There’s a lot to like about Tokyo, as Japan’s capital city is also its biggest and most vibrant. But on the flip side, Tokyo is also the most crowded, and the most expensive, place in the country to live.
So as exciting as living and/or working in Tokyo might feel in the beginning, some people eventually start daydreaming of a less hectic and congested lifestyle elsewhere in Japan. To help make that daydream a reality, Aichi Prefecture, in central Japan, is launching what it calls the Aichi Migration Support Project, which offers a huge payment to Tokyo residents who are willing to relocate to Aichi.
Singles who make the move will be given 600,000 yen to make the move, while families with two or more members will score an even more generous grant of one million yen. What makes the deal especially sweet is that you don’t necessarily have to be moving to Aichi’s rural backwoods either. The grants are being offered to people who move to one of 49 cities in Aichi, including both the prefectural capital of Nagoya (Japan’s fourth-largest city) as well as historic Inuyama, which boasts one of Japan’s oldest original castles, and Toyota, where the car maker of the same name is headquartered.
As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to be living in Tokyo itself to qualify for the grants. The Aichi government is offering the financial support packages not only to people who are residents of Tokyo’s 23 central wards, but also to people who live elsewhere in Tokyo or in its neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, or Chiba and commute into the 23 wards for work. To be eligible for the grants, applicants must have lived/worked in Tokyo’s 23 wards for at least five years and intend to live in Aichi for five years (though how the second requirement will be confirmed, if at all, remains unclear).
The promise of all that extra yen in your pocket makes the deal very tempting, especially since that money will go farther in Aichi, where prices are generally lower than in Tokyo. The average cost of a 50-square meter apartment in Tokyo, for example, is 129,727 yen, while the same living space in Aichi averages just 74,530 yen. Aichi’s more geographically central location within Japan also makes it an attractive base from which to explore the western reaches of the country, including Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and Hiroshima, and should you find yourself missing Tokyo now and again, the Shinkansen connects Nagoya and Tokyo in just about 90 minutes.
Source: Livedoor News/Radi Chubu via Otakomu, Aichi Prefectural Government
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