Hiroo Area Guide

Hiroo is a wealthy neighborhood in Shibuya Ward, home to many international embassies. This gives it a unique international twist that is quite special in Tokyo. Ex-pat families enjoy the livability in the area for its many international schools and English-friendly shops and services. It is distinctly calmer and quieter, but still as stylish as neighboring districts like Ebisu, Azabu Juban, and Minami-Aoyama.

Details

Highlights
-- Blend of Japanese and international influences due to the many international embassies located in the area.
-- Many English-friendly services and international schools and pre-schools. A popular choice for international families and embassy staff.
-- Many high-end housing options.
-- Direct train access to major business districts like Roppongi, Kamiyacho, and Hibiya on the Hibiya line.

Contents

Location

Looking down Gaien Nishi Dori in Hiroo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hiroo enjoys a central location in Tokyo between Shibuya to the north and Meguro to the south. Being on the Hibiya subway line also means that residents are directly to major business districts like Roppongi, Kamiyacho, and Hibiya.

Its city-center status belies a very livable and down-to-earth vibe due to the mix of services catering to the international community (including National Azabu supermarket, many international schools and pre-schools, and major hospitals where you can receive medical care in English, including the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center and Aiiku Hospital), and the many small, eclectic shops, restaurants, and cafes throughout the neighborhood.

Hiroo is known for its calm and international atmosphere dotted with pockets of leafy green space, notably Arisugawanomiya Memorial Park. The neighborhood is walk-friendly but a little hilly towards the National Azabu supermarket and Arisugawanomiya park exit (Exit 1).

Taking Exit 2 and crossing Route 418, the main street that cuts north-south through Hiroo, you’ll find an excellent wine shop (Enoteca) and the entrance to a traditional-style shopping street (shotengai) with the usual take-out joints, small-bite restaurants, pharmacies, stationary shops, and so on. This is also the exit to take to get to the Hiroo office of Dr. Kaku, the well-known bilingual pediatric orthodontic dentist office.

Housing options in Hiroo tend towards large condominium buildings like the Hiroo Garden Hills building and the Hiroo Garden Forest, a sprawling, beautifully-landscaped gated community (both located near the Red Cross Medical Center) and Hiroo Towers, right by Exit 1 of the station. You can also find upscale low-rise apartment buildings and single-family residences designed for international families; these are located closer to the National Azabu-side of the station and up the slope towards Minami Azabu.

Key Stats

Average Rent in Hiroo

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥123,900/month ($1,130)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥223,300/month ($2,030)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥351,400/month ($3,190)

Apartments For Rent in Hiroo

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
Tokyo Metro  Hibiya

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Hibiya (Ebisu), transfer to Yamanote 20 min
Shibuya Hibiya (Ebisu), transfer to Yamanote 12 min
Tokyo Hibiya (Ginza), transfer to Marunouchi 17 min
Shinagawa Hibiya (Ebisu), transfer to Yamanote 21 min
Roppongi Hibiya, direct 3 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Hibiya (Naka-Meguro), transfer to Tokyu-Toyoko 36 min

Orientation Around the Station

Only the Metro Hibiya Line makes a stop at Hiroo. You’ll find 4 exits here.

  • Exit 1 and Exit 2 will bring you south, close to Hiroo Plaza. Take Exit 1 to go towards National Azabu, Arisugawanomiya Park, and Aiiku hospital. Take Exit 2 to go towards the traditional-style shopping street.
  • Exit 3 and Exit 4 are north of the station. There isn’t any defining feature or landmark near these exits, but you’ll be closer to the Red Cross Medical Center from here.

International Appeal

Hiroo is home to quite a few international embassies (Embassy of Peru, Croatia, Czech Republic, Burkina Faso, Tajikistan, Congo, and Oman), and over time has garnered a reputation as a particularly foreigner-friendly area in Tokyo. It’s surrounded by other neighborhoods and districts such as Ebisu, Roppongi, and Minami Azabu, which are also quite well-known for their upscale international appeal.

With this international population in mind, many businesses and medical facilities in the neighborhood provide bilingual services.

Arisugawanomiya Memorial Park

Located just to the east of Hiroo Station, Arisugawanomiya Memorial Park is an expansive, pristinely maintained park where you’ll find a library in addition to the scenic natural beauty.

National Azabu

It’s not often that a grocery store is famous enough to warrant mentioning, but here we are. The main location of this supermarket is located just a short walk from Hiroo Station, and since its establishment it has emulated western-style supermarkets to help the international population feel more at home. The shelves are stocked with various imported products as well. If you’re looking for something that isn’t normally found in Japanese cuisine, this just might be the place to check. National Azabu also offers a delivery service so you can order your groceries online and plan out your meals without having to make the trek to the store, but sometimes just browsing through the aisles can be a fun way to kill some time!

