Useful information about Kanagawa
General Information about Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Prefecture is the second most populous prefecture in Japan, with a population of around 9.2 million people. It is located south of Tokyo and forms part of the Greater Tokyo Area. With an area of 2,416 square kilometers, Kanagawa is the third most densely populated prefecture in Japan.
Some of the major train stations in Kanagawa include Yokohama and Kawasaki, both of which serve as terminal stations for the prefecture. Yokohama is a popular tourism destination that is known for its stylish charm, and the city features many shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. Kawasaki, on the other hand, is known for being an industrial city with a rich art, culture, and sporting scene. Access to other parts of Kanagawa is quite convenient from these two cities, with many trains and buses connecting the prefecture.
The western and southern parts of Kanagawa include beautiful nature-rich areas, such as the famous Hakone and Tanzawa mountains, and the bay areas of Sagamihara and the Miura Peninsula.
A large part of Kanagawa is coastal area, and the prefecture is famous for its rich seafood. Another famous local specialty is Yokosuka Navy Curry, from the city of Yokosuka that hosts a US Naval base.
Foreign Residents in Kanagawa Prefecture
As of January 2020, there are 228,275 foreign residents living in Kanagawa Prefecture. A large number are concentrated in Yokohama City, especially in Tsurumi Ward and Naka Ward. Next to Yokohama, Kawasaki City has the largest number of foreign residents, with fewer than half the number in Yokohama. In contrast, Zushi, Miura, and the other municipalities in the southern and western areas have relatively fewer foreign residents.
In terms of nationality, Chinese nationals are by far the most in number, with a population of 73,136. Next comes Koreans with 27,964 residents, followed by Vietnamese, Filipinos, Brazilians, Nepalese, Indians, Peruvians, Americans, Taiwanese, Thai, Indonesians, and Sri Lankan nationals. For all nationalities, the population is mostly concentrated in Yokohama, but there are also a significant number of Americans in Yokosuka, likely due to the presence of a US Naval base there.
Data source: Kanagawa Prefectural Government "Foreign Resident Population" (1 January 2020)
Popular Residential Areas in Kanagawa Prefecture
The most popular residential area for foreigners in Kanagawa Prefecture is Yokohama City. One specific area is Nishi Ward, which includes the famous Minato Mirai district that features numerous shopping centers and restaurants. Though rents are on the high side, its liveliness and convenience make it a consistently sought-after area.
Another popular residential area is Kawasaki City, with its large residential zones and various cultural attractions that put it high on the livability list. It also lies on the border to Tokyo, and offers convenient access to the capital through numerous railway lines.
A bit farther away from the urban center of the prefecture, some of the popular residential areas include Atsugi and Yamato. These small cities have a much quieter atmosphere, but still offer convenient access to Yokohama.
Transportation in Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa has an extensive transportation network that interconnects every area in the prefecture. Major railway operators running through Kanagawa include JR East, Odakyu, Keikyu, and Tokyu. In addition to the major train lines that connect urban centers together, there are also local railways operating in the southern and western parts of the prefecture, such as the Sagami Railway and the Hakone Tozan Railway. Some of the prominent JR East lines running through Kanagawa include the Tokaido Main Line and the Nambu Line. The Tokaido Main Line connects Yokohama to Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, while the Nambu Line connects Kawasaki to Tachikawa in Tokyo. The private railways of Odakyu, Keikyu, and Tokyu pass through either Yokohama or Kawasaki and connect to other major cities. There is also the Yokohama Municipal Subway that runs across the urban area of the prefecture.
Kanagawa also has an extensive network of buses that supports the transportation needs of its residents. The main bus operators are private companies including Tokyu Bus, Keikyu Bus, and Odakyu Bus. Similar to railway lines, most bus routes pass through the urban centers of Yokohama and Kawasaki, with some going to the southern and western parts of the prefecture.
Expressways also play an important part in the transportation system of Kanagawa. The Tomei Expressway that connects Tokyo to Nagoya passes through the prefecture, with major interchanges and junctions at Atsugi and Ebina.
Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Kanagawa Prefecture
There are countless tourist attractions in Kanagawa Prefecture. One popular spot is the Minato Mirai area in Yokohama City, which features various shopping, cultural, and entertainment facilities. It is home to famous places such as the distinctive Yokohama Landmark Tower, the world-renowned Yokohama Chinatown, and the historical Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.
There are also several places of interest in Yokosuka City. In the Port of Yokosuka that houses a US Navy base and a Maritime Self-Defense Forces base, you might see the formidable sight of docked naval vessels. Go further south to Miura and you can enjoy fresh and delicious seafood.
But you cannot talk about tourist spots in Kanagawa without mentioning Hakone. This popular nature area is known for its beautiful scenery that changes through the seasons. A trip to Hakone won't be complete without a stop at the famous Lake Ashi, where you can enjoy scenic views and many other attractions.