10 Great Things About Living in Tokyo
I have been living in Japan for a total of five years, both as a student and as a full-time worker. Most of that time has been in Tokyo, the capital. It is one of my favourite cities in the world and a great place to live for many reasons.
Tokyo, formerly named "Edo" and literally meaning "east capital," has been the capital city of Japan since 1604. It has a population of over 38 million people, and more flock to the city on weekdays for work and weekends for shopping and sightseeing. It is a dazzling metropolis that is more like a group of several cities, with a huge size of 1,360 square miles.
Millions of tourists visit Japan each year for its unique traditions, sightseeing spots, and interesting subcultures.
Here are the top 10 reasons why I love living in Tokyo:
- It's Safe
- The Weather Is Mild
- It's Clean
- It's Convenient
- There Is a Good Balance of Modern and Traditional
- It's in a Good Location
- It Has Great Nightlife
- There Is Always an Event on
- It's Near Tokyo Disneyland
- It Has Amazing Sightseeing
1. It's Safe
As a young woman, safety is especially important when choosing somewhere to live. According to both the Economist and Business Insider, Tokyo is officially the safest city in the world! Crime is very low, it is safe to walk around alone at night, and things like pickpocketing and terrorism are virtually non-existent.
You can leave your personal belongings on your seat in a cafe when you go to get your order, which isn't something you can do in many places. Tokyo being so safe despite its size is definitely an upside of living here.
2. The Weather Is Mild
Many places in Japan are known and visited for the opportunities that their weather provides. Northern prefectures such as Hokkaido, Aomori, and Nagano are famous for winter sports and get several feet of snow every year. Southern prefectures such as those in Kyushu get really hot in the summer.
One of the reasons the Imperial Family live in Tokyo is that the weather here never gets too extreme. It indeed hot and humid in the summer, but in winter it is clear and sunny, and rarely snows. In 2018, it snowed for only two days, and it quickly melted. Mild weather means it's easier to live here and not have to worry about things like wrapping pipes (to stop them from bursting). As someone who despises snow, the lack of it in Tokyo is a big bonus.
3. It's Clean
Compared to many other cities, Tokyo is incredibly clean. The streets are free of litter (in most places), the parks are very well kept, and people generally care about their local environment.
Household garbage is separated properly and people who are out and about are encouraged to take their litter home with them. It's wonderful to be able to go to a park and not worry about dog dirt or overflowing bins. Tokyo's cleanliness is also one of my favourite things about living here.
4. It's Convenient
Tokyo is incredibly convenient for a number of reasons.
- Shops are open until late. My local supermarket is open from 10:00am until after midnight and convenience stores, which are on almost every street and sell everything from cigarettes and alcohol to beauty products and ready meals, are open 24/7.
- The trains run every few minutes in central Tokyo. I never have to check train times because there will always be one running every four minutes or so.
- Trains are rarely late, and when they are, it is usually only by a few minutes.
- There are vending machines everywhere. This is even true for rural areas.
When I go outside Tokyo, I realise how spoiled I am when I realise there isn't a 24/7 shop nearby or I can't just hop on a train without having to check the times. Tokyo's convenience gives this city bonus points.
5. There Is a Good Balance of Modern and Traditional
In Tokyo, I can head down to Shibuya, Ikebukuro, or Shinjuku for ultra-modern buildings, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. If I'm in the mood for something more traditional, I can visit one of the many well-preserved temples and shrines in the city.
Tokyo has an excellent blend of the modern lifestyle while holding on to their traditions such as the kimono, tea ceremonies, and sumo wrestling. Whatever I am in the mood for, there is somewhere in Tokyo I can go.
6. It's in a Good Location
Tokyo is pretty much in the middle of Japan, a few hours from Kyoto and Osaka as well as a few hours from Hokkaido. Tokyo is also located close to other great places such as the stunning and temple-rich Kamakura and the trendy city of Yokohama.
I had a friend who studied in Okayama and never got to see East Japan, which was a shame. Tokyo is located very conveniently for seeing other parts of Japan.
7. It Has Great Nightlife
Shibuya, Roppongi, and beyond have all sorts of events in their exciting nightclubs. Shinjuku's 2-chome is the city's gay district and is chock full of fun bars and clubs. And then there is the Japanese style of drinking at izakaya pubs.
Izakayas sell delicious pub food such as salted soybeans, meat on a stick, and unique specialties. You can also try all kinds of beer, wine, and sake. It's a great way to spend an evening. If you like sweet drinks, I recommend "umeshuu," which is plum-based sake.
8. There Is Always an Event On
You can never be bored in Tokyo. There are constantly events on, such as music festivals, flea markets, limited themed cafes, annual events, and of course the traditional festivals that have occurred for years. There is never a dull day in this city and you will never run out of things to do here.
9. It's Near Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea are less than an hour from Tokyo, which is another great reason to live here! Osaka has Universal Studios but we have two Disney-themed parks that people love to visit.
10. It Has Amazing Sightseeing
Even when living in Japan, there are many places I still haven't seen. Tokyo has some great sightseeing spots such as Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace Gardens, Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Temple, Harajuku's Takeshita-dori Street, parks, shopping, and more to keep people coming back again and again. Tokyo is never boring, and that is another reason I love being here.
I love living in Tokyo, and I will probably continue living here for a few years yet! It is a great place to visit and I feel lucky to be able to live somewhere where I feel safe, comfortable, and happy. Have you ever been to Tokyo, and if so, what did you think?
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© 2018 Poppy