Moving to Tokyo? Real estate agent picks five best neighborhoods for single residents

real estate

RocketNews 24 (by Preston Phro):

Tokyo is a big place, both in terms of population and area, and if you’re moving here from anywhere else, you might be at a bit of a loss in terms of where to look for an apartment. Obviously, a large part of that decisions is up to personal preference, but we do happen to have some advice for areas to look at if this will be your first time living alone!

These five areas were selected by a local real estate agent, so you know they must be good, right?

1. Nakano

Nakano_Oka1

For a lot of youngsters moving to (or already living in) Tokyo, Kichijoji is the place to be, but it’s also fairly expensive. So, our real estate friend said, “If you want to live in Kichijoji no matter what, I would definitely recommend the Nakano area, as it’s on the same train line as Kichijoji. The neighborhood gives you access to not only JR train lines but also subways, making it a really convenient place. It’s been popular with students for a long time, and there are a lot of treasures to be dug up if you look.

Rents in the Nakano area tend to range from quite high to extremely cheap, so you can be sure to find something that fits your budget. There are also plenty of shops and supermarkets in the area, making it all the more convenient. Similar places would be Koenji, Ogikubo, Asagaya, and Higashi-Nakano.

2. Komagome and Tabata

Komagome Station

Generally, living near the JR Yamanote Line, which circles the heart of downtown Tokyo, means paying a lot in rent, but the Komagome and Tabata areas are (relatively) inexpensive. People generally don’t think of either area when they think of the Yamanote Line, but they do, in fact, have stations on it. Also, they’re close to lively Shinjuku, making it easier to go out for a drink whenever you feel like!

Our real estate agent told us, “They’re not the most glamorous areas, but they have plenty of shops and supermarkets, so they’re by no means inconvenient. And they’re not too expensive either. Komagome in particular has green spaces like Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa gardens, in addition to temples and shrines, making it a good place to take a stroll on your days off.”

3. Sumiyoshi

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Apparently people aren’t too familiar with the Sumiyoshi area, even people living in Tokyo. However, it has stations on both the Hanzomon and Shinjuku lines, so you can get wherever you want to go pretty easily. Even better, you can get to Otemachi, Shibuya, and Shinjuku without changing trains!

Like most of the places on this list, the Sumiyoshi area has supermarkets and shops, as well as lots of greenery in places like Sarueonshi Park. “It’s a popular area for families,” the real estate agent told us, “but there are also a variety of places for people living alone.” It’s apparently gotten a bit more expensive in the last few years as its popularity has grown, but it’s still reasonable and convenient.

4. Kamata

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This area is kind of close to Kanagawa Prefecture (which is actually a plus if you’re keen to spend your weekends at the temples of Kamakura or seaside parks in Yokohama), but access to the Tokyo city center isn’t too bad. The area right around the station feels fairly busy but not so far away from it things are pretty quiet and rents aren’t too expensive. There are a lot of inexpensive but good restaurants around the station, so it’s pretty convenient for people living alone.

Access to the city center isn’t the best, but Ikegami and Hasunuma, which are accessible from Kamata on the Tokyu Ikegami line, are worth checking out. Due to the less-than-ideal public transportation options, rent is cheaper, so if you can’t find what you want in Kamata, these two areas might be worth a look.

5. Asakusa

Hozomon_and_pagoda,_Sensoji_Temple,_Asakusa,_Tokyo

People tend to think of Asakusa as a tourist area, but it does also have a lot of residences. As you might expect, rent around Sensoji temple and the station is expensive, but if you head towards Tawaramachi or Iriya, there are plenty of inexpensive places,” we were told. And, in addition to Sensoji and the shopping/dining area around it, there are also plenty of restaurants elsewhere in Asakusa, too.

Apparently there isn’t much in the north part of the Asakusa area, so if you want to make the most of living in Asakusa, our real estate friend told us that places close to Asakusa, Tawaramachi, Inaricho, and Iriya stations are highly recommended.

Final thoughts

Our real estate agent left us with some good general advice. While people moving to Tokyo probably want to live in the famous places they’ve already heard of, they’re also the most expensive. If your selected area has a mixture of JR lines and subway lines, it probably won’t be inconvenient at all to get to those glamorous high-rent districts for a day out (or a day in the office), and you will have an easier time living in the city when you rent isn’t through the roof.

Other recommended locations were: Kotake-mukaehara, Machiya, Koiwa, Akabane, and Kiba. Also, we were told that places like Nezu and Sendagi, which have a lot of history and older shops and temples, are places where you can enjoy putting down roots of your own.

Tokyo Halloween revelers descend on Shibuya, and urged to be the “cleanest Halloween in the world”

Japan Times: 

Thousands of revelers dressed up in wild costumes and wearing makeup swarmed Hachiko Square in front of Tokyo’s JR Shibuya Station on Saturday evening to celebrate Halloween.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department mobilized hundreds of riot police for the event this year.

Last year, two people were arrested. One was detained for punching a police officer while the other was taken into custody for molesting a woman. Earlier in the day, singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu called on partygoers in the capital to keep the streets clean as a large quantity of litter was expected to result from the gathering.

I want everyone to help keep the streets clean, using these bags (provided by the city),” the singer said in front of Tokyo Tower in Minato Ward.

The event was organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to raise awareness by handing out orange jack-o’-lantern-themed garbage bags.

When you have fun, there will be lots of garbage,” the singer said. “I want to see people in the streets fill the bags in a kawaii (cute) way.

