What’s the best part of Tokyo to live in, and why? Survey gives the top six picks


Three in the suburbs, and three in downtown.

Tokyo is a very, very big city, not just in terms of population, but in physical size as well. Being spread out over such a large space means one part of town can feel very different from another, so if you’re looking for a place to live in Tokyo, the first step is choosing which neighborhood you want to live in.

To make that choice a little easier, Japanese real estate portal Major7, which deals with condominium sales, conducted a survey asking people which part of Tokyo they most want to live in, and why. A total of 2,896 responses were collected, so let’s take a look at the top six picks.

6. Futako Tamagawa
Top reasons to live there: Convenient shopping, good public transportation access, clean and fashionable atmosphere

A posh suburb southwest of downtown Tokyo, the riverside Futako Tamagawa neighborhood has seen a number of mixed commercial/residential centers go up in recent years. But despite being buffered from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s urban center, it’s still just 10 minutes by train, with no transfer needed, to Shibuya, making for an easy commute to work or easy excursions into the big city on the weekend.

5. Kichijoji
Top reasons to live there: Good public transportation access, convenient shopping, park space

Kichijoji has a lot in common with Futako Tamagawa, although instead of the banks of the Tamagawa River, Kichijoji’s most picturesque views are found in the neighborhood’s Inokashira Park, one of the best places in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing. Like Futako Tamagawa, Kichijoji has a large selection of shops and restaurants located in a network of covered pedestrian shopping streets, but not so many offices. The result is a stylish local vibe, but with access to downtown’s Shinjuku Station, the busiest rail hub in Japan, in a quick 15-minute ride on the JR Chuo Line.

4. Jiyugaoka
Top reasons to live there: Attractive train lines, good public transportation access, convenient daily life

Yet another “just outside downtown suburb,” Jiyugaoka is where the Toyoko and Oimachi train lines (which connect to Shibuya and Oimachi Stations) converge, and both have a reputation for slightly less congestion during rush hour and fewer drunks late at night than many other Tokyo lines. The neighborhood itself has a high concentration of cafes and boutiques, and it’s also not far from number-six pick Futako Tamagawa.

3. Meguro
Top reasons to live there: Good public transportation access, short commutes, convenient daily life

Meguro is located along the Yamanote loop line that circles downtown Tokyo. However, whereas a lot of Yamanote Line neighborhoods are heavily built up with high-rise office towers and expensive nightlife, Meguro is still a pocket of less intensive development, with enough supermarkets and other routine shopping facilities for a comfortable day-to-day life.

2. Shinagawa
Top reasons to live there: Good public transportation access, expected future development, short commutes

Shinagawa is sort of a beefed-up Meguro, in that it’s a stop on the Yamanote Line that still has facilities that cater to local residents (including one of Tokyo’s largest meat wholesale markets). The neighborhood isn’t as congested as, say, Shibuya or Shinjuku, but it does have a ton of high-rise condos and offices, and more are likely to come with the addition of a brand-new Yamanote Line station adjacent to Shinagawa set to open in 2020, which should cause some new development to spill over into the Shinagawa area too. The Shinkansen bullet train stopping at Shinagawa Station is also a plus for those who take frequent business or pleasure trips.

1. Ebisu
Top reasons to live there: Good public transportation access, fashionable, elegant atmosphere

Once again, Ebisu is serviced by the Yamanote Line, plus the Hibiya subway line for those who want to cut subterraneously across the city center and also the Shonan Shinjuku Line, for those who want to hit up the beaches of the Shonan coastline on weekend day-trips. While Meguro and Shinagawa give residents a bit of the glitz of downtown, Ebisu feels one step closer to the bright lights of the big city, and about as close as you can get to them before the glare would start to be unpleasant to deal with every day. You get fancy shops, restaurants, and art venues, but with only a fraction of the hordes of commuters and tourist crowds you’ll run into in many of Tokyo’s other downtown districts.

Plus, living in Ebisu means you’re within walking distance to the Ebisu beer museum, a perk that’s definitely hard to beat.

Source: Major7 via IT Media
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Wikipedia/Araisyohei, Wikipedia/Kikidai, Wikipedia/Aw1805, Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)
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