Is Kanda (神田)Tokyo’s Best Neighborhood For Expats?

Kanda Myojin Shrine near Akihabara

It’s understandable to find expats fiercely proud of their new ‘hood. Every get-together with friends quickly seems to circle back to talking about everyone’s respective neighborhood. From Ebisu, to Yokohama, Koenji to Kokubunji, residents have a laundry list of why their corner of Tokyo is the best. Kanda, however, too often gets overlooked. So today, we’re going to give it the shout out it deserves.

While Kanda may not boast the greatest restaurants, breathtaking vistas, or the hip techno vibe some of the more well-known places in Tokyo can, it offers up a comforting convenience that too often goes unnoticed.

Kanda: Location, Location, Location

Kanda provides a great location and a general overall ease when it comes to day-to-day living. It’s just so darned convenient that you kind of forget you’re living there. But perhaps its best characteristic is the way Kanda embodies what you think of when you hear the word Tokyo.

Kanda is conveniently located one stop beyond the heart of the Marunouchi area and Tokyo station; in the famed Chiyoda District. Its central location is within a one-hour bike ride (or a three-hour walk) from just about anywhere you want to go in Tokyo: Asakusa, Marunouchi, Ryogoku, Ginza, Toranomon, Akihabara, Ebisu, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Roppongi are all at your doorstep!

One underappreciated characteristic of Kanda public transit, with both above-ground and metro-train stations within easy reach regardless of where you are. (And don’t forget buses: the Marunouchi Shuttle offers free ride service!)

Applying for health insurance and payment of taxes means a convenient stroll to Chiyoda City Hall. When you’re done, you can pop over to the Chiyoda City Sports Center – a brilliant public fitness facility with a basketball court, swimming pool, weight room, gym, basketball court, golf range, table tennis, badminton, volleyball. Oh…and a sumo ring! (You know how much I love sumo!!).

On your way home you can pop into any of restaurants or grocery stores that dot the route and address that hunger you’ve built up! Just try to resist one of the only authentic Chicago-style pizza places in Japan: Devil Craft. Indulge a little with their a green-onion and chopped Nori pizza and a craft beer.

Or if you’re missing a ‘good old American burger’ or want to try one for the first time, be sure to stop by Firehouse Burger. (And if you live in Kanda, you can get that burger delivered!)

Okay – so I might have saved the best for last: Jinbōchō; the heart of used-book stores in Tokyo and generally an awesome area to hang out and find amazing books.

Used bookstores in Jinbōchō

Both traditional and contemporary Japan are within a leisurely 30-minute walk. Asakusa, with the Sensoji Temple and vendor-lined streets, feels like a bit of a time warp. Meanwhile, Akihabara’s high-tech gaming stores and maid cafes will whip you into Tokyo future.

Kanda has all that you ever imagine and more. A must for anyone who wants to experience the brilliant differences of Tokyo. And the best thing is, it’s all within a reach. Kanda is simply one of the most enjoyable, comfortable, convenient residential neighborhoods Tokyo has to offer.

Devil Craft’s Green onion and chopped nori pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

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