Akabane Area Guide

Akabane is a neighborhood in Kita Ward, towards the northern edge of the 23 wards of Tokyo. Bordered by Saitama Prefecture to the north, the station is traversed by many commuters coming in from Saitama Prefecture. Until recently, Akabane was infamous for its narrow alleys, late-night izakayas, and general seediness. Redevelopment and modernization in the area has transformed most of it to a livable, convenient neighborhood.

Contents

Location

Akabane is a neighborhood in Kita Ward, Tokyo. With a mix of JR train lines stopping at this station, it’s popular with those commuting to downtown Tokyo. The Arakawa River making up the northern border of Kita Ward is actually also the city limit of Tokyo, further north of Akabane is Kawaguchi, Saitama. To the south is Oji, another similar neighborhood in Kita Ward. Moving west from Akabane will bring you to Itabashi Ward. And if you cross the Arakawa River to the east you’ll end up in Adachi Ward.

Key Stats

Average Rent in Akabane

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥89,200/month ($810)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥139,800/month ($1,270)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥156,200/month ($1,420)

Apartments For Rent in Akabane

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
JR East  Keihin-Tohoku
JR East Saikyo
JR East Shonan-Shinjuku
JR East  Takasaki
JR East  Utsunomiya
JR East Akagi
JR East Ueno-Tokyo

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Saikyo, direct 14 min
Shibuya Saikyo, direct 20 min
Tokyo Ueno-Tokyo, direct 20 min
Shinagawa Ueno-Tokyo (Tokyo), transfer to Tokaido 27 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Ueno-Tokyo (Tokyo), transfer to Tokaido 46 min
Omiya, Saitama Utsunomiya, direct 13 min

Orientation Around the Station

Akabane Station, facing the west exit. Photo: Dennis Amith via Flickr

Akabane is a fairly large station, with 8 platforms to access the variety of train lines that make a stop here. Luckily, the station has a straightforward, easy-to-follow design. Just keep in mind which ticket gates you are exiting from. The descriptions below are for exiting the north ticket gate (北改札口), but there’s only about 70 m difference between this and the south ticket gate (南改札口) so it’s not a huge issue if you exit from the wrong ticket gate.

  • The East Exit (東口) opens up into a small plaza with a few artistic sculptures that are surrounded with seating if you need to wait for a friend. Upon exiting from this side, you’ll see bus stops to the left and a taxi loading/unloading roundabout to the right. Moving further east, away from the station, you’ll run into Akabane Park and Akabane Hall (multipurpose event space for community gatherings).
  • Similarly, the West Exit (西口) opens to a bus stop and taxi stand. There are fewer seating options on this side, however, straight across from the station is the Bivio shopping mall. Also on the west side of the station are Ito Yokado and Apire (shopping mall).

Livability

This shitamachi, old-Tokyo feel is prevalent around Akabane. Photo: Takayuki Miki via Flickr

The east area of Akabane retains a lot of the postwar era look and feel. A surprising number of restaurants and bars are packed into some of the narrow streets here, making it pretty popular with salarymen who want to grab a quick drink on the way home from a day at the office.

West of Akabane Station is home to a few shopping malls, which give the area a more modern atmosphere. All things considered, Akabane is similar to a slightly smaller-scale Ikebukuro or Ueno. Similar to the aforementioned, Akabane is a major hub station with nearby shopping malls and restaurants.

Akabane offers a variety of shopping malls, which are all located west of the station. Photo: Lombroso via Wikimedia Commons

Akabane Station was given a recent facelift in 2011, when the ecute shopping area inside the station was completed. This, along with other recent attempts to reshape Akabane into a more attractive and youthful neighborhood, is slowly changing the minds of Tokyoites when it comes to Akabane’s reputation.

These izakaya are popular with office workers heading home from work. Photo: kinpi3 via Flickr

In postwar Tokyo, the area just east of Akabane Station was a red-light district and well-known for its streets lined with izakaya (Japanese style bar). Some sections of the area retain a bit of a seedy atmosphere, and it would be advisable to stay away from these streets at night (around the Ichibangai Shopping Street). But still, the area has cleaned up quite a bit in the past ten years or so according to what some residents have to say.

