Average Rent in Tokyo – The Most Expensive Stations on the Yamanote Line – 2019

Tokyo is a big city with thousands of neighborhoods, so it can be misleading to give a city-wide average in answer to the question of “What is the average rent in Tokyo?” Across the Tokyo 23 Wards, the average rent for an apartment is about ¥97,000 (899 USD), but one golden mantra of real estate is “location, location, location.”  A secondary rule is that size (floor space) is highly correlated to rent.

In this new series on “What is the average rent in Tokyo?” we drill down to the neighborhood level in order to give you a realistic idea of what to expect when you are budgeting for a rental apartment in Tokyo.

The Yamanote Line and Studio Apartments

In this installment, we cover the five most expensive places to live on the Yamanote line, with respect to a studio-sized apartment. The Yamanote, which has 29 stations, is the iconic loop line that goes around central Tokyo. In general, average rent is lower outside the Yamanote line. In Japan, a “studio apartment” can be a 1R, 1K or 1DK. These are all basically “one room” apartments with a kitchenette that may or may be separated from the main living space by a wall.

Size and Number of Rooms

Average rent jumps a lot depending on the number of rooms you want. A quick scroll below will tell you that the average rent for a 1-bedroom (called a 1LDK in Japan), can jump by as much as ¥100,000 compared to a studio. The jump to a 2-bedroom apartment (called a 2LDK) is about double compared to the average rent for a studio apartment.

How can I find an apartment for less than the average rent?

Average rent can be misleading. A search of Real Estate Japan‘s current listings shows that almost all of the least expensive apartments we have online for any station are actually less than the average rent numbers shown below. This is because Real Estate Japan lists share houses and budget apartments that are usually left out of traditional average rent calculations.

To find the least expensive apartment in any area in our database of apartments currently available, use the Sort By function to see search results in the order you’d like, either least to most expensive or vice-versa.

Should you live on the Yamanote?

Whether you should live on the Yamanote line itself is a matter of personal preference, but read the mini-guides below to get a feel for what you’re in for. The city’s main loop line is not for the faint of heart, whether you’re commuting or living nearby and paying rent.

What is the Average Rent on the Yamanote Line?

  • Highest average rent for a studio (1R, 1K or 1DK) apartment: Shinbashi (¥137,200)
  • Lowest average rent for a studio: Nishi Nippori (¥79,600)
  • Highest average rent for a 1BR (1LDK): Shibuya (¥269,100)
  • Lowest average rent for a 1BR (1LDK): Tabata (¥116,500)
  • Highest average rent for a 2BR (2LDK): Harajuku (¥563,900)
  • Lowest average rent for a 2BR (2LDK): Nishi Nippori (¥156,500)
  • Highest average rent for a 3BR (3LDK): Shibuya (¥521,800)
  • Lowest average rent for a 3BR (3LDK): Tabata (¥205,000)

The Yamanote Line

The Yamanote – Tokyo’s iconnic loop line.


The iconic locomotive engine outside Shinbashi Station. Photo: ivva via Flickr

Ward: Minato

Why live here: Convenient, central business and entertainment district, two stops south of Tokyo Station, Hamarikyu Gardens and Tokyo Bay to the east, easy walk to Hibiya Park and Imperial Palace to northwest, Ginza to northeast. Traditional “shitamachi” (“low town”) feel. Just across the tracks to the east is the Shiodome skyscraper district.

Average Rent by Apartment Layout

  • 1R: ¥131,111
  • 1K: ¥135,900
  • 1DK: ¥180,500
  • 1LDK: ¥218,100
  • 2LDK: ¥366,700

See current listings for Shinbashi Apartments


Looking down at Hamamatsucho. Image: Wikimedia

Ward: Minato

Why live here: Central business and commercial district just south of Shinbashi and facing Tokyo Bay, with views of Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge. Exit the JR station to catch the monorail to Haneda Airport. Populated by salarymen and women in the daytime. Escape the crowds at the Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens just east of the station.

Average Rent by Apartment Layout

  • 1R: ¥143,800
  • 1K: ¥132,700
  • 1DK: ¥154,100
  • 1LDK: ¥235,900
  • 2DK: ¥188,300
  • 2LDK: ¥312,700
  • 3LDK: ¥512,500

See current listings for Hamamastucho Apartments


Ebisu Garden Place. Photo: Marc Dalmulder via Flickr

Ward: Shibuya

Why live here: High-end but laid back neighborhood. Excellent shopping and dining at Yebisu Garden Place. Close to headquarters of many major international companies. Ex-pat friendly. The Ebisu neighborhood hits the trifecta of central location, easy access to public transport, and desirable amenities. Located south of Shibuya and north of Meguro and near the fashionable Daikanyama and Hiroo neighborhoods. Ebisu is also located on the Hibiya line.

Average Rent by Apartment Layout

  • 1R: ¥121,300
  • 1K: ¥132,222
  • 1DK: ¥165,300
  • 1LDK: ¥246,600
  • 2K: ¥160,700
  • 2LDK:  ¥297,000
  • 3LDK: ¥514,000

See current listings for Ebisu Apartments


By IQRemix – Shibuya District at Night, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40675664

Ward: Shibuya Ward

Why live here: Can’t stand being by yourself and don’t want to go home after a day of shopping and a night of clubbing. More serious answer: Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s main cities-within-the city. Uber convenient, uber urban. In addition to JR, Shibuya Station is also served by the Keio Inokashira (terminus), Tokyu Den-en-toshi, and Tokyu Toyoko lines; as well as three subways: the Ginza, Hanzomon, and Fukutoshin lines. Read the full Shibuya Area Guide here.

Average Rent by Apartment Layout

  • 1R: ¥134,100
  • 1K: ¥120,600
  • 1DK: ¥171,000
  • 2LDK: ¥463,100
  • 3LDK: ¥521,800

See current listings for Shibuya Apartments


Ward: Shibuya

Why live here: Harajuku is internationally known as the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion, but the neighborhood is not all about the fashionably dressed girls who congregate there on the weekend (or the gawking tourists). Harajuku life is quiet and laid back which seems counter intuitive considering its location in between the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, power suits of Aoyama and neon lights of Shibuya, let alone its own image as a center for youth fashion. But located beside Yoyogi Park and the Meiji-jingu shrine, residential Harajuku is surprisingly all about the slow, quiet life. Read the full Harajuku Area Guide here.

Average Rent by Apartment Layout

  • 1R: ¥122,500
  • 1K: ¥131,300
  • 1DK: ¥117,000
  • 1LDK: ¥210,700
  • 2LDK: ¥563,900

See current listings for Harajuku Apartments

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Lead photo: Cat street, Harajuku photo by Nayalan Moodley

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