Living in Jiyugaoka: How is it like for foreigners?

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Located on the southern end of Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka is one of Tokyo’s high-end and trendiest areas. The community takes pride in its relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere, not to mention its impressive Venice-inspired architecture, making the area so distinct from any other place in the metropolis.

Consisting of not only fashionable shops and restaurants, Jiyugaoka also offers a residential area easily accessible from central Tokyo and Yokohama. Its attractive location thus makes it a popular place to live in, even among foreign residents.

Jiyugaoka is definitely one area to consider when moving to Japan. Read further to learn more about Tokyo’s hidden gem.

Jiyugaoka - Tokyo’s calm and sophisticated neighborhood

A combination of traditional Japanese and Venice buildings, Jiyugaoka boasts an environment incomparable to anywhere else in Tokyo. During the postwar decades, what was a rural area was transformed to one of the most desirable areas to live in. Literally translated as “Hill of Freedom”, Jiyugaoka is truly a liberating hideaway within one of the world’s busiest cities.


  • From Tokyo Station, take the Keihin-Tohoku line to Oimachi Station, and transfer to the Tokyu-Oimachi line to Jiyugaoka Station (approx. 30 minutes)
  • From Shibuya Station, take the Tokyu-Toyoko line to Jiyugaoka Station (approx. 10 minutes)
  • From Shinjuku Station, take the Yamanote line to Shibuya Station, and transfer to the Tokyu-Toyoko line to Jiyugaoka Station (approx. 30 minutes)

Famous Locations

1. La Vita

La Vita is a combination of classy shops and cafes, popular among locals and tourists alike. Also known as “Little Venice,” the charming area is inspired by Venice architecture. Have a relaxed time in one of the multiple picturesque cafes, and take a walk in the breathtaking streets.

With such a charming ambiance, the area makes you forget you are in Tokyo.


Address: 2-8-3 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Directions: 5-minute walk from Jiyugaoka Station’s Main Exit

2. Jiyugaoka Kumano Shrine

Embracing the area’s traditional Japanese side is the Jiyugaoka Kumano Shrine. With more than 800 years of history, it is famous the neighborhood residents, however, its tucked-away location makes it difficult for tourists to spot.

Located just minutes away from La Vita, it shows the harmonious balance of Jiyugaoka’s Japanese and Western sides. In fact, it is a sponsor of the Jiyugaoka International Friendship Mikoshi Festival, held every September. Many foreign residents partake in the event.


Address: 1-24-12 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Directions: 5-minute walk from Jiyugaoka Station’s Main Exit

3. Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest

Jiyugaoka Sweet Forest is Japan’s first ever “dessert theme park”. This fairytale-like building houses freshly baked confectionery, all mouthwatering and worthy of trying.

With an enchanting design and Instagram-worthy desserts, it is a must-visit for sweet tooths visiting Jiyugaoka.


Address: 2-25-7 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Directions: 5-minute walk from Jiyugaoka Station’s South Exit

Why foreigners live in Jiyugaoka

1. Easily accessible high-class residential neighborhood

When one thinks of a high-class residential area, it is often the case that they are located in inconvenient places. However, Jiyugaoka is popular for having luxurious apartments and houses while being easily accessible through train.

Jiyugaoka Station can be accessed by the Tokyu-Oimachi line and the Tokyu-Toyoko line. Thus it only takes about 10 minutes to Shibuya, and 20 minutes to Yokohama (through the Tokyu-Toyoko express line).

You can easily commute to various areas in Tokyo and Yokohama, and come home to a relaxed neighborhood.

2. Confectionery Battleground

Jiyugaoka is one of Tokyo’s “Confectionary Battlegrounds” (スイーツ激戦区) which takes pride in its numerous famous desserts. It is home to the world’s first shop specialized in “roll cakes,” Jiyugaoka Ro-ruya. The bakeries constantly produce new sweets, guaranteed to make you always want more.

The area not only has award-winning sweets, but also cozy and sophisticated cafes and restaurants. For instance, it is home to the Peter Rabbit Garden Cafe, one of the many cute character cafes in Japan popular to tourists and locals alike. No matter the occasion, Jiyugaoka provides abundant options.

3. Serene nature

Despite being within one of the world’s busiest cities, Jiyugaoka is an area that allows you to escape from all the stress. The abundant nature surrounding the neighborhood is what provides its serene ambiance.

Jiyugaoka is nearby Todoroki Valley, the only valley in Tokyo. You can surround yourself in breathtaking nature and walk a 1.2km path, during which you can visit the Todoroki Fudoson Temple, a tearoom, and a park. In the spring, it is a good sight for cherry blossom viewing.


With its unique combination of Western and Japanese designs, Jiyugaoka is truly an ideal place to live in. Options for shopping, dining, and other activities are endless, guaranteeing you will never grow tired of the place.

As it is easily accessible to office areas such as central Tokyo and Yokohama, Jiyugaoka is definitely one place to consider when moving to Japan.

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