Living in Nerima: What is it Like For Foreigners?
Tokyo is the world’s center of anime culture. Most, if not all, of us would remember hours of their childhood days spent watching these animations, wishing to live in those seemingly magical places.
Well here’s a thought, what if I tell you that somewhere in Tokyo, you will see before your eyes the very places featured in some of these animes? Think of it as being enthralled by the idea and then finding yourself confronted by the reality of it.
You think it’s worth the shot? Then you might consider having a trip to Nerima.
Nerima – The birthplace of Japan’s anime
Although often regarded as a city, Nerima is actually one of the 23 wards (districts) located in central Tokyo. It is home to the country’s top anime studios such as Toei Animation, Anime International Company, and others, which is why it is considered as the birthplace of Japanese anime.
If you are an anime enthusiast, then this place will most likely sound familiar to you because some of the famous anime characters have their fictional homes here. For instance, this is the suburban neighborhood where the adorable cat robot Doraemon flies around with his friends.
This is also the setting of the popular manga anime Ranma ½ as well as the more contemporary anime like Your Lie in April and Tokyo Ghoul.
- From Tokyo Station, take the Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro Station, and transfer to the Seibu Ikebukuro Line to Nerima Station (36 min.)
- From Shibuya Station, take the Fukutoshin Line to Kotake Mukaihara Station, and transfer to the Seibu Yurakucho Line to Nerima Station (30 min.)
- From Shinjuku Station, take the Oedo Line to Nerima Station (17 min.)
Chihiro Art Museum
The Chihiro Art Museum was built around 1977, three years after the death of the famous painter and illustrator Chihiro Iwasaki. It is managed by Chihiro Memorial Foundation, a group of devoted fans of the beloved artist whose aim is to preserve and collect her works and make it accessible to the public.
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This museum is considered as the world’s largest collection of picture books for it also features the works of selected children’s book illustrators around the world, hoping to promote cultural exchange among international and local artists.
Visiting this museum will surely captivate youngsters as well as make the adults soak in the art and reminisce their youth.
- Address:4-7-2 Shimoshakujii, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
- Directions: From Nerima Station, take the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line going to Shakujiikoen Station (approx. 7 minutes). Ride a bus and get off at Kamigusa Station (approx. 9 minutes). From the bus stop, travel by foot onwards until you reach the destination (approx. 5 minutes).
Shakujii Park is a great place for people looking for a place to hang out. The scenery is refreshing, and the place also offers relaxing activities that one can do. It has two ponds, namely the Shakujii Pond and Sanpoji Pond, where you can rent swan boats and enjoy the still waters.
The attractive park is also a popular spot for birdwatching because rare birds can be found here. It has generous sidewalks and numerous public benches for people who simply want to relax or walk around a serene place.
Aside from all these, you will also find the castle of the late royalty, the Toshima Clan of Samurai. Going to Shakujii Park either alone or with your family and friends will surely be a quality experience!
- Address: 1 Shakujiidai, Nerima, Tokyo
- Directions: From Nerima Station, take the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line going to Shakujiikoen Station (approx. 3 minutes). Travel on foot and head towards Shakujii Park (approx. 19 minutes).
Toshimaen Amusement Park
If you love thrill and excitement, then Nerima’s Toshimaen Amusement Park will not fail you! As this is one of Japan’s biggest amusement parks, it is quite popular with both tourists and locals, featuring plenty exciting rides and activities that you can do.
Over 30 rides are ranging from very thrilling to kiddie experience. The most popular spot is the water park where there are 25 waterslides, surf pool, wave pool, swimming pool for adults and kiddie pool. There is also an Olympic-sized pool for more determined swimmers and divers.
If you are not fond of water-related activities, then go for rollercoaster rides, etc. Men in blue caps are also present for safety, and assistance should an accident occur.
Toshimaen Amusement Park is a great place to spend with your family because this will entertain people of all ages.
- Address: 3-25-1 Koyama, Nerima, Tokyo
- Directions: From Nerima Station, take the Oedo Line going to Nerima-kasugacho Station (approx. 4 minutes). Travel on foot and head towards Toshimaen (approx. 16 minutes).
Why do foreigners live in Nerima?
Quiet and peaceful residential place
Although located in Central Tokyo, Nerima is considered by residents as a suburban area where life is at a slow pace but they actually like it that way as evident in resident satisfaction polls.
It has the impression of a safe and quiet neighborhood that makes you want to raise a family here. The streets are filled with vending machines, family restaurants, shopping malls, and convenience stores to provide the needs of locals as well as new foreign residents.
Also present is the Aoba-Japan International School that is well suited for foreign residents.
Entertainment and quality family bonding
Nerima offers locations that provide entertainment and a venue for quality family bonding. It is full of fun places to go which are kid and family-friendly!
Having fun while enjoying the many places Nerima offers eases the difficulty of moving to a new home as well as ensure connectedness among family members through bonding.
Foreign residents like it here because it has such diverse locations that suit one’s need.
Center of anime pop culture
Aside from technological advancement, Japan is also made popular all over the world because of the anime pop culture that it introduced. In Nerima, you will find the famous anime studios behind the beloved animes you are watching, or you loved as a child.
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People will enjoy the area, particularly teenagers who are anime enthusiasts and appreciate pop culture. They will find moving in this place easy because of the sense of familiarity with the place and anime culture that they can easily relate to despite not being Japanese.
Nerima is a quiet suburban neighborhood that will provide you a convenient living experience inside central Tokyo.
Aside from this place having increasingly attractive because of animes, attending to everyday needs is made easy for residents either local or foreign because of its convenient facilities such as vending machines where you can purchase vegetables, easy-to-find department stores and shops, and local destinations that make this place a fun and enjoyable home.
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