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Pros & Cons of Living in Atami

If you're considering a move to Atami, this article discusses the pros and cons of living in Atami.

Thinking about moving to Atami? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Atami.

Atami, a coastal city in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, is a place of contrasts. Known for its hot springs, beautiful beaches, and vibrant arts scene, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. However, like any place, living in Atami has its pros and cons. This article will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of making Atami your home, providing a balanced perspective to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Living in Atami

One of the most significant advantages of living in Atami is its natural beauty. The city is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, providing stunning views and a variety of outdoor activities. The Atami Sun Beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing in the summer, while the many hiking trails in the surrounding mountains offer opportunities for exercise and exploration throughout the year.

Atami is also famous for its hot springs, known as onsen. These natural hot springs are not only a great way to relax and unwind, but they also have numerous health benefits. The water is rich in minerals that can help alleviate a variety of ailments, from skin problems to muscle aches. Some of the most popular onsens in Atami include the Atami Fufu and the Atami Hihokan.

Another advantage of living in Atami is its vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to several museums and art galleries, including the MOA Museum of Art, which houses a collection of over 3,500 pieces of Japanese and East Asian art. The Atami Art Festival, held every summer, is a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, featuring performances, exhibitions, and workshops.

Atami’s location also makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of Japan. The city is just a short train ride away from Tokyo, making it easy to enjoy the capital’s shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The nearby Izu Peninsula is another popular destination, known for its beautiful coastline, scenic hiking trails, and delicious seafood.

Finally, Atami offers a slower pace of life compared to Japan’s larger cities. The city’s small size and laid-back atmosphere make it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of urban living. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there’s a strong sense of community. Volunteering opportunities, such as those offered by the Atami International Association, provide a great way to get involved and make a difference in the community.

Cons of Living in Atami, Japan

Despite its many advantages, living in Atami also has its drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages is the city’s limited job opportunities. While Atami’s tourism industry provides some employment, the options can be limited, particularly for those seeking careers in other fields. This can make it challenging for newcomers to find work, especially if they don’t speak Japanese.

Another downside of living in Atami is the cost of living. While it’s cheaper than Tokyo, it’s still more expensive than many other parts of Japan. Housing can be particularly pricey, especially for properties with ocean views or proximity to the hot springs. Groceries and dining out can also be more expensive than in other cities, due to Atami’s reliance on imported goods and its status as a tourist destination.

Atami’s small size can also be a disadvantage. While it offers a peaceful, relaxed lifestyle, it lacks the variety and excitement of larger cities. There are fewer shopping and dining options, and the nightlife is limited. For those used to the hustle and bustle of city life, Atami might feel a bit too quiet.

While Atami’s location offers easy access to Tokyo and the Izu Peninsula, it can also be a disadvantage. The city is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis. While the local government has measures in place to deal with these events, they can still be a cause for concern for residents.

Finally, while Atami’s arts and culture scene is vibrant, it may not be to everyone’s taste. The city’s focus on traditional Japanese art and culture might not appeal to those who prefer more contemporary or international offerings. Similarly, while the local community is friendly and welcoming, it can be difficult for newcomers to integrate, particularly if they don’t speak Japanese or are unfamiliar with Japanese customs and traditions.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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