6 Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in Tokyo

There are many things to consider when you move to Japan as an expat and, if you are moving with your family, settling down in a family-friendly neighborhood in Tokyo might be one of them.

We’ve compiled a list of our top six picks for Tokyo family-friendly neighborhoods, looking at atmosphere and proximity to necessities such as international schools, parks, train stations, and entertainment that is fun for the entire family.

1. Azabu / Roppongi 

This area has historically been and continues to be, a very foreigner-friendly place, famous for its high-end shopping and leisure, restaurants, and art museums. Azabu and parts of the neighboring Roppongi area are a comfortable place to settle if your family does not speak Japanese and would find English signage helpful on the street and in restaurants. This great, downtown location is within commuting distance of popular international schools including Tokyo International School, Nishimachi International School, Willowbrook International School, and Montessori School of Tokyo.

Azabu and Roppongi are located in Minato

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2. Koujimachi

A high-class and foreigner-friendly neighborhood, Koujimachi is located west of the Imperial Palace. Koujimachi is similar to the Azabu/Roppongi area but instead of brand names and bars, it has a deep history and traditions. The area has been politically important since the Edo period and continues to be a political hub with a large number of embassies and international businesses in the vicinity. This quiet, residential district is ideal for anyone with an affinity for old Japan.

Koujimachi is located in Chiyoda

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Areas with embassies have the most international schools.

3. Hatsudai

Although Hatsudai is located in Shibuya Ward, it is just one stop (or a ten-minute walk) away from Shinjuku station. What it lacks in high rise buildings it makes up in charm. Hatsudai has a fantastic retro art style that comes out in the local dining and apartments. This neighborhood has plenty of parks and a reputation for being a very safe neighborhood, making it an ideal place to live with a family.

Hatsudai is located in Shibuya 

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4. Sangenjaya

Located a stone’s throw from downtown Tokyo, Sangenjaya (also known as Sancha) is a homely area with an abundance of cafes, old shops, 24-hour family restaurants, and greenery. It is a quiet yet convenient place to live, famous for its tight-knit neighborhoods of traditional wooden homes that can help you and your family take a break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo life. Sancha is close to the British School in Tokyo, Seisen International School (girls only), and St. Mary’s International School (boys only).

Sangenjaya is located in Setagaya

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Tokyo may appear gray from afar, however, it’s dotted with hundreds of parks.

5. Jiyugaoka

If a stylish and sophisticated neighborhood is your style, Jiyugaoka is the neighborhood for you. Jiyugaoka is a gorgeous area with a strong European influence that comes out in its numerous trendy cafes and storefronts. With authentic Italian architecture sitting alongside traditional shrines and tea houses and ample wide, pedestrian-friendly avenues, Jiyugaoka is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Tokyo. The area is easily accessible by both Shibuya and Yokohama and is within commuting distance of Yokohama International School.

Jiyugaoka is located in Meguro

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6. Yotsuya

Yotsuya is a neighborhood in southeast Shinjuku and the heart of Tokyo with an abundance of parks and easy access to JR and Tokyo Metro stations. The area near the station is being developed to provide multi-functioning facilities with more office, dining, and apartment space. Yotsuya is an excellent place for pedestrians, cyclists, and children who enjoy zipping through the small, back streets. Even the nightlife is relaxed, with small izakaya bars that have been passed from generation to generation.

Yotsuya is located in Shinjuku 

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We hope you have found this article helpful!

Read our other articles about life in Tokyo for families, or contact us to start searching for your new home.