A Guide to Tokyo’s Hatagaya Neighborhood
Hatagaya is a wonderful neighborhood with all of the conveniences of the big city in a small, unassuming package.
Packed with small cafés, bars, and restaurants, Hatagaya is the perfect entry point for someone looking to enjoy one of the most up-and-coming neighborhoods in Tokyo, with an eminently enviable postcode.
Hatagaya is placed along Koshu-Kaido, one of the remaining roads from the Edo period. Many stations along this road, including Hatagaya, have shōtengai (commercial, sometimes arcade-covered shopping streets) running parallel to the highway. Formerly inconvenient due to distance from train stations, the recent construction of the Keio New Line has made it easily accessible.
The Hatagaya Neighborhood
The recent construction of the Keio New Line and its connection with the Toei Shinjuku Line means that Central and downtown Tokyo are easily accessible without needing to transfer. Its location right next to Shinjuku means that you're never far from the action. In addition, it boasts buses to many trendy locations in West Tokyo, from Shibuya to Harajuku.
Hatagaya is also quite close to Nakano by bicycle or bus, making it perfect for those with an interest in modern Japanese culture. Stayed out past last train? Not to worry. Hatagaya’s excellent location means that a quick taxi ride home is always within reach.
Hatagaya is easy to access by car, as well – besides being located directly on the highway, it also is less than five minutes from the Shinjuku/Hatsudai Ramp off the Metropolitan Expressway (MEX No. 4 Line), making it easy to get to and from countryside destinations.
Hatagaya, while being part of the famed Shibuya, is still a quiet neighborhood. While you won’t find many clubs pumping music, its shōtengai has many small bars perfect for a relaxing drink and making friends with the locals.
Akita Junmai Sakaba (a.k.a. Tokyo Rosie) is one of the best examples of this. With its tiny location set back from the main street, it may not look like much from the outside— but its impressive selection of Japanese sake (nihonshū) specifically from the Akita prefecture of Japan, this is an amazing gem you’ll come back to again and again. With nihonshū from the exclusive Akita region, you’re always going to have a new sake to try at Tokyo Rosie!
If you love coffee equally as much as you love alcohol (and don’t mind the caffeine hit), MEM is another shōtengai favorite that always seems to be packed-- though with less than 10 seats, that isn’t hard to do. The cozy space lends itself well to making new friends and enjoying your life as a Hatagaya resident to the fullest!
If you’re craving a little western home cooking, look no further than Lug. Located just west of the small shop street, Lug is a hometown favorite, catering especially to the avid biking community in Hatagaya and helped along by the partnership with Blue Lug Bike Repair. The chef spent over 15 years in New York City preparing for this restaurant, and it shows. Its home-cooked Western favorites like roast chicken (a personal recommendation) are a blessing in the cold winter months, and the cozy yet airy atmosphere is a welcome respite from the busy street right outside its door. They also serve craft cocktails and a huge selection of wine, liquors, and beer.
If you're looking for more traditional Japanese fare, there are many izakayas, or Japanese bars (often serving a large menu as well) surrounding the area. The delicious Enya is a wonderful restaurant serving up Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) at a very reasonable price – a perfect place to go and celebrate birthdays, promotions, or your family being in town.
In terms of South Asian cuisine, Spice Market located on the north side of Hatagaya, is another local favorite. Such a favorite, in fact, that on most weekends you'll be lucky to even find a seat. Serving up authentic Thai food, the only thing more impressive than how reasonable they are is the range. Their huge menu means there's something for everyone, from sweet to savory. Take care and be careful, however: when they say spicy, they mean it.
While there are plenty of options in Hatagaya itself, both Sasazuka and Yoyogi-Uehara are less than a 15 minute walk away; with vibrant food scenes of their own you'll never be left wanting when hunger strikes.
Located perfectly in between Shinjuku Chuo Park and Yoyogi Park, runners will find it easy to find a scenic route just a hop, skip, and a sprint away. This central location makes it easy for bikers, too, to go forth and find an easy route through the sprawling, well-kept streets of central Tokyo.
There are several 24-hour gyms in Hatagaya, as well as being the location for the Shibuya-ku Sports Center public gymnasium facility (Open 9AM-9PM). For less than 4$ a visit, you can make full use of the machine gym, free weights, or Olympic sized pool. There are tennis and basketball courts as well, with signups to join teams placed in various spots inside the gymnasium.
If you prefer fitness in a class setting, there are several martial arts gyms located throughout Hatagaya, from jiu-jitsu to Karate. The recent surge of popularity with hot yoga has made its way to Japan as well, with Ami-Ida Hot Yoga Studio being the closest to Hatagaya station.
If you’re looking for a simple cafe with reliable wifi, the national coffee chain Doutor has you covered. While nothing special, it’s a common study spot directly above the station. The aforementioned Lug also has free wifi, if you’re looking for a little sustenance or a great place to meet over lunch.
Sakura Cafe, part of the Sakura house chain of hostels and sharehouses also has a twenty-four hour cafe with free wifi,perfect for the night owls among us, or for business transactions in foreign time zones.
While there are no dedicated coworking spaces in Hatagaya itself, there are two within a twenty minute walk. Hanare in Hatsudai for those who live on the North side of the station, and Bathhaus Work, which is closer to Yoyogi Uehara on the South side of the station.
Hatagaya: quiet and cosy yet still close to Shinjuku
It's almost unbelievable how peaceful Hatagaya can be, despite its proximity to the largest and busiest station in the world. It's the perfect location for a busy, modern young professional looking for a small haven from the busy world around them, or a small family starting out their Tokyo journey; where you can have it all without sacrificing a location people dream of. Look at our listings, and find your new dream apartment with just a few clicks!