Shibuya Apartments For Rent – How To Find The Best Deal
When people think of Shibuya, the first image is always the overcrowded scramble intersection which seems fun to visit but not stay. In contrast, Shibuya has a lot of lovely housing options ranging from upper-class condos in the skyscrapers to the low-rise building in more intimate residential areas. The cost of living in such a central location here is clearly expensive. So, this location guide will help you to not only find suitable Shibuya apartments for rent at a good price.
1. Why Shibuya?
1.1 A place to have fun and shop until you drop
Nowhere in Japan offers better and more diverse choices in shopping than Shibuya, especially around Shibuya Station. Young ladies love to visit the iconic 109 Mall or the new Hikarie Mall near the station for affordable fashion pieces while they can pick from luxurious Western brands and designer fashion in Tokyu and Seibu department stores at the same time. Omotesando Boulevard is another good location to shop upper-class products since almost all big-name fashion designers place flagship stores here. And guess what? From Omotesando, it takes you only a 5-minute walk to enter the worldwide famous fashion street, Harajuku.
If you are really into shopping for clothes, you can still make use of the shopping convenience in Shibuya as it has all the most common supermarkets including National Azabu, Seijo Ishii, or Kaldi Coffee Farm.
But no one comes to Shibuya just for shopping, there are tons of other exciting activities to do. With regards to the dining options, one must spend a year exploring all the best eateries, not mentioning the food alleys. Besides, Shibuya is notorious for its concert halls, bar, clubs, izakaya (a Japanese bar that usually serves small, cheap snacks with alcoholic drinks). People come to Shibuya every night to have a cold brew with friends and on special days such as Halloween and New Year’s Eve, party altogether.
1.2 Highly accessible business and technology hub
This is a fact widely known, Shibuya is referred to as the most crowded street in the world thanks to Shibuya station – the second busiest train station. There are 9 train lines from this station to Yokohama which on average take you 35 minutes commuting. Moreover, there are multiple other railway routes that connect Shibuya to every single spot in Tokyo. So living in Shibuya is a truly convenient choice for commuters.
Already a big business area of Tokyo with countless corporation offices, especially technology ones, Shibuya is still growing. Many large-scale redevelopments and construction plans are in progress partly due to the influence of Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 (which was postponed, unfortunately). However, the projects including multi-purpose high-rise building, facilities improvement will finish soon and life in Shibuya will always be at the cutting edge.
Among the 5 central wards of Tokyo, but Shibuya is rather small with an area of 15.11 km2. Shibuya intersects 4 other wards, namely Shinjuku in the north, Meguro in the south, Minato in the east, and the most well-known residential district of Tokyo, Setagaya in the south. Even though Shibuya is extremely crowded, most of these people are commuters and visitors or shoppers, diners. The population in Shibuya is actually moderate, 225,717 people so that means there are 15,200 residents sqm. If you are an ex-pat, you can probably find living in Shibuya comfortable since a large number of people here are just like you (approximately 5% or 10,458 people). As the average age of people here is 43.99, Shibuya is definitely synonymous with younger people. Therefore, it is understandably vibrant and maybe not suitable for people who like peaceful spaces.
Rental prices in Shibuya
Undoubtedly, Shibuya is nowhere near affordable and one of its most costly expenses is the rental price which is only exceeded by that of Minato ward. Leasing a newly-built building will go for about ¥5,200/sqm while the older buildings will cut the cost considerably. For instance, a 10-year-old property cost ¥4,800/sqm and 30-year-old one cost ¥3,850/sqm. On average, tenants pay ¥4,432/sqm in Shibuya.
|Couple 1 bedroom||¥229,900|
|Family 2 bedroom||¥385,500|
2. Where particular to live in Minato?
2.1 Central Shibuya
In the center of Shibuya, lies a busy business-commercial area surrounding the major terminal, Shibuya Station. Once again, the worldwide busiest intersection is situated in front of JR Shibuya Station. This place is a must-see spot in Tokyo, where you can see tourists all over the world. Furthermore, various Japanese pop cultures trend starts here. It seems there is no spare room to live in this area but remember there are high-rise luxury apartment towers that provide a large number of apartments for rent.
Transportation: Shibuya Station (the JR line, the Tokyu Toyoko Line, the Tokyu Denentoshi Line, the Keio Inokashira Line, the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, and the Fukutoshin Line)
Highlight: JR Shibuya Station intersection
Choice of properties: high-rise luxury apartment
2.2 Daikanyama/ Ebisu
Situated at the end of Shibuya ward, lies Daikanyama (Aobadai) which is famous for its upcoming high-end fashion design brands and best fine dining in town. This place combines both the dynamic lifestyle of Shibuya with a more intimate and chic twist. Moving 600 meters to the east, you will reach Ebisu which was nominated by Recruit Sumai Company Ltd. in 2016 as the most appealing location to live. This is no surprise since Ebisu has so many to offer. Everyone in Tokyo loves to come here for a cup of Yebisu beer straight from the factory, eat ramen at Ebisu Station or go sightseeing at the one and only open-air Yebisu Garden. Café hopping or shopping in the vintage shops here are also quite interesting activities.
