Buying a Home in Tokyo as a Foreigner: Oct 2020 Edition

In this post, we present the Top 5 most popular stations for people searching for properties for sale on realestate.co.jp in October 2020. The ranking below is based on an analysis of property listings in the Tokyo 23 Wards that people viewed and inquired about. For the 2019 annual ranking, please see this post: Where do foreigners want to buy homes in Tokyo? 

#1 Tamachi

Spacious (53.95 m²-sqm) 11th-floor 1LDK apartment for sale near Tamachi Station on the JR Yamanote line in Minato Ward, Tokyo. The listing agent for this property is EM Labo Co. Ltd. Please click on the photo to see all available for sale properties in the Tamachi neighborhood.

Why Tamachi?

While not as well known as Roppongi or Omotesando among foreigners, Tamachi ranks highly for its central location, upscale environment, and accessibility to major train lines.

It is known primarily for being a busy commercial district in Minato Ward but if city-center living is important in your home search, Tamachi should be on your list.

Tamachi occupies prime real estate, even in a ward as central as Minato, being just south of Tokyo Tower and Shiba Park and just north of Shinagawa. Tokyo Bay is to the east.

It also offers easy access to four train/subway lines: the JR Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines and the Mita and Asakusa subway lines. The entrance to Mita Station is only 120-meters from Tamachi Station, so these two stations are often considered part of the same neighborhood. In the January 2020 for sale inquiry ranking, Mita came in at number one, for many of the same reasons that Tamachi is popular.

Tamachi also has the distinction of being the next stop north of Takanawa Gateway Station (the newest addition to the Yamanote Line) which opened in March 2020.

Despite the presence of large businesses and the masses of salarymen that come with the territory, there is a good amount of grocery stores in this clean, urban neighborhood. Minato Ward definitely has a reputation as an upscale, high-class area to live in within Tokyo, and Tamachi is no exception.

Learn more: Tamachi  Area Guide

See current For Sale listings: Tamachi apartments

#2 Shinagawa

Recently renovated 2SLDK (2-bedroom + bonus room) apartment for sale near Shinagawa Station. The listing agent for this property is Re/Max Amistad. Please click on the photo to see all available for sale properties in the Shinagawa neighborhood.

Shinagawa, coming in at number two in this month’s ranking, actually has much higher name recognition and offers more in terms of livability.

Shinagawa is the first stop on the Tokaido shinkansen (bullet train) line from Tokyo Station to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. The Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama trains run on this line.

Shinagawa also enjoys a very convenient location between Tokyo, Yokohama and other major stops in Kanagawa prefecture. It’s even close to Haneda Airport, so frequent flyers might want to pay extra attention to the area.

Most people know Shinagawa as a major transportation hub and for the many brand-name hotels and global corporate headquarters concentrated near the Takanawa (West) Exit. The Konan (East) Exit is perhaps best known as the exit for catching the bus to the Tokyo Regional Immigration bureau, where resident foreigners go to renew their visas.

However, it’s worth nothing that a large portion of this neighborhood is residential. You’ll find quite a few parks near the waterfront, helping give Shinagawa’s residential side a high degree of livability. For an in-depth guide to living in Shinagawa, please see the Shinagawa Area Guide.

Learn more: Shinagawa Area Guide

See current For Sale listings: Shinagawa apartments

#3 Nogizaka

Spectacular 2SLDK apartment for sale in Nogizaka / Roppongi. The listing agent for this property is PLAZA HOMES. Please click on the photo to see all available for sale properties in the Nogizaka neighborhood.

Nogizaka is an upscale residential neighborhood located in central Minato Ward. It occupies an enviable location near some of Minato’s most famous landmarks, including Tokyo MidTown, Aoyama Cemetery and The National Art Center. This is essentially one of the centers of international living in the Tokyo, with A-list restaurants and cafes and high-end shopping and entertainment within walking distance.

Learn more: Nogizaka Area Guide

See current For Sale listings: Nogizaka apartments

#4 Shirokane Takanawa

Sunny 2LDK apartment for sale near Shirokane Takanawa Station. The listing agent for this property is Re/Max Amistad. Please click on the photo to see all available for sale properties in the Shirokane Takanawa neighborhood.

Even though there are many upscale neighborhoods in Minato Ward, including Minami Azabu, Hiroo, and Roppongi, the neighborhood of Shirokane stands out above the rest for its unique charm of incorporating green space with luxurious residential living. There is a serious old money side to Shirokane mixed with influence from the worlds of entertainment and politics. Still, the living here is upscale and subdued, with many designer boutiques and trendy cafes along Meguro-dori and tree-lined Platinum-dori.

Learn more: Shirokane Area Guide

See current For Sale listings: Shirokane apartments

#5 Shinjuku

28th-floor 3LDK apartment for sale near Shinjuku Station. The listing agent for this property is EM Labo Co. Ltd. Please click on the photo to see all available for sale properties in the Tamachi neighborhood.

Shinjuku is the name of a ward, neighborhood, and not just one but numerous train stations in Tokyo.

In 2016, an average of 3.37 million passengers passed through JR Shinjuku Station, making it the busiest train station in the world. Shinjuku is also a city unto itself. It offers endless shopping, dining, and entertainment options, from low-brow to high-end. If you are looking for proximity to urban conveniences, Shinjuku should be at the top of your list.

With JR Shinjuku Station at the center, the main residential areas clockwise around the station are:

  1. North: Okubo — Tokyo’s most well-known Korea Town
  2. Northeast: Kabukicho — Gritty, touristy, nightlife
  3. East: Shinjuku San-Chome — Mid- to high-end residential
  4. Southeast: Shinjuku Gyoen — Bordering Shinjuku National Garden to the north — Desirable, relaxed, high-end
  5. Southeast: Sendagaya — Bordering Shinjuku National Garden to the south — Artsy, cultural, Olympic Stadium
  6. South: Yoyogi – Yoyogi Park, high-end residential, very popular with western expats, family-friendly
  7. West: Nishi Shinjuku – Tokyo’s skyscraper district, Shinjuku as presented in “Lost in Translation”

Learn more: Shinjuku Area Guide

See current For Sale listings: Shinjuku apartments