This introduction is for students coming to Tokyo who have yet to decide where to live. There are surprisingly many options for good transportation and housing. It could be confusing for you to choose what area to live in, but I think the environment you surround yourself with is of utmost importance . Common issues we hear about: It’s…
・Difficult to make Japanese friends
・Difficult to study because of the noise, etc.
・So expensive to pay the rent
That’s why I’d like to recommend some great places. My recommendations are based on price, location, availability of housing, etc. Of course, as we are all students, the following will only include relatively inexpensive options.
１. Waseda (早稲田)
Waseda is one of the famous areas for students because of how convenient it is. The frst reason is that Shinjuku(新宿), Harajuku(原宿) and Ikebukuro(池袋) are all nearby. You can get to any of these places within about 10 minutes by train. Moreover, this town is relatively quiet and calm despite its urban nature.
The second reason is that there are lot of yummy restaurants around here, especially for ramen and Izakaya bars. You can get around to these places easily on foot, without having to take the train or bus. Plus you will be able to meet many Japanese students and talk casually. If you worry about Tokyo’s transportation, I recommend you to live here where everything you need is close by.
Q: Which train will take you here?
⇒Tozai Line which starts from Nakano(中野)
My second recommendation is Shimokitazawa. It takes only 15 minutes to get to Shinjuku(新宿), Shibuya (渋谷) and Kichijoji (吉祥寺) by train. There’re lots of Japanese people here because this is one of the most fashionable areas in Tokyo. Have you ever heard “Furugi”? Furugi refers to cheap and antique clothing. It’s kind of the Japanese traditional fashion style. If you want Japanese clothes, you should go shopping here, where window shopping is also entertaining. People who like clothing and fashion should live here. There are also unique coffee shops to visit and spend time in. It could be a great to talk and take a rest.
Q: Which train(s) will get you here?
⇒Odakyu line which starts from Shinjuku,
Inogashira line which starts from Shibuya
My third recommendation is Sangenjaya. It is near Shibuya(渋谷), so it takes only 5 minutes to get there by train or 20 minutes by bicycle. There’re also lots of yummy and unique restaurants, as this area is developing more and more. However you can go to a big park calling Komazawa Koen by bicycle within 10 minutes. You can exercise, play soccer or tennis, and jog. Above all, there’re some football competitions held here. If you want to play sports in great environment, I recommend you move here.
Q: Which train will get you here?
⇒Tokyu Denentoshi line which starts from Shibuya(渋谷)
The next recommendation is Nerimatakanodai in Nerima-ku. This is actually my hometown, but it’s actually a place I definitely recommend for you as Nerima is the most natural place among Tokyo’s central 23 wards. One thing I recommend is walking to the park Shakujii Koen. It’s a traditional Japanese park ripe with cherry blossoms. It is just 5 minutes from Nerimatakanodai on foot. If you don’t like crowded places, this town will make you feel comfortable, and allow you to concentrate on studying, etc.
This location is 15 minutes from Ikebukuro (池袋). You can also go to Shinjuku (新宿), Shibuya (渋谷) and Yokohama (横浜) by one train directly. This town is for students who want a more quiet atmosphere, and to focus on studying.
Q: Which train will take you here?
⇒Seibu ikebukuro line which starts from Ikebukuro.
5. Nippori (日暮里)
Finally, my last recommendation is Nippori. Have you ever heard of it? This area is close to Ueno(上野), Asakusa(浅草) and Akihabara(秋葉原). You can go to these tourist spots within 25 minutes by bicycle, or within 15 minutes by train. As you know, Akihabara is a big cultural town in Tokyo, famous for electronics, anime paraphernalia, etc. If you really like Japanese anime, you should consider living here. The price and general environment are fantastic as well.
Q: Which trains will take you here?
⇒Yamanote line, which meanders around the center of Tokyo
Keisei line, which goes to Ueno and Narita International Airport
There are countless places to consider when choosing a place to live in Tokyo. It’s up to you where you end up choosing to stay, but as I said, wherever you choose, your living environment is vitally important if you plan on staying and studying in Japan for a long time. I hope this advice will be valuable for you as you research locations and eventually make your decision.