Top 20 Places to Live in Tokyo: 2019 Ranking of Most Popular Searches – Part 1

People from around the world come to live, work, and play in Tokyo. If you’re coming to Tokyo to live, you have a choice of 882 railway stations (including 282 subway stations) to choose from for your home base. In this post, we present the Top 10 to 20 most popular places to live in Tokyo, based on rental properties and stations people searched for and viewed on Real Estate Japan in 2019. All of us at Real Estate Japan are sincerely grateful to each and every person who used our site this year to find your home in this amazing metropolis! Now, let’s take a look at the 2019 rankings.

Top 10th to 20th most popular apartment searches in Tokyo

  • #10 Takadanobaba
  • #11 Hatsudai
  • #12 Yotsuya
  • #13 Shinjuku
  • #14 Yoga
  • #15 Okubo
  • #16 Kuramae
  • #17 Daikanyama
  • #18 Gotanda
  • #19 Shirokane-Takanawa
  • #20 Koenji

#20 Koenji

Koenji Awadori. Image via Wikipedia. Please click on the photo to visit the Koenji Area Guide.

The Lowdown: Bohemian fun near Shinjuku! Koenji is known as an artists’ haven because of its many live music venues and cozy cafes. Only 10-minutes west of Shinjuku, this is a laid back area that’s great to come home to after a long day in Tokyo.

Trainline(s): Koenji Station is located on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local).

Access: From Koenji Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and Chuo-Sobu Line (Local):

— 8-min direct to Shinjuku Station
— 23-min direct to Tokyo
— 20-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Suginami Ward

Koenji Area Guide

For a detailed guide to living in Koenji, including average rent, please see the Koenji Area Guide.

#19 Shirokane-Takanawa

Shirokane Aer City. Photo: kcomiida via Wikimedia Commons. Please click on the photo to visit the Shirokane Area Guide.

The Lowdown: Even though there are many ritzy neighborhoods like Minami Azabu, Hiroo, and Roppongi, all within Minato Ward, the neighborhood of Shirokane stands out above the rest for its unique charm of incorporating green space with luxurious residential living in the city center. Wrap all of this up with designer boutiques and trendy cafes along Meguro-dori and Platinum-dori and you’ve got Shirokane!

Trainline(s): Toei Mita, Tokyo Metro Namboku

Access: From Shirokane-Takanawa Station

— 22-min to Shinjuku Station (1 transfer)
— 15-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)
— 4-min direct to Meguro Station

Ward: Minato Ward

Shirokane Area Guide

For a detailed guide to living in Shirokane, including average rent, please see the Shirokane Area Guide.

#18 Gotanda

Office buildings in Gotanda. Image via Wikimedia.

The Lowdown: A residential neighborhood conveniently located on the JR Yamanote line, between Meguro and Osaki Stations. Gotanda has an urban jungle feel but its proximity to the Meguro River (with its famous sakura blooms in spring) and direct access to Shinjuku and Shibuya are big points in its favor.

Trainline(s): JR Yamanote, Toei Asakusa, Tokyu Ikegami

Access: From Gotanda Station

— 14-min to Shinjuku Station
— 7-min to Shibuya Station
— 2-min direct to Meguro Station

Ward: Shinagawa Ward

#17 Daikanyama

Daikanyama T-site is a very popular bookstore/cafe area that was built on the concept of “a library in the woods.” Photo: Scott Kouchi

The Lowdown: Daikanyama is often called the Brooklyn of Tokyo due to tis artsy and stylish vibe. Beloved by locals as an upscale neighborhood in Shibuya Ward, boasting an assortment of mass-market storefronts vying for attention beside eccentric cafes and boutiques.

Trainline(s): Tokyu Toyoko

Access: From Daikanyama Station

— 20-min to Shinjuku Station (1 transfer)
— 1-min direct to Shibuya Station
— 17-min direct to Meguro Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Shibuya Ward

Daikanyama Area Guide

For a detailed guide to living in Daikanyama, including average rent, please see the Daikanyama Area Guide.

#17 Kuramae

View of Tokyo SkyTree from the Kuramae Bridge, Sumida River. Photo: Wikimedia

The Lowdown: Kuramae is an up-and-coming residential neighborhood located just south of Asakusa and bordered by the Sumida River to the east. It was historically important for the rice granaries that lined its streets during the Edo-period and later for being a center for craftspeople. In recent years, it has developed a reputation for attracting a new generation of “makers”, in the form of artsy hipsters who have opened a cluster of shops, restaurants, and cafes that focus on locally-made goods, and comfort foods and drinks.

Trainline(s): Toei Oedo and Toei Asakusa lines

Access:

— 1-min direct to Asakusa Station
— 21-min direct to Tokyo Station (1 transfer)
— 9-min to Ueno Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Taito Ward

#16 Okubo

Okubo Station, north exit. Image: nasned via Wikimedia.

