Connotations of different ways to say neighborhood

Ok so this is definitely far beyond my skill level but something I think about a lot (with many similar vocab words). Right now I’m seeing the two vocabs for neighborhood, 付近 and 近所, and I’m wondering if they have different geographic location uses or connotations? Like in most areas I’ve been in people say neighborhood, but in some places they say subdivision.

1 Like

In my experience, 付近 tends to be used to mean “the area around a particular thing.” That is, that the relation to some thing is the basis for using it.

駅の付近 (the neighborhood around the station, the area around the station)
扉の付近 (the area around the door)
東京付近 (the area around Tokyo)

It doesn’t have to be a residential area.

近所 is much more like “the group of houses or buildings near my house.” Or any particular group of houses. It can be metaphorically extended to “the people near you” in other situations, like a classroom, as well.

付近 - そのあたり。近い所。

近所 - ①自分の家の近く。近いところ。②近くにある家。

19 Likes

Awesome thanks for the explanation!

Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that 付近 seems to be used in writing more often. If you want to say “the area near the door” in a casual way, then just 扉の近く or something is fine.

8 Likes