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Best Train Lines for Living in Tokyo: The Ginza Line

If you’re looking for a new apartment with access to Central Tokyo and a vast consumer landscape, check out the Ginza Line.

By 5 min read

When looking for a place to live in Tokyo, you should consider your closest train lines. A train line is more than just your commute to work or school. It’s your connection to the city’s social, commercial and entertainment worlds.

With abundant overland and underground routes, you’ll want to make the best choice from the beginning. Our Best Train Lines for Living in Tokyo series has made exploring your options easy.

Today, let’s take a look at Tokyo Metro’s Ginza Line:

Ginza Line Overview

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It’s hard to miss this bright yellow train passing by.

The Ginza Line has the honor of being Asia’s oldest subway line. When it opened in 1927, the route stretched from Ueno and Asakusa and the remaining stations were added throughout the 20th century.

From its first to the last station, the Ginza Line has 19 stations. It traverses over 14 kilometers and goes through five of Tokyo’s 23 wards: Shibuya, Minato, Chuo, Chiyoda and Taito. On the Ginza Line, you’ll have access to the popular west end, the business and financial core and the lower-key east side.

Ginza Line Commute

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Easy access to downtown Tokyo, like Shibuya and Omotesando.

Rush hour on the Ginza Line is typically from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and it can be particularly hectic.

Four of the busiest Tokyo Metro stations are also located on the Ginza Line:

  • Ginza
  • Shimbashi
  • Ueno
  • Shibuya

Cutting across the edge of East Tokyo’s traditional neighborhoods and through Central Tokyo to Shibuya’s hub of youth culture, the Ginza Line allows you to experience many sides of Tokyo. It also makes commuting from one corner of Tokyo to the other a breeze. Also, several key rail networks can be accessed via stations on the line:

  • JR Yamanote Line: Shibuya, Shimbashi, Ueno-hirokoji and Ueno stations
  • Shinkansen lines: Ueno station
  • Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line: Shimbashi, Nihonbashi and Asakusa stations

Popular Neighborhoods

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From high-end shopping in Omotesando to bargain hunting in Ameyokocho, great finds await.

The Ginza Line is home to several popular neighborhoods for shoppers and diners.

Omotesando

The Omotesando neighborhood comes from the elegant tree-lined boulevard stretching between Harajuku and Aoyama. The area is famous for its luxury brands, with many fashion behemoths like Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton, which have permanent stores and showrooms along the boulevard. The neighborhood also features awe-inspiring architecture, like the multi-faceted mirror entrance to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Mall and high-end shopping complexes, like Omotesando Hills. You will also find many trendy cafes with interiors as gorgeous as the surroundings.

Ameyokocho

Officially known as Ameya-Yokocho, this neighborhood is more commonly called Ameyoko. Emerging from the devastation of World War II with black markets selling sweets and surplus US military supplies, Ameyoko has a long commercial history. Today, the area continues to sell products of all kinds, such as bomber jackets and luxury watches, alongside fresh produce and fashion accessories. Depending on the shop, negotiating prices is allowed, and bargains can be found everywhere.

Ginza

For a stroll through one of the most luxurious parts of Tokyo, head over to Ginza. Following a catastrophic fire in the late 19th century, Ginza was rebuilt with modern brick buildings using the latest technology. Several high-end Japanese and international brands have flagship stores in the area. From fashion titans like Louis Vuitton and Gucci to department stores such as Hankyu and Matsuya, Ginza will please consumers with deep pockets and window shoppers alike. On weekend afternoons, the main street is closed to traffic, allowing pedestrians to enjoy street performers and other temporary attractions.

Three Best Ginza Line Stations for Living in Tokyo

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You’ll never run out of high-quality kitchenware if you live near Kappabashi.

Check out these convenient Ginza Line stations to find your new home.

Asakusa

While Asakusa may bring to mind the tourist-packed hot spot, Senso-ji, there are some less-traveled corners for would-be residents. Located close to the historic entertainment districts in Asakusa and Central Tokyo, the Asakusa station area strikes a good balance between work and leisure, especially for singles and couples. Families may find settling down in the area harder than neighboring wards, such as Arakawa and Sumida, due to the high foot traffic and number of drinking establishments.

Average apartment price 

  • 1K/1DK: ¥80,000
  • 2LDK/3K/3DK: ¥230,000

Local attractions 

  • Senso-ji Temple: A popular Buddhist temple from the 7th century with a famous gate and Nakamise shopping street.
  • Kappabashi Shopping Street – A shopping district where you can find deals on tableware, chopsticks and more.
  • Sumida Park: A park lining both sides of the Sumida River with blooming cherry blossoms in spring and a summer fireworks festival.

Kyobashi

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A hidden oasis amid central Tokyo.

The Kyobashi area was the former heart of old Tokyo’s Shitamachi (traditional name for the area). In contrast to the Yamanote area, home to the city’s elite, Shitamachi was a melting pot filled with artisans and merchants. While these distinctions are less obvious these days, Kyobashi still retains a traditional vibe that’s relatively older and quieter than its counterparts in West Tokyo. You’ll still find old antique shops and mom-and-pop eateries among the office buildings and high-end restaurants.

Average apartment price 

  • 1K/1DK: ¥130,000
  • 2LDK/3K/3DK: ¥280,000

Local attractions 

  • Kotto-dori Street: A street containing antique shops and art galleries.
  • Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Festival: A festival that honors the Nihonbashi Highway with parades, food stalls and performances.
  • National Film Archive of Japan: A museum dedicated to the history of Japanese cinema.

Kanda

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If you catch the bullet train often, Kanda is the best neighborhood.

Kanda is extremely convenient for residents looking to live close to Central Tokyo. While rent is high compared to neighboring areas, its location near Tokyo station can’t be beaten. Kanda boasts a mix of modern office buildings and traditional brick architecture. It’s also possible to find quieter streets with small supermarkets away from the station. With several universities nearby, you will likely cross paths with undergraduate students on your commutes.

Average apartment price 

  • 1K/1DK: ¥100,000
  • 2LDK/3K/3DK: ¥300,000

Local attractions 

  • Kanda Myojin Shrine: A 13th-century shrine that hosts the Kanda Festival, one of the three great festivals in Japan.
  • Maach Ecute Kanda Manseibashi: An old station turned into a shopping street featuring boutiques and restaurants.
  • Holy Resurrection Cathedral: A late-19th-century Eastern Orthodox cathedral.

Do you commute on the Ginza Line? We’d love to hear your experiences below!

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