Hongo Area Guide – Tokyo

Hongō Area Guide

Hongō is a neighborhood located in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, west of Ueno Park and north of the Imperial Palace, that is synonymous with Japan’s top institution of higher learning, Tokyo University.

It is also home to Juntendo and Toyo Gakuen Universities and in the past, was home to some of Japan’s greatest literary figures, including Natsume Soseki and Ichiyō Higuchi. Hongo’s history and central location near Ueno Park, Tokyo Dome, and the Imperial Palace means that it is a desirable place for working professionals and families, as well as being a college town.

Tokyo University (Tōdai)

At the center of the Hongō neigborhood is Tokyo University, often referred to as Tōdai.

If you live in Hongō or nearby Kasuga, be sure to visit Tokyo University in the fall to enjoy the gorgeous foliage! The campus grounds are open to the pubic. Photo: Hi-no-moto.com

 Average Rent in Hōngo

The three main stations in Hōngo are Tōdaimae (the closest station to Tokyo University), Hongō San Chome, and Kasuga.

According to HOME’S, a Japanese real estate listing site, here are the average rent levels for these stations (as of October 2017):

Tōdaimae Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line

  • Studio (1K): ¥85,300 ($756 @ 110 JPY = 1 USD)
  • 1BR (1LDK): ($): ¥143,600 ($1273)
  • 2BR (2LDK): ($): ¥162,100) ($1437)

Hongō San Chome on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

  • Studio (1K): ¥96,200 ($853 @ 110 JPY = 1 USD)
  • 1BR (1LDK): ¥159,900 ($1,418)
  • 2BR (2LDK): ¥237,100) ($2,102)

Kasuga on the Mita and Toei Oedo Lines

  • Studio (1K): ¥89,200 ($791 @ 110 JPY = 1 USD)
  • 1BR (1LDK): ($): ¥159,300 ($1,413)
  • 2BR (2LDK): ($): ¥200,400) ($1,777)

Apartments for Rent in Hongo

If you are looking for private accommodation in the neighborhood, you have plenty of options from budget to high-end.

An important thing to keep in mind is to budget for move-in costs, which may include a deposit, agency fee, key money (a non-refundable gratuity to the landlord), pro-rated first month’s rate, and other miscellaneous expenses that can add up to three to six month’s rent. For more information on this, please see: How to avoid hidden costs when renting an apartment in Japan.

If you are a student looking for accommodation in Japan, you may be interested in the REJ Room Finder service. This is a no obligation service where we will recommend properties to you based on your search criteria.

Studio Apartment For Rent Near Tokyo University

This is an example of a typical studio (1R) apartment for rent near Tokyo University. It is a 2nd-floor 16-sqm studio apartment located about a 5-min walk from Todai Mae Station. Not pictured is the bathroom, kitchenette, and space to hook up a washing machine. Total monthly cost is ¥72,000. There is a deposit and agency fee, but no key money. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire.

Studio Apartment for Rent Hongo Sanchome Station

Top (14th) floor studio apartment for rent, 3-min walk from Hongo San Chome Station. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire to the agent.

Supermarkets and Shopping

Maruetsu Petite Hongō Sanchome Store

There is a branch of the supermarket chain Maruetsu Petite about a 3-min walk from Hongō Sanchome Station. Just walk south along Hongō Dōri (Avenue).

Branch of Maruetsu Petit supermarket near Hongo Sanchome Station.

Don Quixote (Kōrakuen)

Not quite in Hongō itself but nearby on Hakusan Dōri, across the street from Tokyo Dome, is a large branch of the discount retailer Don Quixote. It’s about a ten-minute walk from Hongō Sanchome station. We highly recommend this place for getting great bargains on household goods, fresh produce, imported foods and pantry items, and of course, beer and wine, including foreign labels. If you are planning to have a party, this is the place to go to stock up!


Don Quijote Korakuen Branch. Highly recommended for discounted household goods, fresh food, beer and wine, and an ever-changing selection of imported items. Check out the second floor for party supplies and Halloween costumes.

Eating in Hongō

There are many great restaurants and fast-food joints in Hongō. Here are a few we would recommend.

Fire House (Burgers & Sandwiches)

This burger and sandwich joint, located a few minutes walk from Hongō Sanchome station, is consistently ranked as one of the best places in Tokyo for a burger.

Fire House in Hongo San Chome. Expect long lines and a truly juicy and substantial burger that is served with a paper bib to protect your clothes. Popular choices include the avocado burger and bacon burger. Photo: Livedoor

Yakiniku Jumbo Hongō Branch

Yakiniku Jumbo is the place to go get your fix of  yakiniku (grill-it-youself meat) in Hongō. The restaurant is about a 3-minute walk from Hōngo Sanchome Station.

Highly rated branch of the Yakiniku Jumbo chain. Not inexpensive but well worth it for meat lovers. Lunch sets are available but budget at least ¥5,000 if you are ordering a la carte.

Delicious and Budget-Friendly Udon Place: Kokuwagata (こくわがた)

For a perfect bowl of udon noodles, we recommend this tachigui (立ち食い) restaurant near Hōngo Sanchome Station. “Tachigui” means “eat while you’re standing.” There are no chairs here, just a long counter from which to slurp and enjoy your delicious meal.

A hot bowl of udon noodles topped with seaweed, ginger, scallions, and tempura for ¥660 from Kokuwagata.

Yushima Tenmangu

Yushima Tenmanu, about a ten-minute walk from Hongō Sanchome station, is an ancient shrine dedicated to scholarship and learning. It is also known for its many plum trees. It is a little bit outside of of Hongō proper, but worth a visit, especially if you are aiming to pass an exam. Write your prayer or wish on a small wooden plaque (ema, 絵馬), then hang it on the stand near the shrine for the spirits to receive!

Yushima Tenmangu in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. Photo: Wikimedia

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