I've been living in Hokkaido for a while now, and there are plenty of dinky buildings on flat surfaces that have ハイツ stuck on the end of their names. As a native English speaker, few of these are places I would call "Heights".

I did a bit of googling and 知恵袋 states beyond the English definition that it shows up in building names.

What does it mean in Japanese to call a building ~~ハイツ?

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    What sorts of places do you see called heights? I only see it used with apartments and the like – ssb Apr 24 '14 at 16:28
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    sheilam.com -- I think I've found a site that tells you everything you could want to know and more LOL – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 20:53
  • @ssb large numbers of apartment buildings. This is not at all natural vis-a-vis the English meaning of "heights". I can take pictures if it's somehow valuable... – virmaior Apr 24 '14 at 23:07
  • @Ash that's great and answers my question. Want to make it an answer? – virmaior Apr 24 '14 at 23:07

I think that you are right about the "Heights". Keep in mind that lots of places here in North America are called "Heights" even though they have no connection with height, hills, or anything nice at all. It's just a way of making them seem nicer than they actually are; in essence a marketing ploy. It's similar to the use of words like "acres" in upper class residences and retirement homes, even though they actually have no proximity to anything you would really call "acres". Of course, it could be a japanese word, but since it's written in Katakana, I doubt it very much.

  • If you read the link Ash provides, it's basically a marker of "high-class apartment" (which you also mention). If something was called "heights" in the U.S. I would expect a pretty tall building. Similarly "acres" would imply at least some spread out grassy format. (But maybe reality differs greatly from my expectations and what I believe to be my experience). I've seen two story ハイツ in 札幌 and 旭川 on flat pieces of land -- and they're buildings that don't look that nice. – virmaior Apr 24 '14 at 23:29
  • Yeah, but if they don't look nice, isn't the point to make them sound nicer? Also, think about high-rises. They usually don't actually rise that high. I think that "heights" has nothing to do with the actual height. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a really tall building called "heights". – KingPumpkin Apr 25 '14 at 0:13

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