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Tokyo best city in the world to live in, study says

44 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

New York-based financial publication Global Finance publishes an annual list of the world’s best cities to live in. For 2020, Asia has had a strong showing, with three cities in the top 10 and the top spot going to none other than Tokyo.

Tokyo was followed by London, Singapore, and New York in the top four, with Seoul in eighth place, Hong Kong in 11th, and Japan’s Osaka and Fukuoka in 18th and 34th place, respectively.

While Japanese cities generally don’t do especially poorly in such rankings, they usually don’t rise to the very top either, often because of their high cost of living and perceived barriers to educational and societal integration, at least in the eyes of those coming from a Western background. Global Finance itself acknowledges that this year’s rankings are in some ways an anomaly, due in no small part to one very-2020 criteria which was applied.

Cities were judged on eight metrics: economic strength, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, accessibility, GDP per capita, and COVID-19 deaths per million people in the country. Not only is the last area one that was almost entirely absent from most people’s concerns just a year ago, for the 2020 rankings Global Finance says “we weighted the COVID-19 deaths metric by a factor of three in order to underline how a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic affected which cities would be best to live in.”

So while Global Finance says that Tokyo merely had “overall relatively good scores in most metrics,” the extra emphasis on coronavirus health conditions helped propel it to the top of rankings, since Japan has had remarkably few COVID-19 deaths for a country with such a large population. Conversely, the high death toll during the pandemic in the UK and U.S. brought down London and New York’s total scores significantly.

Of course, the key criteria in Tokyo’s number-one ranking is something that could become largely irrelevant as soon as a reliable vaccine is developed and distributed, at which point Japan’s capital would likely slide down several spots on Global Finance’s list (though Tokyo residents’ ability to boast of living in the world’s safest city and also the same town as SoraNews24 headquarters would remain in play). Taken as a list of the world’s best cities to live in specifically in 2020, though, Tokyo is hard to argue against, considering that it’s managed to keep infection numbers low even without having to enact lifestyle-derailing lockdown orders.

Sources: Global Finance via Livedoor News/Career Connection News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Six things Tokyo has less of than any other city in Japan

-- The number 1 ‘most satisfying’ city in the world is….TOKYO!!!

-- What’s the top country people want to visit after the pandemic? Japan, survey says

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
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As it should be !!

Tokyo is the best city, the largest metropolitan area in the world, it has everything, you can find everything, you can do everything, it's a paradise for big city lovers, there is no other city like Tokyo, I LOVE TOKYO !!!...

Like it or not..

TOKYO IS THE BEST CITY OF THE WORLD !!!!!...

Don't like Tokyo, sorry you miss it !!..

Byebye !!..

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

I hate Tokyo. Grey cityscapes of metal and glass, horrifying summers, smelly trains, ridiculous rent prices.

The list goes on

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Capital letters and an 'LOL' ?

The mind boggles. #@

0 ( +6 / -6 )

And the Tokyo haters...

https://tenor.com/view/berrinche-tantrum-kid-when-you-didnt-get-what-you-want-gif-5017964

:)

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I’ve lived in 5 different cities in the world and Tokyo is easily in my best 3....or 4. :)

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Tokyo is the best city, the largest metropolitan area in the world, it has everything, you can find everything, you can do everything, it's a paradise for big city lovers, there is no other city like Tokyo, I LOVE TOKYO !!!...

Give it a few more years. Stay here long enough, and reality will eventually make its way through those rose-tinted lenses of yours.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@Mr Kipling

I can see the appeal of course.

I guess for me, weather is important. As is some colour, vibrancy and a passionate local population with a mix of nationalities and cultures. I don't see that in Tokyo, sadly.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I don't hate Tokyo just not my choice these last 30 years.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Great city. I’ve lived in an around it for 20 years but there are still hidden gems I come across. No other Japanese city comes close.

