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My husband is being transferred to the Kansai area this fall. We want to rent a house or largish condo in the Kobe area. What neighborhoods do you recommend for a family with 2 kids and an active mom with limited Japanese skills?
Desperate in Tokyo
Welcome to the Kansai area! A good jumping off place for your search is Rokko Island, which is very popular with expat families. It is close to international schools, and has plenty of parks and open, green spaces. It also boasts a vibrant, close-knit foreign community and good infrastructure for a smooth transition. Although rental houses are fairly rare, there are many apartments in various sizes and rental ranges. Check this out: Apartment.
Families that prefer a less urban environment find Mikage and surrounding areas an attractive option. Mikage combines the convenience of being close to central Kobe via several train lines with access to nearby rivers and hiking trails. Check this out: Town House.
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Best wishes for a successful move!