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Friday, 12th June 2015
In General Japan News,

Tokyo is most liveable city in the world, says Monocle magazine

The most liveable city in the world is Tokyo, according to the British lifestyle magazine Monocle. The publication ranked the Japanese capital at the top of its annual quality of life survey, and if it is good to live in, then it must also be a fantastic place to visit.

Monocle magazine has been carrying out the study each year for the past nine years and until now, Tokyo has never managed to beat the other participants. In 2014, the city came in at second place, but has now managed to better this by claiming the top spot.

What put Tokyo into first position was its "defining paradox of heart-stopping size and concurrent feeling of peace and quiet," the magazine said. These apparent contradictions are what make the city unique and such a fascinating, yet not stressful place to be.

Tokyo was not the only Japanese metropolis to be featured in the list, however, with Fukuoka and Kyoto coming in at number 12 and 14 respectively. The former benefits from its position on the shores of Kyushu Island, while the latter is a refined city that once was the capital of Japan.

Monocle changed the system for conducting the survey this year, with 22 new criteria added. These included the cost of a three-bedroom house, the price of a cup of coffee, glass of wine and lunch, as well as the accessibility of the outdoors.

These were used as extra pointers on top of tradition elements, such as crime rate, presence of good healthcare infrastructure and educational and environmental wellbeing. A number of so-called intangibles were also taken into consideration, such as the closing time of bars and a commitment to culture.

Culture is something that Tokyo has plenty of and has become well-known for around the world. Whether it is museums and institutions, historic buildings and gardens, temples and shrines or film and literature, the city has something to interest all kinds of visitor.

Tyler Brule, editor-in-chief at Monocle, said: "We've tried to give value to places where there’s something else we know is vital: freedom, grit, independence, a joy with life. We're frustrated with city councils that are too quick to say no, places where parents never let their children run free and capitals that seem opposed to the odd late night out."

The full results of the 2015 Quality of Life Survey will be published in the July/August edition of the magazine, which is expected to go on sale on June 18th. Tokyo was followed by Vienna and Berlin in the top three places.

Monocle aims to be a briefing on global affairs and is published out of London ten times a year. It has a print run of 81,000 copies and 18,000 subscribers. It is not the only publication to run annual quality of life surveys, with the likes of Mercer and the Economist Intelligence Unit also carrying out such studies every year. Each one has its own criteria to distinguish the best places to live and visit around the world.