If you work in Tokyo and wanted to lower your rent, you could move to Chiba (average rent for a 1R of 53,000yen), Saitama (53,000yen), or Kanagawa (59,000yen), where the average rent is lower; but the tradeoff is often convenience and a longer commute time.
Of course, there are areas inside the 23 wards where the average rent is lower than the overall average of 78,000yen.
This article looks at the top ten stations with the lowest average rent in Tokyo’s 23 wards for 1R, and 1K (one room plus a kitchen) units in buildings located within a 15 minute walking distance of the station and built within the last five years.
Of the top ten stations, five are located in Adachi ward, in northern Tokyo. Katsushika and Arakawa wards also have a high number of stations with the lowest average rent.
You may never have heard of these stations, but many of them offer surprising proximity to green space and direct access to major interchange stations, like Nippori and Nishi-Nippori on the Yamanote line and Kita Senju station, a major interchange station with access to the JR Joban line, the Chiyoda and Hibiya subway lines, the Tobu Skytree line, and the Tsukuba Express
Keisei Main Line, Katsushika Ward, Average Rent 62,300yen
Horikiri-Shobuen station on the Keisei Main line offers direct access to Nippori station on the Yamanote line in 10 minutes. The average rent here is over 15,000yen less than the average rent in Tokyo as a whole. But you can find one room (1R) apartments starting as low as the 45,000yen range.
Horikiri-Shobuen is famous for its 7,700 square meter garden featuring 6,600 irises in 200 varieties, which bloom in mid-June.
Katsushika Ward is located to the northeast of central Tokyo. Katsushika has a working-class feel about it and is known in Japanese popular culture as the setting for the “Otoko wa tsurai yo” (“It’s Tough Being a Man”) film series, which ran from 1969 to 1995, supposedly one of the longest film series in the world. Kiyoshi Atsumi starred as Tora-san. Fans can visit the Katsushika Shimabata Tora-san Museum and learn all about him.
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Adachi Ward, Average Rent 62,700yen
Kita-Ayase is the north terminal on the Chiyoda line. From there it’s a direct shot to Otemachi station, in central Tokyo, in less than 30 minutes. You can find 1R apartments here starting in the 45,000yen range, depending on the age of the building. Older buildings tend to offer lower rent.
Like Katsushika ward, Adachi ward is also known for its working-class vibe. Kita-Ayase station is home to one of the top rated onsen (hot spring baths) in Tokyo, Oyata Onsen (Myojin no Yu). Between 10am to noon and 9 to 11pm, the entrance fee is only 700yen.
Tobu Sky Tree Line, Adachi Ward, Average Rent 63,500yen
From Horikiri station, you can get to Kita Senju station in only 4 minutes. Kita-Senju is the transit point for the Joban Line, Chiyoda Line, Hibiya Line, the Tsukuba Express and the Tobu Skytree Line; and from Kita-Senju it is only another twenty minutes to Tokyo station.
JR Joban Line, Katsushika Ward, Average Rent 64,500yen
Kanamachi station is two stops from Kita-Senju and four stops from Nippori on the Yamanote line. You can find listings for one room apartments here starting from around the 40,000yen range.
Kanamachi is home to Mizumoto Park, one of the largest parks in Tokyo’s 23 wards. It is known for its waterfront scenery and is a favorite among birdwatchers year-round and for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in the spring.
Nippori Toneri Liner, Adachi ward, Average Rent 64,800yen
If you’ve never visited this part of Tokyo, you may never have heard of the Nippori Toneri Liner, which is a fully-elevated, double-tracked line with 13 stations, offering access to the Yamanote line at both Nippori and Nishi Nippori stations (on the Yamanote line).
From Yazaike station you can get to Nishi Nippori station in less than twenty minutes. You can find one room apartments here starting in the 50,000yen range.
JR Joban Line, Katsushika ward, Average Rent 64,900yen
From Kameari station it’s a direct ride to Nishi Nippori station on the Yamanote line in about 12 minutes. One room apartments can be found found starting in the 55,000yen range.
The koban (police box) near Kameari station is supposedly the model for the police station in Japan’s longest running manga series, Kochikame by Osamu Akimoto.
As a tribute to the cartoon, two statues of the officer Kankichi Ryotsu, the main character of the series, were placed near north and south entrances of the train station in 2006.
Keisei Kanamachi Line, Katsushika ward, Average Rent 65,500
Average rent at near Keisei Kanamachi station is 65,500, but one room apartments start at around the 40,000yen range. Keisei Kanamachi station is a few minutes walk to Kanamachi station on the JR Joban Line (mentioned above), which will get you to Nishi Nippori station on the Yamanote line in about 20 minutes.
Nippori Toneri Line, Adachi ward, Average Rent 66,100
Average rent at near Toneri Koen station is about 66,100, but one room apartments start at around the 60,000yen range.
Toneri Park near the station offers tennis courts, an athletic field, camp grounds and a barbecue area.
Toden Arakawa Line, Arakawa ward, Average Rent: 66,100
From Miyanomae Station you can get to Nissi Nippori station on the Yamanote line in about 20 minutes.
Nippori Toneri Liner, Adachi ward, Average Rent: 66,600
From Adachi Odai station it’s about an 11 minute direct ride to Nishi Nippori station on the Yamanote line.
Post updated as of July 3, 2018