By JI HEE SONG
When it comes to deciding where to live, countless agonizing days await, weighing the pros and cons to make the best choice. It is even harder to reach a conclusion if there is a wide range of choices particularly like in Tokyo. Tokyo, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world, is divided into 23 special wards and 26 cities, each with its own atmospheres.
To rescue those wonderers, Japan’s real estate agent SUUMO conducts its annual report on the best neighborhood in Tokyo that locals would most want to live in. Started in 2010, this year’s survey is based on a questionnaire of 3,996 people across Tokyo areas (including those living in a.k.a. “Greater Tokyo Area”) aging from 20 to 49.
Take a look at top 5 finalists from SUUMO’s 2017 research.
(SUUMO’s 2017 survey score 346)
Shinagawa is wide awake at night. Photo by Toshihiro Oimatsu | Wikimedia Commons.
Shinagawa, a central hub for transportation and businesses is making its first appearance in the top 5. It ranks second for the station with the most number of train lines in Tokyo and also a center of western style businesses, especially known as the birthplace of SONY.
The construction of a new station, “Shinagawa New Station” and shops attracted the Tokyo locals to choose it. Last September, there was an announcement on the construction of a new station between Shinagawa and Tamachi station (expected to open in 2020) and many shops have recently opened inside ‘Shinagawa Dining Terrace’ and ‘Food&Time Isetan’ which makes this neighbourhood convenient not only for transportation but also for living.
(SUUMO’s 2017 survey score 366)
A beautiful Cherry Blossom by Meguro River. Photo by K H | Wikimedia Commons.
This cozy, quiet and convenient district has always been loved by Tokyo locals. A large residential district in southwest Tokyo, Meguro is favorably situated for transportation, located on the JR Yamanote line. However, the relaxing atmosphere of Meguro makes it hard to believe that it is only two-stations away from incessantly busy Shibuya. Famous cafes and shops along with an abundance of green spaces attract many Tokyo locals to dream of living there.
(SUUMO’s 2017 survey score 460)
In the Darkness, Yokohama shines the brightest. Photo by inoc | Wikimedia Commons.
Although it is not actually part of Tokyo prefecture, its appealing flavor and history is charming enough to make Yokohama ranked third for three years in a row. Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city with a population of over three million and was one of the first ports opened up to foreign trade which is still retained today in its international architecture. Minato Mirai, the central business district of Yokohama, is the most modernized area in Kanagawa prefecture with only office buildings and apartments that have been built in the last 30 years. From large shopping malls to beautiful oceanic scenery, it is no wonder that Yokohama is favored by locals.
(SUUMO’s 2017 survey score 511)
Shining Christmas in Ebisu. Photo by Kakidai | Wikimedia Commons.
Last year’s winner had to step down this time. Ebisu where many headquarters of many international companies and embassies are located nearby, was ranked second on the 2017 survey. Located on the JR Yamanote line and Hibiya Line, only a station away from Shibuya and Roppongi, Ebisu is also an accessible place inside Tokyo. Furthermore, a high-end but relaxing atmosphere with favorable amenities including Yebisu Garden Place, a major entertainment, retail and office complex, explains why Ebisu is favored by Tokyo residents.
(SUUMO’s 2017 survey score 586)
Relaxing Atmosphere of Kichijoji is always beloved. Photo by author.
Kichijoji reclaims its throne in this year’s rankings, which is no surprise considering it was No.1 from 2013 to 2015. Situated in the western suburbs of Tokyo, Kichijoji is an ideal choice for residence as it is close enough to the central wards, yet far enough to stay calm and peaceful. JR Chuo line and Keio Inokashira line link Kichijoji directly with central parts inside Tokyo making it convenient to live. At the same time, it is a fashionable neighborhood with many unique restaurants and shops and is also home to the famous Ghibli Museum and harmonious Inokashira Park.