Asia Dominates the List of Rising Remote Work Hubs


Key Takeaways:

  • Tokyo, Japan, is the fastest-growing destination for digital nomads.
  • Nine of the top ten cities are in Asia, with Montevideo, Uruguay being the exception.
  • Remote work popularity continues to grow even with the return-to-office trend.

Tokyo saw a remarkable 67% growth in digital nomad numbers from 2018 to 2022. This surge was especially pronounced last year, with a 369% increase in remote workers.

The Japanese capital doesn’t offer a dedicated digital nomad visa. However, Japan has visa exemption arrangements with 70 nations, allowing up to a 90-day stay.

Tokyo’s living costs are significantly lower than New York’s by 47.9% without considering rent. It provides a chance to work in one of the world’s major urban economies.

As of 2023, Tokyo houses 29 Fortune 500 companies, outdoing New York’s 16. Japan reopened its borders in October 2022 after a long pandemic-induced shutdown.

The Top 10 Remote Work Hubs of 2023

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • Delhi, India
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Spotlight on Da Nang and Seoul

According to a CNBC report, Da Nang, ranking second, experienced a 99% growth in the past five years, with a 107% rise in 2023 alone.

The city allows citizens from nearly 200 countries to apply for online tourist visas for up to 90 days. Notably, Da Nang provides free Wi-Fi downtown and is renowned for its sandy beaches and livability.

city under cloudy sky
Photo of Seoul by Sava Bobov

Seoul, the third on the list, stands as South Korea’s largest city and is a tech giant hotspot, hosting Samsung, Hyundai, and LG.

In 2023, Seoul was recognized by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of Asia’s most livable cities.

The report noted that the city’s cost of living is 27.4% less than New York, excluding rent. Like Tokyo and Da Nang, Seoul allows U.S. residents a 90-day visa-free stay.

What Do We Think

The rise of cities like Tokyo, Da Nang, and Seoul as top destinations for digital nomads underscores the global shift towards remote work.

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This trend, particularly strong in Asia, indicates the region’s appeal in terms of connectivity, cost of living, and cultural experiences.

With nine out of ten cities from Asia making the list, it’s evident that the continent is leading the remote work revolution.


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