Home News Tokyo’s Minato Ward Is Pioneering Ultra-Luxury Living

Tokyo’s Minato Ward Is Pioneering Ultra-Luxury Living

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Minato, Located near the center of Tokyo, it is one of Tokyo’s most affluent and comfortable wards.

During the Edo period, wealthy daimyo and samurai families chose balmy, fertile hillsides overlooking Tokyo Bay to build luxurious mansions. Today, few of these historic buildings remain, but Minato, which means ‘harbour’, is home to spacious luxury apartments, famous cultural and nightlife spots, plenty of green space and a central location. Thanks to this, it is popular with wealthy residents of Japan’s sprawling capital.

Minato Ward, as it is known in English, was born in 1947 from the merger of Akasaka, Azabu and Shiba Wards. Today, it’s a business center home to the headquarters of notable domestic and foreign companies such as Honda, Nikon, Mitsubishi Motors, Sony, Apple, and Goldman Sachs, but it’s also one of Tokyo’s finest residential neighborhoods.

“It’s a place with many embassies, many international schools, lots of very affluent but low-rise residential areas, and a mix of high-rise office areas,” he said. Zoe Ward, director of Japan Property Central based in Tokyo.

Minato Ward is at the forefront of housing change as it has the most facilities and services for foreigners and attracts wealthy buyers from all over the world. It’s the location of a number of recently or soon-to-be-completed ultra-luxury developments that are setting new standards and setting record prices for residential real estate in the Japanese capital.

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Sakura Namiki Street in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Mylène Larneau / Unsplash


Minato Ward is located southwest of the Imperial Palace and borders Chiyoda Ward, Chuo Ward, Koto Ward, Shinagawa Ward, Shibuya Ward, and Shinjuku Ward. It includes many smaller districts such as Akasaka, Roppongi, Shiba, Toranomon, and Omotesando.

It extends to the Akasaka Imperial Palace in the north and borders on Tokyo Bay in the east. It is right next to Shinagawa Station to the south and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and Omotesando Station to the west.

Price range

The prices of luxury apartments in Minato Ward vary not only by the age of the building, but also by the size of the property.

“Even in the same building, you can see the price difference per square meter between small and large units, because larger units are considered more luxurious based on size alone,” Ward says. said. “In some buildings the difference he he can be 30% to 40% per square meter. You see it when it’s very different.”

For luxury buildings less than 20 years old, prices start at ¥2 million (US$15,000) to ¥3 million per square meter, she said. “Higher-end ultra-luxury items tend to go from ¥4 million to ¥7 million per square meter, and I think some penthouses are over ¥10 million per square meter,” he said. she added. A 200-square-meter luxury apartment “may start around $5 million, but she could go as high as $10 million, depending on the location and age of the building.”

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Tetsuya Kaneko, head of research at Savills Japan, said ultra-luxury developments with Western-style amenities are a new phenomenon in Tokyo and set record prices. “Tokyo has added some luxury condominium Towers capable of accommodating ultra-luxury units have been built in the last few years, many of which are concentrated around the harbor,” he said. “The latest is Toranomon Hills Residential Tower, which opened in early 2022. The property is rumored to house units priced at ¥10 billion, making it the most expensive condominium unit in Japan.”

A second Minato development planned for 2023, known as the Toranomon-Azabudai Project, is expected to bring the price of the most expensive residential unit to ¥20 billion.

The interior of a 3LDK, 180 square meter luxury condominium in Minato Ward. The residence is currently asking for about $3.59 million.

List Sotheby’s International Realty Japan

housing stock

Ward said most of Minato’s residential areas are considered upscale, but the most desirable areas are on the hills overlooking Tokyo Bay.

Minami-Aoyama, near Omotesando Station, is a particularly beautiful residential area.

“There are lots of boutiques, branded shops and little cafes,” says Ward. Many of the apartments around it are very large, like 200sqm or he 300sqm units, so they obviously attract a different type of resident profile than the more business-oriented neighborhoods. ”

Independent family homes rarely come up for sale and are usually passed down through generations. Very few people actually come to market.”

