In the first of our series on Tokyo Hidden Gems, we’ll be taking a closer look at examples of apartments in unique, interesting, or relatively unknown neighborhoods. Featured today is the traditional neighborhood of Monzen Nakacho in Koto Ward, Tokyo!
Location and Surroundings in Tokyo
Koto Ward is just east of major business districts around Tokyo Station, making it easy to head into downtown Tokyo. The Monzen Nakacho neighborhood is a traditional shitamachi area with a fun, relaxed vibe.
Tokyo locals know the area for its proximity to “coffee town” (Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, a nearby neighborhood with more than a dozen coffee shops and specialty roasters) and small traditional shops that sell everything to Showa-era candies and snacks to sake and second-hand kimonos. It is also well known for the Shinto shrine (more below) which has been a central feature of the area for almost 400 years.
And if friendly, affordable neighborhood izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) and cheap, delicious eats are your thing, then you’ve also come to the right place. “Mon Naka” (as it’s sometimes called) is chock full of bars, izakaya, and restaurants offering up everything from ramen to sushi and motsu nikubi (giblet stew) and yakitori at affordable prices.
It’s easy to to walk around the neighborhood and get a feel for the more traditional side of Tokyo.
But what about getting to other parts of Tokyo from here? From Monzen Nakacho station you’ll be able to catch a ride on either the Oedo subway line or Tozai subway line and can get to central Tokyo in about 15 minutes. Other features of Koto Ward include the rich history of traditional Tokyo neighborhoods, modern waterfront views on Tokyo Bay, and plenty of parks with lush greenery.
The neighborhood is bordered on two sides by small rivers (the Sendaibori River and the Heikyu River), adding natural scenery to the surrounding area. These rivers plus nearby Kiba Park provide great ways to get away from the crowds of the city when you just want to stretch and relax on a weekend afternoon.
Short-term Apartments in Monzen Nakacho
Searching for a furnished, short-term apartment for rent near Monzen Nakacho will bring up charming apartments like this 2LDK group-friendly apartment! This property is located in the Fuyuki neighborhood, bordering Monzen Nakacho to the east. With four twin beds and a sofa bed, there’s plenty of sleeping arrangements to keep a group of travelers comfortable!
Very cozy interior gives the apartment a home-away-from-home feel! Great way to relax and recharge your batteries at the end of a day of exploring Tokyo!
This apartment is just 3 min from Tomioka Hachimanjingu Shrine, so you’ll feel connected to the history of Tokyo. And just 6 min from Monzen-nakacho Station (Oedo subway line, Tozai subway line) for getting around Tokyo easily!
For the full details on this furnished apartment, head to the listing here! Use the form provided on the listing to send an inquiry to the agent if interested.
Traditional Tokyo Vibe
While areas of Tokyo like Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Omotesando are popular for being modern hubs showcasing the latest in Tokyo’s fashion and nightlife, the area around Monzen Nakacho has a more traditional Tokyo look and feel. Close to Monzen Nakacho Station is Tomioka Hachimangu, a Shinto shrine dating back to 1627. Every month on the 15th and 28th, a flea market is held on the premises, which tends to attract many antique collectors looking for items with rich traditional Tokyo history!
If you are in the neighborhood in the summer, you might be able to catch the Fukugawa Hachiman Festival. Held in mid-summer (usually mid-August), this is one of Tokyo’s three “great Shinto festivals.” With history dating back to 1642, this is one of the largest summer festivals in Tokyo.
Those with an interest in the historical arts of Japan will be pleased to know that Koto Ward is also home to the Basho Memorial Hall. This small museum is dedicated to showcasing the works of Matsuo Basho, Japan’s most famous Edo era poet. The exhibits are presented in Japanese, so it might be difficult to absorb the historical context of many of the items, but should still make for an interesting visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
Waterfront Tokyo Bay Views
Koto Ward’s southern border lies against Tokyo Bay. Residing in central Koto Ward means you’ll be close to these waterfront features such as Tokyo Big Sight (massive exhibition hall which hosts many national and international events) and Toyosu Fish Market! For those coming to Tokyo to attend an exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight, neighborhoods like Fuyuki in Koto Ward can be a fantastic value for accommodations! Staying in a residential neighborhood will also give your trip a unique feel that’s sure to give you an interesting story or two to tell about your stay in Tokyo.
We hope this gives you a good idea of one of Tokyo’s smaller neighborhoods. If you’re looking to find more information about Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods, read through our Area Guides! When you’re planning to move to Tokyo, or even just to visit, you can really make the most out of your stay by researching areas that will fit your needs. Join us next time when we take another look at a slice of Tokyo and the kinds of apartments you can find in the area!
Lead photo: Naoyuki Sasaki via Flickr