Akabane is also home to a sizable immigrant population – communities of Korean, Chinese, and Filipino residents make their home in Akabane’s neighborhoods. Part of this is correlated to the affordable housing offered through the UR housing complexes nearby. This isn’t a criticism of the area, but it’s a fair statement to make in order to help apartment hunters have a full understanding of Akabane.

Akabane’s geographical location between Tokyo and neighborhoods in Saitama makes it a busy commuting hub. This is both a benefit and a disadvantage at times; residents can reap the advantages of quick transportation into Tokyo, but rush hour at this station can be a grueling slog. That being said, rush hour anywhere in Tokyo is an unpleasant affair.

The nearby Nature Observatory Park gives residents a space to stretch out and relax in nature. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
Ito Yokado Akabane Store 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 1 Chome-7-1 Akabanenishi, 北区 Kita City, Tokyo 115-0055
Seiyu Akabane 24 hrs 2 Chome-1-1 Akabane, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045
Promart Akabane 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM 1 Chome-11-4 Akabane, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045
Coop 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM 3 Chome-17 Akabanedai, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0053
Fuji Garden 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM 1 Chome-67-8 Akabane, 北区 Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045

*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.

Gyms

Nearby Gyms Hours Address
FASTGYM24 Akabane 24 hrs 〒115-0045 Tokyo, Kita City, Akabane, 2 Chome−13−3 佐藤ビル 2階
Anytime Fitness Akabane 24 hrs 1 Chome-33-3 Akabanenishi, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0055

*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.

Universities

Nearby Universities Information
Toyo University Akabanedai Campus Toyo University Home Page

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Akabane Residents’ Office Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

1 Chome-1-38 Akabane, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045
Akabane Police Station Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

3 Chome-10-1 Kamiya, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0043
Kitakuritsuakabane Library Mon.: Closed

Tue. – Sat.: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Sun.: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

1 Chome-13-1 Akabaneminami, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0044

Hospitals

Nearby Hospitals Address
Akabane Hospital 2 Chome-2-1 Akabane, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045
Tokyo North Medical Center 4 Chome-17-56 Akabanedai, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0053
Akabane Iwabuchi Hospital 2 Chome-64-13 Akabane, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0045

*These are examples of clinics in the area.

Parks

Family-Friendly Features

Nearby Family Friendly Features Address
Akabane Children’s Hall 〒115-0044 Tokyo, Kita City, Akabaneminami, 1 Chome−16−1 101
Akabane-kita Children’s Hall 1 Chome-5-5 Akabanekita, Kita City, Tokyo 115-0052

Department Stores

 


Akabane Apartments

Apartments for rent near Akabane Station:

A wide range of apartments can be found in Akabane. It’s difficult to say in particular that Akabane caters to any particular type of apartment seeker. For example, a 1R studio apartment in Akabane can be rented for as low as ¥58,000 per month. And more recently built apartments can be found for around ¥85,000 per month.

Apartments For Rent in Akabane

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Dive Deeper

Neighborhoods in Kita Ward are known for their traditional and local charm. You’ll find many streets with independent shops that have been around for decades in Tokyo. The old-school vibe and lower cost-of-living make Kita Ward a diamond in the rough for budget apartment hunters looking to move in Tokyo! Photo: Akabane Ichibangai Shopping Street in Kita Ward via Wikimedia

  • Kita Ward is literally “North Ward,” located on Tokyo’s northern border with Saitama Prefecture. Major residential neighborhoods in Kita, like Jujo, Akabane, and Oji are very convenient residential and transport hubs. Its many green spaces and lower than average cost-of-living make it quite family friendly. Overall, Kita is known for being working class and traditional, but the opening of the Lycée Français International de Tokyo (French International School) in Takinogawa has raised the international profile of Kita. Read the in-depth guide to Kita Ward here!