Tokyo has rapidly become one of the coolest cities in the world; flocked to by expats everywhere for its quality of life, technological advances, and ease of access. Japan soars to the top of the list for many young people looking for an exciting place to live and work– but living to Tokyo can be tough, depending on where you live.
From ancient and powerful neighborhoods to bustling city centers and quiet, peaceful suburbs, there are dozens of choices, and some can be hard to make without insider knowledge. Foreigner-friendly neighborhoods in Tokyo can sometimes be a challenge, but are also essential for preventing culture shock and helping you thrive in your beautiful apartment or home.
At Metroresidences, we decided to take the guesswork out of the equation and curated a list of the top 5 coolest & best neighborhoods for millennial expats in Tokyo, so you can choose a serviced apartment or “mansion” (smaller apartment building) with ease and confidence.
Shibuya is one of the top wards in Tokyo– famous for landmarks like Hachiko the dog and Shibuya crossing, this location skyrockets to the top of the list. People all over Japan know the high-paced frenzy and chaos in this enviable zip code, but most expats don’t know that the Shibuya area houses several top locations.
Those looking for more youthful, wild energy may prefer Harajuku, home of Japanese fashion trends. This neighborhood boasts one of the vastest shopping networks in Tokyo, with Takeshita-dori (the fun, quirky, high street) and Omotesando (Luxury and boutique brands) running parallel to each other from the beautiful Meiji Shrine.
This area also contains Yoyogi Park, a favorite during cherry blossoms and on sweet summer nights. Those looking for a little more respite may prefer Ebisu, a refined neighborhood full of excellent dining options and late-night drinking spots that never sacrifices ease of commute for peaceful living.
Shinjuku is another neighborhood famous for its intense crowds, but like Shibuya, there are some hidden gem neighborhoods peppered throughout the ward. The Keio New Line, built in 1978 to connect the rapidly growing inner neighborhoods to suburban Tokyo, boasts the grown-up Hatsudai, eclectic Hatagaya, and homey Sasazuka stations.
These three neighborhoods are known for their small, local atmosphere– you’d never guess that bustling Shinjuku station and its two million train passengers a day are anywhere close by.
Old meets new in these areas. An artisan gelato shop shares walls with tiny cigarette stalls and vintage clothing stores.
This is an excellent choice for those looking to go a little off the beaten path to reap big rewards in their life in Tokyo. On the other side of the ward is Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the first national parks in Tokyo and a sight to behold in the fall. Runners and fitness heads revel in the beautiful scenery, and those working in Shinjuku need not bother with the chaos that is rush hour.
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The Roppongi area is known for its incredibly vibrant nightlife and long history of being one of the most foreigner-friendly areas in Japan. Azabu-juban, located right next to Roppongi, is the diplomatic center of Tokyo and boasts upscale markets, restaurants, and shopping options along lush, quiet pathways.
This is also a great area for families, with several international schools and playgrounds and English speaking
doctors and pharmacies. If you play as hard as you work, you’ll love the crazy energy of Roppongi, the place that never sleeps. In the daytime, it’s shopping mall heaven– at night, you can dance the night away and drink until you can’t see the sun. Both offer excellent commutes to most major business centers in Tokyo, so you’re never far away from where you need to be.
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Ginza has been famous for hundreds of years as the center of luxury and wealth in Tokyo, and is a favorite of the imperial family. This also offers several of the city’s big entertainment options, such as the traditional Kabuki-za theatre and the newer Takarazuka theatre. Ginza Six is one of the largest luxury shopping malls in Tokyo and boasts several exclusive boutiques like Manolo Blahnik and Valentino.
Ginza is also close to both Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace, meaning there’s no shortage of natural beauty, should you wish to take a break out of this bustling metropolis in the heart of the city.Lastly it is also close to Tokyo station which makes it a great place to live in if you are planning of travelling frequently!
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This is one of the oldest areas in Tokyo, and harbors some of the centers of culture in downtown Tokyo. Ueno park has many of Tokyo’s most popular museum attractions, from Natural History to the National Museum of Art. Ueno Park is vast, and boasts one of the most beautiful cherry blossom walks in the city.
Just a short walk over the water lies Ryogoku, the home of sumo wrestling and one of the more tranquil areas in the old town. Nippori is on the outskirts of the suburbs, and is a favorite of hobbyists everywhere for its incredible selection of fabrics in the quaint shops that line the well preserved traditional streets.
Tokyo’s diverse and rich culture means there’s room for everyone– no matter where you are, stay safe, and enjoy your beautiful oasis in one of the hippest cities in the world! If you are planning of moving to Tokyo or currently finding a new place to stay in Tokyo, why not check out some of the best serviced apartments in Tokyo at MetroResidences!
All of our apartments are located in central Tokyo with all of them being close to it’s nearest train stations ensuring that your apartments are in a great location! So, if you are planning to live in Japan feel free to contact us and we are sure to get back to you immediately!