I wouldn’t put it at number one on my list but it’s certainly up there. I’ll be out of Japan when my wife’s transfer ( delayed because of Covid ) comes through, but I’ll definitely be back for a visit in the future.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I love visiting Tokyo, but always wonder about these rankings rating it so highly as a place to live. Sure, if you are a wealthy finance guy it is great, but for a middle or working class family the cost of living is a big barrier. Want a house you can afford? Lots of them available a mere 2 hour commute from your work.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Tokyo is a good place to live. Not a great one. It could be but made impossible by real estate colluding companies with ridiculous rules and fees. Taxes are too high. Both corporate as personal. Prices of flowers, vegetables, fruits are deliberately kept high to support the producers who in turn support the LDP. But all in all, I like it here. It is not perfect anywhere. I would not put it in the top 5 of major cities but it might get up there in the near future when the problems above are addressed automatically by the decreasing population which is unavoidable.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Says people who have never lived there.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I take it weather, length and conditions of commute, average apartment size and access to green spaces were not considered?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Apparently, these people haven't lived in Tokyo. It's a good place to visit, but not to live. From my experiences, I don't think it's best to see people on the trains early in the morning who look like the life has been sucked out of them. Many Japanese there appeared to be scared off when I approach them for help with directions, which has been totally the opposite in Osaka and Fukuoka. It's more expensive to live their than other Japanese cities. You get more bang for your buck (yen, in this case) in other cities. I just find the Kansai, along with many other areas in Japan more comfortable to live with more approachable people.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Folks, need to keep in mind the magazine caters to the wealthy not your average Tanaka.

And the magazine must be unaware of how Japan has done as far as testing etc for covid so really should not be in the #1 slot on the criteria mentioned

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Tokyo is indeed an incredible place to live. I absolutely love living in this city.

However, while being on the top of best cities to live, it is probably on the bottom regarding the best places to work.

Should the work conditions, work-life balance, mentality etc etc relax and become more human, and I see no reason why Tokyo wouldn’t be able to attract the best talent for the long term.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The city is fine, transport, shops, restaurants, bars, safety.... downside is the people. Obviously generalising but by far the coldest people I’ve ever lived around. Out of Tokyo much better. Tokyoites...miserable, shy, grey and invisible for the most part.

Am I wrong?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Definitely best city I've been to. Much better than Melbourne which was laughingly called world's most livable city.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I love visiting Tokyo, but always wonder about these rankings rating it so highly as a place to live. Sure, if you are a wealthy finance guy it is great, but for a middle or working class family.....

Agree...great place to visit for a weekend but to live.. cities like Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka, Sapporo...much better.

Says people who have never lived there.

Precisely.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

New York-based financial publication Global Finance

Never heard of it.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

That last parameter, with today's result about Covid.

Farcical !

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Much better than Melbourne which was laughingly called world's most livable city.

Tokyo is my favorite city. That said, I quite like Melbourne. It's a pretty city, good people, lots of art and music (when not covid). I could happily live there. "Most liveable" depends upon your metric I suppose.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I agree to some extent, but I was here during the last big earthquake and I am worried about what will happen to Tokyo when there is a more direct earthquake or tsunami.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Most liveable" depends upon your metric I suppose.

Yup.

I had four years in central London as a student, had a great time, wouldn't want to do it again, or live in any city. Gimme the countryside, or at least a rural town, any day.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Great city. Unfortunately policy of Japan towards perm residents sucks. Perhaps if they surveyed perm residents here they would get a different answer

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nope, hate Tokyo, the people, too noisy and too crowded and not worth the money to live there. I think Fukuoka or anywhere is Kyushu is far IMHO the best place to be, not to mention raise a family.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Having lived in London and Singapore and visited Tokyo multiple times, I have developed some skepticism towards these 'Best City in the World' surveys. Best city for whom? Sure if you are a multi millionaire you can live a great life in these expensive places, buy your own condo or apartment in good areas, avoid public transport and enjoy good healthcare. But now that I am back in my own third world country I am actually living a life almost as good as a few of these millionaires live in all these 'best places to live' cities. I own a bigger apartment than what I was able to rent in Singapore and London, I have just bought my second car at a price one tenth what I would have paid in Singapore (including their ridiculous COE prices), am living not very far from one of the best hospitals in the country with great doctors and all this when I am earning less than half what I was in Singapore and London. And some areas in London are far more dangerous than the worst areas in my city.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The city is fine, transport, shops, restaurants, bars, safety.... downside is the people. Obviously generalising but by far the coldest people I’ve ever lived around. Out of Tokyo much better. Tokyoites...miserable, shy, grey and invisible for the most part.

Am I wrong?

I’d say that’s Japanese people in general. They aren’t renowned for friendliness and warmth. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the supposedly friendlier Osaka and didn’t see any noticeable difference.

Also, most of the Japanese people I work with in Tokyo aren’t from Tokyo.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

To be honest. I'm surprised Singapore didn't win. The few times I've been there, it was like a dream to me. Also, the food is amazing.

