Living in Tokyo: Residential & Commercial Area Guide
Welcome to the PLAZA HOMES guide to living in Tokyo, which aims to provide you an overview of the Tokyo area from two distinct perspectives. Click on “Commercial Area” to discover where Tokyo’s major business hubs are located; Click on “Residential Area” to gain perspective on the best places to live.
Working in Tokyo: Business District Guide
Tokyo is the center of Japanese commerce and government. In addition to housing the central government as well as various other capital and administrative functions, the head offices of many prominent companies are also located here. Many foreign companies are based in the Central Area of the Tokyo's 23 wards such as Otemachi, Roppongi, Akasaka, and Nihonbashi by type of industry. Because we understand that being familiar with each business district could be a major factor in deciding whether or not to begin living and working in Tokyo, we would like to introduce each one of them in detail here.
Core government bodies including the Imperial Palace, the National Diet Building, the Prime Minister’s office and residence, and the Supreme Court are located in Chiyoda Ward, as are corporate offices. Tokyo Station is surrounded by Marunouchi, Otemachi, Hibiya and Ginza and is the center of business in Japan. Major Chiyoda Ward areas are the famous Akihabara district, the Kanda business district, and the historical Nihonbashi area. Other business centers include the Kioicho, Kojimachi, Yotsuya and Nagatacho areas.
Chuo Ward houses the Bank of Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and a concentration of major financial companies. It boasts new commercial facilities in Nihonbashi/Kyobashi and Muromachi as well as revitalized businesses adjacent to Tokyo Station. Ginza, Tokyo’s prestigious shopping district, offers long-established department stores and high class brand boutiques. One of the world’s largest fish markets, called Tsukiji, features local delicacies such as “monja yaki” and is a popular tourist destination within Chuo Ward.
Minato Ward is home to many foreign corporations and embassies as well as international residents, making it the most international area in Japan. Minato Ward includes business and large-scale redevelopment districts such as Toranomon, Shimbashi, Shiodome, Shiba and Daiba; and commercial areas such as Aoyama, Akasaka and Roppongi. Foreign companies which establish their headquarters in these areas can enjoy benefits such as local tax discounts, deregulation, financial support, business and living support, etc.
In Shibuya Ward, trendy shopping areas such as Daikanyama, Ebisu, Shibuya, Aoyama and Omotesando surround the Shibuya Station area within walking distance. You can also find rich greenery thanks to Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. Large-scale business redevelopment is underway in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, aiming to recreate the city as a hub of international tourism on the cutting edge of Japanese youth culture. Services for foreign residents are expected to improve.
In Shinagawa Ward, the rich history of traditional Japanese architecture meets the modernity of commercial and residential high rises. The eastern part of the ward faces Tokyo Bay, a contemporary waterfront. Major companies gather at Gate City and ThinkPark, Osaki Station’s newly redeveloped commercial areas. In addition to numerous embassies, high-class residential areas dot Shinagawa Ward’s hilly landscape. The northern areas around JR Meguro and Gotanda Stations are commercial business hubs surrounded by grand old homes.
Shinjuku Ward is the largest commercial and amusement area in Japan, a major hub where Tokyo’s main train JR Yamanote and JR Chuo lines intersect. High-rises, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, tower above Nishi-Shinjuku. Southern Shinjuku features Shinjuku Gyoen Garden and Meiji Jingu Shrine Gaien (Outer Garden), each providing relaxing contrast to the surrounding hustle and bustle. Shinjuku Ward encompasses the old commercial areas of Iidabashi and Kagurazaka, as well as Waseda, home of the famed university.
Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, where the core functions of politics and public administration are centered. The Diet building, the Prime Minister's office, the Supreme Court, and each ministry and government office are located here.
The head offices of many major companies are concentrated in Tokyo and it is the industrial center in every field. Culture, fashion, food and other trends are disseminated from Tokyo to other parts of the country and the world, and it is always crowded with a lot of tourists from both inside and outside the country.
Tokyo: An International City
Foreign embassies and many foreign companies are based here, hence the reason why so many foreigners are living in Tokyo today.
In recent years government initiated programs such as the plan to “reinforce Tokyo as an international business center” and the foundation of “special districts for inviting foreign companies” are ongoing, and at the same time improvement of the infrastructure of transportation networks is underway for the Olympics that will be held in 2020. Furthermore, the government is planning to change guide displays and signs to multi-language and also increase the facilities and services that are multilingual so that foreigners can live more comfortably and conveniently.