10 Best Areas to Live in Tokyo

tokyo skyline Tokyo

Tokyo is the biggest and one of the most active and sought after places to live in the world. With all the amazing food, a convenient public transportation system, and endless things to do, Tokyo definitely does not disappoint. That being said, there are so many places to choose from when it comes to finding a place to live. But don’t worry, we have you covered with some top tips. Let’s have a look at some of the best areas to live in Tokyo, as well as their relative price ranges!

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1. Ebisu

Located right in between two of the major nightlife areas Shibuya and Roppongi, Ebisu is a lively neighborhood with plenty of good restaurants. Ebisu Garden Place is a huge multipurpose complex with offices, restaurants, and bars, and during the colder winter months, they do an impressive illumination. If the name Ebisu rings a bell for you, it could be because you’re familiar with the premium beer that originated in the area. The Museum of Yebisu Beer is a popular attraction for people visiting the area. While the central area of Ebisu is bustling, the residential backstreets are wonderfully quiet and peaceful, making living here very easy and comfortable. 

Price range: ¥¥¥¥

2. Kichijoji

While Kichijoji is not very centrally located, it has been voted numerous times as one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in by its locals. Situated around 12 kilometers west of Tokyo’s most western central ward Shinjuku, Kichijoji has everything you need and more to live comfortably. The neighborhood’s vibe is relaxed but vibrant, and the large and famous Inokashira Park is not only loved by locals but also attracts visitors from the rest of Tokyo and Japan as well. This area is close enough to the center of Tokyo to comfortably commute to or visit. Needless to say, because of its location it is more affordable compared to most areas in the central Tokyo area, but because of its popularity, it is not super cheap either. 

Price range: ¥¥

3. Nakameguro

Not far from Ebisu is Nakameguro, one of the most popular areas to live for temporary expats. Nakameguro is a fancy, hip neighborhood with plenty of cute little cafes, trendy boutique shops, and a wide variety of delicious smaller restaurants. There are not many tall buildings in the area, so it almost feels like you’re in a small town when you stroll along the peacefully flowing Meguro river. Let’s also not forget that Nakameguro is one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossoms once the season rolls around, especially the light-up event in the evenings is quite a sight to see. It tends to be on the more expensive side, but if you can afford it, Nakameguro is a great place to live! 

Price range: ¥¥¥¥

4. Shinagawa

If you want to live in a highly accessible area, then Shinagawa is a great choice. Shinagawa is only 15 minutes by train from Haneda Airport and is also a shinkansen stop. However, accessibility is not the only thing that the area has to offer. While it used to be quite an industrial area, it has slowly changed over the last few decades, and new developments and gentrification have made the waterfront ward a lot more attractive and fun to live in. 

Price range: ¥¥¥

5. Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Shinjuku is especially known for its nightlife district Kabukicho, but it also has a greener, much more calming side that includes Shinjuku Gyoen. In the past, Shinjuku was considered a bit dingy and not necessarily a family-friendly area, but that has changed a lot since the local government made significant efforts to clean up the area. Being one of Tokyo’s most central wards, rent in Shinjuku is high, but living here comes with the obvious perk that there is an abundance of entertainment and dining options within walking or short cycling distance. Shinjuku Station is massive and offers easy access to Mt. Takao, Hakone, Kawaguchiko, various western prefectures, and of course to the rest of Tokyo.

Price range: ¥¥¥

6. Ikebukuro

You could regard Ikebukuro as the new Shinjuku in a way, as this is also a district that is known to have a slightly more shabby image. But just like in Shinjuku, the metropolitan government has made good efforts to clean up the neighborhood in the last decade. It is still not as fancy as, say, Nakameguro or Ebisu, but there are some great perks to living in the north-western hub of Tokyo. There are some huge shopping malls and entertainment complexes including Sunshine City and the Seibu department store, and if you happen to like Japanese subculture, you will find loads of cool underground stores and cafes. Outside of the central area around the station, the streets are much more quiet and residential and the rent isn’t all that expensive. 

Price range: ¥¥

7. Shibuya

Famous for the busiest intersection in the world, a very active nightlife scene, and countless (fashion) shops, you can imagine that Shibuya is a very lively area to reside in. A lot of recent area developments have given Shibuya a clean, fresh face with even more neon and led lights to light up the night sky, making it feel even more vibrant and active. If you want to live in the middle of it all, or within walking distance from it, then Shibuya is the place to be. Heading just a few streets beyond the neighborhood’s main area will give way to a surprisingly quiet residential area that is surprisingly comfortable for daily living (and nightly sleeping).

Price range: ¥¥¥¥

8. Jiyugaoka

Easily accessible from both central Tokyo and Yokohama with the fast Toyoko Line, Jiyugaoka combines accessibility with very comfortable living. Jiyugaoka breathes a sophisticated atmosphere and it attracts trendy day-trippers who want to relax for a bit in one of the many cute cafes or have a leisurely lunch in a nice lax environment. And if you’re a dessert lover, you will be in heaven here with a plethora of amazing dessert places. The streets will remind you a bit of Italy with their southern European-inspired architecture, making it a very easy and relaxed place to live.

Price range: ¥¥¥

9. Nakano

Nakano Broadway

Nakano is a well-kept secret that neighbors the much more expensive Shinjuku. Only one express train stop away from Shinjuku, Nakano combines a more residential vibe with close proximity to the city center. Even though it is pretty densely populated, it doesn’t really feel that way. One of the best things about living in Nakano besides being close to the center of Tokyo is Nakano Broadway and its adjacent shotengai shopping street, where people of all ages will find what they are looking for whether it is food, clothing, or cultural goods. Restaurants in the area tend to be old-school Japanese, so if you like a bit of a Showa-era atmosphere, you will love it here.

Price range: ¥¥

10. Futakotamagawa

futakotamagawa

The high-rise apartment buildings of Futakotamagawa were built quite recently, and ever since, more well off families started moving to the area making it a popular place to live. The district around the station has everything you need to make life easy and comfortable; there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and cafes. Residents of Nikotama, as it is also called, love the spacious and green riverside parks, and if you truly want to feel as if you are away from the city without even leaving your neighborhood, the gorgeous Todoroki Valley will surely become one of your favorite places to go.

Price range: ¥¥¥

Get To Know Tokyo

Whether you are new to Tokyo or a long-time resident, hiring a private guide means that you will always discover something new about the city. You will be surprised at how much fun it is to walk around the city with a local expert and how much more there is to learn about it! In Tokyo, we have a variety of different tours such as a local street food tour, a backstreet tour, a sushi making experience, and a kid-friendly Harajuku tour. If you haven’t had the chance to visit the popular Tokyo highlights, one of our walking highlight tours might be exactly what you are looking for. We hope you have found a place from our list of the best areas to live in Tokyo that you may want to live in and that your move goes smoothly! 

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Happy traveling!

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Stefanie Akkerman moved from the Netherlands to Japan in 2013 with her Japanese husband and son. She jumped into the niche of Dutch tour guiding in Tokyo and Kamakura in 2015 and occasionally writes articles about all the great sights and activities Japan has to offer. She loves (Japanese) food, and to work that all off she goes diving, snorkeling, cycling, or hiking.

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