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.

Details

Highlights
-- Quiet, calm, and safe residential neighborhood.
-- Plenty of shopping available near the station.
-- Quickly get to Shinjuku and downtown Tokyo on the JR Chuo (Rapid) Line.
-- Proximity to Inokashira Park for sports and outdoor activities.
-- Ghibli Museum!
Trainline(s)
Mitaka Station is located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local).
Access
From Mitaka Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) Special Rapid Service:
-- 16-min direct to Shinjuku Station
-- 30-min direct to Tokyo Station
-- 28-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)

A quaint art gallery located in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Mitaka. It’s a plus to have a community-focused space for promoting local art! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Contents

Mitaka at a glance


Mitaka has a bit of a reputation for being a clean and calm residential area. If these are qualities you’re looking for in your housing search, you might want to take a closer look at what Mitaka has to offer. 

That being said, Mitaka Station is within half an hour from downtown Tokyo, so one quick train ride and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the concrete jungle. Likewise, the last train from Shinjuku to Mitaka will be quite late (around 1 AM) so you don’t have to leave any drinking parties earlier than necessary!

Although the station can get busy, just five minutes away in the more residential areas it’s very calm and quiet. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Transportation

Mitaka Station is serviced by the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and is a terminal station for the JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local).

Looking at Mitaka Station South Exit. Photo: Scott Kouchi

In addition, this station is only one stop away from Kichijoji (Keio-Inokashira Line) and Musashi-Sakai (Seibu Tamagawa Station), which gives residents decent access to a variety of lines.

Mitaka Station North Exit. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Rent

Relatively speaking, rent in Mitaka tends to be a fair bit cheaper than rent in the adjacent Kichijoji neighborhood. However, it is also just slightly more expensive than rent compared to Musashi-Sakai.

  • Studio/1K/1DK  ¥74,200/month (About $700 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)
  • 1LDK/2K/2DK  ¥121,600 (About $1,150)
  • 2LDK/3K/3DK  ¥184,900 (About $1,740)

This road extends south from the station. You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants lining this road, giving you options for shopping and dining. Photo: Scott Kouchi

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 the listings for apartments for rent in Mitaka.

For example, rent for 1R apartments around Mitaka Station starts at around ¥54,000 per month.

Apartments for rent in the Mitaka area

Ease of living

You’ll find a variety of supermarkets just south of the station, making it convenient for picking up groceries and household goods without having to go out of your way.

The Tokyu Store to the north of Mitaka Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

There are Tokyu Store locations both on the north and south side of the station, just minutes away. You’ll also find an Ozeki Supermarket and a Kitchen Court location all within five minutes of the station. 

This CORAL shopping mall boasts the latest fashion trends (for women) as well as a few restaurants and book stores. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Besides groceries, Mitaka does have a large shopping mall where you can find many trendy brands and even an art gallery. Just south of the station you’ll find the CORAL shopping mall. Its floors are divided into different categories: the 2nd floor is home to apparel and accessories, the 3rd floor has countless aisles of books and magazines, and the 4th floor has different restaurants for when you need some energy for your shopping! On the 5th floor, you’ll find the Mitaka City Art Gallery, which holds art exhibitions and art workshops.

The area just south of the station has a slightly busy feel too it. Photo: Scott Kouchi

You can also find a lot of independent shops lining Chuo-dori street (extending south of the station). The wide variety of shops makes for a pretty convenient locale as you should be able to find most daily necessities in a shop along this stretch of road.

You can find liquor stores all around Tokyo, I just thought this display was so cool to pass up sharing. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Another factor that is important for some when considering relocating to a new area is the condition of nearby gyms. Fitness-inclined individuals will be happy to know that Mitaka offers plenty of options for getting your sweat on. To the north of the station, you have access to a Megalos and a Konami Sports Center. And there’s a Fastgym and bouldering/climbing gym to the south. 

From Mitaka Station you’re only a ~10-min walk away from Inokashira Park where you’ll find tennis courts and this open track for running/jogging. Photo: Scott Kouchi

No description of Mitaka would be complete without mentioning the Ghibli Museum. Within the museum, you’ll find lifelike representations of beloved scenery and characters. Tickets are a hot commodity, though, so you have to reserve them a month in advance.

Explore the whimsical worlds of Studio Ghibli at the popular Ghibli Museum in Mitaka! Photo: Kae Lu

Who is this area ideal for?

Looking down a street north of Mitaka Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Mitaka has a reputation for being an ideal location for raising children. Some say “Musashino City for retirees, Mitaka City for babies” referencing this distinction between neighboring cities in west Tokyo. Mitaka is a safe and convenient area, so it’s recommended for those who want to start a family or those who have young children.

A delightful small museum for music boxes (オルゴール in Japanese) can be found in Mitaka. Photo: Scott Kouchi

That being said, it’s also a nice location for those without children who are looking for an area that is within commuting distance from downtown Tokyo.

Lead photo: Scott Kouchi

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