Kanda Area Guide

Close to the heart of business in Tokyo, Kanda is a bustling and lively area where you can find quiet pockets of history tucked away behind all the business activity. Due to its central location, there is access to a wide variety of train and subway lines. Ideal for people who want city-center living and students studying at one of the many universities in the area.

Details

Highlights
-- Centrally located neighborhood just northeast of the Imperial Palace.
-- Throngs of business people in the daytime. Salaryman drinking crowd at night.
-- Quick access to major stations, including Tokyo Station.
-- Proximity to one of Tokyo's best jogging paths (the 5-km circuit around the Imperial Palace).
-- College town vibe. Home to Meiji University, among others.
Trainline(s)
Kanda Station is located on the Ginza subway line and three JR lines:
-- Yamanote
-- Keihin Tohoku
-- Chuo Line (Rapid)
Access
From Kanda Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku, Yamanote, and Chuo Line (Rapid):
-- 1-min direct to Tokyo Station
-- 2-min direct to Akihabara
-- 12-min direct to Shinjuku Station

From Kanda Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line:
-- 5-min direct to Ueno
-- 24-min direct to Shibuya

Kanda is both a district located in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo and a stop on several JR lines and the Ginza subway line. Kanda doesn’t have the glitz or glamor that’s normally associated with downtown Tokyo. Instead, it shows off some of the old, traditional charms of the capital. It’s located very close to Tokyo Station, so if you love city living and being in the center of the action, this is an area to check out!

Kanda definitely has a business-district feel.

Contents

Kanda At a Glance

A view of the South Exit of JR Kanda Station.

JR Kanda Station as seen from the East Exit.

Transportation

Kanda Station is in a relatively central/downtown location that’s only one stop away from Tokyo Station. This means you’ll have easy access to Shinkansen lines and the Narita Express, perfect for both business trips and vacations!

From Kanda Station itself, you can take a variety of trains/subways (Yamanote Line, Keihin-Teihoku Line, Chuo Line, Ginza Line). One of the bonuses of being located in a downtown area is that you’ll also be within walking distance from a myriad of other subways that weave through Tokyo.

  • Shinjuku Line (Ogawamachi Station, 8-minute walk)
  • Marunouchi Line (Awajicho Station, 8-minute walk)
  • Chiyoda Line (Shin-Ochanomizu Station, 10-minute walk)
  • Sobu Rapid Line (Shin-Nihombashi Station, 6-minute walk)

Rent

There is a literal price to pay for having so much convenience though. The average monthly rent for housing near Kanda Station is relatively high compared to the rest of Tokyo.

  • Studio/1K/1DK ¥120,700/month (About $1140 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)
  • 1LDK/2K/2DK ¥178,400 (About $1680)
  • 2LDK/3K/3DK ¥240,600 (About $2270)

This begs the age-old question: would you rather spend a little more on housing to be located in a convenient area, or would you be ok with a longer commute if it meant more affordable rent? The answer to this will differ from person to person, but it is important to consider when relocating and looking for a new apartment.

On Real Estate Japan, you can find much less expensive options than the average numbers mentioned above.

For example, rent for shared rooms in guest houses near Jimbocho Station start at around ¥32,000 per month.

Listings for studio (1K and 1R) apartments near Jimbocho, Kanda, and Ochanomizu stations start at around ¥90,000 per month. Monthly rent for studio apartments near Akihabara Station is between ¥70,000 and ¥80,000.

Apartments for Rent in the Kanda neighborhood

To see current listings, please click on the links below.

A My Basket (まいばすけっと) supermarket in Kanda. You’ll be able to find most basic kinds of ingredients at these small locations.

Ease of living

As it’s located in close proximity to Tokyo, Otemachi, and other business districts, this area is also a pretty business-heavy area. But it’s not all briefcases and neckties in downtown Tokyo. For the fitness-minded, its location close to the Imperial Palace is a plus; the path around the Imperial Palace is a popular running course and is approximately 5-km long.

Regarding other fitness options near Kanda, Michihiro Arima (winner of the 2012 Best Body Japan award) operates a gym in the area. If getting (or staying) in shape is a priority, you have access to a reputable gym here!

There is also a lot of history to take in around the area. Places like Kanda Shrine are great for when you have some time to really appreciate the blending of traditional and modern that Tokyo provides.

A stretch of restaurants and cafes built into what used to be Manseibashi Station. You can find a blend of past and present like this throughout Kanda!

When you take a quick glance around Kanda Station, you’re greeted with a sight of storefronts and offices. You might wonder where everybody actually lives, but once you venture a few blocks away from the station you’ll see a vast array of condominiums and apartment buildings.

As Kanda is centrally located in Tokyo, there are plenty of supermarkets and drugstores in the area so it’s easy to pick up life essentials without having to go out of the way. There isn’t a supermarket adjacent to the station itself, but all it takes is a quick stroll to pick up ingredients for when you feel culinarily inclined. In addition, the area is relatively flat, so riding a bicycle is a great way to get around. One thing to take note of, though, is that there are few “large” supermarkets.

College Town

The Kanda area is also home to a number of universities, mainly centered near Jimbocho Station: Meiji University, Senshu University, and Kyoritsu Women’s University. This gives the area around Jimbocho Station the feeling of a college town, with many inexpensive eateries and bookstores surrounding the station, including a big branch of Books Sanseido. Jimbocho Station is a busy station located on three subway lines: the Toei Mita, Toei Shinjuku, and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon lines.

