Tokyo City Lights | B Lucava | Flickr
Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world so what part of Tokyo is the best to live in?

What’s the best neighborhood in Tokyo for students to live in?

Tokyo, Japan’s urban hub and one of the world’s biggest megacities can be a bit hard to navigate. There are many popular neighbors and international students may not know where the best place to live is.

This article is for any student who is looking to move to Tokyo and is still looking for a place to live. Having discussed this topic with current international students in Tokyo, we have come up with Schoolynk’s top 5 student areas that offer the best combination of location, price, and convenience! 

Interested in other areas to study outside of Tokyo? Check out the Top Cities in Japan for International Students here!

Here are the Top 5 Tokyo Neighborhoods for Students:

  1. Takadanobaba
  2. Shimokitazawa
  3. Nippori 
  4. Sangenjaya
  5. Kichijoji 

1. Shimokitazawa 

Shimokitazawa | Tokyo | JahnmitJa | Flickr
Shimokitazawa is the #1 neighborhood for students in Tokyo!

Our first recommendation is Shimokitazawa, a small but vibrant neighborhood located in Setagaya Ward.

Shimokitazawa is known for its hippy cafes, thrift stores, and street fashion and following the recent station renovations, Shimokitzawa has become an increasingly popular place to live. 

There are two reasons why I recommend Shimokitazawa as a great neighborhood for students. 

Firstly, Shimokitazawa is conveniently located on two train lines. The Keio Inokashira Line offers 5-minute access to Shibuya, whilst the Odakyu Line takes 10 minutes to Shinjuku.  Shibuya and Shinjuku are two of the biggest urban hubs and offer easy access to the rest of Tokyo. 

Secondly, Shimokitazawa has amazing cheap eats and antique clothing. ‘Shimo’ is known as the hub of Furugi – Second-handed thrift clothing – and there are many rare pieces from luxury and street brands. 

The average rent for a 1R or 1K is ¥86,000/month, whereas a 1LDK 2K 2DK can cost around ¥149,600/month. 

For more information, see the guide from realestatejapan below!

2. Takadanobaba 

Takadanobaba | B Lucava | Flickr
Takadanobaba is nested in such a great location in central Tokyo

Located on the Yamanote line, Takadanobaba is a bustling student town with a variety of budget Izakaya, bars, cafes, and karaoke parlors. 

The area is particularly popular with international students as it is located 5 minutes from Waseda University’s Toyama Campus. After classes, many Waseda students walk over to Takedanobaba to eat and drink at the Izakaya and Restaurants. As these eateries cater to students, you can always find cheap deals around. 

Takadanobaba is also located conveniently, offering a 10-minute commute to Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, and Ikebukuro. It is also walking distance to Shin-Okubo, which houses Tokyo’s own Koreatown.  

The average rent for a 1R or 1K is ¥102,000/month, whereas a 1LDK 2K 2DK can cost around ¥233,900/month.

For more information, see the guide from realestatejapan below!

3. Nippori 

Yanaka Ginza Shotengai | A blog post that includes these pho… | Flickr
Nippori has remains of the old Tokyo vibe which I really enjoy!

Located on the North-Eastern circumference of Tokyo’s Yamanote-line, Nippori is a quaint neighborhood with a variety of traditional local specialty stores. 

The nearby shopping streets of Yanaka Ginza and Fabric Streets gives the area a unique nostalgic shitamachi “low city” feel that you cannot find in more modern areas of Tokyo. Out favorites shops along these shopping streets are the special Melon-pan (Melon bread) store and the 70-year-old homemade Mochi stand. 

Nippori is close to  Ueno, Asakusa, and Akihabara, which tend to offer cheaper eating options that the western hubs of Shibuya and Shinjuku. In addition, the area has direct access to Narita airport via the Kisei Line. 

I highly recommend living in Nippori if you will be studying at the University of Tokyo’s Hongo Campus! It will roughly be a 15-minute walk or 5 min cycling commute. 

The average rent for a 1R or 1K is ¥88,500/month, whereas a 1LDK 2K 2DK can cost around ¥135,700/month.

For more information, see the guide from realestatejapan below!

4. Sangenjaya

File:Road in front of Sangenjaya stn - June 2 2018.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Chaya is a cheaper area, perfect for students, with a great balance of old and new.

Sangenjaya is a quaint town located in Setagaya-ku, one of Tokyo’s most established neighborhoods. 

Shorted to ‘Jaya’ by the locals, Sangenjaya has many traditional Japanese specialty stores and a range of ethnic cuisines such as Thai, Vietnamese, or Indian. 

Sangenjaya offers a laid-back residential vibe with a number of large 24-hour supermarkets. However, it is also conveniently located on the Tokyu De-en-toshi Line as an express stop. This means you can reach Shibuya in just 5 minutes. 

There is a relatively large international student population as Sangenjaya is home to the following three universities: Showa Women’s University,  Temple University, and Kokushikan University. 

The average rent for a 1R or 1K is ¥100,700/month, whereas a 1LDK 2K 2DK can cost around ¥152,700/month.

For more information, see the guide from realestatejapan below!

5. Kichijoji 

Kichijoji | A blog post that includes these photos lives her… | Flickr
Kichijoji is popular with families but is great for students too!

Last but not least is Kichijoji! 

Regularly voted as one of the most desirable places to live in Tokyo, Kichijoji is a relaxed residential area located just outside the central wards of Tokyo. It is close enough to offer short commuting times to the city center yet far enough to offer peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle. 

The main features which characterized Kichijoji are its bohemian cafes and Inokoashira Park – which looks stunning during the April-Sakura and September-Koyo seasons. 

Kichijoji is also conveniently located on two train lines, the JR Chuo Line and the Keio Inokashira Line which offer a 15-minute direct ride to Shinjuku and a 16-minute direct ride to Shibuya. 

The average rent for a 1R or 1K is ¥110,700/month and 1LDK 2K 2DK are around ¥152,700/month.

For more information, see the guide from realestatejapan below!