Neighborhoods

Renting in Tokyo: Top “Under the Radar” Neighborhoods Recommended by Locals

In a recent survey, Recruit asked 3,000 people, including singles, DINKS, and married couples, living in the Tokyo metropolitan area to recommend the best “under the radar” neighborhoods in Tokyo.

The stations had to meet these criteria: access to multiple train lines, located within about a ten-minute direct ride to a major interchange station, affordable rent, and lots of shopping and other amenities.

In this article, we take a look at the top three recommendations, based on average rent for 1K (one room plus a kitchen) and 1DK (one room plus a kitchen and dining room) apartments located within a 15-minute walk from the station.

# 1 Kita Senju

Where: Adachi Ward, northern Tokyo

Train Lines: JR Joban line, Tobu Skytree line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, Tsukuba Express

Time to Tokyo Station: 23 minutes (1 transfer)

Average rent for 1K or 1DK: 73,800/month

The top pick by far (receiving more than double the votes of the second-choice station) was Kita Senju station.

Kita Senju offers commuters an array of transportation options, especially for getting around Tokyo’s suburbs and to central Tokyo. The JR Joban line will take you to Ibaraki and Tochigi. Get on the Tobu Skytree line to get to the Skytree and Solamachi Mall in less than 15 minutes, and choose between the Hibiya and Chiyoda subway lines to zip to central Tokyo in about 15 minutes. Kita Senju is also a direct 12 minute ride to Akihabara on the Tsukuba Express, which will also take you to the Tsukuba science and research park, in about two hours.

Kita Senju is also a major shopping center, with a Lumine department store right in the station and a Marui department store on the west side, as well as many chains, such as Tokyu Hands and UNIQLO and inexpensive restaurants.

Quiet and residential, it is not, but if you are looking for a convenient location where you can get just about anywhere fast and all your shopping done near home, Kita Senju is a good choice.

Average rent here is about 73,800yen, but you can find listings starting from the low 60,000yen range.

Marui department store near Kita Senju station. Photo credit: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr.

Marui department store near Kita Senju station. Photo credit: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr.

#2 Akabane

Where: Kita ward, northern Tokyo

Train lines: JR Tohoku Main line, Takasaki line, Keihin-Tohoku line, Shonan-Shinjuku line, Saikyo line

Time to Tokyo Station: 19 minutes direct

Average rent for 1K or 1DK: 75,900yen/month

Akabane is a major train station in the JR East network. From Akabane you can get to Tokyo non-stop in about 19 minutes, to Shinjuku in about 14 minutes, and to Ikebukuro in 8 minutes. Being on the Keihin-Tohoku and Saikyo lines, Akabane also allows easy access to locales north and south of the city. For example, from here you can get directly to Yokohama in less than 45 minutes on the Saikyo line.

Akabane, of course, also has lots of shopping and restaurants. On the west side are the APIRE and eCute shopping centers and an Ito Yokado supermarket. Akabane Philippine Square is also near the station. Sarap Bussan, on the first floor offers filipino foods, snacks and delicacies, as well as electronics, computers and accessories. On the north side of the station is a big branch of Biba Home, which sells pet supplies and home and kitchen goods.

Akabane is urban and commercial, but about a 15 minute walk from the station is Akabane Nature Obervation Park, a five and a half hectare nature park that has a natural spring and even a small rice paddy.

Average rent near Akabane station is about 75,900yen, but you can find listings starting from the high 40,000yen range.

A fish and eel restaurant in Akabane. Photo credit: Takayuki Miki on Flickr.

A fish and eel restaurant in Akabane. Photo credit: Takayuki Miki on Flickr.

#3 Nakano

Where: Nakano ward, west-central Tokyo

Train lines: Chuo Main line, Tokyo Metro Tozai line

Time to Tokyo Station: 19 minutes to Tokyo direct

Average rent for 1K or 1DK: 80,900/month

Nakano station is a centrally located station, just 4 minutes from Shinjuku on the Chuo Main line.

Nakano is probably most well-known for being home to Nakano Broadway, a shopping complex devoted to anime, idol, and manga-related items. Connected to Nakano Broadway from Nakano Station is the Nakano Sunmall, a 225 meter long, covered shopping arcade with a wide variety of shops and inexpensive eateries and izakaya (Japanese-style pubs).

Average rent near Nakano station is about 80,900yen, but you can find listings starting from the high 40,000yen range.

Nakano Broadway offers a paradise for collectors of anime, manga and idol goods. Photo credit: "Richard, enjoy my life!" on Flickr.

Nakano Broadway offers a paradise for collectors of anime, manga and idol goods. Photo credit: “Richard, enjoy my life!” on Flickr.

You may also be interested in: Top Stations by Lowest Rent: 30 Minutes or Less Direct to Tokyo Station

Photo Credit: midorisyu