotronic was introduced to a leading domestic company and the Kanagawa Prefectural Government.

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The YOXO FESTIVAL is a networking event designed to bring creatives and startups across different industries and technologies together to share ideas. The event was held in the Minato Mirai 21 district in the bay area this year, with participants building new relationships that will hopefully lead to a new wave of innovation in the future.

Global Partnerships and the YPORT Project

Yokohama faced environmental and urban problems after World War II when development outpaced solutions to challenges that emerged along the way. The city solved these problems via public-private collaboration. Now, it’s helping emerging countries, etc. overcome similar issues with the “Y-PORT Project,” designed to help countries overcome urban development problems.

Yokohama also hosts the Asia Smart City Conference, an event that connects people and a wide range of ideas from various sources, including governments, international organizations, academia, and private businesses, to develop ideas and opportunities for sustainable growth.

Convenient Urban Living in a Cosmopolitan City

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Yamashita Park: ©Hideo MORI

Life in the big city may not be for everyone, but Yokohama hasn’t lost touch with nature, history, or culture. In fact, Yokohama is home to more than 2,700 parks and historical townscapes.

Existing social, medical, and educational institutions with foreign language services are improving and growing daily, making Yokohama a great city for foreigners looking to relocate to Japan.

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Yokohama Stadium: ©Yokohama Stadium

Yokohama also prides itself on sports culture, hosting several international sporting events, including The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Yokohama is also home to 13 professional sports teams and Yokohama Stadium, which can hold up to 30,000 spectators on game days.

The city is also well-known for its spa sauna culture, which took off among young workers as a way to reduce stress.

Yokohama is one of Japan’s leading sustainable cities in IT, tech, life sciences, automotive, and high-tech manufacturing. While it’s a regional and global hub for business, Yokohama is also notable for its ease of living and convenient location, making it an attractive location for your next career move.

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