Nakano Ward Guide

Nakano is primarily a residential ward located west of Shinjuku. It is home to Nakano Station, a major station and neighborhood on the JR Chuo and Tokyo Metro Tozai lines. There are two main residential areas in Nakano ward: Nakano which is more centrally located, only a 5-minute direct ride to Shinjuku, and the Nogata area, a more working-class area in the northern part of the ward.


Nakano quick facts

  • Population: 331,658 (as of January 1, 2019)
  • Area: 15.59 km²
  • Density: 21,274 (/km²)
  • Population of foreign residents: 19,326 (5.8% of total population of Nakano)
  • About 4.2% of the total resident foreigner population of the Tokyo 23 Wards lives in Nakano.

Major Train Stations

Station Lines
Nakano  JR Chuo Line (Rapid)
 JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local)
 Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
Nakano-sakaue  Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
 Toei Oedo Line

Main residential neighborhoods

Nakano ranks high for

  • Low cost of living.
  • Easy, direct commute to Shinjuku on the JR Chuo line.
  • Nakano Broadway, for anime fans
  • Suburban feel and few crowds, with wide streets, for those commuting into the city by car.

Who lives in Nakano Ward?

  • University and foreign-exchange students.
  • Budget-conscious young urban professionals.
  • Families with young children who are not commuting to international schools.
  • Young couples looking for affordable and spacious apartment living.

Popular housing searches in Nakano Ward

Location and highlights

Nakano Ward is surrounded by five wards: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Suginami, Nerima, and Toshima. Outside of major stations like Nakano, the vibe in Nakano ward is suburban and more working-class, the further north you go. It has more in common with residential wards like Suginami, Nerima, and Toshima than the modern high-rises and crowds of Shinjuku.

For those considering whether to settle in Nakano as a foreign resident, the key thing to know is that Nakano Station offers a 5-minute direct commute to Shinjuku Station. Nakano Station is also a terminus on the Tozai subway line. Nakano is a convenient, well-developed neighborhood with plentiful shopping and dining. Average rent is also lower in Nakano compared to Shinjuku. Many office workers and students choose to live around Nakano Station for these reasons. Two leading universities, the University of Tokyo and Meiji University have campuses in Nakano.

For an in-depth guide to living near Nakano Station, please see the Nakano Area Guide.

The population of Nakano ward as a whole has grown rapidly in the last ten years, especially with respect to students, young professionals and families.

Housing options tend to be less expensive in the northern part of the ward, especially in the neighborhoods of Nogata, Toritsu Kasei, and Saginomiya along the Seibu-Shinjuku line. For budget-conscious apartment hunters, these neighborhoods offer lower average rent than the area around Nakano Station.

Nakano Ward is most famous for Nakano Station, a major transit hub on in western Tokyo, and Nakano Broadway, a large complex that houses stores specializing in vintage anime/manga goods. This is a destination that attracts collectors and tourists from around the world.

The Nakano Sunplaza was the ward’s claim to high-rise development in the 1970s. This is a hotel located near Nakano Station. It includes a concert hall, Nakano Sun Plaza hall that seats 2,222 people, but the entire Nakano Sunplaza complex is scheduled for complete re-development by around 2024.

Train Lines

The major train lines crossing through Nakano Ward are:

  • JR Chuo
  • Seibu Shinjuku – Please note that this line has a terminal station at Seibu-Shinjuku Station, a separate station from JR Shinjuku Station
  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Tozai subway
  • Toei Oedo

Average rent is lower along the Seibu-Shinjuku line, especially for stations west of Nogata.

Apartments for Rent in Nakano Ward

Properties for Sale in Nakano Ward

Lead photo: Nakano Broadway, Carlos Duarte Do Nascimento via Flickr

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