Just south of Tokyo is the port city of Yokohama, Japan’s most heavily populated municipality. The city has also become a popular home for tech startups looking to take advantage of its ideal location and international atmosphere.
An increasing number of entrepreneurs seeking vast market opportunities and support from global organizations have found an ideal home in Yokohama. Here are the top 9 reasons why the city is ideal for tech startups.
9. Yokohama is one of the most popular cities in Japan.
A beautiful waterfront, ample cultural/creative activities, and world-class dining make Yokohama a favorite among locals. In fact, the city regularly scores high marks in domestic Japanese surveys regarding where citizens want to live and where they are glad to be.
8. Ample support for female professionals and entrepreneurship.
The city is striving to establish and promote an environment that supports women in the workforce and female entrepeneurship—most notable, through events like last year’s Women’s Networking Conference and organizations such as the Yokohama Women’s Association.
7. Located near the center of the largest metropolitan area in the world.
Tokyo can be accessed in under 30 minutes. Around 43 million people live in the metropolitan area encompassing Tokyo and Yokohama. Therefore the city has the excellent access to a massive market.
6. Excellent access to airports.
From Yokohama, it takes under half an hour to get to Haneda Airport—a major air transportation hub with direct flights to/from major cities around the world. The airport bullet train stop makes it accessible from many of Japan’s other main cities.
5. Cheaper office rentals than in Tokyo.
Yokohama’s office rental market is about 20% lower than Tokyo’s business districts. This allows aspiring tech startups to enjoy the amenities of the Greater Tokyo Area without the costs of Tokyo proper.
4. An abundance of advanced educational institutions and highly-educated professionals.
Yokohama’s workforce is a product its numerous universities, colleges, and educational institutions specializing science and technology. The city’s Yokohama National University is one of Japan’s leading universities and consistently ranks as one of the most prestigious in the country.
3. A strong presence of global firms with headquarters in Yokohama City.
Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama’s beautiful waterfront business area, boasts a heavy concentration of global firms—Nissan Motor, Fuji Xerox, Lenovo, and Accenture all have headquarters/research facilities in the city. The presence of these enterprises and others have been a catalyst for Yokohama’s lively business ecosystem and environment.
2. A myriad of support programs and resources for foreign companies.
As an international city, Yokohama provides numerous resources to foreign companies looking to expand to Japan. For example, the Yokohama World Business Support Center offers free incubation offices specifically for foreign companies, access to legal/tax experts and business consultants, and more.
1. The city is a global hub for many of the world’s leading technology companies.
Over 3,500 technology companies have key operations in Yokohama including Samsung, Apple, and Taiwan Semiconductor, as well as a host of other prominent IT and life sciences enterprises.
As Japan’s first harbor and port city, Yokohama continues to serve as an international center for trade and business. If you’re a tech entrepreneur looking to put down roots in a breathtaking, modern metropolis with vast market opportunities and international business exposure, this city might just be ideal for your startup.