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Tokyo is the world's most forward-thinking city. It sets global trends in everything from technology to fashion.

36 Comments

Japanese Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda, on why he thinks Tokyo should be awarded the 2020 Olympics. (AFP).

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If your world view hasn't changed since 1985, this might be true.

What, you need an open public wifi spot for INTER-WEB? Ah, then tough luck. You want to rent a public bicycle? Sorry. You want to stick a cheap prepaid SIM into your own smartphone from overseas? Um, afraid not.

Ah, but you can go to Akihabara and buy the latest analogue devices made by Sony, Panasonic and Hitachi.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Haha man I laughed when I read this, this guy a comedian!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

You want to rent a public bicycle?

You can rent bicyles in Tokyo.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What a joke!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's a joke for people who haven't been to other major mega-cities in the world (.that are riddled with problems such as slums & ghettos/ high crime / dirty/ poor transportation system) . . ................................Although I would qualify the statement by suggesting that Tokyo is AMONG the forward-looking/ progressive cities.........................BTW cycling is progressive - it in "IN' in all major western cities developing of traffic infrastructures .

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You can rent bicyles in Tokyo.

As part of the public transit system, as in London, Paris, etc., where you use your tap card? My work takes me all over central Tokyo, and I've yet to see a public bike station. I don't see many dedicated bicycle lanes, either.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

This is the funnist thing I've heard this year yet!

It sets global trends in everything from technology to fashion.

Examples please. Especially fashion. Other than hipsters, I don't see effeminate ladyboys pruning and preening themselves in public in many places overseas. Japanese people have the worst fashion sense I've ever seen.

You can rent bicyles in Tokyo.

Not like you can in London.

What, you need an open public wifi spot for INTER-WEB? Ah, then tough luck.

Completely agree! Free wi-fi doesn't seem to exist anywhere outside of Starbucks or McD's.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

As part of the public transit system, as in London, Paris, etc., where you use your tap card?

No. Then again, you did not write that, did you? You just you can't rent bicycles in Tokyo and the fact is you can and people do. If you want to say something, perhaps you might actually want to be specific about what you want to say. If you had, I would not have commented.

Not like you can in London.

I already address it above, but I would still rather live in Tokyo than London for lots of reasons.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I hear that other cities are going to follow Tokyo's lead and cut the working hours of ATM's so they don't need to work 24x7. A huge boost for equality of machines to humans in the banking industry.

That aside though, other cities really could learn from mass transit here.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

LOL. Try using a credit card in thousands of the restaurants there. Or how about having to stand in line while they hand write a receipt for someone and stamp it with their hanko. Yup, that's clearly cutting-edge in technology.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"Global Trends in technology" ?- That would be the Americans... I pods, phones, pads- Drone warfare- medicine- energy- the list goes on and on- The US still does more organ transplants in a day than Japan does in a year ! And Fashion ? How many Japanese can afford anything but "Uniqlo" ??? Sorry- Mr. Takeda needs to re-think his comments... nobody is buying this nonsense !

4 ( +8 / -4 )

1: No cheap contact free SIM cards for iPhones and iPads?

2: ATM machines for travellers that only take cards from Japanese banks?

3: No free wiffi spots (aside from McD's and Starbucks)

4: No bicycle rental places

Fix these and for visitors Tokyo would go from really good to great.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@herefornow While I don't agree with the article, I have to call you out on what you wrote.

There are plenty of restaurants that take credit card - heck even most of the Taxi's take credit cards now. I don't remember the last time I had to wait for a handwritten receipt or are you thinking of a ryoshusho?

When are you referring to? 10, 20 years ago?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

WOW, what a load of rubbish while his daughters sport Louis Vuitton. I would have loved to call him during this little statement just to see him whip out an iPhone.

Internet WiFi sucks here. No free HotSpots.

This place just isn't ready for the 2020 Olympics. Nuclear Contamination is still a problem. There is also speculation that Mt. Fuji is going to erupt.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I have been here for less then a year and I can honestly say...OMG, I really felt like I was in a third world country most days. I have not purchased an item of clothing since my arrival...not because I am too big or anything...I am actually a small sized woman...it's just that the clothing is nothing compared to USA, France, etc. Many items of high value I see women carry are actually fakes and I don't even know if they know it. Anyhow...it's just what I have observed. I couldnt believe they don't even have a computer system that would connect with other Department of vehicle departments etc...police stations...I had to take the hand written receipts to another town where they have to hand write things and then send me back two hours to get mey car registered. Hi tech, leading fashions, "I think not".

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Tokyo is the world's most forward-thinking city. It sets global trends in everything from technology to fashion.

This should be the title of the earlier "Photo of the day", where stranded passengers are sitting on a shiny concrete floor, waiting for their canceled flight connections...

Technology, fashion? The Olympics will be about traveling people, and updating services and infrastructure, to accommodate them...

