The Tokyo Metropolis is a bustling place that over 13 million call home (38 million if you count the Grater Tokyo Area). Of course, the city’s population tends to increase during daylight, when commuters from other places in the Kanto region travel to Tokyo’s many business districts to work until night. With so many people coming and going, one can only assume how competitive the real estate industry must be. The question then is, where do residents aspire to live? As all aspirations go, not everyone wants to live in a certain neighborhood for the same reasons, which is why the many surveys that rank Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods can end up being absolutely fascinating, and at times even perplexing from a foreigner’s perspective. According to surveys by Chintaibest, here are Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods in 2019:
This year’s winner was no other than Nakameguro, a neighborhood we have covered a lot recently here at JapanInfo thanks to the opening of the biggest Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the world.
Nakameguro is a very popular place because of several factors, including its many restaurants and Meguro River, which becomes one of the most coveted cherry blossom-viewing spots in spring. As you can imagine, Nakameguro can get quite crowded during the weekends due to its huge popularity. However, at night it becomes a tranquil neighborhood where people can sleep in peace. This is why Nakameguro is an ideal place to live for men and women in their 20s and 30s.
Additionally, Nakameguro is quite accessible, being only 5 minutes away from Shibuya Station. One can take the Hibiya Line and the Tokyu Toyoko Line to get there.
Akabane is a bit more polarizing, being both a very popular place to live and an undesirable one. It all depends on the demographics and people’s priorities. Akabane is popular among in their 30s and 40s. People who want to live here like its convenience, since it’s quite close to both Tokyo and Saitama. Additionally, the area has many shops, bars, and restaurants.
The reason Akabane also ranks as an undesirable location is because of parents who feel that the many bars around the station could create problem for their children. Therefore, Akabane should be perfect if you have no kids.
Particularly popular among women in their 20s and 30s, Musashi-Koyama is conveniently located just two stops from Meguro Station. This place also contains the longest arcade shopping street in all Tokyo! Here you will be able to find over 250 shops that sell everything, from books to fresh produce.
To make things even better, Rishi No Mori Park is just a 10-minute walk from the station. This place is full of trees and trails you can use when going jogging or taking your dog for a walk. The fact that you can exercise in such a beautiful park without having to travel long distances is a huge plus.
Located in the middle of Tokyo Bay, Toyosu is a popular place due to its ocean views, shopping malls, and large condominiums that make life in this neighborhood so very easy. Additionally, women who want to have a family consider Toyosu the place to be.
Like Akabane, Toyosu is also an area where many people don’t want to live. This is due to it being a former landfill, and because of worries of what could happen to this reclaim land in case of an earthquake an tsunami.
Shimokitazawa is a very trendy area young people like to frequent. For that reason, people who want to live here are usually in their 20s. Living alone in Shimokitazawa can be very enjoyable due to the many theaters, shops, and restaurants. Shimokitazawa is also served by both the Keio and Odakyu Line, connecting it with Shinjuku and the rest of Tokyo.
Shimokitazawa is also famous for its many secondhand stores and independent boutiques that allow residents and visitors to buy some true gems they wouldn’t be able to find otherwise.
The interesting thing about Asagaya, is that both families and people living by themselves think of it as an ideal place to live. Asagaya has a big shopping area with about 240 shops, making it similar to Kichijoji and Shimokitazawa minus the crazy rent prices.
Asagaya is also in a very convenient location. The Chuo Rapid takes you to Shinjuku Station in less than ten minutes, and if you walk eight minutes to Minami-Asagaya Station, you’ll be able to to take the Marunouchi Line.
Popular among those in their 20s (and some families in their 30s), Ikebukuro is regarded as a good place to live because of the vast number of restaurants and shops. After all, Ikebukuro Station is the second busiest station in the world (behind Shinjuku Station), and it has the enormous Seibu and Tobu department stores. Despite the noise that one could expect around the station, the backstreets tend to be very quiet, an attribute that makes people want to live here.
However, Ikebukuro is also seen as a dangerous neighborhood, which also ranks it as a place in which many people would not like to live.
Aoyama is the epitome of social status, making it the dream neighborhood for those with great aspirations. The stereotype dictates that celebrities, models, and foreign expats and diplomats live here. Aoyama is in central Tokyo, and from there you can easily access places like Omotesando, Hiroo, Daikanyama, Shibuya, and Roppongi.
Aoyama does not have any large markets due to its location within Tokyo, but it has many elegant boutiques and restaurants. The downside to Aoyama is the price, of course. That’s why for many people living here can only be a dream.
Talk about skyrocketing. Just years ago, Yoyogi-Uehara didn’t even rank in the top 20. Now, though, times have changed. Yoyogi-Uehara has become an incredibly popular place to live because of its atmosphere. The greenery of the enormous Yoyogi Park is just around the corner; and being located just west of the famous park, Yoyogi enjoys peace and tranquility despite being so close to both Sinjuku and Shibuya.
There’s also this belief that celebrities frequent this area. Rent around Yoyogi-Uehara varies a lot, being quite expensive at times, yet affordable closer to stores and the station.
Hongo is a quiet and intellectual neighborhood. Located close to the University of Tokyo, and the many universities in Ochanomizu, Hongo remains a quiet academic area where many students live. Hongo is also close to many places, including Akihabara, Tokyo Dome, and Ueno. Since Ochanomizu Station is nearby, one can easily access Tokyo Station in less than six minutes.
Hongo is also a please of nature thanks to its proximity to parks like Ueno Park. However, since this neighborhood has no large entertainment areas, it can be a bit boring for young people.