Kichijoji Area Guide

Living in Kichijoji

A youthful and creative neighborhood situated in Musashino City, just west of Tokyo. Close enough to the central wards to be convenient but far enough away to have a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere. Its diverse and vibrant shopping center is surrounded by peaceful residential areas and home to the famed Inokashira Park.


Relaxed, creative and bohemian, popular with young people. Located just outside of Tokyo's central wards but with easy access to Shibuya. Home to Inokashira Park and Zoo. Regularly voted as one of the most desirable places to live in Tokyo
JR Chūō, JR Sobu, Tozai Metro, Keiō Inokashira Line (terminal stations are Kichijoi and Shibuya)
From Kichijoi:
-- 15 minute direct ride to Shinjuku
-- 16 minute direct ride to Shibuya

Situated in Musashino city, just west of Suginami ward, Kichijoji is ideally situated close enough to Tokyo’s central wards to be convenient, yet far enough away to have a far more relaxed atmosphere. It has a vibrant and diverse commercial district, but is surrounded by peaceful residential areas and is home to the famed Inokashira Park and Zoo.

Apartments for Rent in Kichijoji

Kichijoji is regularly voted by locals as one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in Tokyo. In SUUMO’s 2016 survey, Kichijoji came in second, just behind Ebisu as the best station to live in the greater Tokyo area. The average rent levels reflect the popularity of the neighborhood.

Average Rent in Kichijoji

According to HOME’S, a Japanese real estate listing site, the average rent for an apartment near Meguro (as of March 2016) is:

  • Studio (1R, 1K, 1DK): 110,200 yen ($1,100 @ 100 JPY = 1 USD)
  • 1BR to 2BR (1LDK, 2K, 2DK): 224,100 yen ($2,241)
  • 2BR to 3BR (2LDK, 3K, 3DK): 181,400 yen ($1,814)
  • 3BR to 4BR (3LDK, 4K, 4DK): 224,400 yen ($2,244)

However, you certainly can find apartments for lower than the average rent levels mentioned above. Search for:

Apartments and Houses for Sale in Kichijoji

Kichijoji is also a popular area for condominium and home buyers. You can search for houses for sale in Kichijoji on our listing pages.

Convenient Location & Access

JR Kichijoji Station is serviced by the Chuo and Sobu lines. The Chuo line links Kichijoji directly to two of Tokyo’s main transport hubs: Shinjuku and Tokyo. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can hop on the Chuo in other direction and go as far west as Nagoya.

The Sobu line connects Kichijoji with Ochanomizu, Akihabara and onward to Chiba.

Kichijoji Station is also the terminus for the Keio Inokashira line which heads through to Shibuya.

Bustling Commercial and Shopping Area

The majority of Kichijoji’s commercial and shopping areas are situated around the station. There is a little something to suit just about everyone’s needs.

Major department and chain stores can be found near the station area. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Major department and chain stores can be found near the station area. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

The north side of the station is centered on two arterial shopping streets. The Sunroad heads northeast and Nakamichi heads northwest.

Sunroad Shopping Arcade , Kichijoji Station. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Sunroad Shopping Arcade, Kichijoji Station. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Nakamichi shopping street. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Nakamichi shopping street. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Closer to the station there are branded chains and department stores, but a few blocks in, the boutiques, coffee houses, restaurants, patisseries, art galleries, bars and live houses take over.

A plethora of izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) can be found on the south side of the station. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

A plethora of izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) can be found on the south side of the station. This strip of izakaya and ramen restaurants hemmed in between the station and Kichijoji avenue could give parts of Osaka a run for their money in atmostphere and taste. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

It is this diversity and selection of all things fashionable, edible and audible that calls to people across Tokyo. One could argue that the same could be said for any other popular Tokyo locale, but in many larger neighborhoods, higher rental costs and more commercialization, leads to more profit driven businesses than passion driven ones.

Bohemian and creative

Kichijoji, on the other hand, thrives on passion and creativity, thus, it draws in passionate and creative folk as customers, workers and as residents.

Kichijoji is synonymous with bohemian fashion. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Kichijoji is synonymous with bohemian fashion. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

The entire neighbourhood has a distinctly bohemian feel. Tokyo’s figurative hard edges are ground down, every minute spent exploring all the little side-streets.

Kichijoji night life. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Kichijoji night life. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

As the lights come on, fashion gives way to music. It almost feels like every basement on the north side of the station is a live venue. From songwriter cafe’s and jazz bars to rock dives and metal pits, Kichijoji has it all. Provided you like your music written and created by the artists and their love for music, on any given night, there is always something to see.

One Kichijoji's many live music bars. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

One Kichijoji’s many live music bars. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Residential Kichijoji

Beyond the shopping streets, commercial gives way to residential. While all the land is effectively used, it’s not packed. Straight, well planned, flat roads and it’s less central location make for very easy living compared to the chicken-battery apartments and maze-like streets in central Tokyo.

Kichijoji residential street. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Kichijoji residential street. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

While there aren’t many biking lanes specifically, traffic is calmer which, when paired with the good roads makes biking a great way to get around. There are also local busses to get to some of neighborhoods that are between stations.


