Affluent Residents Have Flocked to Tokyo’s Low-Rise, Single-Family Enclave Aoyama Since the Pandemic

Synonymous with luxurious and style, Aoyama is a person of the most unique, sophisticated and sought-following areas in
Situated in the Japanese capital’s Minato Ward, it is flanked by some of the city’s most well known districts—Shibuya, Shinjuku and Roppongi. Nevertheless, Aoyama is slice from a more refined fabric than its much better regarded neighbors. 

Understated but upper class, it is acknowledged for its high vogue boutiques, hard-to-guide places to eat, avant-garde artwork galleries and beautiful minimalist architecture, not to mention tree-lined boulevards and generous inexperienced spaces, all of which make it a specifically desirable handle in the center of the metropolis. 


Aoyama is split into two areas: Kita-Aoyama, or North Aoyama, on the north aspect of the avenue Aoyama-dori, and Minami-Aoyama, or South Aoyama, on its southern side.  

The street Gaien Higashi-dori draws Aoyama’s eastern boundary from the Kyoto College of Artwork and Structure Gaien Campus in Meiji Jingu Gaien Nikoniko Park, which stands at the northeastern corner of the district, until it satisfies the Metropolitan Highway Route 413. The southern edge of Aoyama encompasses the Aoyama Cemetery, the grounds of the Nezu Museum and crosses Roppongi-dori Avenue, skirting south and then west about 7-chome Minami-Aoyama. 

Aoyama’s western border traces the edges of Kokugakuin University Shibuya Campus and Aoyama Gakuin University Aoyama Campus, before assembly the northwestern boundary, that follows Lohas Avenue and proceeds on that identical trajectory, leaving the Meiji Jingu Stadium to neighboring Shinjuku, till it finds the Gaien Campus of the Kyoto College of Artwork and Design. 

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Price tag Assortment

Prices in Aoyama are superior, even when as opposed to Tokyo’s now elevated averages. According to Japanese true estate platform Utinokati, the regular expense per square meter of a pre-owned condominium in the funds is ¥916,000 (US$8,030). Brokerage Japan Residence Central at this time lists a two-bedroom, one-toilet unit on the 20th floor of a building in Aoyama that was concluded in 2004 for ¥260 million or ¥2.65 million for every square meter, almost triple the metropolis common. 

The same is correct of pre-owned houses in the place. Also on Japan Residence Central’s portfolio is a three-story, two-bedroom and just one-rest room household in Minami-Aoyama that was designed by renowned architecture business Sakakura Associates in 2005. The asking rate is ¥618 million, or ¥1.64 million for each square meter, considerably a lot more than the metropolis normal for current households: ¥551,000 for each sq. meter, according to Utinokati. 

As for new builds, residences in the Grand Hills Minamiaoyama advancement, which is scheduled for completion in February 2022, start out from ¥165 million for a 70-sq.-meter two-bedroom, 1-lavatory device. 

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Housing Inventory

Aoyama is known for its architecture, so it comes as no surprise that the community is dwelling to some standout residences, which includes people built by Atelier Tekuto and Conran and Companions. Additionally, the spot features small-density zoning and a lot of low-increase structures, affording citizens a scarce feeling of area. 

The community is a mixture of detached properties, quite a few of which are minimalist, extremely-contemporary concrete constructions, evoking a uniquely Japanese Brutalist aesthetic. At the other end of the spectrum, new luxury condominium developments are inclined to tower above more mature complexes, though the previous keep on being a rarity in the area and generally stand on the periphery, like the aforementioned Grand Hills Minamiaoyama, which when concluded will be 18 tales tall. 

Parking areas usually accompany detached properties, and are sometimes offered in apartment blocks, many of which give 24-hour protection and communal spaces. 

Hunting down to S condition avenue in Aoyama ichome district in Tokyo.

vladimir zakharov / Getty Visuals

What Will make It Exclusive

Of Aoyama, Zoe Ward, director at Japan House Central, explained: “It has a fantastic blend of very low-rise and wealthy residential neighborhoods with significant households, alongside with colleges with superior reputations, these as at the Aoyama Gakuin University. Like Ginza, it is also in which the important manner and luxurious brand names want to have a existence. It is also a remarkably central locale, getting near to Shibuya, Roppongi, Akasaka and Azabu.”

