Okubo Area Guide

Okubo is a neighborhood just north of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. It provides residents with very quick direct access to Shinjuku, while also being just far enough away from the excitement of downtown. This balance between convenience and residential livability is a great feature of the neighborhood. In addition, for those who enjoy authentic ethnic cuisine, the international population in Okubo own and operate different restaurants and shops in the area. It's a unique, charming neighborhood for those seeking something close to Shinjuku!

Contents

Location

Located within Shinjuku Ward, the neighborhood of Okubo is just north of the sprawling city center of Shinjuku Station. Moving north from Okubo you’ll encounter Takadanobaba, the lively commuter/student hub. East of Okubo itself is Shin-Okubo, the current Koreatown hotspot in Tokyo. And heading west from Okubo will bring you to more residential neighborhoods between Nakano and Shinjuku.

With this geographical positioning in mind, Okubo occupies a part of Shinjuku Ward where the flashy lights of the city fade away and the streets give way to more residential, calmer living environment.

Key Stats

Average Rent in Okubo

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥100,800/month ($920)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥176,600/month ($1,600)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥252,200/month ($2,290)

Apartments For Rent in Okubo

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
JR East  Chuo
JR East  Chuo-Sobu

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Chuo-Sobu, direct 3 min
Shibuya Chuo-Sobu (Shinjuku), transfer to Yamanote 10 min
Tokyo Chuo-Sobu (Shinjuku), transfer to Chuo Rapid 22 min
Shinagawa Chuo-Sobu (Shinjuku), transfer to Yamanote 23 min
Akihabara Chuo-Sobu, direct 21 min
Kichijoji Chuo-Sobu, direct 16 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Chuo-Sobu (Shinjuku), transfer to Yamanote (Shinagawa), transfer to Tokaido 40 min

Orientation Around the Station

Okubo Station North Exit. Photo: Nesnad via Wikimedia Commons

With only one platform at this station, navigating it is very straightforward.

  • The North Exit (北口) is where you’ll find a slightly wider variety of services (ATM, convenience store, bathrooms). This station also takes people to Okubo Dori Ave., the same street where you’ll find the more popular Shin-Okubo Station.
  • The smaller South Exit (南口) will bring visitors closer to a few small restaurants and shops south of the station, but is probably only really used by those who live in the area.

Livability

By name, Shinjuku Ward is one of the most recognizable areas in Tokyo. If you’re looking for a neighborhood that is within this ward, but not quite smack-dab in the middle of downtown Shinjuku, then Okubo could be a spot to hone in on your apartment search. The combined convenience of the Chuo Line at Okubo Station and Yamanote Line at Shin-Okubo Station is a handy time-saver for those living in the city.

It’s relatively common to find Korean and other Asian restaurants and shops in the neighborhood. This international feel sets Okubo apart from other neighborhoods within the Shinjuku commuting zone. Photo: Shinya ICHINOHE via Flickr

This neighborhood might be most well-known for being part of the Koreatown in Shinjuku. It’s true that there is a higher population of both Japanese nationals of Korean heritage and foreign nationals residing in the Okubo neighborhood. Combined with the variety of stores selling imported cosmetics and fashion brands, sometimes you might even forget you’re in Tokyo depending on which streets you end up in around Okubo. It’s also likely that you’ll come across lines of trend-setting youth waiting to try the latest fad cafe or fast-food gaining popularity on social media.

Once you move past the hustle and bustle around the station, you’l find a fairly calm and quiet residential area. Photo: Naoki Nakashima via Flickr

The more residential areas of the neighborhood are quieter and provide some distance from the lights and buzz of Shinjuku. In a nutshell, the Okubo neighborhood offers a lot of transportation convenience close to Shinjuku. And if you’re looking for something like this, you also might be interested in neighborhoods like Ochiai, Higashi-Nakano, and Hatsudai. These are all neighborhoods around 1-2 stations away from Shinjuku that have a little less through-traffic.

Eating

Okubo and Shin-Okubo are fairly well loved by young adults looking for an inexpensive bite in the city. Because of this and the area’s reputation for the latest in trendy foods, you might see lines of patrons patiently waiting outside restaurants. Photo: Naoki Nakashima via Flickr

Okubo is often overshadowed by the popularity of it’s sibling station, Shin-Okubo. Shin-Okubo’s location on the Yamanote Line and it’s diverse, international neighborhood makeup give it a youthful and lively atmosphere. These two sides of northern Shinjuku give us a look into the many faces to Tokyo. On one hand, the glitz and glamor of Shin-Okubo shows off the pop-culture and modern side of Tokyo; which is contrasted by the more laid-back, down-to-earth atmosphere in Okubo.

For example, around Okubo Station you can find restaurants with that unmistakeable old-school Tokyo charm, such as Pasta House.

And especially around the South Exit of the station, there is a concentration of friendly, welcoming ramen shops! Walking through the streets here you might come across Noseya where the head chef whips up a mean no-broth style ramen!

Okubo itself doesn’t rank highly in terms of culinary experiences within Tokyo – but from here you’ll be able to quickly make your way to Shinjuku and the endless selection of restaurants in downtown!

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
Gyomu Super Shinjuku Okubo Store 9:00 AM – 9:45 PM 2 Chome-15-1 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0073
Olympic 10: 00 AM – 11:00 PM 3 Chome-9-4 Kitashinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0074
My Basket Okubo 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM 1階, 新宿区百人町2-27-7 ハンドレッドサーカスイーストタワ, Tokyo 169-0073

*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.

Universities

Nearby Universities Information
J.F. Oberlin University Shinjuku Campus J.F. Oberlin University Shinjuku Campus Home Page

Language Schools

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Shinjuku-ward Kitashinjuku Library Mon.: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Tue.: Closed

Wed. – Fri: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

3 Chome-20-2 Kitashinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0074
Shinjuku-ward Ōkubo Library Mon.: 9:00 AM – 9:45 PM

Tue.: Closed

Wed. – Sat.: 9:00 AM – 9:45 PM

Sun.: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

2 Chome-12-7 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072
Shinjuku Police Station Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

6 Chome-1-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023
Shinjuku City Hall Okubo Special Branch Mon.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Tue.: 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Wed. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

2 Chome-12-7 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072

Hospitals

Nearby Hospitals Address
Tokyo Yamate Medical Center 3 Chome-22-1 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0073
Ohkubo Hospital 2 Chome-44-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-8488

*These are examples of clinics in the area.

Parks

Family-Friendly Features

Nearby Family Friendly Features Address
Hyakunincho Children Hall 2 Chome-18-21 Hyakunincho, 新宿区 Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0073

 


Okubo Apartments

Apartments for rent near Okubo Station:

Okubo is a neighborhood where you can experience a few different types of Tokyo’s environments: the trendy downtown Shinjuku buzz, the international Koreatown in Shin-Okubo, and the slightly more reserved and calmer Okubo area itself. For those looking to cut down commute times to Shinjuku, there’s a handful of stations including Okubo that give you quick, direct access to the major downtown hub, and each will have its own unique atmosphere/price range. For example, the monthly rent for a 1R studio apartment around Okubo Station can be as low as ¥50,000!

Apartments For Rent in Okubo

Where should you live in Tokyo? Check out all our Tokyo Area Guides to find the perfect place!