I am "C", an editorial staff who have been thinking about living in Tokyo just like the Kashiwagi house in the Japanese TV series "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" (Under One Roof) ever since I watched the show when I was young.

Among those who think "I like Tokyo more than having three meals a day!", or "There is not a single day I don't dream of going to Tokyo (especially after COVID-19)!", I am sure many of them are FUN! JAPAN readers. But are you really familiar with Tokyo?

Which wards are bustling with foreign residents?
Which ward has the most expensive rent in Tokyo?
Which wards are crowded with the riches?

Only by knowing these answers can you say that you really like Tokyo! That's why I'd like to dedicate this to those who love Tokyo all over the world, and I've summarized the things that make traveling to Tokyo even more fun if you know them in a ranking style. If you read this article, you also have a Ph.D. in the 23 wards of Tokyo!

But first, What is the 23 wards of Tokyo? Before we start, let's read these articles and review Tokyo.

Which Wards are Bustling with Foreign Residents?

Which Wards are Bustling with Foreign Residents?

First of all, let's get a grasp on "how many foreigners live in Tokyo?"

According to the "Population of Tokyo (estimated) (*1)" released by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of General Affairs in January 2022, the total population of Tokyo is estimated to be about 14 million as of January 2022. Among these, the foreign population is about 520,000 (*2), and when calculated as a percentage, it can be seen that about 3.7% are foreigners.

Next, let's take a look at "Which wards are bustling with foreign residents?"
According to the same report as above, the top three wards are as follows.

Edogawa Ward
(Kasai, Koiwa, Hirai, etc.)
Shinjuku Ward
(Shinjuku, Shin-Okubo, Takadanobaba, etc.)
Adachi Ward
(Kitasenju, Ayase, Toneri, etc.)

Edogawa Ward (1st place) and Adachi Ward (3rd place) are areas that are known to have cheap living expenses and rent prices even in Tokyo, despite having good access to the city center (rents are explained in detail below). On the other hand, Shinjuku Ward, which ranks second, is home to Japanese language schools and vocational schools, so it is thought that foreign students often live in the surrounding area. (The location used to shoot "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" as Kashiwagi house is also a private house in Shinjuku Ward!)

Which Wards are Bustling with Foreign Residents?
Shin-Okubo in Shinjuku Ward

In addition, Nishikasai, also known as "Little India," is located in Edogawa Ward, and Shin-Okubo, also known as "Korean Town," is located in Shinjuku Ward. Each country has its own community - think Indian restaurants and food stores scattered throughout "Little India." Even some stores have staff who do not speak Japanese at all, and may be able to shop by speaking only Indian!

If we look at each nationality / region (*3):

Country / Region

South Korea 

By the way, the city with the largest number of foreign residents in Japan is surprisingly not Tokyo but Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture (*4). It seems that many Chinese and Vietnamese live there because they can access Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc. using JR trains without changing trains and the housing cost is relatively low.

  • *1: From "Statistics of Tokyo (Population of Tokyo (estimated))", Statistics Division, Bureau of General Affairs
  • *2: From "Households and Population Reiwa Year 4 Based on the Basic Resident Register", Statistics Division, Bureau of General Affairs
  • *3: From "Population of foreigners by nationality / region by ward / city / town / village (top 10 countries / regions)", Statistics Division, Bureau of General Affairs
  • *4: From "(Appendix) Top 100 Municipalities of Foreign Residents" Statistics of Foreign Residents: End of June 2021, the Immigration Bureau of Japan

Which Wards are Crowded with the Riches? Which Wards have the Highest Rents?

In a street interview of "Getsuyou kara Yofukashi" (Monday Late Night Show) in the past, a Setagaya ward inhabitant once said: "(People living in Setagaya Ward) are rich people. The dignity is certainly different (ha ha ha)." Whether residents of Setagaya Ward are rich, let's look at the data on annual income and rent together.

