Something I have often stumbled on is the expression of "neighborhood" in Japanese. For most uses I find that 近所 works well. However, this usually seems to refer to a closer proximity than one would equate to the english "neighborhood". When one describes a neighborhood of a city, for example, Shibuya, Minowa or Ginza in Tokyo, it seems that 近所 doesn't really apply. In the common English phrase, "What neighborhood do you live in?," I have yet to find a suitable Japanese equivalent. I was suggested that 町 would work, though the speaker told me this was perhaps a flawed translation as 町 has more of the feeling of town.


I live in Minowa. Do you know that neighborhood?

みのわに住んでいます。 みのわって町、知ってる?

So what word do you think is best in asking someone, "What neighborhood do you live in?" Or if this question would be so rare in natural Japanese as to be unnatural, why would this be the case?



I live in Minowa. Do you know that neighborhood?

What neighborhood do you live in?

  • ありがとうございます!what is your feeling on 界隈?
    – yadokari
    Jan 30 '12 at 19:28
  • 2
    What about 付近【ふきん】?
    – istrasci
    Jan 30 '12 at 22:01
  • @istrasci san, Ah yes 付近 also works I think~~!
    – user1016
    Jan 31 '12 at 7:19

I think 界隈【かいわい】 would work. It covers a wider area than 近所.

For your reference, there is a phrase that expresses an even narrower area than 近所; that is, 向こう三軒両隣 "three houses across the street and the houses on both sides" (1--5 in the following picture)


  • thanks. do you think this would be an okay thing to ask a new acquaintance? どこの界隈に住んでいますか?
    – yadokari
    Jan 30 '12 at 18:17
  • @yadokari Yes. That is fine.
    – user458
    Jan 30 '12 at 18:28
  • How about どこらへん?
    – Bathrobe
    Feb 1 '12 at 22:20

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