Meanwhile, there's a stretch of Japan in the northeast, that needs rebuilding...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don't agree with this statement. Also, forward thinking and forward progress are two different things. As some posters said, you can't use credit cards in many places, many ATMs don't operate 24/7 and don't take foreign cards, the subways and trains close down at around one a.m. on weekdays, and even earlier on weekends. Many entertainment establishments will refuse service before even finding out whether you can speak the language, can pay in yen, etc. Free wi-fi spots are few and far between and some taxis will not pick you up. The average prices for goods and services in Tokyo are also much more expensive than in almost all other metropolitan areas in the world. There are many categories which can be used to define what he's talking about. Unfortunately, I don't think he really knows what he's talking about.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

First time I've seen the title longer than the article.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yep, and Tokyo takes care of snow quickly!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Forward thinking ???? Really ?

Global trends ???? Hmmmmmmm somewhat

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HAHA, of course he would say that, but he hasnt left his house since 1986. fashion is good that is true, IF you can find YOUR size (TRUE L or XL) for men, and at reasonable prices. No WIFI, lots of places refuse Visa cards, grumpy Taxi drivers, ridiculous queues to see the Worlds smallest Tower, incredibly difficult to understand Train systems. Tech?? Well, talking machines & human robots is about all, cant even get a ryoshusho straight up, have to ask and usually get it from another place.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

mmm. My opinion is irrelevant..but may I ask why any of you choose to live here, since you have such a bad opinion of the city?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I will say though, that the world cup improved things for visitors somewhat, and my big hope if the olympics does come here is that it will improve things here for foreigners beyond all measure - particularly with the banking system which is just ludicrous as it stands at the moment.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

wtf? I guess this is why it's called an opinion huh? Although I do believe that with the most Michelin stars that Tokyo can make an argument to be the world's leading food centre.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lets list cities more forward thinking than Tokyo and why we think so...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Forward thinking huh? Hmmmm. Could have fooled me. I wonder how many other cities around the world Mr. Takeda has visited to be qualified to make this statement.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the other big thing is ability to book anything online. It is pretty standard these days to book train journeys online but I tried with the Shinkansen the other day and could find any info...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@slumdog I did write "public bicycle," ie, ones provided as part of a public service, in my first post. Please read my posts in their entirety before you attempt to criticize them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Backward thinking as a matter of facts. And a culture which is the most conformists then anywhere else.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Seriously? Jeez, there is a lot of hate here huh?

Tokyo is a great city, I appreciate the place for what it is, as opposed to hating it for what it is not.

But I haven't been to all the cities of the world, so I really couldn't say which is the best.....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

(no offense meant but )

Japan is number one when it comes to research and development when it comes to technology discoveries.

Japan and Korea are tie-ups in leading technologies.

still, South Korea's fashion is a number one because of their cheek, classic, simple and elegant style.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Chic. : )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Number one in technology? No way. The San Francisco's Silicon Valley and environs gets that prize. Fashion? Its Paris and New York. Politically, Greater Tokyo is a hick town that elects idiotic politicians like Ishihara. Hardly anyone speaks English. Tokyo, however, is great for used cameras, fountain pens and high calibre watches. It also has fantastic restaurants on every corner. Public transport is excellent, as is the case in all major cities of Japan. In my unmarried younger days I also found Tokyo a great place for romance. Yoyogi Park is memorable. And--I must not forget the great bookstores.

There is one thing that will ruin Tokyo. The Olympics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

anything could happen in the next 7 years and I don't expect mother nature to be nice for Tokyo

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a cheap pre-paid SIM card from Softbank that I use with my smartphone. It doesn't have data though, but I don't care about that. I just connect to any of the hundreds of unsecured wifi hotspots that people setup in their homes. Now some would want the data and I have no idea if Softbank does that.

Bike rentals or public bikes, I don't think there is much need in Tokyo. Subways, buses, and taxis are everywhere. Outside of that walking is also an option, as the special wards are only a short walk between two. I've walked from Shijuku to Shibuya all the time. That or Harajuku to Shibuya.

Fashion? Ya...definitely not Tokyo. Unless they think the businessman look is really in. Crazy, weird, colorful, etc fashion. That definitely sticks out. Gyaru, loli goth, visual kei, etc. It's not something you'd see anywhere else.

ATMs would be an issue for some, but I don't know if that's really a Japan issue or your bank issue. I have credit union, where my card works everywhere. I've used it in England, S.Korea, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc. My other credit union, that card won't work outside the states. Both cards are Visa, so can't see why both my bank cards don't work.

I also don't see Japan as being number 1 in technology. Not anymore at least. In 2005, I'd say they were. Their phones were far more sophisicated and their internet faster than anywhere else I've been (still is today).

Japan getting the Olympics. I don't know. They'd definitely do a decent job of housing the Olympics, I just don't see how it can be anything good for Japan. I'd just imagine they'd end up hating foreigners even more, if their is a slew of crime from travellers.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In fact officialdom ends up hating foreigners even before they arrive. Invariably the xenophobic radar starts working as soon as Japan gets the Olympics. Last time there was paranoia about foreign hooligans and constant drills. There were no hooligans, of course. They could not afford Japan. When there are lots foreigners we permanent residents start getting looked at as potential criminals. It is bad enough when we are going through immigration.

Fortunately, Tokyo does not have a snowball's chance in Hilo thanks to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, something that not even the LDP and Abe can hide under the rug.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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