Itabashi Ward Guide

Itabashi Ward is one of Tokyo's northern wards, bordering Saitama. It is unabashedly traditional, low key and family-friendly, with many lovely parks and river walks meandering through quiet residential neighborhoods. It offers the advantages of local Japanese living and proximity to green spaces, all within about a 30-min or less commuting distance of major stations like Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Sugamo.

Itabashi Ward is one of Tokyo’s northern wards, bordering the bedroom communities of Saitama, which is just across the Arakawa River to the north and the city of Wako to the west. It is traditional, low key and family-friendly, with many lovely parks and river walks meandering through quiet residential neighborhoods.

The majority of foreign residents in Itabashi are from Asian countries (mainly China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines), but the ward’s international profile got a big boost when the campus of the Lycée Français International de Tokyo (the French International School of Tokyo) was re-located to the Takinogawa neighborhood (located in neighboring Kita Ward) in 2013. Shin Itabashi Station (located in Itabashi Ward) is actually the nearest station to the school, and most students commuting by train will get off at Shin Itabashi Station or Itabashi Station.

Itabashi is not central nor does it have a western environment (outside of its proximity to the French international school). However, it does offer the advantages of local Japanese living and proximity to green spaces, all within about a 30-min or less commuting distance of major stations like Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Sugamo.

Itabashi quick facts

  • Population: 579,235 (as of January 1, 2019)
  • Area: 32.22 km²
  • Density: 17,997 (/km²)
  • Population of foreign residents: 26,759 (4.62% of total population of Itabashi)
  • About 5.8% of the total resident foreigner population of the Tokyo 23 Wards lives in Itabashi.

Major Train Stations

Station Train Lines
Itabashi  JR Saikyo
Shin Itabashi  Toei Mita
Tokiwadai  Tobu Tojo

Main residential neighborhoods

Itabashi Ward ranks high for

  • Low-key, traditional family-friendly residential neighborhoods.
  • The Lycée Français International de Tokyo (French International School of Tokyo) is located near Shin Itabashi Station.
  • Budget living with direct access to Ikebukuro on the Tobu Tojo Line.
  • Convenient for commuting to Saitama prefecture, northern Tokyo, and Wako City to the west.
  • Many parks and river walks, notably in the Kaga neighborhood.

Who lives in Itabashi Ward?

  • For families sending their children to Japanese public schools — Many families choose Itabashi for its inexpensive neighborhoods, with plenty of parks and outdoor spaces for children.
  • The French ex-pat community is still primarily located near Iidabashi, Ichigaya, and Kudanshita in central Tokyo, but in the last few years, some families have moved into the Shin Itabashi neighborhood to be closer to the French international school.
  • People commuting to Ikebukuro and Saitama on the Tobu Tojo and JR Saikyo lines.

Popular housing searches in Itabashi Ward

Location and highlights

Short History

Itabashi Ward, is named after the “plank bridge” (literally, ita meaning “plank” and hashi meaning bridge, 板橋) spanning the Shakujii River. The bridge dates from the Heian period (794 to 1185), when wooden plank bridges were not common.

In the Edo period (1603 to 1868), the Nakasendo crossed near Shimo Itabashi. The Nakasendo was one of the two routes that connected Edo to Kyoto at that time. Itabashi was the first post station in Edo along the Nakasendo post, where officials, daimyo, and samurai rested while on official business between Edo and Kyoto. The Kaga Domain, also known as the Kanazawa Domain, one of the feudal domains during the Edo period also had a mansion there (please see the section on Kaga below). The location of the main Edo residence of the daimyo of the Kaga Domain is now the site of the Hongo campus of the University of Tokyo. Please see the area guide here: Hongo Area Guide.

Itabashi (near modern day JR Itabashi Station) was also one of the three execution grounds in Edo where the Tokugawa shogunate executed criminals in the Edo period.

Lycée français international de Tokyo (LFIT) – French International School of Tokyo

The Lycée français international de Tokyo (LFIT), was established in 1975 in near Kudanshita Station in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. The campus was moved to a six-acre site in the Takinogawa district of Kita Ward in 2013, but for students commuting to the school by train, Shin Itabashi Station on the Toei Mita line (located in Itabashi Ward) is the nearest station.

The International French School in Tokyo is an establishment of the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) within the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs which educates more than 320,000 students worldwide in 492 schools and provides an education that allows easy transfers between AEFE schools for the children of French ex-pats.

The LFIT currently has an enrollment of about 1,450 francophone students mainly of French nationality  but about 55 nationalities are represented. Instruction is from kindergarten to high school and is primarily in French but French/English bilingual classes have been created in the primary school, while a bilingual Section Européenne for Social Studies is offered in lower secondary. The Option international du Baccalauréat (OIB) is available to Japanese-speaking and English-speaking students (opened in September 2017) in the upper secondary school.

Akatsuka

The Akatsuka area is known primarily for the Tokyo Daibutsu, an 8.2-m (27-ft) sitting statue of Amida Nyorai, erected in 1977. It is located on the grounds of Jorenji, a Jodo Buddhist temple established in the 15th century that was relocated to Akatstuka in 1973.

Kaga

The Kaga neighborhood, located along the Shakujii River, between JR Jujo and Itabashi Stations is a hidden gem for those who are looking for a quiet residential area close to nature, but not far from major JR stations. The Meguro River in central Tokyo is well known for its spectacular display of cherry blossoms in the spring and high-end apartments nearby for those who enjoy riverside living. Think of Kaga (pictured in the lead photo) as Itabashi Ward’s answer to the Meguro River walk. It is also about a 15-minute walk from the French International School’s campus in Shin Itabashi.


Apartments for Rent in Itabashi Ward

Properties for Sale in Itabashi Ward

Lead photo: Kaga, Tokyo by Takayuki Miki via Flickr

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