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