Exploring the Allure of Tokyo's Minato Ward Azabu Area in Real Estate Investment

Mar 4, 2024

Azabudai Hills

Minato Ward has the highest land prices in Tokyo (Japan), and the 3A districts of Azabu, Aoyama, and Akasaka are very well-liked and in great demand with wealthy people and real estate investors. Each has high-end residential areas, high-end restaurants or stores, and high-paying companies. This time, I would like to introduce the charms of the Azabu area.

"Azabu" is the name of a region located in the northeastern part of Minato Ward, Tokyo. Before the merger of Akasaka Ward, Shiba Ward, and Azabu Ward in 1947 to form Minato Ward, Azabu existed as a separate ward. With the formation of Minato Ward, the prefix "Azabu" was added to the names of various towns within the Azabu area, which now includes the following town names: Higashiazabu, Azabu Mamianacho, Azabu Nagasakacho, Azabujuban, Minamiazabu, Motoazabu, Azabudai, and Roppongi. Roppongi was previously known as "Azabu Roppongicho".

Azabu Juban

First of all, one of the characteristics of Minato Ward is that there are an overwhelming number of embassies from various countries. After the Meiji Restoration (1868-1889), the Japanese government provided the sites of mansions confiscated from former feudal lords to various countries as embassy sites. Due to this background, embassies were gathered in Minato Ward, where there were many mansions of feudal lords. There are embassies of 157 countries in Japan (Tokyo), and their locations are listed below. 83 embassies are concentrated in Minato Ward, and 46 embassies are in Azabu area.

Embassies in Tokyo

Security is very tight around the embassies by police or security companies, so it is a safe, high-class residential area, has a high status, and is preferred by wealthy Japanese and foreigners, which naturally leads to stable and high land prices. Minato Ward itself is originally located in the center of Tokyo, and Azabu area in particular has an overwhelming number of embassies, so it is hard to imagine that the brand value of the residential area will deteriorate. Looking at other wards, for example, 9 out of the 10 embassies in Shinagawa ward are located in Kamiosaki, Ikedayama, and Gotenyama, where are the most upscale residential areas in Shinagawa Ward.

The top 5 wards in Tokyo's 23 wards with the highest average annual income are as follows: Minato Ward, Chiyoda Ward, and Shibuya Ward stand out even when compared to Chuo Ward, which ranks fourth, with the same three wards having the top 3 in number of embassies and the top 3 in average annual income.

Tokyo Averege Annual Income

Minato Ward has plenty of large, well-known and foreign-affiliated companies with high incomes, especially those in the financial and IT fields, and there are countless high-end boutiques and high-end restaurants in the area. Land prices are high → Rent is high → Business with a high unit price per customer. However, simply being expensive does not make a business viable. Unless they are a high-quality restaurants that provides satisfaction that exceeds the high average customer spend, they will not be able to survive. What I would like to draw attention to here is the large number of restaurants in Minato Ward and Azabu areas are listed in the Michelin Guide Tokyo. The 2024 edition lists 504 restaurants, the breakdown is as follows.

Total Minato Ward Azabu area
3 stars 12 4 3
2 stars 33 13 6
1 star 138 52 26
Bib Gourmand 127 18 6
Selected Restaurant 194 53 23
TOTAL 504 140 64


Azabu Kadowaki:

Japanese restaurant. We offer our unique Japanese cuisine using seasonal ingredients. You can enjoy a peaceful meal in our calm and modern Japanese-style restaurant.

Azabu Kadowaki

L'Effervescence:

A French cuisine restaurant where top Japanese chefs showcase their skills. We offer a wide selection of wines and sake for pairing.

L'Effervescence

Here again, you can see that high-end restaurants are concentrated in Minato Ward, especially at Azabu area. Among 183 starred restaurants, 69 are in Minato Ward and 35 are in Azabu area. In particular, many of the high-end restaurants in Azabu area are hidden away from the hustle and bustle, giving you an even more extraordinary feeling. The large number of gourmet restaurants also symbolizes the first class of Minato Ward and Azabu brands. Of course, there are many excellent restaurants that are not listed in the Michelin Guide Tokyo, and there is a rapid turnover of old and new restaurants, but real estate investment in commercial buildings with restaurants as tenants may also provide stable rental income (income gain) and future sales profits (capital gain) can also be expected.

There are five major commercial TV key stations in Tokyo, and all of them are located in Minato Ward. Two of them are located in Roppongi in Azabu area, and one is located in Akasaka next to Roppongi. Naturally, we can often see famous celebrities and entertainers in Minato Ward, especially at Azabu area, giving you a celebrity atmosphere.

It's not just embassies, high-income large and famous companies, foreign-affiliated companies, high-end restaurants, TV stations, and other entertainment-related businesses, but these combine to give the Minato Ward brand and Azabu brand elements that cannot be imitated in other areas.

TV TBS
TBS
TV Asahi
TV Asahi
TV Tokyo
TV Tokyo

Yuzuru Zobe

Hello, I am Yuzuru Zobe who writes this article. After graduation from Aoyama Gakuin University, Faculty of International Politics, Economics, and Business, engaged in aircraft finance, syndication loan to banks, and mortgage loan mainly to EU and USA, at Sumitomo Trust Banking Group, and nearly 40 years international business experience over the world, visiting more than 50 countries with more than 400 business trips. As an expat, lived in Amsterdam for 3 years, Bangkok for 2 years, and Shanghai for 2 years. Not only as a licensed real estate agent but also as a successful investor of real estate, having 6 properties totally, 3 in Tokyo, 1 in Yokohama, 1 in Kawasaki, and 1 in Hiroshima, supporting you from the point of view of the investor. With my rich knowledge and experience, I can help you invest properties in Tokyo. I can show you more properties at my HP, and according to your preference and budget, I can introduce the best ones for you.
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