We wanted more nature, more space for the baby, says couple who moved out of Tokyo

As the trend of moving out of Tokyo gains pace, Japan Correspondent Walter Sim speaks to some of those who have moved out of the capital in recent months.

Mr Tatsuo Nakai with his wife Moe, 38, and one-year-old son, Yuta. The family moved from the Kachidoki neighbourhood in central Tokyo to Makuhari in Chiba, east of the capital. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TATSUO NAKAI


Moved in: September

Moved to: Makuhari, Chiba

Occupation: Human resources director, Lixil, a building materials firm

"When my baby was born in spring during the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided to move. Central Tokyo is a great location if you must commute to work, but ideally, it isn't where we wanted to raise our child.

With Lixil adopting telework policies, we now have more freedom to choose where and how we want to live. My wife and I wanted to be surrounded by more nature and have more space for the baby - as well as for our three naughty dogs.

There are parks and even beaches no more than a few steps from our new home, which is larger but costs less than half the Tokyo home.

As you can imagine, my baby and dogs really love running - or crawling - around our much more spacious living room and balcony.

Since April, I have only had to go into the office once. If Lixil had not allowed us to work remotely full-time, I probably would not have made the decision to move out of central Tokyo. My commuting time would have tripled.

Although my wife, who works in the Marunouchi business district in Tokyo, still has to commute at least three days a week, we have found a way to balance our work to better suit our lifestyles."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 11, 2020, with the headline We wanted more nature, more space for the baby, says couple who moved out of Tokyo. Subscribe