Shin-Okubo Area Guide

Shin-Okubo is renowned as Tokyo's Koreatown. This popular and trendy area offers an international vibe close to Shinjuku. An added benefit of this diverse environment is the selection of import supermarkets! While the streets around the station tend to be quite lively, even well into the night, it is possible to find calmer parts of the neighborhood.

Contents

Location

Shin-Okubo is located in central Shinjuku Ward. In fact, it’s within walking distance to Shinjuku Station (a long walk at 20 minutes, but still quite accessible). This location is extremely convenient for those working around Shinjuku, or even for commuting from Shinjuku Station. To the north of this neighborhood is Takadanobaba, a popular stomping ground for university students (the prestigious Waseda University is close by) and commuters coming into Tokyo via the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Head west to get to the slightly eclectic, but very livable, Nakano area.

Key Stats

Average Rent in Shin-Okubo

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥90,900/month ($830)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥150,900/month ($1,370)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥269,100/month ($2,450)

Apartments For Rent in Shin-okubo

Train Lines

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

*Access to the JR Chuo-Sobu Line and JR Chuo Line is through Okubo Station, a 400 m walk west of Shin-Okubo Station.

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Yamanote, direct 3 min
Shibuya Yamanote, direct 10 min
Tokyo Yamanote (Shinjuku), transfer to Chuo 19 min
Shinagawa Yamanote, direct 23 min
Roppongi Yamanote (Shinjuku), transfer to Oedo 18 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Yamanote (Shinjuku), transfer to Shonan-Shinjuku 38 min

Orientation Around the Station

Shin-Okubo Station is one of the few JR Yamanote Line stops which isn’t service by any other train lines. Because of this, the station is relatively straightforward to navigate.

  • The North Exit (北口) is the only exit to the station. This exits out to Okubo Dori Ave, and a short walk west will bring you to Okubo Station if you’re transferring to the Chuo Line or Chuo-Sobu Line.

Most other Yamanote Line stations have an open plaza area nearby where you can wait for meeting up with friends, but such is not the case at Shin-Okubo Station. It’s not an ideal situation, but you’ll have to make due with the limited space near the ticket machines if you’re waiting on others.

With only one exit, and no plaza area near the station, it can get a little crowded around Shin-Okubo Station. Photo: Yamashita Yohei via Flickr

Korean pop culture paradise

Today, Shin-Okubo is most famous for being the premiere Koreatown in Tokyo (smaller Koreatowns like Mikawashima do exist, but are very local and lack the pop culture pizazz of Shin-Okubo). South Korean immigrants began moving to the area in the 1980s, and over the years the area has evolved into a flashy, lively neighborhood with a strong connection to South Korea. You’ll find many Korean restaurants in the area, and any recent fad foods from Korea are imported quickly as well. There are also Korean imported goods stores, both for foodstuffs and for beauty products.

The Shin-Okubo Koreatown is chock full of specialty import stores. Many of which specialize in K-pop goods or Korean beauty products. Photo: Yosomono via Flickr

Eating

Okubo Dori Ave. is packed with restaurants (mostly serving Korean cuisine), so it’s easy and convenient to find a bite to eat in the area. Fondue is enjoying a boom in Korea, and the fad food has made its way to Shin-Okubo. You can enjoy a variety of cheesy goodness at Oh! Kitchen N, just a quick walk from the station. If you’re looking for something with unique visual appeal, check out 2D Cafe Shin-Okubo, where the interior is designed in a way to resemble a comic book. And for no-frills authentic Korean fried chicken, head to Shin-chan.

Livability

A look down Okubo Dori Ave. Photo: Bi-Yu Wu via Flickr

One of the main points to keep in mind if you’re considering a move to Shin-Okubo is that it is a very international neighborhood. However, unlike other international areas found in Minato Ward, where you’ll find a mix of foreigners from western countries, in Shin-Okubo you’ll primarily find foreigners hailing from Asian countries such as South Korea, Nepal, and Vietnam. Besides this, it is a livable (albeit lively) neighborhood close to Shinjuku and located on the ever-convenient Yamanote Line.

If the crowds and traffic around the station aren’t your ideal environment, you can still find pockets of calm, residential streets. You’ll just have to expect a bit of a walk from the station if that’s what you’re looking for. As stated earlier, an advantage to living in the area is the access to the imported goods supermarkets, which are a great way to find ingredients that you might not be able to easily find in regular Japanese supermarkets.

The area tends to attract single apartment seekers as the area around the station is popular with those enjoying Tokyo’s nightlife scene.

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
My Basket Shinokubo Station South 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM 1 Chome-10-7 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0073
Asia Superstore Mon. – Sat.: 9:30 AM – 11:30 PM

Sun.: 9:30 AM – 10:30 PM

〒169-0072 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Okubo, 1 Chome−8−2 シャルール新宿
Hanamasa Okubo Store 24 hrs 〒169-0072 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Okubo, 1 Chome−10−15 レックスマンション

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

Gyms

Nearby Gyms Hours Address
Anytime Fitness Higashi-shinjuku 24 hrs 1 Chome-3-15 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072

*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.

Language Schools

Nearby Language Schools Information
MIDREAM NIHONGO CHANNEL MIDREAM NIHONGO CHANNEL Home Page
Kai Japanese Language School Kai Japanese Language School Home Page
Fuji International Language Institute Fuji International Language Institute Home Page
Tokyo World Japanese Language School Tokyo World Japanese Language School Home Page
Mitsumine Career Academy Mitsumine Career Academy Home Page

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
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-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

2-12-7 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072
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/Clinics

Nearby Hospitals/Clinics 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 hospitals/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

Shin-Okubo Apartments

Apartments for rent near Shin-Okubo Station:

Shin-Okubo is a neighborhood with a lively atmosphere, exciting nightlife, and quick access to Shinjuku. If these are priorities in your apartment search, do yourself a favor and check the listings on our website for apartments in the area. Filter your search using our search tools to narrow your results. For example, you can find 1R studio apartments in Shin-Okubo starting at approximately ¥50,000 per month! Those could be very convenient first apartments for moving to Tokyo. Or, if you’re looking for more space, 1LDK apartments in Shin-Okubo can be found at around 100,000 per month!

Apartments For Rent in Shin-okubo

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

Lead photo: Iwao via Flickr

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