The Lowdown: Located just north of Shinjuku, Okubo is Tokyo’s most well-known Korea Town, where you’ll find a huge concentration of Korean shops, restaurants, and residents of Korean-descent. Okubo is a convenient neighborhood for anyone who wants to live and commute in western Tokyo, especially if you need to go to or through Shinjuku or Takadanobaba. Shin-Okubo Station (located on the JR Yamanote line) is also considered part of the Okubo neighborhood.

Trainline(s): JR Chuo Sobu line

Access: 

— 2-min direct to Shinjuku Station (from Shin-Okubo Station)
— 10-min direct to Shibuya Station (from Shin-Okubo Station)
— 18-min to Tokyo Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Shinjuku Ward

#15 Yoga

Kinuta Park, Tokyo. Image: shuzo serikawa via Flickr.

The Lowdown: Yoga is a family-friendly, upscale residential neighborhood that is just a 15-minute train ride from Shibuya on the Tokyu Den-en-Toshi line. It is a convenient home base for commuting to central Tokyo, with an abundance of brand-name shopping near the station but also many green spaces, notably Kinuta Park, known for its cherry blossoms. Yoga is very popular with families and young professional couples, and there are many single-family homes within walking distance of the station, but rental options tend towards mid- and high-rise apartment buildings.

Trainline(s): Tokyu Den-en-toshi line

Access: 

— 15-min direct to Shibuya Station
— 26-min direct to Meguro Station (1 transfer)
— 8-min direct to Sangenjaya Station

Ward: Setagaya Ward

#14 Shinjuku

Shinjuku street, by Dylan Gonzales via Pixabay. Please click on the photo for the full Shinjuku Area Guide.

The Lowdown: Shinjuku is the name of a ward, neighborhood, and not just one but numerous train stations in Tokyo. For good reason, most tourist guides focus on JR Shinjuku Station, the granddaddy of all train stations in Japan and the busiest train station in the world.

There are seven separate railway systems that operate trains stopping in the vicinity of Shinjuku and at least thirteen stations located in what could be considered the greater Shinjuku station area.

If you are a tourist or in Tokyo for a temporary work assignment, click here for Short term apartments in Shinjuku.

Visit the Shinjuku Area Guide for a detailed guide to Shinjuku’s many residential neighborhoods.

Trainline(s): Numerous

Access: 

— 6-min direct to Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote line)
— 8-min direct to Tokyo Station (JR Chuo line)
— 9-min direct to Roppongi Station (Toei Oedo line)

Ward: Shinjuku Ward

Shinjuku Area Guide

#13 Yotsuya

Yotsuya Station on the Marunouchi line. Image: Ogiyoshisan via Wikimedia. Please click on the photo for the Yotsuya Area Guide.

The Lowdown: Yotsuya is a centrally-located, family-friendly residential neighborhood, just east of Shinjuku. It has a relaxed, suburban vibe, despite being a short train ride to major stations like Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Akasaka. The neighborhood is home to a number of iconic institutions, including Sophia University. One of the biggest perks of living in Yotsuya is being within walking distance of Shinjuku National Garden, one of Japan’s top hanami (cherry blossom viewing) destinations.

Trainline(s): JR Chuo, JR Chuo-Sobu, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi, Tokyo Metro Namboku lines

Access: 

— 7-min direct to Shinjuku Station (Marunouchi line)
— 9-min direct to Tokyo Station (JR Chuo line)
— 10-min direct to Roppongi Station (Namboku line)

Ward: Shinjuku Ward

Yotsuya Area Guide

For a detailed guide to living in Yotsuya, including average rent, please see the Yotsuya Area Guide.

#12 Hatsudai

A shopping street in Hatsudai. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Lowdown: Departing from Shinjuku, Hatsudai is the first stop out on the Keio New line, so it’s a popular residential choice for people who want to be close to Shinjuku, although it is actually located in Shibuya Ward. Hatsudai is a quiet residential neighborhood, with plenty of shopping and Opera City nearby.

Trainline(s): Keio New Line

Access: 

— 8-min direct to Shinjuku Station (Keio New line)
— 15-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)
— 15-min direct to Roppongi Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Shibuya Ward

#11 Takadanobaba

Right across from the Waseda Exit of Takadanobaba Station is the entrance to Sakae Street. You can even see how densely packed the izakayas are in this picture! Photo: Scott Kouchi

The Lowdown: Takdanobaba exists as a melting pot of two distinct communities. It is a commuter’s hub for those in west Tokyo coming in on the Chuo-Sobu, Seibu Shinjuku, and Tozai lines and also a college town, anchored by Waseda University.

Trainline(s): JR Yamanote, Seibu Shinjuku, Tokyo Metro Tozai

Access: 

— 5-min direct to Shinjuku Station (JR Yamanote)
— 11-min direct to Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote)
— 21-min direct to Roppongi Station (1 transfer)

Ward: Shinjuku Ward

Takadanobaba Area Guide

For a detailed guide to living in Takadanobaba, including average rent, please see the Takadanobaba Area Guide.


Lead photo: Osamu Mural, Takadanobaba. Gregg Tavares via Flickr


Top 20 places to live in Tokyo 2019 — See which stations ranked #1 to #9 in the follow-up post!

Photo Credit: Gregg Tavares