Concerning the residential area, in the southeast of Ebisu Garden, Chojyamaru is a peaceful place just like in Daikanyama. There are low-rise buildings and attached houses for the family.
Transportation: Ebisu station (JR Yamanote line and Hibiya line), Daikanyama station (Toyoko line)
Highlight: Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama, the Daikanyama Address, Yebisu Garden Place
Choice of properties: high-rise apartment tower (Yebisu Garden), low-rise buildings and attached houses
2.3 Omotesando & Harajuku
As we mentioned above, in Omotesando, stands the most stylish luxurious international boutiques, and just next to it, we have Harajuku, the trendsetter of Tokyo. You can find here the most bizarre fashion trends and many creative fashionistas. Omotesando can offer much quieter residential zones compared to central Shibuya, for example, Jingu-mae and Minami-Aoyama. There are numerous freestanding houses and low-rise condominiums behind the street which are homes to many ex-pats.
Transportation: Omotesando station (Ginza and Hazoumon lines) / JR Harajuku station and Meiji-jingumae station (JR Yamanote line and Chiyoda line))
Highlight: the Omotesando Hills, Harajuku
Choice of properties: freestanding houses and low-rise condominium
2.4 Shoto/ Yoyogi Uehara
If you want to live close to the center along with all of its amenities and want to live in a quiet place among nature at the same time, Shoto is your place. Even though it takes you a short distance to travel from JR Shibuya Station to Shoto in the west, you will be brought to a whole different world. Shoto is like a typical classy spacious suburb with a gently sloping landscape. Fun facts: a lot of successful politicians, businessmen, and celebrities dwelled in this land. There is an esteemed British School in Shoto, so many foreign families also live here.
A little further to the west, Yoyogi Uehara shares most merit with Shoto. It is also an exclusive residential zone suitable for families. The best thing is again the Yoyogi park which literally serves as an urban oasis within the concrete jungle of the capital. Citizens here usually go for a jog or go picnic in Yoyogi Park, which is quite nearby or pay a visit to the Meiji Jingu Shrine on holidays.
Transportation: Shibuya station (JR Yamanote line, Ginza line, Fukutoshin line, Inokashira line, and Tokyu lines) / Yoyogi Koen and Yoyogiuehara station (Chiyoda line)
Highlight: the Yoyogi Park, the Komaba Park, Tokyo University Komaba Campus
Choice of properties: freestanding houses, luxury apartment
3. Tips to find a good deal in Shibuya
Living in central Tokyo is of course nice, especially in the Shibuya area. Fortunately, prices vary quite a bit depending on the neighborhood, so if you check our Tokyo rent map to determine budget-friendly zones, you might be able to save some decent money.
The train is the main transports mode in Shibuya and it doesn’t run 24h so you would prefer to live near the station. This helps you party all night long without worrying about the last train or at least reducing your commuting time and travel cost. However, landlords normally charge much more when it comes to properties in close proximity to stations (5-minute walk). If you wish to save some money and don’t mind exercising in the morning, living farther would do no harm.
Renting a house in Shibuya is truly expensive but with a little good negotiation, you can cut it down. Don’t get me wrong, it is unlikely that you manage to receive a discount on the rental price itself or the deposit. However, you can still get a better deal overall by reducing the extra fees such as key money (non-refundable “gift” to the landlord), guarantor company fee, or agency fee. Some people were caught in the situation that they have to pay double the agency fee (more than 1.5-month renting cost) since their agency doesn’t manage the house the clients want and have to work with another agency. So, you probably want to ask your agency about this matter first hand to make sure it has your apartment-to-be in its listing.
Another quick tip to be economical is relocating during the right season. Actually, you’d better not move out in April. This beginning time of the year collapse with the job-hopping or new office assignment. A similar trend goes with October (but on a smaller scale). Besides, competition for apartments in these months is also intense while approximately only 15% of the apartment in Tokyo is available at a time. Therefore, you may want to stay longer in your old apartment to wait for the moving season to pass.
1. Can I find a peaceful residential area in Shibuya?
Yes. As we mention before, there are some intimate (and usually upper-class) residential zones in Chojyamaru (Ebisu), Shoto, or Yoyogi Uehara.
2. Is it crucial to have a guarantor in order to sign a contract?
The answer is yes, in most cases. In particular, the guarantor has to be a financially secure resident in Japan (nationality Japanese) or a guarantor serviced company. You can ask for your relatives, corporation or university to be your free guarantor or hire the service at 0.5 -1 month renting fee for the first year and 10.000/ each year after. However, some buildings regulation doesn’t accept this type of service so you should ask in advance.
3. When I move out, do I have to pay a cleaning fee?
Yes, you are required to do so even if you have cleaned the flat flawlessly. This fee will vary according to your apartment’s size but on average you get charged about ¥1,000/sqm in Tokyo. Besides, you take responsibility for any applicable and reasonable damage according to “Tokyo Rules”, including:
- Screw holes and hooks in the wall
- Change wallpapers or the wall color
- Scratches on the floor with heavy furniture