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Tokyo ranked as most livable city in the world in Monocle annual survey

27 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

For the past 11 years, British-based lifestyle magazine Monocle has published a ranking of the most livable cities in the world. The evaluations in the annual Quality of Life Survey draw from factors such as transportation infrastructure, cultural activities, cuisine, housing costs, abundance of public spaces, and business startup climate.

Germany has the most entries on this year’s list, with four of its cities making the cut. However, Japan was close behind with three cities in the top 25, including the top spot overall.

Coming in at number 14 is Fukuoka, the largest city on the southwest island of Kyushu, which won its spot thanks to its educational institutions, entrepreneur-friendly economic environment, and seaside location.

A few slots higher on the list, at number 12, was Kyoto. Long a darling of the global community for its historical heritage and beautiful architecture, Monocle also cited the city’s rich food culture, with locally-sourced produce getting a special mention.

And finally, at the top of rankings, just as it was in 2016 and 2015, is Tokyo. The continued admiration for Japan’s capital in Monocle’s list stems from its ability to mix “small-town warmth and big city excitement.” While not every resident would call Tokyo “warm,” there’s no denying that Tokyo’s extremely unique neighborhoods form a massive continual chain of discovery and new experiences.

Monocle also spoke of Tokyo’s amazing dining options and eminently reliable, low-stress public transportation, securing the win for a city the magazine said “should be…unbearably crowed,” but is instead an excellent place to live.

The full list of the top 25 consists of:

  1. Oslo

  2. Portland

  3. Brisbane

  4. Auckland

  5. Singapore

  6. Amsterdam

  7. Dusseldorf

  8. Vancouver

  9. Barcelona

  10. Lisbon

  11. Hong Kong

  12. Fukuoka

  13. Helsinki

  14. Kyoto

  15. Stockholm

  16. Madrid

  17. Hamburg

  18. Zurich

  19. Sydney

  20. Copenhagen

  21. Melbourne

3 (tie). Munich

3 (tie). Berlin

  1. Vienna

  2. Tokyo

Of course, as with anything desirable, some would say you get what you pay for, as Tokyo regularly also tops lists of the most expensive places in the world to live. Some of those horror stories are exaggerations or misrepresentations, though, and knowing that, it’s not such a shock to see Tokyo picked as the most livable city in the world.

Sources: Monocle via Nikkei via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japan’s top 10 cat names for 2017

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

-- Japanese netizens proud to see Tokyo named safest city in the world, Osaka number three

© SoraNews24

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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The people who voted Tokyo as "the most lovable city in the world" must have lived in luxury hotels and obviously don't know anything about the daily commuter experience or never needed emergency medical care on a weekend.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Obviously nobody from Monocle has ever been to Tokyo, much less lived there.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Um, the list is incorrect, this has a less Confusing numbering for the list.

https://hypebeast.com/2017/6/monocle-magazine-most-liveable-city-2017

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love Tokyo. I can understand how it could be number one. The commuting sucks during the rushes, but the rest of the day it's often fine, and very convenient.

With all the options of places to eat, and things to do, beaches just an hour away, mountains to climb nearby, and the shinkansen making most of the country reachable in just a few hours, Tokyo is great.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Monocle is partly owned by Nikkei Inc and the publisher Tyler Brule writes a column for the Financial Times newspaper, also owned by Nikkei Inc.

Hardly a surprise that Tokyo wins bestest place in the world nearly every year...

12 ( +16 / -4 )

As ever these things need to be taken with a large grain of salt. These surveyors drop in for a few days, stay at one of the 5 star hotels, interview a few people who share their ideas about (destination) and make their lists.

Having said that, Tokyo's transport system is still one of the best in the world, it is still one of the safest cities (relatively speaking) I have ever been in and it is certainly true if there is something you want to do or try, Tokyo probably has it.

But the Tokyo I have lived in for the last 20 years is the one of packed commutes, tight living conditions and little leisure time (or budget!) to enjoy those "world class" museums, nice mountains/beaches or amazing restaurants. Basically Tokyo is a concrete-slathered stress inducement machine.

Other cities, like Sapporo or Fukuoka, get the balance better in my humble opinion.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Since I've rarely had to take the packed trains and have lived on outskirts but still 東京都, I love it! I've never lived in Barcelona, but spent some time there, no way! Pickpockets, general crime, etc., no thanks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Alfie Noakes you beat me to it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

eminently reliable, low-stress public transportation

I really don't know what to say to such an idiotic statement. I have hypertension at the maximum every morning because of the assault on my personal dignity. It is only getting worse with more condos being built.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"The evaluations in the annual Quality of Life Survey draw from factors such as transportation infrastructure, cultural activities, cuisine, housing costs, abundance of public spaces, and business startup climate."

bcexileToday 08:56 am JST

As ever these things need to be taken with a large grain of salt. These surveyors drop in for a few days, stay at one of the 5 star hotels, interview a few people who share their ideas about (destination) and make their lists.

Seems clear to me too, putting Hong-Kong in that list really shows that they have no ideas of how the locals live there ...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I find these rankings pretty baffling and useless. You can easily rig them to reach a desired result (such as Tokyo being #1) depending on how you weigh the various criteria used to measure livability. They also tell you nothing about how cities actually are to live in.

