Which city is the best? According to Insider, Tokyo is named the best city in the world!
Time out magazine also named Tokyo as the "Best City in Asia" in their global survey of more than 33,000 participants in 48 countries!
Even when putting Tokyo and traveling aside, Japan is one of the best countries to live in the world. According to the U.S.News international survey of "Best Countries to Live in" Japan was chosen 2nd by some 20,000 people worldwide.
So, why each time Japan and Tokyo get to enjoy such honorable title? Here's why:
The 7 Surprising Reasons Why Tokyo is The Best City To Live in The World:
1. Cheap and Good Public Gym.
The photo above can tell you pretty accurately how my ward's public gym looks like in Tokyo's downtown neighborhood.
I'm not talking about a rich neighborhood. No.
Your typical public gym in Tokyo will have large windows, high ceilings, wide variety of good and spotless clean equipment, trained staff, fitness classes (some will also host sumo and martial arts classes) and a pool.
All for a mere 280 yen or 3 US dollars.
2. Amazing and Free Indoor Play Areas.
Your local Tokyo neighborhood will definitely have a free INDOOR public play area for kids, that looks just like a fancy kindergarten school. It will have good variety of toys, such as train sets, toddler and baby toys, puzzles, cars, dolls, books, and what not! It will have a "nursing station" so that you can comfortably breastfeed or change your baby while being in the same room as your older child. The place is very likely to have a piano that kids can practice on, have a large room to play basketball and other sports for the older kids, have a crafts area and an area to give your children snacks if they get hungry.
Some rooms also include a corner with women's magazines for moms to enjoy while their kids play independently.
This is a great place to come and socialize on a rainy day and often, after school hours or weekends the staff hosts DIY with kids or mother-baby type of events.
Needless to say that despite being free, those public play rooms are spotless clean and the toys get sterilized.
The facilities are usually open daily from morning till evening and you should check on those whether you are a resident or just a traveler with kids. They are called "Jidoukan" in Japanese.
Moving to the next:
3. Clean Streets, Clean Parks
No poo on streets and you can safely sit and walk barefoot on grass in the parks. Now, remember that this is Tokyo we're talking about - a large metropolitan of 12 million people and not the case in many other developed countries' capitals.
4. Shops open 24/7.
Many Japanese cities and towns are dotted with convenience stores which operate 24/7.
And if you go to Tokyo and large cities in Japan, you will also enjoy all the fashion, decor, books and any other chain, department and independent stores open on Sundays and most of the holidays.
If you traveled to European countries you know that this is often not the case there. In Japan, however, you don't have to stick to the touristy areas on the weekend and explore shopping areas in downtown neighborhoods.
What else is next?
5. No Smoking on Streets.
This is a big relief for non-smokers who don't like to be turned to passive smokers: smoking is prohibited on most streets in cities in Japan.
Once in a while you may see an open-air "smoking station" in Japan, usually next to a convenient store. It's a good solution to those who need a smoke, without harming nonsmokers.
You may also find that stores sell portable ash trays (looking like a small metal wallet) to encourage people to extinguish their cigarettes that way instead of discarding on the street. Surprisingly, it works.
6. Safe and Great Train Network.
You really don't need to have a car in Tokyo. The train network in Japan is both safe and efficient.
To provide extra safety for women in busy hours, train companies operate "women's carriages". Men can't enter those.
Of course, women are not obliged to use such cars - the purpose is to make the rides feel more pleasant and safe during rush hour commute.
In Japan, you won't encounter pickpockets.
You may notice that people walk around with their bags wide open, wallets sticking out, nap with phones in their hands and leaving their laptops in cafes to go to the restroom. That's how rare it is to have any belongings stolen, even in crowded Tokyo.
7. Affordable Dining-out.
You may have noticed that many other capitals in the world are quite expensive when it comes to eating out in nice restaurants, but that's not the case in Japan.
Japan is the country of affordable restaurants. While Japan definitely has some expensive options, you can eat a gourmet meal in a chic restaurant for 10 US dollars or under!
The secret is to come during weekdays lunch time or seek the 100 yen (1 US dollar) sushi chains, that, in our opinion, taste just as good and fresh as their more expensive competitors.
Conclusion: there are much more reasons why Tokyo, and Japan in general, are such a good place to travel and live. We hope you enjoyed our list.