My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: December 9, 2019
Nestled between Roppongi and Tokyo Tower, Azabu-juban is a surprisingly laid-back neighborhood considering its central location. 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 centuries old shops along with chic boutiques and cafes. Azabu-juban is also home to several embassies, making it a popular place of residence for diplomats and globally-minded people. This synergy between traditional and metropolitan 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 burritos, Italian food, and pasta while also trying traditional Japanese confections and rice crackers.
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.
To get a feel for how locals lived in the Edo period, take a trip to Azabu Kokubisui Onsen Take no Yu, a traditional bathhouse located near the shopping street. Established in 2013, the waters of this onsen are sourced from natural hot springs water pumped in from deep underground. The waters here have a distinct dark hue due to the rich mineral content and are known to enrich and smooth your skin.