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Kanazawa, Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Kanazawa, Japan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Kanazawa?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kanazawa, they said:

"Kanazawa, located in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan, is known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums, and regional handicrafts. Before moving to Kanazawa, expats should know that the city is not as cosmopolitan as Tokyo or Osaka, but it offers a rich cultural experience with a slower pace of life. The cost of living in Kanazawa is lower than in larger Japanese cities, but it's still higher than in many Western countries. Expats should be prepared for this and budget accordingly. Japanese is the primary language spoken in Kanazawa, and while some residents may speak English, it's not as common as in larger cities. Expats should consider learning basic Japanese phrases to help with daily life. Kanazawa has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. Expats from warmer climates should prepare for this drastic change in weather. The city is famous for its traditional arts and crafts, such as gold leaf production and Kaga-yuzen silk dyeing. Expats interested in Japanese culture will find plenty of opportunities to learn and participate in these traditions. Public transportation in Kanazawa is reliable and efficient, with buses and bikes being the most common modes of transport. However, most signs and announcements are in Japanese, so it's helpful to learn some basic language skills or use a translation app. Kanazawa has a variety of local and international cuisine, with a particular emphasis on seafood due to its location near the Sea of Japan. Healthcare in Kanazawa is of a high standard, with both public and private hospitals available. However, expats should ensure they have adequate health insurance as medical costs can be high. The city is generally safe with a low crime rate, but like anywhere, expats should take basic precautions to protect themselves and their property. Finally, Kanazawa is a city that values its traditions and customs. Expats should make an effort to understand and respect these cultural norms to integrate smoothly into the community," said one expat in Kanazawa.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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