Main Cities in Japan for Business

Japanese CIty Skyline

Japan is a relatively small country with large and densely populated urban cities. It hones 11 cities with populations of more than one million people.

Almost 100 million Japanese (or 78% of the country’s total population of 127 million) live in urban areas. The total population of Japan’s largest 100 cities comes out to 57.1 million (or 45% of all Japanese).

From a communication point of view, such concentration in urban areas means a relatively homogeneous Japanese language and culture across the country.

#1 City in Japan: Tokyo


Tokyo is the largest city in Japan.

Tokyo is considered one of the three “command centers” for the world economy, along with New York City and London. There are about 9 million residents in Tokyo, but roughly 5 Million people commute to and from work from the outer cities and towns to this wealthy city every day.

The Greater Tokyo Prefecture is 239 square miles (618 square km) and is estimated to have a population of about 12 million.

Recently, it was named the fourth Most Livable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis (large urban complex).

Tokyo is the main engine of Japan. Tokyo is a business trendsetter for the entire country. Other Japanese cities usually emulate the business behavior of Tokyo companies. Therefore, if you are considering opening an office in Japan, Tokyo is the place to go.

#2 City in Japan: Yokohama


With a population of approximately 3.6 million, Yokohama, south of Tokyo, is Japan’s second-largest city.

Yokohama lies on Tokyo Bay in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshū. It is an important commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.

Yokohama is a manufacturing and ship-building center and is considered Japan’s largest port. This port was one of the first to be opened to foreign trade in 1859. Because of this, Yokohama quickly grew from a small fishing village into one of Japan’s major cities.

#3 City in Japan: Osaka


Osaka is Japan’s third largest city, with a population of roughly 2.6 million.

It is located in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island of Honshū at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay. It is very historically significant as it was the country’s first capital. Osaka is considered a vital economic center in Japan.

#4 City in Japan: Nagoya


The fourth largest city in Japan is Nagoya containing a population of about 2.3 million. It is located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region of central Honshū.

It is one of Japan’s major ports, along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama. It is also the center of Japan’s third largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area. It is considered an important industrial and cultural center.

#5 City in Japan: Sapporo


Sapporo is colder than most areas in Japan being also famous for its skiing stations. Costs are substantially lower in Sapporo when compared to Tokyo and Osaka.

Still, Sapporo offers all the resources a foreign company would like to find to open a regional office there.

Other Major Cities

Other major cities with noting in Japan are:

  • Kobe
  • Kyoto
  • Fukuoka

These modern cities give Japan its busy, city-oriented reputation.

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