Shirogane, Takanawa, and Kami-Osaki
Old City Charm
Skyscrapers and high-rise hotels line the waterfront of Tokyo’s Minato Ward in an impressive skyline of ultra-modern glass and steel. But just a few minutes away, along winding streets and behind high walls of stone,
stand the aristocratic mansions of days past, now embassies, museums and private clubs for Tokyo’s elite. These are the streets of Tokyo’s “Old Money” neighborhoods — Takanawa, Shirogane and Kami-Osaki.
Located in Tokyo’s Minato and Shinagawa Wards, the Takanawa-Shirogane-Kami-Osaki area stretches northward from the southernmost bend in the Yamanote Line, and includes the neighborhoods of Kami-Osaki, Higashi-Gotanda, Shirogane-dai, Takanawa, Mita and Shirogane. The area is roughly a triangle, bordered by the Yamanote Line on the south and the Shuto Expressway to the north. It’s easy for residents of the triangle to get around Tokyo and take advantage of neighboring areas. Shinagawa, immediately to the south, is a major transportation hub with Shinkansen (bullet train) service to Western Japan. And to the north, a short cab ride or long walk away, you’ll find Azabu, Hiroo, and Roppongi — areas with a strong foreign presence, excellent shopping and, in the case of Roppongi, an explosive nightlife.
Neighborhoods within the triangle share a history that dates back to the 17th century. Feudal lords from the provinces were required to spend half of each year in Edo (what is now Tokyo), under the watchful eye of the Shogun. These lords built grand homes — Japan’s first affluent suburbs — in the areas that are now Takanawa, Shirogane, Mita and Kami-Osaki.
Shopping & Recreation
Though no longer suburban, these areas are still affluent, and residents can do all their shopping locally. Narrow streets lined with neighborhood grocers, boutiques, galleries and gourmet restaurants meander through the communities. Larger supermarket chains are found closer to train stations and major thoroughfares. Peaceful parks, temples and shrines are hidden between commercial roads, and the Australian and Italian Embassies make their homes here. The quiet clubs and restaurants of Shiroganedai make for a nice alternative to the bustling streets of neighboring Roppongi and Azabu.
Families living in this area have several international schools to choose from, including Tokyo International School, Shirogane International School and Ai International School. And Nishimachi International School and Sacred Heart are conveniently located in nearby Azabu and Hiroo.
Old world charm, modern conveniences and a central location set the Takanawa-Shirogane-Kami-Osaki area apart, and Century 21 SKY Realty knows of many sensational properties here at prices to fit most budgets.