I lived in Fukuoka for four years and loved the city, for example, but on the list it sits between Hong Kong and Helsinki. These three cities have nothing in common and one's experience living in them would be massively different. But on this list they are ranked as if they were virtually the same.

Conversely another city I have lived in, Kobe, is also really great for many of the same reasons that Fukuoka is (about the same size, nestled between the mountains and ocean, etc. Main difference is that Kobe is close to Osaka and Kyoto while Fukuoka is in a bit more of a rustic location). Yet Kobe doesn't make the list for some reason.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Obviously they are not factoring in work-life-wages balance. What a ridiculous ranking. Glad I don't read and fall for that type of propaganda.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

if you look past the crowds, lines, sold out of everything you want and peeing in the street then sure, its ok...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Money has changed hands.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Can't blame Monocle for having a one-eyed view of what a 'livable city' looks like can we. yes we can!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That list makes no sense, clueless!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a joke!

Tokyo with its high pollution,high prices, high population density and reams of concrete, and a microclimate in the summer offer what exactly to be no 1?

i don't think that I'm in a rush to get there anytime soon!......

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I've been to many of these places and would put Singapore at #1, or maybe #2 since the heat can be overbearing all year. I'd still put Tokyo in top 5; most people nay-saying are just unhappy with their place of employment. But yeah, Portland at #2??? A homeless-ridden, drugged out (yet still expensive) hippy hell hole like that shouldn't even be on the list anywhere. So yeah, not a very believeable list regardless of your opinions of Tokyo.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Who wants to live in a city, anyway?

Small-town life is the best; open spaces, clean air, more green than concrete, yet still all the shops and conveniences modern life demands. Plus neighbours who say hello.

You'd have to pay me an awful lot to get me to live in a city again.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

cleo

Who wants to live in a city, anyway?

I do. I've lived about a third of my life living in the country in the UK and Japan, with 10 years high up in the Japan Alps with winters of deep snow, which takes so many hours every day just to clear.

But I wouldn't rank Tokyo has the most livable city and could think of many more ahead of that.

I like living in a city like Kobe which is easy to get around on foot, bicycle or cheap public transport. From my home I can walk to the sea in less than 30 minutes or go the opposite away and in 30 minutes lost in deep mountains without a sole insight. There are also more than 40,000 foreigners living in Kobe which makes for great restaurants, including many good Indian. Mosques, churches, shrines, temples, Jain temple, synagogues and cemeteries for dead foreigners are all in the mix.

All of our neighbors know each other and we always say hello and even stop for some small talk. The air is clean and most days there's a wind.

Plenty of sites for growing vegetables.

I love next to the sea.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

BertieWooser: "Obviously nobody from Monocle has ever been to Tokyo, much less lived there."

Au contraire, my friend; Monocle was partly bought out by the Nikkei Publishing Company two or three years ago, which is why every year since Monocle publishes Tokyo as the most liveable city in the world.

"The magazine launched on 15 February 2007. In September 2014, Brûlé sold a minority stake in Monocle magazine to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. The deal valued Monocle at about U.S. $115 million, although the size of Nikkei's investment was undisclosed."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monocle_(UK_magazine)

And then in the very next year...

"The 2015 Monocle Survey determined the world's most liveable city was Tokyo (a total of three Japanese cities were on the list)"

It then gave Tokyo, once again, the most liveable city in 2016, and now 2017.

So, for the record, since a major stake was bought by Japanese Nikkei Co, Japanese cities have started appearing not only as #1, but up to three in the top ten. Tokyo was #22 in 2013, and yet the year it was bought it moves up to #2, then #1 consistently in the years since?

Près tel, what changed in that one year to move it up 20 spots, aside from a major Japanese company basically buying it out?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Monocle is partly owned by Nikkei Inc and the publisher Tyler Brule writes a column for the Financial Times newspaper, also owned by Nikkei Inc.

Hardly a surprise that Tokyo wins bestest place in the world nearly every year...

Exactly. The idea that Tokyo beats out places like Vancouver or Melborne, or some of the other amazing cities out there is laughable.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Who wants to live in a city, anyway?

Not me thanks.

Small-town life is the best; open spaces, clean air, more green than concrete, yet still all the shops and conveniences modern life demands. Plus neighbours who say hello.

Hear hear!

You'd have to pay me an awful lot to get me to live in a city again.

You couldn't pay me enough.

Zichi, Kobe sounds amazing! Never been, but been to Nishinomiya.

Even among Japanese cities Tokyo is nothing to write home about. Osaka and Sapporo are MUCH nicer.

Smith- Spot on! excellent post!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who wants to live in a city, anyway?

Me. City girl born and bred, I find the love of rural living baffling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Luddite: "I find the love of rural living baffling"

Strange way of thinking for a Luddite. :) Of course it all comes down to matter of opinion which you prefer, but I doubt there are many who would disagree the worst of country life doesn't hold a candle to the worst of the city (and I don't mean lack of conbinis, I mean crime, dirtiness, noise, pollution, cost, etc.), but which has the better points of the two is certainly debatable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a joke! The authors must have confused the category with "most miserable concrete jungle".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love it but at number one? Hmm.

It's great for live music, food, festivals, shopping and all that. Shrines, parks, landmarks and an efficient public transport (if crowded at certain times) all add to the mix.

But it's nice to visit; couldn't live in the city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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