Akasaka Area Guide

Akasaka is one of Tokyo's most central upscale commercial and residential districts. Located in north Minato ward, Akasaka is known for its expansive shopping, office, and entertainment complexes like Tokyo Midtown and ARK HILLS, but beautiful green spaces, including Hinokicho Park and Hikawa Shrine bring the neighborhood full circle as a highly desirable residential area.

Details

Highlights
-- Upscale, central area with many modern conveniences, but also home to the historical Hikawa Shrine and Hinokicho Park, providing pockets of calm and green space among sprawling commercial complexes.
-- Many upmarket shopping/entertainment/office complexes: Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka Sacas, ARK HILLS, etc.
-- Home to embassies and corporate headquarters.
-- Many mid-rise and high-rise housing options for ex-pats.

Contents

Location

Akasaka is an upscale commercial and residential district in the northeast of Minato Ward. It is bordered by the Akasaka State Guest House and grounds to the north, with Aoyama-Itchome station unofficially marking the northwest corner of the district. The National Diet Building and grounds and Nagatacho government district are to the east, and Roppongi and Toranomon lie to the south and southeast, respectively. Tokyo Midtown anchors the southwest corner.

Akasaka is home to many embassies, including the U.S. and Canadian embassies, as well as many corporate headquarters of international and domestic companies, including a high concentration of media, entertainment, and music companies.

Its central location also means that all of Tokyo’s major business districts are within easy commuting distance of Akasaka. Famous landmarks such as Tokyo Midtown and Akasaka Sacas can be found in Akasaka, as well as major hotels, such as the Intercontinental ANA and Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu.

Akasaka is a developed commercial district that’s home to many entertainment and dining options as well. Photo: 7maru

Key Stats

Average Rent in Akasaka

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥151,700/month ($1,380)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥242,100/month ($2,200)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥334,900/month ($3,040)

Apartments For Rent in Akasaka

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
Metro  Chiyoda

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Chiyoda (Kokkai-Gijido), transfer to Marunouchi 20 min
Shibuya Chiyoda (Omotesando), transfer to Ginza 10 min
Tokyo Chiyoda (Kokkai-Gijido), transfer to Marunouchi 12 min
Omotesando Chiyoda, direct 5 min
Roppongi Chiyoda (Kasumigaseki), transfer to Hibiya 15 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Chiyoda (Meiji-jingumae), transfer to Fukutoshin 49 min

Orientation Around the Station

  • Exit 1 is conveniently located right outside Akasaka Biz Tower.
  • Across the street, Exit 2 puts you closer to a Maruetsu Petit supermarket.
  • Exit 3 (a and b) are close to Akasaka Sacas.
  • Exit 4 will take you to The Hexagon, a commercial and retail building across from Akasaka Sacas.
  • Exit 5a is located outside Kokusai Shin-Akasaka Building East (国際新赤坂ビル東館).
  • Across the street from 5a, Exit 5b is in front of Kokusai Shin-Akasaka Building West (国際新赤坂ビル西館).

Akasaka Station exits are stylish and modernized. This is a photo of Exit 1, next to Biz Tower. Photo: Kansai-good via Wikimedia Commons

Akasaka Sacas

This sprawling commercial complex greets you north of the station. Construction of these buildings was completed in 2008, and includes the TBS Broadcasting Center, Akasaka Biz Tower, Akasaka ACT Theater, and Akasaka The Residence. This redevelopment of the area significantly boosted the commercial appeal of the area. There is a wide selection of restaurants located within Akasaka Sacas, which also increases livability for residents.

Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown galleria. Image: Wikimedia

Currently the second tallest building in Tokyo (Toranomon Hills claimed the throne in 2014), Tokyo Midtown is regarded as an extremely fashionable, luxurious commercial complex. The offices in the building are occupied by well-known companies such as Fast Retailing (UNIQLO), Cisco Japan, Yahoo! Japan, Fujifilm, etc. In addition to the offices, an astonishing number of restaurants can be found in and around Tokyo Midtown. Adjacent to the towering marvel of engineering is Hinokicho Park, a pleasant open space that’s great for taking a break and relaxing. There’s often seasonal events held in the park, from beer gardens in the summer to an ice skating rink in the winter.

Ark Hills

Despite being one of the older commercial complexes in the area (constructed completed 1986), ARK Hills continues to offer a nice mix of fine dining and entertainment. The highly revered Suntory Hall, a concert hall well-known by live music lovers for its rich acoustics, is located within ARK Hills.

Akasaka State Guest House

The Akasaka Palace or State Guest House, borders the district of Akasaka to the north. It is one of the is one of the two state guesthouses of the Government of Japan.  It’s a popular tourist location and there is a lot of history to take in. Just be aware there is an admission fee for entering.

Built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince, Akasaka State Guest House (also referred to as Akasaka Palace) is now reserved for visiting dignitaries. It is one of the largest buildings built in the Meiji period.

Livability

There is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from in this upscale commercial district.

Akasaka offers plenty of convenience for both families and those who are single. It’s an upscale, developed neighborhood that prides itself on being able to effortlessly merge a bustling commercial district with a safe residential area.

