When it comes to managing a business based in Yokohama, the possibilities are virtually endless for innovators like Aaron Benedek. Benedek was born and reared in California, and his startup firm, Nekotronic, is developing technology that would allow for multi-dimensional flight management, opening the door to a potential “Sky Highway” in the future. He launched Nekotronic in Yokohama almost three years ago after relocating there, and the city has been incredibly supportive of his business development.
Benedek said that Yokohama has been helpful in terms of connecting his company with regional projects, locating mentoring from business leaders, and promoting Nekotronic to possible partners and customers. He is currently testing his technologies in the field with Yoko-hama. Big and small technology and research enterprises, including Nekotronic, get the ability to network and showcase their goods at city-sponsored events like the YOXO FESTIVAL.
What makes Yokohama a potential hub
Those who have been following the city for the past several years shouldn’t be surprised by Yokohama’s support for startups and business owners in the R&D and technology sectors. In 2019, Yoko-hama proclaimed itself an “Innovation City” where scientists, engineers, businesspeople, and students could grow their networks and form connections that would help Yokohama become the hub for groundbreaking technological advancement.
The Yokohama Cross Over Sand Box, or YOXO BOX, was built at that time as a physical hub to promote initiatives including accelerator programs, networking events, and business mentorship initiatives. Yokohama placed third in the Global Cities of the Future’s Foreign Direct Investment Strategy category by 2020, behind only Greater Montreal (Canada) and Abu Dhabi. (UAE).
The effort to establish Yokohama as a hub of innovation on a worldwide scale is a logical development of its history and culture. After more than 200 years of seclusion from trade and cultural interchange, which ended in the late 19th century, Yoko-hama was one of the first ports to open, making it the first city of industrialized Japan to accept foreign visitors as residents.
Major corporations moved their headquarters and R&D facilities to Yokohama as the city expanded, including Nissan, Shiseido, and Bosch. The innovative spirit of Yoko-hama has persisted in drawing IT experts, scientists, and software developers to the city to live and work.
Yokohama is a simple city for foreign talent to live in when it comes to Japanese cities. With a long history of embracing international residents, Yokohama has developed a neighborhood with more than a million foreign people from 160 different nations. The city is also home to various hospitals that speak other languages and ten international schools.
TJ Wheeler, manager at a business that specializes in virtual reality and metaverse technologies, concurs that Yokohama is a top-tier city with lots of chances for work and entertainment while being just a short train journey from incredible outdoor adventures.
In the spring of last year, Wheeler and his wife relocated to Yokohama from another region of Japan, and they are still getting used to the customs and attractions of their new city. They have so far enjoyed picnics in the park while watching the summer fireworks festival and craft beer celebrations like Oktoberfest held in the nearby Akarenga Red Brick Warehouse neighborhood.
Despite having 3.77 million residents, Yokohama feels far more livable than other large cities due to its layout and usage of natural spaces. There are almost 2,700 parks in the city, and many of them have seasonal decorations like spring cherry blossoms and autumn foliage.
Located in Yokohama, Sankeien is a sizable historical Japanese garden with immaculately maintained grounds and over 600-year-old wooden structures. The largest Chinatown in East Asia, located in Yoko-hama, offers genuine Chinese food and culture. With both the unending nightlife of Tokyo and hot spring resorts with views of Mt. Fuji only an hour distant by train, even a weekend vacation from the city is simple.
In Yokohama, a vibrant sauna spa culture has emerged among the 20 to 40-year-old age group, with several sauna and spa facilities springing up all over the city. The distinctive Sky Spa, located on the top floor of a high-rise building close to Yoko-hama Station, combines co-working space, dining options, and spa services to reflect the city’s “Work hard, play hard” mentality.
In Yokohama, a vibrant sauna spa culture has emerged among the 20 to 40-year-old age group, with several sauna and spa facilities springing up all over the city. The distinctive Sky Spa, located on the top floor of a high-rise building close to Yokohama Station, combines co-working space, dining options, and spa services to reflect the city’s “Work hard, play hard” mentality.
Heldt views Yokohama as a vibrant commercial hub in addition to being a beautiful location to live. A great MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destination is Yoko-hama. It provides a range of unusual locations and areas ideal for invention and teamwork. Yokohama people take great pride in their city, which is likely one of the reasons it is consistently rated as the finest place to live in Japan in yearly surveys.
For Yokohama, the journey to becoming a leading East Asian innovation and technology powerhouse has just begun. However, based on the advancements made thus far, the future appears promising for this rising star of a city.
What is the future of Yokohama?
However, based on the advancements made thus far, the future appears promising for this rising star of a city.