COMFORTABLE FAMILY LIVING
Just a short commute south west of Shibuya and Meguro are some of Tokyo’s premier suburban neighborhoods. You will be pleasantly surprised to find such an oasis of family living and comfort so close to the city center. Here you will find quiet residential blocks with spacious suburban homes in an array of tasteful styles, gardens, parks, upscale shopping, and some of Tokyo’s best international schools. For those who value a home-centered, family-oriented life in an international atmosphere then this upscale area is the place for you. This area is more economical – you will be able to get more space and possibly a garden or yard for the same rent as central Tokyo.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Southwest Tokyo, now known as the “burbs” of Tokyo, began to develop in the early 1900s as the vision of developer Eichi Shibusawa. He bought and named the area Denenchofu with a plan to create a “garden suburb” designed after some of the suburban developments in other major cities at the time. His idea gained more than adequate success, but the garden suburb truly began to boom after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Central Tokyo was leveled but Denenchofu remained virtually undamaged. Soon after many broad-minded Tokyoites bought into the idea, giving birth to what is now often called the “Beverly Hills” of Tokyo. Today Denenchofu and the surrounding areas are continuing to benefit from Shibusawa’s idea as throughout the entire area parks, greenery, and leisure facilities abound.
SHOPPING & RECREATION
Throughout suburban southwest Tokyo, there is no shortage of parks, shops, and leisure facilities. Places to shop, eat, play, or simply go for a stroll are never far away. Residents and their families can easily enjoy the green open spaces of Komazawa Olympic Park or the Tama River for barbecues, picnics, dog walking, and weekend sports. Boutiques and gourmet eateries can even be found on many side streets around these neighborhoods. There are several supermarkets which offer both Japanese and international foods within walking distance or a short drive from most of these residential neighborhoods. Jiyugaoka is perhaps the most notable of these areas for its many trendy shops and boutiques. To the north-east, Futago Tamagawa offers great shopping around the station and at the Takashimaya Shopping Mall.
THE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS
These areas actually collectively span from western Meguro, to Setagaya and Ota wards and are nestled around stations on the Ooimachi, Denentoshi, Meguro, and Toyoko train lines, (the main lines which service Western Tokyo). Two of the most popular of these areas is Denenchofu and Jyugaoka; which are located along the Toyoko line just 12-15 minutes from Shibuya. Denenchofu, is truly the original and perhaps the most prestigious “garden suburb”, with tree-lined avenues of elegant homes surrounded by manicured gardens. This is a town that truly lives up to its name.
Just to the south-east of Jyugaoka, is Senzokuike, which is also a popular choice for expats being close to Senzoku Park, which has a pond, and well situated on the bus route for the Deutsche Schule Tokyo Yokohama. It offers very easy access to central Tokyo – it is only 15 minutes from Gotanda on the Tokyu Ikegami line (Gotanda is on the JR Yamanote Line that circles central Tokyo).
Along the Ooimachi train line from Jyugaoka going west there are the popular family areas of Oyamadai, Todoroki, Kaminoge, and Futago-Tamagawa, which are between 4-10 minutes from Jyugaoka, close to international schools, and situated along the bank of the Tama River – the natural border between Tokyo and the neighboring prefecture of Kawasaki. The Seta residential area, close to Kaminoge station, is popular for families because it’s just a short walk to St. Mary’s International School.
Just to the north-east of these areas is Fukasawa and Sakurashinmachi; popular areas known for their many parks, lower population density, and excellent schools (Seisen International School is located here). Sakurashinmachi is well located between Baji, Komazawa, and Kinuta parks on the Tokyu Denentoshi line with easy access to Shibuya by train or car. Fukasawa is also convenient for transportation – from any point you’re only a brief walk to at least one train station. With tree-lined streets, quiet neighborhoods, and a mix of impressive Western and Japanese-style homes, these areas are favored by both Japanese and foreign residents alike.