Living in Tokyo on the Yamanote Line: Least Expensive Stations by Rent — 2021 Ranking

In this installment of our series on “what is the average rent in Tokyo” we zoom in on the least expensive stations on the Yamanote line.

The Yamanote, which has 30 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.

Depending on which (and whose) data you look at, average rent rankings can vary widely! This particular ranking is based on data from SUUMO, a Japanese real estate listing site, for “one room” apartments listed between September and November 2020.

Least expensive rent on the Yamanote line

Based on SUUMO’s data on average, the least expensive apartment you’ll be able to rent on the Yamanote line is about ¥85,000 ($810) a month for a small studio apartment, but on Real Estate Japan, you will be able to find apartments and guest houses starting as low as ¥54,000 a month for a long-term studio and ¥25,000 a month for shared guest house. All the apartments we feature below, in fact, are well below the average rent in their respective neighborhoods.

The takeaway from this is that average rent can be misleading. There are plenty of affordable apartments to be found, even on the Yamanote line.

The Yamanote line. This image does not include the newest station on the Yamanote line, Takanawa Gateway, which came into service in March 2020. It is located between Shinagawa and Tamachi. Image source: Brancacube via Wikimedia

Top 3 Least Expensive Stations on the Yamanote

In this ranking, three stations tied for first place for the lowest average rent for a 1K or 1R on the Yamanote!

  1. Tabata
  2. Mejiro
  3. Nishi Nippori

First, we’ll cover each of the top three stations and give examples of apartments currently available for rent in these neighborhoods. All of the featured apartments have a Total Monthly Cost below the average rent for that area.

To see the 30 station Yamanote line ranking, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

#1 Tabata

The North Exit of Tabata Station. The Atrevie shopping mall has shops and restaurants, including a Tsutaya and Starbucks. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Average rent for a 1R or 1K: ¥85,000 ($810 USD)

Nearest major stations:

  • 4 stops to Ikebukuro
  • 4 stops to Ueno
  • 18-minutes direct to Shinjuku
  • 16-minutes direct to Tokyo

Other train and subway lines serving Tabata:

  • JR Keihin-Tohoku

Highlights:

  • Located in Kita Ward on northernmost tip of Yamanote line
  • Residential vibe, calm, and quiet
  • Not a lot of crowds
  • Direct commute to Shinjuku or Tokyo in less than 20 minutes
  • Plenty of shopping and dining options at the Atrevie in the station building and near the station

Featured Apartment:

1R apartment for long-term rental near Tabata Station. Total monthly cost: ¥62,016 ($591 USD). Top-floor (15th-floor) apartment. No key money. Many convenience stores and supermarket nearby. Available for long-term (2-year lease) rental through the GaijinPot Housing Service (full bilingual assistance, credit card payment ok, no guarantor required). Please click on the photo for the full listing and fill in the contact form to contact the GaijinPot Housing Service! Image: SkyCourt Chintai Center K.K. (Shinjuku Branch)

Featured Short-Term Apartment

Fully furnished short-term apartment for rent near Tabata and Nishi-Nippori Stations. Total monthly cost: ¥60,000 ($572 USD) ==> This is special campaign price available until March 16, 2021. No key money, no deposit, no agency fee, no guarantor required! Monthly rent includes all utilities, WiFi and management fees. Furniture includes bed, desk, A/C, TV, microwave, fridge, washing machine, and more! Available for short-term rental (1 month lease). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to contact the agent, Residence Tokyo! Image: RESIDENCE TOKYO

Learn more:

#1 Mejiro

One of Gakushuin University’s buildings. This university is one of the top private universities in Tokyo and is the reason for Mejiro’s upscale atmosphere. Photo: Gotanda via Wikimedia Commons

Average rent for a 1R or 1K: ¥85,000 ($810 USD)

Nearest major stations:

  • Next stop to the north is Ikebukuro
  • 3 stops to Shinjuku
  • 7-minutes direct to Shinjuku
  • 13-minutes direct to Shibuya

Other train and subway lines serving Mejiro:

  • None

Highlights

  • Located in Toshima Ward, between Ikebukuro and Takadanobaba Stations on the Yamanote
  • Upscale residential vibe
  • Historic significance as an enclave for the literati and well-to-do, and the elite Gakushuin University
  • Easily walkable to the next station south, Takadanobaba, home to many language schools and Waseda University.
  • Great balance between proximity to city-center convenience and residential calm

Featured Apartment

1K apartment for long-term rental near Mejiro Station (8-min walk), 2-min walk to Zoushigaya Station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line) and 8-min walk to Higashiikebukuro Station (Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line). Total monthly cost: ¥68,000 ($648 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to contact the agent, Aonissin Co.,Ltd.