Which Wards are Crowded with the Riches? Which Wards have High Rents?
The townscape of Minato Ward

Here is the ranking based on the data (*5 & *6) of the Statistics Bureau of Japan, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Average Annual Income (Yen)
Minato Ward
(Shinagawa, Shimbashi, Omotesando, etc.)
About 11.6 million
Chiyoda Ward
(Akihabara, Otemachi, Tokyo, etc.)
About 10.05 million
Shibuya Ward
(Shibuya, Harajuku, Daikanyama, etc.)
About 8.85 million
Which Wards are Crowded with the Riches? Which Wards have High Rents?
The townscape of Shibuya Ward

Average Rent per 1m²
1stMinato Ward
(Shinagawa, Shimbashi, Omotesando, etc.
About 3,050 yen
Chuo Ward
(Ginza, Nihonbashi, Tsukiji, etc.)
About 2,917 yen
Shibuya Ward
(Shibuya, Harajuku, Daikanyama, etc.)
About 2,855 yen

Needless to say, the average annual income and rental market value in the 23 wards of Tokyo is by far the highest among the 47 prefectures in Japan! Even for a residential rented house of the same size, the monthly rent in Tokyo is 81,001 yen, which is about 30,000 yen higher than the national average of 55,695 yen, and the difference is nearly 50,000 yen when compared to the cheapest average rent of 37,863 yen in Kagoshima. Of the top 25 municipalities with the highest average rent, 19 municipalities are also among the Tokyo's 23 wards.

Which Wards are Crowded with the Riches? Which Wards have High Rents?
Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward

Among them, the three central wards (Minato Ward, Chiyoda Ward, Chuo Ward) are not only crowded with government agencies, head offices of large corporations, and financial institutions, but are also the centers of capital function and national power, having locations such as the Imperial Palace, the National Diet, and the State Guest House (Akasaka Palace). The average annual income of Setagaya Ward, where the so-called "Rich People" lived, is about 5.6 million yen, ranking 7th, but just like the quote "Behind an able man there are always other able men" says, Minato Ward and Chiyoda Ward rank top with an average of more than 10 million yen. If you take the cityscape of high-class residential areas and high-rise tower condominiums into consideration, everyone is convinced. In addition, Adachi Ward (about 3.47 million yen), the lowest among the 23 wards, has a difference of about 8.15 million yen from Minato Ward, the highest, you can clearly see that even though they are in Tokyo all the same, the annual income gap between them is big enough to buy one used Ferrari.

Even within Shibuya Ward, which has a strong image of a shopping sanctuary, there are actually many high-class residential areas and high-class condominiums in places such as Shoto and Hiroo, and they are just one step away from the downtown area. By the way, Minato Ward, Chiyoda Ward, and Shibuya Ward also occupy the top three in the national ranking. As expected from Tokyo!

Extra: Which Wards have the Cheapest Rents?

Extra: Which Wards have the Cheap Rent?
Townscape of Edogawa Ward

The farther away from the city center where businesses are concentrated, the lower the rent. Of the 23 wards, Edogawa Ward, Katsushika Ward, Adachi Ward, Nerima Ward and Itabashi Ward are all relatively affordable at less than 60,000 yen (*7) for a one-room studio apartment. Additionally, if the rent is cheap, there is a high possibility that the hotel is also cheap as well. Be sure to use this information when you travel to Japan next time!

  • *5: From "Reiwa Year 2 Taxable Standard Amount, Income Discount by Stage, etc.", Statistics Bureau of Japan, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
  • *6: From "Heisei Year 30 Housing and Land Statistics Survey Results", Statistics Bureau of Japan, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
  • *7: From "Rent Market Value: Tokyo". National Federation of Real Estate Transaction Associations

Tokyo 23 Wards Rankings Series will continue!

There are still many rankings related to Tokyo's 23 wards, such as "which wards do Japanese people want to live in?", "which wards are safe, which are dangerous?", and so on! If you read the article on FUN! JAPAN, you may be able to discover a new side of Tokyo that you may not even know!?