Koto Ward Guide

Koto Ward is a historically working-class industrial area of Tokyo where redevelopment projects on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay have created upscale, stylish commercial/residential neighborhoods on the waterfront.

Koto Ward is located just east of the central wards of Tokyo. The Sumida and Arakawa Rivers make up natural borders for the west and east edge of Koto respectively. Historically, Koto Ward was a working class district lying outside the city center. As Japan industrialized, Koto ward was the location of many factories, leading to communities of blue-collar families taking root in what is now the northern section of the ward. More recently, the high-rise redevelopment projects built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay have attracted many professionals who work in downtown Tokyo.


Koto quick facts

  • Population: 518,479 (as of January 1, 2019)
  • Area: 40.16 km²
  • Density: 12,910 (/km²)
  • Population of foreign residents: 29,472 (5.8% of total population of Koto)
  • About 5.7% of the total resident foreigner population of the Tokyo 23 Wards lives in Koto.

Major Train Stations

Station Train Lines
Kameido  JR Chuo-Sobu Line
 Tobu Kameido Line
Monzen-nakacho  Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
 Toei Oedo Line
Toyosu  Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line
 Yurikamome Line

Main residential neighborhoods

Koto Ward ranks high for

  • Very modern apartment complexes around the waterfront on Tokyo Bay.
  • Budget-friendly apartments in the north in historically working class areas of Tokyo.
  • Investment opportunities on Tokyo Bay are promising with many new families looking for a safe and clean area of Tokyo to call home.

Who lives in Koto Ward?

  • Affordable rent around Kameido is great for university and foreign-exchange students.
  • The modern high-rise apartment complexes on Tokyo Bay are very attractive for ex-pats settling down in Tokyo.
  • Indian community in Shin-Kiba adds diversity to the neighborhood.

Popular housing searches in Koto Ward

Location and highlights

The Koto Ward we know and enjoy today is extremely different from how it appeared in the past. Many of the islands that you can see in Tokyo Bay today are man-made islands built through land reclamation. Throughout much of the 20th century, large-scale land reclamation projects have resulted in the creation of now-popular locations like Odaiba, Ariake, and Wakasu.

Your conception of Koto Ward will heavily depend on whether you are situated in the north or south. Towards the north, rent will be a little more affordable and there is a variety of grocery stores for scoring the best deals on produce. Although some areas (like Kameido Station) have been slightly redeveloped in recent years, the northern neighborhoods of Koto Ward are called “worn-down” by some. So if your idea of living in Tokyo is hand-in-hand with high-rise apartments and having trendy restaurants at your doorstep, you might be more interested in the luxury apartments in the Tokyo Bay area.

North Koto Ward

Comprising the neighborhoods in north Koto are Kameido and Ojima. In addition to the bank account-friendly rent prices in the northern neighborhoods of Koto Ward, the main transportation hub (Kameido Station) is serviced by the Chuo-Sobu and Sobu (Rapid) lines. This gives you great access into Tokyo and Chiba, something that can be very beneficial for English teachers who are assigned multiple schools in different locations. Browse our site to find housing around this station, where you can find 1R apartments for ¥60,000 per month!

Head to the west, towards Tokyo, from Kameido to get to Kinshicho, which is a major shopping area that is utilized by residents across eastern Tokyo. Although Kinshicho is located in Sumida Ward, it still plays an important role for many residents in Koto Ward. You’ll find a variety of department stores (Marui, Termina, Parco), movie theaters, and countless restaurants around Kinshicho.

Central Koto Ward

The main hub for the middle-ground of Koto Ward is Monzen-nakacho Station. Connected to the Toei Oedo Line and the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can get to Otemachi Station in just six minutes and Roppongi Station in 17 minutes. This direct connection to various business districts in Tokyo is a huge livability boost to the area around the station.

South Koto Ward (Tokyo Bay Area)

Heading south into the areas next to (and on) Tokyo Bay, you’ll see modern architecture and high-rise buildings dotting the landscape on the waterfront. The major neighborhoods here are Ariake, Toyosu, and Odaiba. Technically speaking, Odaiba is located in Minato Ward, but it’s also located on Tokyo Bay and shares a lot in common with the nearby neighborhoods.

Families with young children looking for safety and convenience will enjoy the benefits of living in a modern high-rise that offers play centers and daycare services. The islands on Tokyo Bay have everything you need in terms of modern living (supermarkets, shopping centers, schools, daycare, etc.), providing a sense of security for families. However, those who enjoy an exciting nightlife and exploring the alleys of the city might feel a little uninspired and trapped in Tokyo Bay.

In general, ex-pat families and international families tend to congregate around the central wards of Minato and Chuo, where there are more international schools and English speaking services. That said, Tokyo Bay can be a great fit if you are planning on integrating into a more conventionally-Japanese neighborhood in Tokyo.

One minor grievance reported by residents of these man-made islands in Tokyo Bay is that while shopping/entertainment options exist nearby, if you like to have some variety in your shopping choices you’ll most likely have to make the trek into the city via the Yurikamome Line or Yurakucho Line.

While the Yurikamome Line connects these islands to downtown Tokyo, it’s notorious for having a slightly slower travel speed compared to other train lines and thus can seem like a chore to use. A faster transportation solution is in the works: Tokyo Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will service the areas around Tokyo Bay starting September 2020. This will give residents a much quicker option for transportation (estimated travel time of roughly 10 minutes from Shimbashi to Harumi, just north of Ariake).

Ariake is most notable for the eye-catching international exhibition center called Tokyo Big Sight. It’s also located just to the east of Odaiba, a very popular commercial and entertainment area. You’ll find plenty of luxury apartment buildings along the waterfront here such as City Towers Tokyo Bay, Brillia Ariake Sky Tower, Galleria Grande, Horizon Mare, and Brillia Mare Ariake. In addition, Ariake will host the gymnastics portion of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Similar to Ariake, Toyosu blends commercial and residential areas on Tokyo Bay. You’ll also find the large shopping complex, LaLaport Toyosu, located here. A bonus for those living on Toyosu is that the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line makes a stop at Toyosu Station. This is a convenient way to travel to Ginza (6 minutes to Ginza-Itchome Station) for shopping and dining. Popular high-rise apartments in Toyosu include Park City Toyosu, The Toyosu Tower, and City Towers Toyosu. As of 2018, the famous fish market at Tsukiji was relocated to Toyosu citing the aging buildings in Tsukiji becoming a concern.

Redevelopment and Investment Opportunities

The redevelopment projects around Tokyo Bay have been incredibly successful in bringing more people to Koto Ward. In 2002, the population in the Ariake neighborhood was just 9,334 and in 2017 that number had increased to approximately 34,369. With this kind of growth expected throughout the Tokyo Bay redevelopment projects, a lot of investors are intensely watching the market for any potential real estate opportunities. If you’re interested in investing in real estate, we hold seminars at our office in Tokyo where we invite bilingual real estate agents to explain the process of investing in real estate in Japan. Take a look at our upcoming Japanese real estate investment seminars!

Apartments for Rent in Koto Ward

Properties for Sale in Koto Ward

Lead photo: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr

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