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Life in Tokyo: the good and the bad
How is life in Tokyo? Quite good, it seems, at least according to the surveys that periodically appear online. For example, one thing indisputable about Tokyo is that it's a safe city, especially considering its size and population. The city has consistently ranked among the top ten cities in numerous surveys, most recently in one by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP).
Last month, the American insurance company released a list of cities around the world that are considered to be the safest places to visit in 2023. The ranking included 29 cities in total, selected from readily available lists of the world’s most popular destinations from companies like Expedia and American Express.
Survey respondents were then asked to rate the cities on the list that they had visited based on their personal experiences. Finally, BHTP factored in ratings from recent surveys, including the biennial safe-cities index from The Economist.
Here are the top 15:
BHTP noted that the perceptions survey respondents had of each city varied greatly depending on their age, gender and income.
According to the firm, female travelers rated Tokyo at No 1 in terms of safety.
Tokyo's overall position at No 7 may come as a surprise to some, seeing as it was among the top three in the same survey last year. I really don’t know the reason for this. What do you think?
On the downside, many expats (I suspect many native English speakers are among them) don’t seem to have a great opinion about life in Tokyo, at least according to the annual Expat City Ranking compiled by InterNations, a global network of expatriates, which put Tokyo 42nd out of 50 cities around the globe.
It seems that though Tokyo was named as one of the best cities in the world in 2022, it might not be a great place for expats to live.
Over 11,000 people took part in the Expat Insider survey, which analyses 50 major cities around the world. The survey focuses on five key areas of expat life: quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and expat essentials.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, the survey's top three best cities for expats are Valencia (No 1), Dubai (No 2) and Mexico City (No 3).
Tokyo is sandwiched between Rome (No 41) and Vancouver (No 43), while the lowest-ranked city is Johannesburg in 50th place.
Overall, Tokyo ranked 16th for quality of life. It also scored highly when it came to health and well-being, travel and transit as well as leisure options.
As for ease of settling in, Tokyo placed 39th, with survey responders saying it’s hard to make friends in the city and that they don't feel welcome.
Under the working abroad category, Tokyo came in 40th place as expats have a difficult time finding work satisfaction and work-life balance. In terms of personal finance, Tokyo came in 22nd place based on the general cost of living, satisfaction with finances and disposable income.
Finally, Tokyo ranked in 45th place in the expat essentials category.
According to the report, the city does not offer enough cashless payment options for ease and convenience.
Additionally, Tokyo came in 50th place for language as the survey said it’s not easy to live in Tokyo without speaking Japanese.
Which means - at least to me - that a lot of expats are lazy
To read the full report, visit the website.
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