My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: November 13, 2023
Nestled between Roppongi and Tokyo Tower, Azabu-juban is a surprisingly laid-back neighborhood considering its central location. It's home to several embassies, making it a popular place of residence for diplomats and globally-minded people.
With an old-school atmosphere that retains its Edo period roots, this upscale residential area boasts some of the highest rents in the city. Despite that, the traditional Azabu-juban Shopping District feels unpretentious and down-to-earth, occupied by long-established shops alongside modern boutiques and cafes.
You can also find Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park nearby, which is where the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library is located. There you can browse one of the largest collections of foreign material that can be found in a public library in the country, including newspapers from around the world and translations of Japanese manga. Its archives offer a window into Tokyo's history.
Azabu-juban's synergy of traditional and cosmopolitan gives the neighborhood a truly one-of-a-kind feel.
The closest access point is Azabu-juban Station, accessible via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and the Toei Oedo Line.
From Haneda Airport: 40 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: 1 hour and 40 minutes by train.
From Shinjuku Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Yoyogi Station. From there, change to the Toei Oedo Line and get off at Azabu-juban Station. The entire trip takes approximately 20 minutes.
From Tokyo Station: Take the express train on the JR Chuo Line to Yotsuya Station. From there, change to the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and get off at Azabu-juban Station. The entire trip takes approximately 30 minutes.
Azabu-juban Shopping District is the focal point of the neighborhood, lined with over 300 shops, many of which have been around for over 100 years. More recently, as the area has become popular with foreign embassies, diplomats, and foreign workers, the street has welcomed international up-market boutiques, cafes and restaurants. You can enjoy foreign cuisine like Mexican burritos or Italian pasta, while also trying traditional Japanese confections and rice crackers.
If you're interested in reading manga, books, or materials on Tokyo, take a short walk to the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. It offers hundreds of thousands of Japanese and foreign language books, newspapers, and magazines. Check out the "Foreign Language Books on Topics" section on the first floor, which features books on Japan, popular Western books and magazines, Japanese manga translated into various languages, and more. There are 900 seats throughout the library, so you can enjoy reading in an open and relaxing space. The cafe on the library's first floor serves coffee and baked goods. The fifth floor cafeteria has views of Tokyo Tower and Roppongi skyscrapers that you can enjoy with a meal of ramen, soba, or udon.
The library is in Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, a relaxing oasis within central Tokyo. The park is in the style of a Japanese garden and features lush greenery, statues, and a pond. There are many trees and plants with seasonal flowers, including 11 varieties of cherry blossom.
On the last weekend of August, residents come together for the Azabu-juban Noryo Festival. Drink and be merry with the hordes of revelers who congregate on the street, sampling foods from across the country at the many food stalls set up for the festival.