- Key Stats
- Orientation Around the Station
- Useful Info at a Glance
- Otsuka Apartments
Otsuka is a neighborhood adjacent to the large entertainment/business district of Ikebukuro in Toshima Ward. While the Ikebukuro name is more recognizable, Otsuka offers a livable and affordable neighborhood. Otsuka’s down-to-earth feel is a contrast to the bustling urban feel of downtown Tokyo areas. Toshima Ward is currently undergoing redevelopment projects (as of February 2020) to remake the area as a cultural and art capital of Tokyo. These plans are mainly centered around Ikebukuro, but Otsuka is also feeling the effects of this push for modernization. Right now it’s a great time to find new apartments in the area, and also for budget apartment seekers to find something on the Yamanote Line.
Average Rent in Otsuka
|Apartment Type||Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)|
|1R 1K||¥103,900/month ($950)|
|1LDK 2K 2DK||¥168,600/month ($1,530)|
|2LDK 3K 3DK||¥242,800/month ($2,210)|
*Access to the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi subway line is through Shin-Otsuka Station, a 10-minute walk from Otsuka Station.
|Shinjuku||Yamanote, direct||11 min|
|Shibuya||Yamanote, direct||18 min|
|Tokyo||Yamanote, direct||22 min|
|Shinagawa||Yamanote, direct||31 min|
|Otemachi||Marunouchi, direct||17 min|
|Yokohama, Kanagawa||Yamanote (Ikebukuro), transfer to Shonan-Shinjuku||42 min|
Orientation Around the Station
The JR Station at Otsuka is only serviced by the Yamanote Line, which makes getting around that specific station pretty straightforward. Right next to the JR Station is the Toei Arakawa Line (Sakura Tram) which is a tram line that passes through very residential parts of Tokyo. And lastly, a roughly 10-minute walk south from the JR Station will bring you to Shin-Otsuka Station, which is serviced by the Toei Marunouchi subway line.
At JR Otsuka Station
- At the North Exit of the station there is a roundabout with a taxi pickup/drop off area. Across the street you’ll find a Starbucks and Pronto coffee shop.
- The South Exit of the station opens up to a small open terrace with benches. Occasionally there will be neighborhood events held in this square, which gives the area a lively feeling.
Otsuka hosts its own Awa Odori every year in August. This festival is a part of the Obon festival which is a traditional Buddhist custom honoring one’s ancestors. The Awa Odori portion of the festival is a large dance, with many different neighborhoods holding local parades and festivities.
Otsuka probably isn’t the first neighborhood to come to mind when apartment seekers are looking for a place in Tokyo. However, the area provides a lot of little conveniences that all add up to create a unique neighborhood.
The first thing to mention about Otsuka is that it is a blend of business and residential, and because of this, it seems to be more geared toward single men than families or women. Things like late night izakayas, cabaret clubs, and pachinko parlors are pretty common around the station. That’s not to say the entire neighborhood is a seedy underbelly of Tokyo, but there are parts of Otsuka that you might want to avoid at night.
Otsuka is known for this unique blend of showa (referring to the Showa period, although mainly used in the present to describe a sense of nostalgia for the postwar era) style business and residential sections. Since it’s not a particularly touristy location and also since it’s not a major business district, English-friendly businesses and services are sparse. Of course, this can be said about most areas of Tokyo, but it is something to consider if you’re trying to plan around a limited Japanese language ability.
Otsuka does have a bit of an international feel thanks to the mosque in the neighborhood, which acts as a community center for Muslims in the area. Along with this, you’ll also find a few halal groceries with imported foodstuffs.
The transportation access from Otsuka is also a plus for the neighborhood, since the Yamanote Line gives you a direct connection to many major stations around Tokyo.
Otsuka is almost a well-kept secret when it comes to gems of restaurants in Tokyo. The Michelin starred tan tan noodle restaurant Nakiryu constantly has a line of hungry customers waiting patiently at the door. Those who are looking for something other than a normal Japanese izakaya for a quick drink after working hours can enjoy a cold brew at Titans (a craft beer bar that specializes in imported beers) or Nama-chan (a local brewpub that serves its beers on site).
Useful Info at a Glance
|Shimadaya Ōtsuka||Mon. – Sat.: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sun.: 9:00 AM – 12:00 AM
|3 Chome-47-8 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0005|
|Yoshiya Otsuka||9:30 AM – 11:00 PM||2 Chome-24-20 Kitaotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0004|
|atré vie Otsuka||10:00 AM – 9:00 PM||3 Chome-33-1 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0005|
|Seijo Ishii||7:30 AM – 10:30 PM||〒170-0005 Tokyo, Toshima City, Minamiotsuka, 3 Chome−33−1 JR大塚南口ビル アトレヴィ大塚|
*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.
|GOLD’S GYM North Tokyo (Otsuka)||Mon. – Sat.: 7:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Sun.: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
|〒170-0004 Tokyo, Toshima City, Kitaotsuka, 2 Chome−24−20 永信ビル 3F|
|Anytime Fitness Otsuka||24 hrs||2 Chome-10-5 Kitaotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0004|
*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.
|Taisho University||Taisho University Home Page||3 Chome-20-1 Nishisugamo, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0001|
|Nearby Language Schools||Information||Address|
|Tokyo International Exchange College||Tokyo International Exchange College Home Page||3 Chome-19-7 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0005|
Ward Office, Police, Library
|Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station||Hours||Address|
|Toshima Kuritsu Sugamo Library||Mon.: Closed
Tue. – Fri.: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sat. – Sun.: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|3 Chome-8-2 Sugamo, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0002|
|Toshima Ward Eastern Regional Office||Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sat. – Sun.: Closed
|1 Chome-15-10 Kitaotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0004|
|Sugamo Police Station||Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM
Sat. – Sun.: Closed
|1 Chome-15-15 Kitaotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0004|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Ohtsuka Hospital||2 Chome-8-1 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-8476|
*These are examples of hospitals/clinics in the area.
|Ōtsuka Park||4 Chome-49 Otsuka, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0012|
|Nearby Family Friendly Features||Address|
|Toshima Ward Residents’ Hall Minami-Otsuka||2 Chome-36-1 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0005|
Department Stores/Shopping Malls
|Nearby Shopping Malls||Information||Address|
|atré vie Otsuka||atré vie Otsuka Home Page||3 Chome-33-1 Minamiotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0005|
Apartments for rent near Ikebukuro Station:
- Ikebukuro Station apartments
- Higashi-Ikebukuro Station apartments
- Kita-Ikebukuro Station apartments
- Sugamo Station apartments
- Nishi-Sugamo Station apartments
Otsuka is one of the least expensive areas to rent an apartment along the Yamanote Line. With the redevelopment projects put in place (as of February 2020) this might be a perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the revitalization of this neighborhood. You can find affordable apartments in the older parts of the neighborhood starting at around ¥55,000. And by searching by year built on our website, you can browse the newest apartments in the area.
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Lead photo: ivva イワヲ via Flickr