Why I moved to Tachikawa from Nishidai in the Tokyo 23 Wards

Working at the Housing Service, we receive a lot of inquiries from people who aren’t sure where to settle for their next move. As much as we are required to know about areas in Tokyo, it’s always better to hear opinions from people actually residing in the said areas when considering a move.

I was able to speak with Eri, a friend of mine who just moved to Tachikawa recently. (You might remember her as the person I spoke with for remote studying in Tokyo in an article a few months back!

We talked about how life in Tachikawa has been, the pros and cons of the area, and if she would have any advice for people willing to move. Tachikawa is a city in the western suburbs of Tokyo; it is about a 27-min direct ride from Tachikawa Station to Shinjuku on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) Special Rapid Service.

If you are considering moving to Tachikawa, please keep reading!

Humble beginnings

My friend Eri talked about the apartment she used to live in. “I used to live in Nishidai, Itabashi,” she said. It was a tiny 16-sqm studio apartment, a 30-minute walk from the nearest station. Though the place came furnished, all that could fit was a study table, bed, microwave, and refrigerator. Maybe the owner thought having all these items was enough, because Eri found that she could not even fit any more–and ended up having to live off small drawers, and even her suitcase at some point!

After staying for a year, she ultimately decided to move because she’s always craved more space, and wanted to live in a better accessible area. “At Nishidai, there was barely anything around me. The closest mall was just an AEON department store. Even that was a thirty minute walk away, too.”

Apartment hunting

Around the time she started looking at places, she was considering a unit in Hachioji and Nezu (in Chiyoda) too, but ultimately went for a 60-square meter 1LDK in Tachikawa.

Thinking about it, the 1LDK in Tachikawa was the best choice because it was a balance of the three units she looked at. Though the unit she looked at in Hachioji was large and affordable, it was just too far for commuting to Tokyo where her school is. The apartment in Nezu was also great and an accessible commute to her campus, but measuring just 21-square meters, Eri felt like it wouldn’t have been worth it–seeing as the rent was around as much as the unit she decided on.

Another big factor in her decision-making was her starting a relationship. Thinking about the commuting distance between her and where her partner was situated, Tachikawa was just a better bet to save up on transportation, and to have that for spending time together instead.

Connected to that, with regards to budgeting and thinking long-term, Eri says that the 1LDK she went for in Tachikawa really was the best choice and that she has no regrets.

Tachikawa so far

Tachikawa is known to be its own city. And with that, Eri agrees. “It’s very self-sustaining. Everything is around you, and you don’t need to ride the Yamanote Line to get to places anymore (because the Chuo Line goes directly to Shinjuku).” 

Compared to her previous place where she had to walk half and hour to get anywhere, the commute from Tachikawa has made commuting much, much easier. “I only have to walk a bit before arriving at my nearest station. It’s been easier to budget too because facilities are so close by from my apartment.”

Why move to Tachikawa?

It really is very convenient. You don’t have to go all the way to Tokyo because everything is just a few minutes away. “The other day, I had to mail something, and all I did was walk ten minutes on foot!” It really is incomparable to where she used to live in Nishidai, Eri says.

Tachikawa is also good for families. People are also welcoming of foreigners because of its proximity to American bases. Overall, it’s suitable for people who are looking not to be as lost as the hustle and bustle in Tokyo, but want to maintain the ease of access to necessities. “It’s a good change of pace to what I was used to,” Eri says.

The apartment complex she lives in is foreigner-friendly too. She’s grateful for this because people have been more accepting. On top of that, it has free Wi-fi too! 

“Maybe the only thing I don’t like is that I’ve actually moved away from the city center. I live outside the 23 wards now, and I have to plan around that. Rent is higher than my previous unit, too, but that comes along with the size upgrade so I’m okay with that. Everything is really worth it.”

Advice for apartment hunters

Preparation is key. 

Make sure you pack all your essentials and give away everything you don’t need. Whether it be through selling or donating, it’s best to get rid of your unwanted things right away.

“I couldn’t pack all of my stuff on time, so I had to give some of them away to a recycle shop, which charged me,” Eri reflects. “That was one of my biggest hurdles because it was so expensive, and I already had to spend so much initially for my new place.

Luckily, she didn’t have to use a moving service. Eri was lucky enough to have her partner help out with transporting her luggage, so she was able to avoid that cost. She did book a moving service at first, though. They quoted her around ¥27,000 just to move a few items, but Eri decided to cancel. That caused her to pay ¥5,500 as a penalty.

“If you’re planning on using a moving service, make sure you have a budget. There are lots of services available in English online that are offered by people at lower costs (than large corporations.),” she adds.

As for choosing locations, try as much as possible to look for an area that fits all your needs. Like most places, each area caters to different people. Like how Setagaya would be better for families, and Takadanobaba would be for students. It might be best to visit Tachikawa first to get a feel of how the vibe is and see if you can see yourself staying there for a long time.

In closing

If you’re thinking of moving, prepare yourself and everything in advance. Secure your payment, and work out your budget because that is so important. Hopefully this article was helpful with your decision to relocate!

If you were looking to know more about the area, check out our Tachikawa Area Guide.

To see a list of properties currently available in Tachikawa, please click this link: Tachikawa apartments for rent

To see a map of properties, please see this link: Map of apartments for rent in Tachikawa

GaijinPot Housing Service

If you are looking for an apartment in Japan (whether you’re applying from overseas or are already in-country), check out the GaijinPot Housing Service. With the GaijinPot Housing Service, you:

  • Can choose from 3,000+ properties throughout Japan.
  • Don’t need a guarantor.
  • Can apply from overseas.
  • Pay all your upfront costs and monthly costs with a credit card.
  • Receive full English service, from the room view, to application, to post-move-in support.

Learn More About the GaijinPot Housing Service

Article by Cindy

Cindy works for the GaijinPot Housing Service, helping foreigners find their home in Japan. She relocated to Japan after graduating from De La Salle University in the Philippines. Read Cindy’s self-intro to find out what brought her here!

Lead photo: A street in Tachikawa, photo by Scott Kouchi