Living in Hachioji: Guide for Foreigners

  • Advice


Want to enjoy all the luxuries of a metropolis, yet still have vast nature at your fingertips?

If that's the case, you should consider moving to Hachioji, Tokyo. It is a short ride from central Tokyo on one side, and a few minutes from Mt. Takao on the other. That means you'll find both great business opportunities and versatile natural and historical attractions, making it a perfect area to select as an expat. 

Road Of Hachioji Station

"Station Road Of Hachioji Station" by Steven Johnson is licensed under CC 2.0 

Reasons To Move to Hachioji

Hachioji is a perfect blend of city and nature. The downtown area surrounding the grand Hachioji Station is packed with department stores, diverse restaurants and office buildings. Just a short walk away you will discover something entirely different: Asakawa River, with its green areas, small temples, and almost village-like houses and community.

Hachioji is a perfect spot for those working on the west part of Tokyo's downtown, as it is only 50 kilometers away. With ultra-fast trains departing from the modern central station, you need only take a short ride from your peaceful home in Hachioji to reach the busy streets of downtown Tokyo.

On the other hand, the proximity to Mt.Takao makes Hachioji an ideal choice for those who want to be close to nature. The mountain offers many outdoor activities and is one of the locals' favorite places to spend a weekend outdoors. 

Finally, Hachioji has a vibrant local culture. You can find art museums and performance venues, and take part in many festivals organized throughout the year, such as Hachioji Icho Matsuri and the Ginkgo Festival. 

The Cost Of Living In Hachioji 

Rentals in Hachioji are among the least expensive in Tokyo. The rent for a decent 25 square meter apartment starts at around ¥65,000, which is lower than those in downtown Tokyo. 

The cost of daily living, restaurants and transportation are also comparable to those in central Tokyo, but are generally lower.

Hachioji may not be as conveniently located as other areas closer to Central Tokyo, but considering the significantly lower cost of living and the easy access to abundant nature, the commute can be worth it. 

Important Things You Should Know When Moving to Hachioji 

"Mt Takao hike in Tokyo" by Luke is licensed under CC 4.0 

So you're ready to move to Hachioji. 

The first thing you should do, of course, is get cozy in your new apartment and soak in your new surroundings. 

The next thing you should do within the first 14 days of moving is registering at the city office and getting your Certificate of Residence. You will need to bring a number of documents with you, but it's best that you call the office to find out exactly what you need. 

After you're an official resident, you will also need to join the National Pension Fund and the National Health Insurance System (although if you are employed you may instead register with your company’s insurance).

The official city page has a comprehensive 60-page guide for new residents in Hachioji, where you can read more about your obligations and rights as a citizen. 


Hachioji is a beautiful city full of opportunities. Best described with the official motto, "Hachioji, where people and nature cooperate closely for the happiness of all," it’s one of those places where you can adapt quickly, and sooner than you'd expect you'll start feeling right at home. 

References: Numbeo, Real Estate Japan, Hacioji Official Website, TokyoCheapo

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