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I think it's a one of the most important things to select one area where you live in Japan before visit. Because, your Japanese life would depend on the region, for example climate, friends, foods, plans to travel, weekends, jobs would be affected. So, please select your region carefully.
There are several means to decide where you live in Japan. On the other hands, if your opinion is working or studying, the region depends on the location at your school or office. But if you will stay with your working holiday visa, you can select your best town.
The time, maybe you would consider the below points.
Please refer to this chapter that has some information about Japanese climate and Japanese city areas when you consider wher you live.
Japan is an archipelago that has four big islands that are Hokkaido, Honshu, Sikoku and Kyushu, and a lot of small islands. And the total amount of the islands is 6,852. So these islands construct the Japanese Archipelago, and the north-south length is very long!
Japanese archipelago is very long between north and south, so the north climate is in the subarctic zone, and the south climate is in the subtropical zone. In additionally, Japan has the four seasons, therefore your activities in Japan would be up to the region where you live in Japan and the season. That's why, you can select your suitable region to live.
For example, Sapporo-City in Hokkaido locates in north area of Japan. The -7 degrees centigrade would be the average of temperature in winter season, and the average in summer season would be 25 degrees centigrade. In the region, you can enjoy some winter sports with snow and you can stay with good weather in summer.
In contrast, the average temperature at Naha-city in Okinawa locates in south area is 19 degrees centigrade in winter, and the average of summer is less than 30 degrees centigrade likely quite different from Sapporo-City. So the climate is genial even if in winter and we can have a winterless round of years. Of cause, you can spend time with any marine sports, especially the diving in Okinawa is very famous.
Similarly, the amount of rainfall also depends on the region and season. In the Sea of Japan side, the weather is usually raining or snowing in winter, and the weather is fine in summer. In the pacific side, the weather is the opposite of the weather in Sea of Japan side. Farther, weather in summer is hot and muggy and winter water has few rainy and snowy days.
You can decide where you live in Japan by your life style, it's just the Unique aspect of Japanese
There are a lot of mountains, the forest covers 70 percent of the land, and some plains that aren't large in Japan, so the population should be very big amount on the plates. This is the reason, big cities locate on the plate.
If I write big metropolitan area, I need to write Japanese three major metropolitan areas that are Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. There are a lot of schools and companies in these areas, therefore I think that it's highly possible that students and workers stay in.
I wrote up the distinctions of three major metropolitans easily.
Other big cities are Sapporo-City in Hokkaido, Sendai-City in Tohoku, Fukuoka-City in Kyushu.
In the areas, you can see a lot of signs and marks written in English. But in local area, it's going to be difficult to find them. I think it's better to live in any big cities at beginning to stay in Japan to feel convenient.
By the way, the price in the big city is more expensive, it's bit hard for somebody who doesn't have any incomes. On the other hands, the income is also higher, so if you have any income, maybe the price isn't your problem.
In my opinion, I recommend you to live in Tokyo. Tokyo is easy to study and/or work, and there are a lot of travelers and visitors who can speak English.
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