Tokyo Hidden Gems: Affordable and Livable Fuchu City in West Tokyo

It can be easy to focus on the 23 wards of Tokyo when searching for an apartment or home in Tokyo. The allure of living close to downtown Tokyo is a very powerful force. But, downtown living isn’t the perfect match for everyone. In this installment of our Tokyo Hidden Gems series we will take a look at Fuchu City, a very livable residential neighborhood just west of the 23 wards of Tokyo!

With respect to size there’s nothing hidden about Fuchu City. However, we’re extending the title of Hidden Gem to this area of Tokyo based on its relatively low name recognition. Many people are most likely familiar with popular neighborhoods in Tokyo such as Shinjuku, Roppongi, and Ueno, but unless you’re familiar with the entirety of Tokyo and how the different neighborhoods and cities coexist with each other, this part of west Tokyo might not come up in your apartment search.

Fuchu City covers a lot of ground area in Tokyo, but the apartments we’re looking at today are all close to Fuchu Station. This is a central station in the city that is located on the Keio Line for easy transportation into downtown Tokyo (24 min to Shinjuku). Right around the station you’ll find a selection of shopping malls which give residents plenty of shopping options nearby. Le Signe, FORiS Fuchu, and Kururu are malls that are home to a wide variety of fashion, home goods, and toy shops in addition to food courts and restaurants. There is also a Round One entertainment complex nearby, with an indoor facility to enjoy darts, billiards, table tennis, bowling, and more! The TOHO Cinemas location in Fuchu rounds out the entertainment options.

Although Fuchu is technically located within the administrative boundaries of Tokyo, you might feel like there’s a little more space when you’re not in the dense streets of central Tokyo. Granted, it’s not a difference of night-and-day, but with nearby Fuchu Forest Park and Okunitama Shrine there are open spaces where you can relax and stretch out without feeling cramped. As a personal side-note and example of the variety of cool, hidden gems you can find in this neighborhood, close to Okunitama Shrine is Beer House Ken, a small imported beer store with a surprisingly diverse selection of beers from around the world. Even in a residential neighborhood like this, there’s lots to explore!

The area around Fuchu Station is quite modern and offers a lot of the same conveniences you’d find around downtown Tokyo stations! Photo: Fuchu via Wikimedia Commons

A major advantage of looking for apartments outside of the 23 wards of Tokyo is that the monthly rent is generally much lower for apartments of comparable size. Let me repeat that this is a generalization, you can still find expensive apartments outside of downtown Tokyo. Today’s focus is on a few apartments that you’d be hard-pressed to find at their listed prices if they were in a more central, downtown neighborhood.

Budget Apartment in Fuchu City – ¥37,000/mo (About $345/mo)

The monthly rent for this 1R studio apartment with loft is just under ¥40,000 per month, making it one of the more affordable apartments you can find in Tokyo. It is two stops away from Fuchu Station, so you will most likely be using the train or cycling when you need to run errands in Fuchu. As an added bonus, you do not have to pay key money or a deposit to rent this apartment, which helps keep the move-in costs much more reasonable. This kind of studio apartment is a fantastic first apartment for a young professional trying to stick to a budget in Tokyo while building up career experience.

Convenient Studio Apartment in Fuchu City – ¥55,251/mo (About $515/mo)

This is a standard studio apartment that you’ll find in Tokyo. It comes in at a reasonable price, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for a similar apartment to cost around ¥70,000 to ¥90,000 per month in downtown Tokyo areas. Saving a couple ten-thousand yen a month will really add up over a year or two. And with this apartment just 5 min from Fuchu Station, you’ll be directly connected to downtown Tokyo via the Keio Line. Another perk of this specific apartment is that it is offered through the GaijinPot Housing Service. Apartment hunters looking for an easy adjustment to life in Tokyo might want to check out what this service entails: bilingual support, utility set up service, and overseas applications accepted. This is extremely helpful for those moving to their first apartment in Japan!

Comfy Studio Apartment in Fuchu City – ¥87,920/mo (About $818/mo)

This is also a 1R studio apartment, but it has much more comfortable features for the discerning apartment seeker. Toilet and washroom are separate, two-burner stovetop with fish grill, and washing machine hookup inside (some studio apartments will place the washing machine hookup outside to save space). All things considered, this is a very livable apartment in Tokyo. And at 9 min from Fuchu Station, you’ll also be close to the conveniences mentioned above. The price for rent might seem a little high for a studio apartment, but one with the features such as these is hard to find at this price in Tokyo’s 23 wards. You might be able to find comparable apartments in Arakawa Ward or Edogawa Ward, but then you’d be missing out on the benefits of a station like Fuchu.

There are a lot of angles to consider when approaching apartment hunting in Tokyo, so make sure to take your time and read through our Area Guides and blog posts to make an informed decision! Find more listings on our website by using our handy search tools: apartments in Fuchu City. Let us know what you think of these affordable yet convenient apartments! And please join us in the next installment of Tokyo Hidden Gems!