Kunitachi Area Guide

Home to Hitotsubashi University, Kunitachi City offers convenience and livability for students and families alike. It is a smaller station compared to Tachikawa or Kichijoji, but if you're looking for a calm environment in Tokyo this might be a fit.

Details

Highlights
-- Quiet, relaxed residential area.
-- Despite being a residential area, you'll find a good assortment of local shops and restaurants.
-- Might not be the best fit if you need an exciting nightlife within walking distance of your residence.
Trainline(s)
Kunitachi Station is located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid).
Access
From Tachikawa Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) Special Rapid Service:
-- 34-min direct to Shinjuku Station
-- 50-min direct to Tokyo Station
-- 46-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)

Contents

Looking down Daigaku Dori to the south of Kunitachi Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Kunitachi at a glance


Kunitachi is probably most well-known for being a university town since you’ll find Hitotsubashi University right next to the station. You’ll find that the area is livable for those who prefer a slightly quieter Tokyo lifestyle. 

Transportation

Kunitachi Station North Exit and a little lens-flare. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Kunitachi Station itself is only serviced by the JR Chuo Line (Rapid). However, it is sandwiched by Tachikawa (Nambu Line, Tama Monorail) and Nishi-Kokubunji (Musashino Line) so it’s a quick train ride to access other train lines. 

On the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) it’ll take approximately 36 minutes to get to Shinjuku, and 50 minutes to Tokyo. One thing to keep in mind is that the Special Rapid Service doesn’t stop at Kunitachi – so the travel time from Tachikawa can be a little shorter.

Rent

Rent in Kunitachi is pretty affordable compared to other stations on the Chuo Line. If the price is the deciding factor in your apartment search you might have more luck searching in areas like Nishi-Kokubunji.

A small local garden in Kunitachi provides residents with an opportunity to grow their own fresh vegetables! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Recent averages for rent in the Kunitachi area are as follows.

Studio/1K/1DK ¥61,700/month (About $580 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)

1LDK/2K/2DK ¥104,400 (About $980)

2LDK/3K/3DK ¥134,200 (About $1,270)

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 for Kunitachi Apartments here.

For example, rent for 1K apartments in the Kunitachi area starts at around ¥55,000 per month.

While the north side of the station doesn’t have rows of trees along the street, you’ll still find a variety of stores and restaurants. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Apartments for rent in the Kunitachi area

Ease of living

This roundabout can be found just south of the station. The added green scenery helps give the area a relaxed and residential vibe. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Kunitachi has a calm, relaxed atmosphere that suits it as a residential suburb of Tokyo. There are plenty of local shops in addition to supermarkets and chain restaurants. Close to the station you’ll find a SEIYU supermarket, as well as a Kinokuniya and Miuraya for when you’re looking for slightly upscale produce.

It’s really relaxing to stroll through the pedestrian-friendly streets of Kunitachi. Photo: Scott Kouchi

A collection of shops and restaurants line Blanco Street just near Kunitachi Station. You can browse the various stores while taking a casual stroll – a great way to spend some time outside without having to plan an adventure!

Recharging my batteries at Coffee Bun Roast Factory. Photo: Scott Kouchi

It might be just my imagination, but it feels like there are a lot of cafes around the station – more so than other train stations around the area. This could be related to Kunitachi being a university town and providing spaces for students to grab a bite while going over notes. At any rate, if you do choose to live in this area you’ll be able to indulge your coffee fix at a wide variety of top-notch cafes such as Coffee Bun Roast Factory.

In between the islands of trees and flowers there are benches and seats where you can take a break and just enjoy the weather! Photo: Scott Kouchi

The main street leading south of the station (Daigaku Dori) is lined with islands of trees and flora – giving the city a touch of nature. The wide sidewalks are very pedestrian-friendly, making walking around easy and enjoyable!

Learn about the history of the shinkansen at a small museum here in Kunitachi. Photo: Scott Kouchi

If you spend some time in the area you’ll find that Kunitachi has a unique charm in addition to being a livable, convenient location. For instance, close to the Hikari Community Center, you can find an old shinkansen car turned into a small museum. It’s one of those things that you’d never really expect to find in a residential community.

Who is this area ideal for?

As Kunitachi Station is located on the Chuo Line, it has a direct connection to Shinjuku and Tokyo. If you can stomach the ~50 min one-way commute to Tokyo (and many people do) then this might be a nice, quiet area to settle down in. If your work/school is close by, this will be a great option taking into account all the variables of livability (transportation, safety, cost of living, entertainment options, etc.). Compared to the nearby station of Tachikawa, Kunitachi Station is quieter and tends to be less lively, but it’s only one station away so you have the option of heading to a larger station at your leisure. 

A collection of very cute hedgehogs in Strada Bianca, a small shop specializing in kitchenware made from olive trees! Photo: Scott Kouchi


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