Taito Ward is the smallest of the 23 special wards of Tokyo but is home to a few famous neighborhoods. The popular Asakusa district is located in Taito, where the oldest temple in Tokyo (Senso-ji) can be found. Getting to know the area around Asakusa is a great way to feel connected to the history of Tokyo, especially through the various festivals that occur throughout the year at each shrine. Taito is also where you’ll find Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo, two very popular destinations for residents and visitors alike. The neighborhoods outside the touristy areas are calm and quiet, and with Taito Ward being right next to the business districts of Chiyoda Ward, some of these neighborhoods might be the right fit for those working in downtown Tokyo.
- Taito quick facts
- Main residential neighborhoods
- Taito ranks high for
- Who lives in Taito Ward?
- Popular housing searches in Taito Ward
- Location and highlights
Taito quick facts
- Population: 199,292 (as of January 1, 2019)
- Area: 10.11 km²
- Density: 19,712 (/km²)
- Population of foreign residents: 15,433 (7.7% of total population of Taito)
- About 3.3% of the total resident foreigner population of the Tokyo 23 Wards lives in Taito.
Major Train Stations
|Ueno||JR Yamanote Line|
|JR Keihin-Tohoku Line|
|JR Joban Line|
|JR Utsunomiya Line|
|JR Takasaki Line|
|Tokyo Metro Ginza Line|
|Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line|
|Keisei Ueno||Keisei Main Line|
Main residential neighborhoods
Taito ranks high for
- Affordable rent in older neighborhoods like Iriya and Kuramae.
- Adjacent to Sumida River for taking relaxing walks on pedestrian paths and for the famous annual Sumida River Fireworks.
- Major hub station of Ueno is connected to a variety of train/subway lines including Shinkansen lines and the Keisei Main Line that connects Narita Airport and Tokyo.
Who lives in Taito Ward?
- Students and young professionals seeking budget-friendly housing close to a major hub station.
- Apartment hunters looking for a place in a residential neighborhood with traditional charm.
Popular housing searches in Taito Ward
Location and highlights
Taito Ward is located just east of central wards like Bunkyo and Chiyoda. Other bordering wards include Arakawa, Sumida, and Chuo. Taito lies in what is commonly referred to as the shitamachi (lit. “lower city”) area of Tokyo. This contrasts with the yamanote (lit. “mountain hands”) areas that historically have been considered more affluent and upper-class. Today, these boundaries are not as clear-cut as they were in the Edo period (1603 – 1868). You’ll find an abundance of luxury shopping and brand name goods walking through the modern neighborhoods of Aoyama, Azabujuban, and Akasaka (traditionally yamanote areas), while neighborhoods like Iriya, Asakusa, and Yanaka, highlight a slower pace of Tokyo life.
Taito Ward’s largest station, the hub station of Ueno, is accessed by six different train/subway lines in addition to a handful of Shinkansen (bullet train) lines. There are a wide variety of shops and restaurants around the station, including Ameyokocho, a stretch of road lined with shops and izakayas (Japanese style bars). Adjacent to the station is Ueno Park, a large public park that is host to various seasonal events and is a very popular location for cherry blossom viewing in the spring. Other notable features of Ueno Park include a selection of Tokyo’s museums, Shinobazu Pond (a section of which is almost completely covered with blooming lotus plants in the summer), the pagoda of Kaneiji, and Ueno Zoo.
The area around the station is chock full of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Most of the offerings in the area are affordable, especially compared to central neighborhoods like Roppongi, Aoyama, and Omotesando. Keep in mind that the establishments around the station can get crowded and busy from time to time, though.
As a balance to the lively streets of Ueno, the neighborhood of Yanaka is one of Tokyo’s remaining shitamachi. The much quieter, calmer streets of Yanaka have been largely untouched since postwar Japan. Yanaka Ginza is a street in this neighborhood which boasts a large collection of independent, traditional Tokyo shops and restaurants. This neighborhood is much closer to Sendagi Station (Bunkyo Ward) and Nippori Station (Arakawa Ward), so those interested in a calmer Tokyo experience might have more luck searching for apartments around those stations.
Uguisudani, Iriya, and Minowa make up the northern neighborhoods in Taito Ward. These areas are residential, and extensions of the shitamachi of yore. Rent tends to be more affordable in these areas as they are out of the way from major shopping/entertainment districts, so if you’re looking for budget-friendly apartments, these might be areas worth checking out. On our site, you can find apartments in this area starting from approximately ¥70,000 per month, with some rooms in share houses available for as low as ¥30,000 per month! This area is also quite popular with those traveling to Tokyo and looking for short-term apartments that are easy on the wallet. Since these neighborhoods are close to the hub station of Ueno, you can save a little money on accommodations while still being close to everything the city has to offer.
The eastern neighborhood of Taito Ward, which lies against the Sumida River, is Asakusa. In the Edo period, Asakusa became the prominent entertainment district. Tokyo residents would flock to its geisha houses and theaters for leisure. Today, Asakusa is most famous as the location for Tokyo’s oldest shrine, Sensoji. Another unique fixture in Asakusa is Kappabashi-dori, a street filled with kitchen supply stores. Well known by chefs and those in the restaurant industry, this street is also visited by home chefs looking for high-quality knives and utensils.
The annual Sumida River Firework Festival takes place close to Asakusa. This event draws in close to a million spectators, which can mean finding a good spot to watch can be difficult. But, those who live in the area might have a view of the beautiful pyrotechnics display without having to leave their homes (depending on which way your apartment/house faces and any other large buildings in the way!).
The southern region of Taito Ward is where you’ll find the neighborhoods of Okachimachi, Asaksusabashi, and Kuramae. Similar to the northern neighborhoods of Taito, these are calm residential areas. Since these areas are close to both Ueno (Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo) and Akihabara (Tokyo’s electronics, anime, and video game capital) they’re popular for tourists looking to stretch their budget with cheaper lodging. Stations like Shin-Okachimachi Station and Kuramae Station are located on the Toei Oedo Line, giving residents an option for getting to downtown areas like Roppongi without having to transfer.
Lead photo: iStock 579148396