A breakdown of search result data by one Japanese apartment hunting company reveals a big surprise.

Apartment hunting in Japan is its own beast. With a multitude of factors to consider, such as your commute and how far away your local supermarket is, the process is complicated, drawn out, and made even more frustrating if a language barrier is involved. And that’s where apartment searching databases such as SUUMO come in handy, helping folks narrow down multiple options to that one perfect spot.

▼ It’s not like affordable, accessible housing doesn’t exist in cities like Tokyo, but you gotta consider the amount of space you’ll get…

SUUMO is a popular real estate website that has done extra leg work this year in compiling their search data to answer one burning question when it comes to housing: which city has been generating the most interest in terms of drawing in future families and single renters? The answer is none other than…

Wako in Saitama prefecture!

▼ Sorry, but where again?

Located in southern Saitama and bordering the northern part of Tokyo Prefecture, Wako has been the number one most searched city on SUUMO in 2020. At first glance, Wako is a typical Japanese suburb with a population of roughly 80,000. Given its proximity to Japan’s capital and how it’s next door to Tokyo’s Nerima ward, Wako is certainly a convenient place. Folks who live in Wako have not only access to uptown Tokyo but also gain some privacy and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

However, what has really driven Wako up the search result rankings isn’t necessarily its location. After all, there’s a wide assortment of cities between the Saitama and Tokyo prefectural border that provide direct, or at least with a few transfers, easy access to downtown Tokyo.

Interest in Wako has been generated from two main points: its position as a terminus point for the Tokyo Yurakucho and Fukutoshin Metro lines as well as the recently finished renovation of its station complex, now housing company offices, shopping outlets, and a variety of restaurants.

▼ A sneak peek at Wako Station’s renovated south exit!

▼ Wako is also along the Tokyo Tobu Line, which not only connects to Ikebukuro as well but also provides access to other hotspots in Saitama such as Kawagoe, pictured below.

Other cities which showed up behind Wako include Tachikawa, located west of Shinjuku, in second place and Nishioi, another suburb close to Shinagawa, in third. Similar to Wako, their appeal points lie in both their proximity to Tokyo and their re-vitalization through new construction and renovations ushering in more amenities for locals and visitors alike.

It’s unknown whether Wako, Tachikawa, and Nishioi will continue to hold their spots going into 2021. However, it’s still fascinating to see how the housing trends around Tokyo fluctuate and change over the years, and for all we know, maybe Wako will keep its place, especially if the city consistently has novel housing developments such as this apartment complex with its own movie theater.

Source: PR Times, Netlab
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2), Wikipedia/SEIBU LINER
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