Asagaya Area Guide

Asagaya is locked in an eternal popularity competition with neighboring Koenji. Since time immemorial, Asagaya and Koenji have been vying for the hearts of Tokyoites. For those looking into moving just west of downtown Tokyo, you’ll find that Asagaya provides a comfortable, safe environment chock-full of interesting food and drink along with fun community events.

Details

Highlights
-- Only 10 minutes away from Shinjuku Station.
-- Lively community events such as Asagaya Jazz Street, Asagaya Tanabata Festival, etc.
-- Large covered shopping arcade can make getting to/from the station stress-free, even in the rain.
-- Star Road features many izakayas and bars for those who enjoy grabbing a drink in the evening.
Trainline(s)
Asagaya Station is located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and the JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local).
Access
From Asagaya Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local):
-- 9-min direct to Shinjuku Station
-- 22-min direct to Tokyo Station
-- 21-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)

Contents

Right across the street from the south exit of Asagaya Station you’ll find the entrance to the Pal Shopping Center. This stretch of road is home to many different stores (from antique shops to drug stores) and restaurants – very convenient for residents! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Asagaya at a glance


Although there are many similarities between Koenji and Asagaya, there are nuanced differences that differentiate the two areas. Overall, they both are considered suburban, residential neighborhoods close to Tokyo. Livability is generally rated pretty high here as you’ll find plenty of supermarkets, convenience stores, and local shops around both stations as well. Rent tends to follow the old adage of the Chuo Line – the closer to Shinjuku, the higher the rent. As Asagaya is only a 10-minute train ride to Shinjuku, you’ll end up paying a slight premium on rent for this convenience.

Looking down the road south of Asagaya Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Transportation

Being just four stops away from Shinjuku puts you relatively close to the largest train hub in Tokyo. In addition, Minami-Asagaya Station is just a 10-minute walk from Asagaya Station, giving you the option to take the Marunouchi subway line as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Rapid Service train doesn’t stop at Asagaya on the weekends. Turning the 10-minute train ride to Shinjuku into a 14-minute train ride. All things considered, this is actually quite a minor gripe to have – reflecting how little there is to really complain about the livability of this area. 

A residential street in Asagaya. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Rent

As stated above, rent tends to be a tad on the high end when compared to other Chuo Line stations. However, considering you’ll be closer to Shinjuku (great for commuting to work) the time saved might be worth it.

Studio/1K/1DK ¥73,200/month (About $690 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)

1LDK/2K/2DK ¥121,800 (About $1,150)

2LDK/3K/3DK ¥169,500 (About $1,600)

That being said, it is possible to find cheaper listings (most likely those farther away from the station, or in older buildings, etc.) if affordability is your main concern. For a better idea of currently available properties in the area, check out listings on our listing pages: Asagaya Apartments

For example, rent for 1R apartments around Asagaya Station starts at around ¥48,000 per month.

Apartments for rent in the Asagaya area

Ease of living

Just around the station, you’ll find a Seiyu supermarket as well as an Ito Yokado. There seems to be a decent amount of smaller grocery stores scattered south of the station, including an Acolle (discount supermarket) for those trying to stretch their budgets. To the north, you’ll find a few supermarkets, but the selection is definitely slimmer.

Looking over the road north of Asagaya Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

While I wouldn’t necessarily say community events are a dealbreaker when deciding where to live in Tokyo, they can give you a sense of the character of an area. For example, every year there is a large jazz festival in Asagaya that takes over the streets and you can hear a wide variety of artists from all over the world in this corner of Tokyo.

Star Road is a section of Asagaya which is home to various izakayas and restaurants. It has a old-town feel which can be a fun change of pace for those who enjoy exploring the spirits Japan has to offer! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Another aspect of locales that I think helps us get an idea of their rhythm is the independent, small businesses that you can find. I’m talking about small cafes, mom-and-pop shops, family-owned businesses, etc. Even if they haven’t been passed down for 10 generations, all these stores have histories that have both influenced and been influenced by their community.

You’ll also find very modern, stylish cafes like Cafe Zaguri in Asagaya. The interior has a beautiful DIY aesthetic that makes for a calm spot to take a break. Photo: Scott Kouchi

There are also quite a few cafes and restaurants in the area that show off that Asagaya-charm. You can take a stroll down Star Road or the Pal Shopping Arcade and enjoy the different shops available here.

Who is this area ideal for?

Anybody looking into a balance between city and suburb in Tokyo would benefit from taking the time to check out what Asagaya has to offer. It’s a very livable area that’s quite close to downtown Tokyo – complete with plenty of conveniences near the station in addition to the old-town charm of Star Road.

You may also be interested in

Tokyo Area Guides
Guides to Tokyo Residential Neighborhoods

Where should you live in Tokyo? Read our guides to Tokyo residential neighborhoods and find the right one for you!

Iidabashi Area Guide

Iidabashi is an upscale commercial and residential neighborhood located in Chiyoda Ward, just north of the Imperial Palace. It is a major station served by five train and subway lines, but its residential neighborhoods are pleasant and relaxed. Iidabashi’s location near the sakura tree-lined Kanda River walking path and nearby Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens give the area a classy, tranquil atmosphere.

Katsushika Ward Guide

Katsushika Ward is where you’ll find prime examples of traditional Tokyo neighborhoods seemingly untouched by the modernization that has become characteristic of downtown Tokyo.

Ota Ward Guide

Ota Ward is the largest of the 23 wards of Tokyo, so it can be difficult to categorize the entire area as a single type of neighborhood. You’ll find neighborhoods tailored to different needs across the ward: from the high-society neighborhood of Denenchofu to the relaxed, traditional vibes of Magome and commuter-friendly Kamata.

Edogawa Ward Guide

Edogawa Ward offers many family-friendly residential neighborhoods between the business districts of Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture. Average rent is affordable while still being within acceptable commuting distance to central Tokyo.

Taito Ward Guide

In Taito Ward you’ll find traditional, old-city charm in neighborhoods like Yanaka, Iriya, Asakusa, and Kuramae and the major hub station of Ueno, where you can find a variety of shopping/dining/entertainment establishments.

Sumida Ward Guide

Sumida Ward is known for being home to Tokyo Skytree and the crowds of tourists that visit the attraction. But it also contains many shitamachi (“low town”) neighborhoods that preserve the look-and-feel of Show-era Japan. Here you will find relaxed and affordable stations that are within easy commuting distance of downtown business districts.

Koto Ward Guide

Koto Ward is a historically working-class industrial area of Tokyo where redevelopment projects on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay have created upscale, stylish commercial/residential neighborhoods on the waterfront.

Arakawa Ward Guide

Arakawa Ward is where you’ll find many neighborhoods that still maintain the traditional city feel of Tokyo from the postwar era, providing residents with a calmer side of Tokyo that seem to move a bit slower than the busy downtown districts.

Adachi Ward Guide

Although Adachi Ward is known for having the lowest average rent of the 23 wards of Tokyo, redevelopments around Kitasenju provide residents with plenty of modern city life conveniences that should place it on any apartment seeker’s list of areas to consider.