University of the Sacred Heart

Originally established in 1916 as Sacred Heart Senmon Gakko by Saint Madeline Sophie Barat. In 1948 the school was reformed as University of the Sacred Heart and still stands as one of the oldest women’s universities in Japan. The university campus can be found in Hiroo, as well as the International School of the Sacred Heart. These cornerstones of international education are just another reason why Hiroo is considered to be one of the most internationalized areas of Tokyo.

Livability

Trendy, stylish cafes and restaurants can be found in the streets of Hiroo. Photo: Gino Mempin via Flickr

There are pockets of international communities throughout Tokyo, but Hiroo (and by extension Roppongi and Minamiazabu, etc.) is more than just a “pocket.” It’s a whole district that embodies an international lifestyle, which is what draws so many expats looking for a foreigner-friendly neighborhood.

One very minor con to Hiroo is that there is only one subway line at the station, so chances are you’ll have to make a transfer when getting around to some other parts of Tokyo, such as Shibuya or Shinjuku. It’s important to point out that the Hibiya subway is a major east-west line in Tokyo that will take you directly to major neighborhoods like Meguro, Ebisu, Roppongi, Ginza, Akihabara, and Ueno; a new station will also open in Toranomon in time for the Tokoyo 2020 Olympics. However, for those looking for centrally-located neighborhoods, having the option to take different trains/subways could boost livability depending on your specific needs.

Hiroo is extremely convenient for families with pre-school and school-aged children. Nearby international schools include Nishihmachi International School, Sacred Heart International School, and many international pre-schools. School buses for the American School, Seisen, St. Mary’s, and the Tokyo International School also have routes in Hiroo. English-friendly hospitals, clinics, and dentist offices are all within walking distance.

Hiroo is a popular location for families more so than for those who are single. That being said, it’s a great location for anybody; however, those who are single tend to want to be closer to trendy/fashionable areas such as Daikanyama or Omotesando.

Short History of Hiroo

Hiroo’s legacy as an international melting pot within Tokyo stems way back all the way to the Edo period. Many nobles and high-class samurai lived in this area, giving it an upper-class feel. After some time, when Japan opened its borders to the rest of the world, foreigners were attracted to the beautiful gardens and homes in the area and decided to establish embassies to their home countries in Hiroo. Ever since, Hiroo has continued to be a hotbed of activity for international communities within Tokyo.

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
National Azabu 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM 4 Chome-5-2 Minamiazabu, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0047
National Azabu Hiroo Garden Hills 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM 〒150-0012 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Hiroo, 4 Chome−1−12 広尾ガーデンヒルズH棟
Meidi-ya Hiroo Store 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM 〒150-0012 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Hiroo, 5 Chome−6−6 広尾プラザ 1F

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

Gyms

Nearby Gyms Hours Address
Anytime Fitness Hiroo 24 hrs 〒106-0047 Tokyo, Minato City, Minamiazabu, 4-chōme−12, 南麻布4-12-4 プラチナコート広尾B1
Reebok CrossFit Heart & Beauty Mon. – Fri.: 5:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Sat.: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Sun.: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato City, カスタリア広尾B1F, 3 Chome-13-3 Nishiazabu

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

Universities

Nearby Universities Information
Japan Red Cross College of Nursing Japan Red Cross College of Nursing Home Page
University of the Sacred Heart University of the Sacred Heart Home Page

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library Mon. – Fri.: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

5 Chome-7-13 Minamiazabu, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0047
Shibuya City Office Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

1-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042

Clinics

Nearby Hospitals Address
Japanese Red Cross Medical Center 4 Chome-1-22 Hiroo, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-8935
Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo Hospital 2 Chome-34-10 Ebisu, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0013

*These are examples of clinics in the area.

Parks

Family-Friendly Features

Nearby Family Friendly Features Address
Azabu Kids-to-Teens Hall 4 Chome-6-7 Minamiazabu, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0047

Hiroo Apartments

Apartments for rent near Hiroo Station:

Hiroo should be on the radar for anybody looking to for an expat-friendly area in Tokyo. It’s definitely possible to move to Tokyo and get used to the language and culture practically anywhere in Tokyo, but Hiroo is a neighborhood where you can also find little slices of home. Everyone’s needs are different so if having English-speaking staff and imported food right around the corner aren’t particularly necessary for you, you might also consider Meguro or Yotsuya.

Apartments For Rent in Hiroo

 

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Lead photo: BONDI Cafe Hiroo via NAVITIME

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