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What sets Minato Ward’s luxury apartments apart is primarily their size and the presence of additional bathrooms. “In Japan, anything over 100 square meters is called luxury,” Ward said. “There have been some projects in recent years that are considered more luxurious than international standards. Their features include, say, he two or he three bathrooms instead of one family bathroom.”

Balcony view from a $3.7 million luxury high-rise apartment in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

List Sotheby’s International Realty Japan

unique reason

Due to its history, the port has many shrines and temples that have continued since the Edo period. The site of Japan’s first diplomatic bureau, he was originally housed in four temples, but now has over 80 embassies. Despite its many famous mega-complexes, the ward has plenty of green spaces, including the beautiful Aoyama Cemetery, one of the city’s largest, and Shiba Park, home to the historic Zojoji Temple.

Its cultural offerings include the Nezu Museum in the upmarket Aoyama, which focuses on classical art from East Asia, and the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills’ famous Mori Tower. Minato Ward is also home to the National Art Center, one of Tokyo’s largest art spaces, in glittering Roppongi, and Japan’s first art museum, his 1926 establishment in picturesque Ueno Park. There is also a city museum.

Minato Ward is home to one of Tokyo’s largest art spaces, the National Art Center, Tokyo.

Mia de Jesus / Unsplash

luxury amenities

Minato Ward is home to some world-class English-speaking hospitals and some of the city’s best leisure amenities, from Roppongi’s famous nightlife to upscale boutiques and hidden character districts. We have a lot of boutiques,” says Ward. “People also go to Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown. These two large shopping office hotel-type complexes are all on one giant block. There are a lot of shopping and entertainment districts, there are tiny little buildings full of bars and restaurants.”

Tokyo Midtown is home to the Suntory Museum of Art, 21_21 Design Site, a gallery and workshop by fashion designer Issey Miyake and architect Tadao Ando, ​​as well as luxury shopping malls, luxury residences and office units. The famous Roppongi Hills megacomplex includes office space, luxury apartments, retail space, restaurants, movie theaters, TV stations, the Tokyo Grand His Hyatt Hotel, and the Mori Art Museum. The ward also includes the Toranomon Hills complex, the tallest skyscraper in the city, combining high-end retail and residential units with offices and boutique hotels.

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Minato is also home to several prestigious international schools, including the Montessori School of Tokyo, an accredited English school for children ages 2 to 15. Tokyo International School is an elementary and junior high school following the International Baccalaureate curriculum. As well as elementary schools that follow British, Finnish and Russian curricula.

“Tokyo maintains its status as a premier gourmet destination with 203 Michelin-starred restaurants, according to the 2022 Michelin Guide. In addition, Tokyo has 12 three-star restaurants. and four of them are in Minato Ward,” Kaneko said.

who lives there

“A lot of celebrities live around the port,” says Ward. “The area around Shibuya Station has become an IT hub, so you can get a lot of corporate directors, startup founders and IT people.” It is also popular with Chinese buyers, especially those from Hong Kong and Singapore, she added.

prominent resident

The retired emperor and empress reside at the Sento Imperial Palace in Akasaka, Minato Ward. It is also home to many Japanese celebrities, such as famous manga artist Naoko Takeuchi and famous vocalist Ayumi Hamasaki. Fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market, lives in Aoyama.

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“Japan is one of the rare countries determined to keep interest rates as low as possible, and it’s a bit of an outlier at the moment. It maintains record low interest rates,” Ward said. said Mr. “Despite the pandemic, land prices in the residential sector have performed very well.”

As a result, in Tokyo markets, especially Minato Ward, “supply is low and demand has remained fairly constant during the pandemic. Tokyo is still one of the most desirable places to live in Tokyo,” she said. Added. Rising construction costs are pushing up prices for new developments, helping to support the value of existing resale properties, she said, adding that prices are expected to remain stable.

As a side effect of the pandemic-induced border closures, sales to overseas buyers could explode going forward, especially given the favorable dollar-yen exchange rate, she added.

Kaneko said new ultra-luxury residential units are pushing up prices in Minato Ward. “Though considered relatively new, the Tokyo ultra-luxury housing market is growing rapidly and has gained popularity over time. Added to the market, it could push the market’s top prices to levels comparable to those in Manhattan and London…Tokyo could become even more popular as the world faces severe headwinds of uncertainty. As a place to protect wealth.”

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