The event formed part of a campaign dubbed “Halloween & Tokyo,” under the slogan of “cleanest Halloween in the world.”

The bags were handed out near stations and large road crossings in busy districts such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Roppongi.

During last year’s boisterous Halloween celebrations, a large quantity of litter, such as drink cans, were thrown on the ground by revelers, prompting the metropolitan government to launch this year’s campaign.

the POOL aoyama (Japan) x ION Audio Portable Turntable

Hiroshi Fujiwara’s concept store the POOL aoyama has collaborated with US-based electronics company ION Audio to present this stylish portable turntable device. Equipped with a built-in speaker for playback, iPad compatibility and a pitch control function, the small device is the perfect alternative to bulky home stereo set-ups.

Fujiwara, who recently opened a Tokyo-based pop-up store for the POOL aoyama, completes the device with stylish, all-black and minimalist packaging. Pick up the Pool aoyama x ION Audio Portable Turntable for around $212 USD if you’re in Japan or online here.

the POOL shinjuku
1/F Isetan Shinjuku
3-14-1 Shinjuku
Tokyo 160-0022
Japan

mastermind x Porter (Japan) 80th Anniversary capsule collection

Hiroshi Fujiwara to open the POOL shinjuku

Just over a year after unveiling his POOL concept retail door in Aoyama, Hiroshi Fujiwara is preparing to extend the franchise with a new location in Shinjuku. Over the course of its existence, the POOL aoyama did well to set a precedent of innovation and excellence, creating truly rare installation experiences such as a White Mountaineering collaborative pop-up and vintage streetwear trunk show.

Perhaps in the temporary spirit of the store though, Fujiwara recently announced that the store will shutter its doors in April 2016. The announcement of the POOL shinjuku, then, represents the second phase of the idea, although for a much shorter period. Running from June 17 through June 22, the Shinjuku location will be located in the heart of Tokyo at the Shinjuku Store Main Building.

Be sure to check back here for a look inside the store as we near the launch date.

SHOES MASTER Vol. 23 (Japan)

Japanese footwear magazine SHOES MASTER is set to release its latest issue, Volume 23, which features the latest topics in sneakers for the 2015 spring/summer season. Inside you can expect to find news covering the latest in sneaker collaborations as well as catalogs of the likes of adidas, New Balance, Reebok, ASICS Tiger and PUMA.

What stood out in particular this past season were the Supreme x Nike collaboration, the adidas Ultra Boost Collective, and the Nike Air Max Zero prototype. Updates on some of the top sneaker shops are also provided, including mita sneakers, BEAMS and UNITED ARROWS. One story announces the upcoming opening of a brand new sneaker boutique at the Isetan Shinjuku Men’s Building in Tokyo. SHOES MASTER launched in spring 2014 and is released biannually at the end of March and the end of September, and it continues to establish itself as one of the world’s leading publications in footwear and sneaker culture.

Watch out for SHOES MASTER Vol. 23 to be released March 30 for approximately $6 USD.

Anna Sui jumps into the world of Sailor Moon fashion with necklaces, earrings, and bags

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RockeyNews 24:

Tokyo’s Isetan is welcoming back Sailor Moon and her magical gal pals. From now until March 31, the department store chain’s Shinjuku branch is offering a special lineup of fashion items based on the hit anime. Previously, we’ve looked at the new offerings from Samantha Vega, Honey Bunch, and Riccimie Premiere Salon, all popular Japanese brands.

Now, Anna Sui is getting in on the moon prism action, with a selection of coolly feminine bags and accessories inspired by the Sailor Senshi.

In contrast to the bright pastels of Samantha Vega’s Sailor Moon collection, Anna Sui’s aims for a more mature allure. The front of the 21,000 yen (US$176) compact head necklace takes the lines of Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, but recolors them in the trademark Anna Sui purple, with the designer’s name appearing on the back. Similarly, the Key of Space-Time necklace (16,000 yen) has an ornate, almost gothic look to it.

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Even though Sailor Moon is the star, she’s hardly the only popular character from the franchise. If you’ve got a soft spot for other members of the ensemble cast, you can show them some love with these 18,500-yen Luna and Artemis earrings (featuring black cat Luna on the front and white kitty Artemis on the back) or the 21,000-yen pearl catch earrings, featuring the image colors and celestial symbols for Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

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Your wrists won’t have to feel left out either, with the 19,000-yen ribbon bracelet and its charms shaped like the Crisis Moon Compact and Inner Senshi celestial marks. Rounding off the wearables, the 12,000-yen Anna Sui Sailor Moon logo T-shirt provides perhaps the biggest sticker shock of the lineup, while the set of five clear files for 1,600 yen is the most budget-friendly option.

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Of course, unless you have Sailor Moon-style magical powers that allow you to summon whatever special items you need out of thin air, you probably require something in your daily life with more carrying capacity than the files provide. Once again, Anna Sui has the answer, or actually two, with these leather bags adorned with celestial mark charms, the smaller of which (pictured on the right) is priced at 32,000 yen.

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Not only will they hold your wallet, keys, and phone, there should also be some space left over in case you find something else you just have to have while shopping at Isetan.

Shop information
Sailor Moon X Isetan Shop
Address:
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-14-1
Isetan Shinjuku Main Building 3rd floor Center Park Stage #3
東京都新宿区新宿3−14−1
伊勢丹新宿店本館3階 センターパークステージ#3
Open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Website