Kichijoji Area Guide – 2019

Rent in west Tokyo tends to be cheaper than downtown prices, but Kichijouji is one area where the average rent meets (and possibly exceeds) areas of downtown Tokyo. This has given it an upscale residential atmosphere, and you’ll notice the effect this has on the kinds of stores and restaurants available in the area. The picturesque scenery of Inokashira Park is another reason why this area is so popular. All the conveniences on hand near Kichijoji Station, on top of being only 15 minutes away from Shinjuku, makes it an extremely livable area. Keep reading to get the scoop on this stylish neighborhood!

Details

Highlights
-- Tons of stylish shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars for those who enjoy a lively nightlife.
-- Close to Inokashira Park where you can enjoy beautiful natural scenery.
-- With the Keio Inokashira Line you can ride a train direct to Shibuya without having to transfer.
-- Rent tends to be on the expensive side.
Trainline(s)
Kichijouji Station is located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and Keio Inokashira Line.
Access
From Kichijouji Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid):
-- 16-min direct to Shinjuku Station
-- 29-min direct to Tokyo Station
From Kichijouji Station on the Keio Inokashira Line:
-- 21-min direct to Shibuya Station

Looking north from Kichijoji Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Contents

Kichijoji at a glance

When walking around Inokashira Park it’s a good idea to keep up your energy level. Thankfully there are a few cafes scattered around the park where you can recharge. For me, that means a refreshing iced cocoa! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Kichijoji is without a doubt one of the more expensive areas west of Shinjuku. This is quite apparent when you exit the station and are surrounded by massive department stores on all sides. In addition, popular restaurants and bars are abundant, giving the area a lively feeling even into the evening. Once you move away from the station it starts to feel a bit quieter and calmer – and there’s even Inokashira Park for when you want to take a quiet walk or boat ride. Most apartments are going to be a fair bit more expensive than those found in neighboring stations (Nishi-Ogikubo, Mitaka).

The street south of the station is densely packed with restaurants, bars, and businesses. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Transportation

Located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid), Kichijoji is also the terminal station for the Keio Inokashira Line (connecting Kichijoji directly to Shibuya). This gives you great options for getting into downtown Tokyo. The Keio Inokashira Line is also very popular with those who like to spend time in the hip neighborhood of Shimokitazawa!

Looking at the north exit of Kichijoji Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Rent

There’s no way around it – rent in this area is expensive!

Studio/1K/1DK ¥79,900/month (About $750 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)

1LDK/2K/2DK ¥176,800 (About $1,670)

2LDK/3K/3DK ¥238,800 (About $2,250)

Of course, these are averages so it is possible to find cheaper listings (most likely those farther away from the station, or in older buildings, etc.) if affordability is your main concern. For a better idea of currently available properties in the area, check out listings here: Kichijoji Apartments.

For example, rent for 1R apartments in the Kichijoji area starts at around ¥54,000 per month.

North of the station is the entrance to Sun Road Shopping Plaza – a covered shopping arcade. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Apartments for rent in the Kichijoji area

Ease of living

Just south of the station you’ll find the Marui department store. Home to stylish fashion brands, an iPhone repair shop, a 100 yen store, and restaurants! Photo: Scott Kouchi

The sheer amount of stores close to the station makes Kichijoji an extremely livable area – there’s an incredible variety of all kinds of shops available within walking distance! There’s always something to do, see, or eat, which means the streets around the station can get a little crowded. But you don’t have to walk too far to put the crowds behind you and step into the residential areas of this neighborhood.

To the north of Kichijoji Station there’s a maze of alleys that make up Harmonica Yokocho. In the evening these narrow paths get crowded with customers stopping for food and drinks! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Even with all the modern shopping malls and department stores, you can find a slice of the past at Harmonica Yokocho. As the sun begins to set, these narrow alleys will be packed with both locals and tourists enjoying the various izakayas (Japanese style bar) and restaurants here.

Walking through Inokashira Park is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and also relax. There are plenty of benches around the park as well so you can sit down and take a break too! Photo: Scott Kouchi

It is possible to find respite in Kichijoji by going for a leisurely walk through Inokashira Park. There are a few cafes around the walking path to keep your energy up while you draw inspiration from the beauty of nature. You can also visit a small zoo/aquarium in the park (Inokashira Park Zoo) or rent a boat!

You’ll find a good selection of grocery stores near the station for when you do decide to put your kitchen to use (instead of patronizing one of the many restaurants in the area). Most seem to close around 9-10 PM, but the LIFE supermarket just south of the station is open until 1:30 AM, giving you plenty of time to pick up groceries well into the night. Likewise, you’ll find a variety of gyms nearby.

I’m not lying when I say it really feels like you’re surrounded by department stores at Kichijoji Station. This is the Tokyu department store where you’ll also find a large selection of shops and restaurants. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Who is this area ideal for?

When it comes down to it, Kichijoji is a livable area for those who are single and want to have a LOT of easily accessible shopping/dining options. Of course, this premium convenience comes at the price of expensive rent; but for those who understand the pros and cons of choosing to live in a lively neighborhood, this could be a good fit. For those with young children, just be aware of the fact that the area around the station gets busy and crowded – especially when compared to nearby stations like Nishi-Ogikubo or Musashi-Sakai.

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