All big cities are great places to live if you can afford them. Money makes most of the large cities much better.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Tokyo is the best city in the world. I think we can all agree on that. Gigantic / 15 million people but extremely clean and safe. Toilets everywhere. Amazing public transportation. Endless entertainment, shopping, nature ( hard to believe, but it’s true ), history, job opportunities, technology, the list goes on.... The problem is when you say it’s also the best city in the world to live in. Well, it is......... if you have money. The thing is, Tokyo has too much money. It’s too d-mn rich. That’s not a bad thing, but if you wanna live in Tokyo, or should I say, enjoy living in Tokyo, expect difficulties. Also, the horrible work culture / too many people looking exhausted all the time / in a bad mood / cold/serious, and silent racism. Not everybody can take it, but living in “best city in the world” isn’t supposed to be “easy”. If you prefer inaka or smaller places, that’s a completely different story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PERFECTLY agreed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...living in the “best city in the world “ isn’t supposed to be easy. ( edit button missing )

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I first came to Tokyo 35 years ago. The air and water are so much cleaner now. We can often see Mt. Fuji or Landmark Tower all the way down in Yokohama. The Bay is clean enough that (some) people actually eat the shellfish that now have returned to grow there. As we get older, we like the safe and clean public transportation, and perception of low crime rates. I love the weather for six months of the year (March 15 to June 15, and Sep 15 to Dec 15) and access to ski slopes in the winter. Yes, it is expensive, but so are Singapore, Munich, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Vancouver. Our only concern is that our children, as they begin their careers, will be unable to live nearby due to the high costs and low wages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now, That is funny.....Nice to visit, but would not want to live there

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone said cold people, I have to agree, everyone looks down and tired and not want to crack a smile, I am always happy to get back out. ...Osaka/Kobe is better if you ask me"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HaHa.....and they had New York in the Top 4, maybe at one time, but now people are leaving in droves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people who published that list never lived in Tokyo and ridden a rush hour train. They never lived in a cramped apartment with a neighbor who smokes. They never met a a right wing racist who spits in the faces of foreigners. They never nearly got run down by a housewife on a mama chari on the sidewalk. They never were denied an apartment because are a foreigner. They never got carded by the police and had their bag searched for knives. Do I need to go on? Kentaro=Troll.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It’s just only a psychological issue. If you search for bad things in Tokyo, you’ll find an endless list of bad things to complain about. And if you search for good things in Tokyo, you’ll find an endless list of good things to enjoy. The same of course for all other cities or rural areas, anywhere. Maybe, some slums, desserts or the two poles don’t fit exactly, I know....lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people who published that list never lived in Tokyo and ridden a rush hour train. They never lived in a cramped apartment with a neighbor who smokes. They never met a a right wing racist who spits in the faces of foreigners. They never nearly got run down by a housewife on a mama chari on the sidewalk. They never were denied an apartment because are a foreigner. They never got carded by the police and had their bag searched for knives. Do I need to go on?

No, you don’t need to go on, because you just talked about your personal experiences ( the bad ones ). You didn’t talk about the city. What it has to offer. The good things. Good people. The positive side.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok RCCH, Tokyo has good sushi. Can I get a good burrito? no, good chinese food? No. ETC ETC. International atmosphere? no. Good people? When is the last time anyone was nice to you? Your friendly neighbors? I am assuming you are a caucasian.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tokyo has good sushi. Can I get a good burrito? no, good chinese food? No. ETC ETC. International atmosphere? no. Good people? When is the last time anyone was nice to you? Your friendly neighbors? I am assuming you are a caucasian.

Yes, a caucasian. I know where you’re trying to go, but this is Japan we’re talking about, not the US or Europe.

Good people, yes, there’s good people everywhere and people are nice to each other all the time, including to foreigners. You just don’t wanna see it or you choose not to. International atmosphere? Depends on the area. The problem is if you’re alone, you might find it hard to connect to people, feel a little lost. Tokyo is gigantic and people mind their own business.

Good burritos? You’re kidding... There’s chains in a number of places, and I’m not talking about Taco Bell. Good chinese food? That’s literally everywhere. If you’re trying to say that Tokyo is not that great, you really shouldn’t start talking about food.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've lived in Tokyo 15 years and enjoy it more now than when I first arrived. I'm not partying as hard as I did then but I know how to enjoy the variety of the city more now. Great place to live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

doggarNov. 22  06:04 pm JST

Ok RCCH, Tokyo has good sushi. Can I get a good burrito? no, good chinese food? No. ETC ETC. International atmosphere? no. Good people? When is the last time anyone was nice to you? Your friendly neighbors? I am assuming you are a caucasian.

You're so wrong on all counts I almost feel sorry for you.....but I don't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you only consider capital cities, why not.

IMHO, i prefer Nagasaki or Kagoshima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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