Clean and bright kitchen in the 1K featured above! Please click on the photo for the full listing and to contact the agent, Aonissin Co.,Ltd.

Featured Short-Term Apartment

Private room for rent in a guest house near Mejiro Station. Total Monthly Cost: ¥57,000 ($543 USD). Low move-in costs (estimated ¥102,000), with no key money, no agency fee, no guarantor required. Water bill and Wifi included in rent. Minimum stay of 3 months. Please click on the photo for the details on this property, which is listed by City Build Service. Image: City Build Service

Learn more:

#1 Nishi Nippori

Average rent for a 1R or 1K: ¥85,000 (($810 USD)

Nearest major stations:

  • 3 stops to Ueno
  • 14-min direct to Tokyo
  • 20-min direct to Shinjuk
  • 23-min to Roppongi with one transfer

Other train and subway lines serving Nishi Nippori:

  • JR Keihin-Tohoku line
  • Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line (subway)
  • Toei Nippori-Toneri line

Highlights

  • Located in Arakawa Ward, between Tabata and Nippori Stations on the Yamanote
  • One of Tokyo’s predominant shitamachi neighborhoods (lit. “lower city,” name given to areas of Tokyo that have roots as working class neighborhoods which retain a strong traditional Tokyo look and feel).
  • Home to one of Tokyo’s oldest Korean neighborhoods, Mikawashima.
  • Traditional, low-key vibe
  • Home to Akamonkai Japanese language school, Tokyo’s largest language school

Featured Apartment

 

Featured 1R apartment for long-term rental near Nishi Nippori Station. Total monthly cost: ¥60,000 ($572 USD). No deposit, no key money. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to get in touch with the listing agent, Kimi Information Center. Image: Kimi Information Center – Life Services for Foreigners in Japan : Job and Apt.

Featured Short-Term Apartment:

 

 

Fully furnished 1R apartment for short-term rental in Nishi Nippori. Total monthly cost of ¥60,000 ($572 USD). Low move-in costs (estimated at ¥60,000)! This is special campaign price available until March 16, 2021. Regular monthly rent is ¥114,000. No key money, no deposit, no agency fee, no guarantor required! Monthly rent includes all utilities, WiFi and management fees. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to contact the agent, Residence Tokyo! Image: RESIDENCE TOKYO

Learn more:

Ranking of Least Expensive Stations on the Yamanote by Average Rent

Data Source: SUUMO

USD conversion 1 USD = 105 JPY

Average Rent: ¥104,083

Median Rent: ¥105,000

For a 1K or 1R apartment

Click on the links to see properties currently available for rent in the neighborhood!

Rank Station Average Rent for a 1K or 1R in JPY Average Rent for a 1K or 1R in USD Ward
1 Tabata 85,000 810 Kita
1 Mejiro 85,000 810 Toshima
1 Nishi Nippori 85,000 810 Arakawa
4 Nippori 86,000 819 Arakawa and Taito
5 Komagome 88,000 838 Toshima
5 Takadanobaba 88,000 838 Shinjuku
7 Otsuka 89,000 848 Toshima
7 Ikebukuro 89,000 848 Toshima
9 Shin Okubo 91,000 867 Shinjuku
9 Uguisudani 91,000 867 Taito
11 Sugamo 91,500 871 Toshima
12 Osaki 96,000 914 Shinagawa
13 Gotanda 99,000 943 Shinagawa
13 Takanawa Gateway 99,000 943 Minato
15 Shinagawa 103,000 981 Minato
16 Meguro 107,000 1,019 Shinagawa
17 Ueno 109,500 1,043 Taito
18 Kanda 110,000 1,048 Chiyoda
19 Yoyogi 111,000 1,057 Shibuya
20 Tokyo 112,000 1,067 Chiyoda
21 Shinjuku 112,500 1,071 Shinjuku and Shibuya
22 Tamachi 113,000 1,076 Minato
23 Akihabara 114,000 1,086 Chiyoda
24 Hamamatsucho 116,500 1,110 Minato
25 Okachimachi 117,000 1,114 Taito
26 Ebisu 124,000 1,181 Shibuya
27 Yurakucho 125,000 1,190 Chiyoda
28 Shimbashi 125,500 1,195 Minato
29 Shibuya 128,000 1,219 Shibuya
30 Harajuku 135,000 1,286 Shibuya

Source: SUUMO

Lead photo: Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku, Tokyo taken November 4 , 2017 via iStock


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