Many foreigners choose to live in Akasaka to be near their offices and to enjoy city-center conveniences. Ex-pat-friendly housing options are plentiful. High-end, foreigner-friendly apartment buildings in Akasaka include:

  • Akasaka The Residence (Akasaka Station, 3-min walk)
  • Residia Akasaka (Akasaka Station, 8-min walk)
  • Residia Nogizaka (Nogizaka Station, 1-min walk)
  • Homat Viscount (Tameike-sanno Station, 2 min. walk)
  • Tokyo Midtown Residences (Roppongi Station, 1 min. walk)

Akasaka for families

There is also plenty to do here for families with young children. Akasaka Sacas and Tokyo MidTown both have endless shopping and dining options, as well as wide-open pedestrian-friendly areas (and frequent free events) where you can take the kids for an afternoon. Hinokicho Park (adjoining TokyoMidtown) and Hitotsugi Park (near Akasaka Sacas) both have playgrounds with equipment for kids.

For imported foods, you will want to head to the Akasaka branches of Seijo Ishii (an upmarket supermarket chain) and Yamaya (which specializes in dry goods and imported liquors, beer, and wine). For discount shopping, Hanamasa is recommended for its discount prices on meat, fish, and produce, which are packaged in large sizes not often found in typical Japanese supermarkets.

Hinokicho Park at Tokyo Midtown is an urban oasis. Located behind the Tokyo Midtown shopping complex the park has a beautifully landscaped garden with small lake. There is also a playground there for the kids. Pick up lunch at one of the many take-out places in Tokyo Midtown and have a picnic lunch at the park. Photo: Toshikazu Takada via Flickr

There are no international schools in Akasaka proper, but because of its central location, commuting from Akasaka to international schools in nearby Roppongi and Hiroo, and even in Setagaya Ward is not difficult. The American School (which has its main campus in the city of Chofu) also has bus stops in Akasaka.

Sanno Hospital

Sanno Hospital, one of Tokyo’s most well-known and well-respected foreigner-friendly hospitals is located in Akasaka. It offers a wide range of outpatient services and most of the doctors speak English. Interpretation services are also available. The Sanno Birth Center is also highly regarded and is often recommended to foreign women seeking maternity care.

Short History of Akasaka

The name Akasaka (赤坂) is a combination of the characters for “red” and “hill” but the origin behind this name is still up for debate. There are primarily two schools of thought regarding the naming of Akasaka. Both theories rely on the fact that the area used to be covered with a flower called akane (茜草). One theory is that the area was originally called Akanesaka (茜坂) but over the years it eventually became Akasaka as we know it today. The akane flower is in the genus Rubia, which means red in Latin since it has been widely used as a red pigment across Asia, Europe and Africa. And as such, the second theory is that there used to be a dye house on the hill that specialized in this kind of red dye made from the akane flowers in the area. And because of this red dye, the area would go on to be named Akasaka (red hill).

From 1955 to about 1980, Akasaka was one of the primary nightlife areas of Tokyo along with Ginza. Night clubs, go-go bars, and cabarets in the area created an exciting, electric atmosphere for city dwellers at the time. As the previous era comes to a close, so has the glitz and glamor of this chapter of Akasaka. Today, Akasaka enjoys a more upscale residential ambiance. If you’re looking for the excitement of city nightlife you’ll probably need to head to Roppongi, Shibuya, or Shinjuku.

Hikawa Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Akasaka. It is the best known of the 59 branch shrines of the Hikawa jinja. Image: Wikimedia

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
Seijo Ishii Mon. – Fri.: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

〒107-6390 Tokyo, Minato City, Akasaka, 5 Chome−3−1, Bizタワ, B1F
Maruetsu Petit Akasaka 24 hrs 2 Chome-14-27 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052
Hanamasa 24 hrs 〒107-0052 Tokyo, Minato City, Akasaka, 2 Chome−12−32 サンテラス赤坂

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

Gyms

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

Language Schools

Nearby Language Schools Information Address
Edo Culture Center School Edo Culture Center School 7 Chome-10-9 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052

Ward Office, Police

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

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

4 Chome-18-13 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052
Akasaka Library Mon. – Sat.: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Sun.: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

1 Chome-3-3 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062

Clinics

Nearby Clinics Address
Akasaka-Mitsuke Maeda Hospital 1 Chome-1-5 Motoakasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0051

*These are examples of clinics in the area.

Parks


Akasaka Apartments

Apartments for rent near Akasaka Station:

The mix of highly developed commercial complexes and low-rise residential buildings makes for a pleasant living area for those who enjoy city life. Thanks to being centrally located in Tokyo, residents aren’t too far away from major city hubs. There will never be a dull evening when you’re surrounded by Akasaka Sacas, Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills, ARK Hills, etc. If you’re looking for something just a little bit more quiet, try looking at the neighborhoods around Hikawa Shrine in Akasaka. Browse our website to find apartments in Akasaka!

Apartments For Rent in Akasaka

Where should you live in Tokyo? Check out all our Tokyo Area Guides to find the perfect place!

Lead photo: Wpcpey via Wikimedia Commons

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