Kichijoji residential street. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Whether it’s low priced artist studio apartments or higher income single plot houses, the pace of life is the same regardless. The relaxed atmosphere gives the area a very positive cast, which is reflected in the attitudes of the people walking on the streets.

Elementary and Junior high schools are all within walking distance of the areas they service.

Streets are clean, people are generally warmer, and, there is a genuine sense of community and pride, that one expects from rural Japan, not Tokyo.

People head out for a peace demonstration, Kichijoji, Tokyo. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

People head out for a peace rally, Kichijoji, Tokyo. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Inokashira Park

The most famous landmark in the Kichijoi area is perhaps Inokashira Park.

While not large, compared to the likes of Yoyogi and some of the national gardens, the park is spread out around Inokashira Pond which gives it a sense of being much bigger.

Swan boats on Inokashira Pond. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Swan boats on Inokashira Pond. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

As it was always a public park since it’s opening, over 90 years ago, it feels more like a typical park than many other green spaces in the city. While it’s almost always busy, it never really feels packed, apart from spring, when the Sakura are in bloom.

Families can relax and picnic, couples can take a stroll amongst the groves of trees or take a boat out on the pond.

Artists set up their canvases, magicians make cards disappear and performers strum away the tensions of Tokyo life in the dappled sunlight beneath the trees.

The park also has a small stage which is rented out to people who want to stage small performances, plays or peace rallies.

Rocking out in Inokashira. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Rocking out in Inokashira. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

A good place to be

If Tokyo were a family of power-suited siblings, with their MBAs, and law degrees, Kichijoji would be the the one in the tie-dyed shirt, studying fine arts and playing in a band on weekends. It’s one of the few points of calm that balance out the cutting-edge intensity of the city, and it is, straight up, a good place to be.

A good place to be. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Side street near Kichijoji Station. Photo: Nayalan Moodley

Article and photos by Nayalan Moodley

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!

Shimbashi Area Guide

Shimbashi is a busy business district located in central Minato Ward, near Ginza and Toranomon. With eight train/subway lines converging at Shimbashi Station, it’s one of the major transportation hubs in Tokyo. Shimbashi is a mix of old and new, as it lies next to modern redevelopments like Shiodome Caretta and Toranomon Hills while also retaining ties to history through Hamarikyu Gardens and the streets that convey nostalgic elements of an older Tokyo.

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.

Ebisu Area Guide

A foodie’s paradise, Ebisu is famous for its wide range of dining options and the beautiful city-in-a-city of Yebisu Garden Place. Consistently ranked as one of Tokyo’s most desirable residential neighborhoods, Ebisu is a high-end but laid back area situated near Shibuya and very popular with ex-pat residents. Proximity to the headquarters of many global companies, nearby embassies and ease of livability are major draws.

Shirokane Area Guide

The neighborhood of Shirokane is closely connected with wealth and luxury. The name is Japanese for platinum after all! This elegant, high-end residential area in Minato Ward is also well-known for the way natural greenery has been integrated into the city planning. This combination creates one of the most popular residential neighborhoods in Tokyo. Ongoing redevelopment near Shirokane Takanawa Station continues to increase the livability of the area.

Yotsuya Area Guide

Yotsuya is a centrally located residential neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Shinjuku Ward. It has a relaxed, suburban vibe despite being a short train ride to major stations like Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Akasaka. The neighborhood is home to a number of iconic institutions, including Sophia University. For residents, one of the biggest perks of living in Yotsuya is being within walking distance to Shinjuku National Garden, one of Japan’s top hanami (cherry blossom viewing) destinations.

Yoyogi Area Guide

Yoyogi is a central Tokyo neighborhood which borders Shinjuku Station to the south and Shibuya Ward to the north. It is most well known for being home to Yoyogi Park and the National Stadium. It was the main venue for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and will also be the main hub for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Yoyogi also enjoys an enduring location as a high-end, family-friendly residential area that straddles the suburban residential neighborhoods of western and central Tokyo.

Roppongi Area Guide

Roppongi is well-known as Tokyo’s foreigner nightlife district, but major re-development projects, including Izumi Garden Tower, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo MidTown, have transformed it into an upmarket office, residential and cultural center. It’s no longer just a night time destination. It’s one of Tokyo’s most popular expat residential neighborhoods, offering convenient work, play, and English-friendly amenities.

Akasaka Area Guide

Akasaka is one of Tokyo’s most central upscale commercial and residential districts. Located in north Minato ward, Akasaka is known for its expansive shopping, office, and entertainment complexes like Tokyo Midtown and ARK HILLS, but beautiful green spaces, including Hinokicho Park and Hikawa Shrine bring the neighborhood full circle as a highly desirable residential area.

Omotesando Area Guide

Known as the Champs-Elysees of Tokyo, Omotesando is the capital’s beloved zelkova-tree lined luxury fashion destination. Here storefronts for the world’s leading luxury fashion brands vie for attention with trendy cafes and restaurants and cutting-edge architecture and design. Just a few streets from the busy main avenue are the subdued, high-end residential neighborhoods of Jingu-mae and Minami Aoyama.