For the reason that of the area’s popularity as a hub for artwork, architecture, vogue and design—all of which convenes in the trendy Omotesando area—there is a particular cachet to possessing an Aoyama tackle. This is exactly where Japanese and worldwide labels—among them Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamato and Prada, whose Herzog and de Meuron-built keep is a vacation spot in itself—have their flagships. It is also residence to significant-finish, impartial shops selling vintage designer apparel, traditional crafts and homewares. 

Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

maple/a.collectionRF / Getty Illustrations or photos

However, Aoyama is not just about investing cash and wanting fashionable. Aoyama Cemetery presents respite from the city hustle and perception into the area’s record. In spring, the cemetery’s cherry trees erupt in powder pink blossom, although its elevated position grants it great views of the city all calendar year round. 

Similarly restful, the Nezu Museum residences a selection of additional than 7,400 operates of Japanese and East Asian artwork inside of a poetic construction designed by celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The grounds also encompass a landscaped yard. 

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A included walkway at Nezu Museum in Aoyama, Tokyo.

Romain Tordo / Unsplash

The community is also identified for its jazz clubs, ranging from the U.S.-implant Blue Observe, which frequently captivated international talents in pre-pandemic instances, to the intimate Physique & Soul Club, which has been on the scene for far more than 40 several years. 

Luxury Amenities

As Ms. Ward talked about, Aoyama is known for its great educational institutions. For more youthful young children there is the Clarence Worldwide College, in Omotesando, a preschool for those aged 18 months to six decades. The British College in Tokyo’s Shibuya Campus, which is no additional than 15 minutes by automobile from central Aoyama, can take college students from nursery by way of faculty year 3 (ages 7 and 8). 

There are also a range of choices when it comes to more education and learning, these types of as Kyoto University of Art and Style Gaien Campus, which opened in 2010 to provide as a Tokyo outpost of the Kyoto-based mostly establishment and its sister university, Tohoku University of Artwork and Design. Aoyama Gakuin College, in neighboring Shibuya, is one of the country’s oldest larger training amenities, which provides undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as housing a investigate institute. It is also dwelling to two heritage buildings: Majima Memorial Corridor and Berry Hall. 

There is no lack of celebrated places to eat in Aoyama. Yoroniku serves seasonal yakiniku, or grilled meat, and its signature shaved ice dessert in smooth, modern day environment at Sushidokoro Minami, diners enjoy an omakase menu that improvements with what make is freshly accessible and a superior variety of sake and Burgundy wines for French wonderful dining, Florilège appears at range seven on the checklist of Asia’s 50 Best Eating places and has two Michelin stars to boot. 

Who Lives There

Aoyama appeals to “high-money earners and their people,” Ms. Ward reported. “There is also a little by little shrinking contingent of the authentic landowners who have been living here for many years and many years.” 

Noteworthy Residents 

Aligning with the Japanese disposition for discretion, Ms. Ward only stated that “it’s really likely that there are loads of superior-profile inhabitants [in Aoyama].” Indeed, lauded trend designer Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garcons and Dover Street Sector, life in Aoyama, in just going for walks length from the CDG boutique. The late Japanese writer and kimono designer Chiyo Uno lived above her Aoyama kimono store


According to Ms. Ward, “residential selling prices have commonly increased given that the get started of the pandemic last year” and are, broadly talking, “up by an average of 10% more than the previous 12 months.” Yukiko Takano, global authentic estate advisor at Listing Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty agreed, noting that Aoyama’s residence market “has been very active”. 

“Transactions in the luxury sector have been on the up-and-up,” she said. Although residences have offered at a brisk pace, she added that “new supply and remaining stock has been on the decrease. This has been pushing rates up.” 

“Aoyama did not have incredibly lots of models to star with, but now there are even much less,” claimed Ms. Takano. “Buyers should hold an eye on the market place and leap if a fantastic one becomes accessible.” 

Ms. Ward extra: “Future source looks to be rather constrained all-around Aoyama because of to a whole lot of lower-density zoning and quite handful of websites for potential developments. Traditionally, Aoyama has been a highly appealing location and I are not able to see this shifting in the upcoming.”

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