The Nihon University School of Law is also located in Kanda, near Suidobashi Station. For more info on what it’s like to study at Meiji University, please see: What is it like to study at Meiji University? Interview with a current student

Night Life

When the sun sets and the workday is over, Kanda has a reputation for being somewhat unpleasant (particularly for women). Since alcohol starts to flow freely after salarymen clock out, there is a tendency for some to overindulge and act a bit vulgar and loud. Of course, this depends on the specific areas within Kanda; so it’s entirely possible to avoid this by staying away from the izakayas and alleys at night.

Jimbocho and Akihabara

Within the Kanda area, you’ll find Jimbocho, an area of Tokyo that is renowned for the sheer number of used bookstores lining its streets. It can be a fun activity to take a leisurely stroll through the never-ending aisles of books (and records in some stores!) throughout Jimbocho.

Akihabara, Tokyo’s world-famous electronics and anime shopping district, is also considered part of the Kanda area. Akihabara Station is just one stop from Kanda on the JR Yamanote line.

A good portion of the Kanda area resides in Chiyoda-ku, which boasts an impressive zero children on waiting lists for after school daycare. This should help alleviate some stress from having to finding proper facilities when planning your child’s educational path.

A Maruetsu Petit supermarket in Kanda.

Who is this area ideal for?

All in all, if you’re working near Tokyo and want to drastically reduce your commute, Kanda is definitely a location you should check out, especially if you are a fan of city living. If you need some space, though, you’re probably going to need to find a place a bit farther out.

If you are a student studying at one of the many universities near Jimbocho Station and want to be able to walk to school, you can find budget-friendly accommodation near Jimbocho Station itself, or any of the nearby stations, including Suidobashi and Ochanomizu.

Lead photo: Kanda Shrine

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!

Kokubunji Area Guide

Finding an area that really speaks to you on a personal level can be a difficult task. However, if you’re seeking a balance between all things considered (rent, transportation, entertainment, shopping, dining, safety, etc.) Kokubunji might fit the bill nicely. It could be this middle-of-the-road inclination that keeps it from being somewhat under the radar – which could play in your favor if you like to keep things simple and relaxed. Keep reading to get a better idea of what to expect from this livable neighborhood in west Tokyo!

Musashi-Sakai Area Guide

Musashi-Sakai is a relatively quiet and calm station on the convenient JR Chuo Line. Its not-too-far but not-too-close relationship from Shinjuku (just 23 minutes from station to station) lends to this residential vibe, and you’ll find that it’s very popular for those commuting into downtown Tokyo for work. Although it’s primarily thought of as a bedroom community, there is a certain charm about this area of west Tokyo that might be what you’re looking for when planning on moving to the suburbs.

Mitaka Area Guide

Although it is a little quieter and smaller compared to its neighboring station of Kichijoji, you’ll find that Mitaka offers just as much in terms of livability. This area consistently ranks high on a variety of conveniences (transportation, shopping, safety, etc.) according to residents. With great public transportation available, this part of Tokyo just might be the perfect balance between suburb and city for you.

Tachikawa Area Guide

Although not part of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Tachikawa brings a lot of modern conveniences to west Tokyo. You’ll find plenty of department stores and other national chains around the station. If your work/school is located nearby, you might find that Tachikawa offers the perfect blend of city/residential for you.

Hachioji Area Guide

Although Hachioji City is surrounded by Mt. Takao and Mt. Jinba, living in the area doesn’t have to resemble roughing it in the mountains. You’ll find plenty of city-life amenities close to the station, while also just being a quick trip away from a trek in the mountains. Located almost 50 km to the west of downtown Tokyo, Hachioji Station straddles the line between city and nature. Keep on reading to find out if this is the neighborhood for you!

Higashi-Koganei Area Guide

Higashi-Koganei Station is located roughly 16 km west of Shinjuku Station. What this station lacks in terms of shopping and dining options it makes up for in being less crowded than larger stations on the Chuo Line. This residential neighborhood provides a calm and quiet area that’s still within 30 minutes from Shinjuku – making it a good option for those who are looking for manageable commute. This station is also quite close to Tokyo Gakugei Daigaku so it could be worth a look if you’re a student who is looking for a quiet (and affordable) apartment close to school.

Nishi-Ogikubo Area Guide

Nishi-Ogikubo is a smaller residential area sandwiched between Kichijoji and Ogikubo on the Chuo Line. It’s notable for being home to a large number of antique stores, giving this neighborhood a somewhat reserved, nostalgic charm. Although it might be tucked between larger and busier stations, Nishi-Ogikubo offers its own lifestyle that just might match what you’re looking for. 

Koenji Area Guide

If you love all the excitement of Tokyo, but also dread how cramped it can feel, Koenji is an area worth checking out. Koenji is sometimes referred to as an artists’ haven thanks to its surprising number of live music venues and diverse cafes. Only 10 minutes west of Shinjuku, this is a laid back area that’s easy to feel at home in, while still providing quick access to downtown Tokyo. 

Ogikubo Area Guide

Located on the JR Chuo Line, Ogikubo Station is somewhat of a “hub” for commuters living in Suginami-ku and commuting to downtown Tokyo. With department stores located near the station, you can pick up everyday essentials and household items at your convenience. For those who are interested in suburban living in Tokyo, this is an area to take a closer look at.