Dotted spaciously, and hidden away in the scenic hills of Kobe, is the Shioya Estate Foreign Residence, or simply “Shioya”. Also known by the locals as "James Yama" (yama meaning mountain in Japanese), Shioya is located atop a low hill on a 240,000 m2 plot surrounded by rich greenery. The houses in Shioya, with their stunning panoramic views, are built with higher ceilings and bigger windows than houses in the traditional Japanese style, and they are designed to suit a Western lifestyle.
Built in the 1930s by British trader Ernest W. James, the Shioya Estate Foreign Residence is an exclusive expat residential community that overlooks Osaka Bay.
The large western-style homes were developed for, and are rented exclusively to, Western expats and their families in Kobe, and Shioya is one of Kansai's best kept secrets.
Shioya is located 20 minutes west of downtown Kobe, and nestles among rolling hills, which descend towards the sea. The views over the bay are stunning.
The island of Awaji and the spectacular Akashi suspension bridge frame part of the view. Fishermen are often seen working below. The fog horn of cargo ships passing in the distance can be heard. Truly it is a setting which restores the senses after a busy day.
The club offers activities and classes for all ages, as well as free access to the fitness gym, swimming pool, tennis court and more.
Planning and organizing is a time-consuming activity. We offer a concierge service to help make living in Japan easier.
The estate is designed to allow residents to keep pets. All the yards are fenced in and gated, so there is little risk of pets straying.
Generations upon generations of Western expats and their families that have come to Japan, have all enjoyed the spacious, beautiful scenery that the Shioya Estate Foreign Residence provides.
Kobe is the sixth largest city in Japan and is the capital city of the Hyōgo Prefecture. Kobe is home to approximately 1.5 million people and has over 50,000 expatriates living in the city.
The train tracks from Shioya run along the sea, a view of Awaji Island emerges, and the Seto Inland Sea and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the world's highest suspension bridge, are also beautifully viewed from the houses. There are mountains of Rokko in the north, where you can enjoy seasonal leisure activities such as mountain climbing and skiing at the Mt. Rokko.
The stylish cityscape in the city is well-known. You can enjoy walking around the city to find many famous brand boutiques lined around Sannomiya and Motomachi area. You can experience the latest trendy fashions in the Bay area. There are many delicious restaurants sharing the flavors of various countries in many places around the city, including Nankinmachi. You can also enjoy Kobe’s famous night views from many recommended spots in the city. The natural environments around the city are rich and luscious. You can also enjoy traditional Japanese culture by visiting Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and hot springs dotted within and around the city.
"I love the whole neighbourhood, especially the close knit atmosphere and the quiet spaces. Cherry Blossom viewing in James Yama is exquisite in the Spring and Maple Tree viewing in the Fall."
"Space is high value in Japan, and in Shioya we have plenty; big houses and big gardens. We enjoy fresh air and sea breeze, stunning sunsets and beautiful views, either to the mountains or to the sea."
"Close, friendly, supportive, FUN group of people….of all ages and nationalities!! Love the diversity of this area!! A green village at the Kobe gate where you’ll feel that Japan has become home."
"It is a great Community, with an outstanding location and a great atmosphere. The pool was amazing, the kids loved going there during the summer and we also loved all the activities that the club put on for the residents."
"The Japanese in the neighbourhood are generally very willing to communicate, to welcome us, and to participate with the Halloween or Christmas events in the neighbourhood."
"We lived in one of the most special, historic, and beautiful locations in the whole of Japan. It affected all of our family, including two teens, very deeply and positively."