It’s already been five weeks since we’ve moved to Yokohama and this is our first post writing about our move, our first impressions and also revealing our new place of residence to our readers. Moving to Yokohama was a completely different decision than moving to Shanghai, as last time round we just jumped into the unknown at the opportunity of living in Asia; whereas this time round Japan was actually one of our top choices to live in, after having explored Asia intensively for two years from Shanghai.
Moving from China to Japan
You think ‘Hey, this time round, I can actually go for a look and see trip before I just blindly move to that city in Japan’, until you realise how expensive the weekend flights from Shanghai to Tokyo actually are. You think ‘Hey, this time round, shipping our stuff will be so much cheaper as Japan is really close to China’, until you realise that shipping from China to Japan costs about the same a shipping from the UK to China. Great. And then you think ‘This time round we’ll just get rid of more stuff and ship much less stuff’, until you end up shipping 10 boxes instead of 4, as you did the first time round. Oh well! At least we didn’t have to pay any import tax for our stuff when it arrived, as we initially feared. #alwayslookonthebrightside
Arriving in Yokohama
After hours (or days?) of checking out Yokohama on Google Maps street view, we developed a feeling for our new place to live and as our new employer sorted us out with an amazing, spacious downtown apartment and comfortable ANA flights from Munich to Tokyo Haneda airport, we felt pretty calm about moving to Japan. Now I hear you say: spacious apartment in Japan?! Yokohama’s rental prices are actually not as bad as in Tokyo and we decided that we are willing to pay a higher price to have a big apartment, as we just couldn’t breathe in our old lane house apartment in Shanghai’s French Concession. Also, it’s just worth paying a bit more and living in a modern, earthquake-proof apartment. Luckily, we had no earthquakes so far!
During our first weekends and after work, we explored most of Yokohama’s city centre and our favourite areas quickly became Isezaki Mall, which is actually a long street with shops, small restaurants and bars; Noge, a vibrant bar/restaurant district and Minatomirai with its fancy, modern buildings near the harbour. Especially during the first few days we often felt reminded of Taipei, looking at certain buildings and districts – that kinda tropical, vibrant, crazy, high-tec and at the same time slightly 90s feeling.
These are just some shots of our neighbourhood and things we discovered during our first days. We’ll go into more detail about the Minatomirai area, nearby beaches, Chinatown, Motomachi and other areas in our next blog articles.
Hope you enjoyed our first blog article on moving to Yokohama!