Tokyo: What are the best and worst things about living in Tokyo?


Adrian Francis, 38
Documentary film maker (Aussie)
I love how Tokyo is a big, chaotic mess, unlike my hometown, and I also enjoy getting lost when I am out and about, but the best thing is that I can eat and drink 24/7. The worst thing is that people have their heads down too much, focusing on work, so they miss so much of what is going on around them.

Antun Percic, 55
Actor (Croatian)
In Tokyo I can get absolutely everything I want. They have any and all types of restaurant, and I have access to anything I need. Culturally it is very diverse too, with a good music and theater scene. Worst, there are too many people and sometimes things are run a little too rigidly. Things need to be more flexible.

Yifei Matsunaga, 29
Training staff (Japanese)
Best, I like concerts and performances in Ueno, and at Suntory Hall, so that is great, unlike Okayama, where I used to be. Here there are performances every day. The worst thing is the Saikyo Line always stopping and so often running late. Home to work should take me 12 minutes but it usually takes about 30.

Jon Garner, 41
Photographer/performer (English)
The best thing is that all of my friends are here in Tokyo. Most of my friends outside work are performing artists, and as I am into photography, dance and theater, that is my life, so being based in Tokyo is great. On the down side, the arts here are underfunded and it is difficult to find truly thought-provoking forms of art.

Katsuya Maejima, 39
Sales manager (Japanese)
On the down side there are too many people in Tokyo and it is just too crowded. But, on a more positive note, it is convenient, the transportation is great, I can buy or eat anything from anywhere in the world and it just an exciting city to be in overall.

Dustin Bullock, 34
SNS blogger/writer (American)
The worst thing in Tokyo is the police. I am often stopped for no reason, and have my bags searched on the street. Tokyo is the only place I have experienced this. As for the best, public transport is great, on time, clean and safe. And I can go almost anywhere in the country on trains or buses.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

  • Gregory F Cope

    Tokyo is one of the world’s greatest cities and despite the crowds and organised chaos would also be on the safest cities, I love the fact that you can find spots of serenity in the amidst of all the chaos — Love it.

  • Susan Elizabeth-Marsh Tanabe

    I nearly always feel safe and confident, transportation is convenient, and we have NO lack of interesting performances, restaurants, parks, museums, etc. erc. etc….!!! NEgative? The crowds can get one down, and narrow expectations…. for me, of course, looking so non-Japanese, but honestly for everyone. Everyone has someone expecting things. This pressure and community can be good, as well, but at times it is stifling.

  • The best thing about Tokyo is the convenience of pretty much everything. The worst thing? Rush hour(s).

  • Colin Wilson

    I’ve been all over the globe, but nothing compares to Tokyo! Every time I hit the streets I have a new experience, and getting lost is a good thing in that I discover places I never knew existed. A city bristling with energy but offering side streets that are unbelievably serene, even the crowds fascinate me. Without a doubt, Tokyo is the greatest city on Earth.

  • Hannes Pretorius

    Best: Safety in numbers
    Worst: Expensive

  • $23204400

    Best: I like being in a strange land.
    Worse: I like being in a strange land.

  • Too dense. Too many people. I wish it was a little more spread out and have some space!

  • The best thing about Tokyo is that “you don’t have to speak and interact with anyone.” At the same time, ultra modern and no stress about crime when compared with other mega cities like London, Paris and so forth.

  • Steve

    To Mr, Dustin Bullock: please keep in mind that, in Japan, the police have no right to have a search without a warrant issued by a court.

    • James Wiegert

      Dear Steve,

      I imagine Dustin has been stopped as often as he has because he’s been ‘walking while Black’, as it were. Foreigners are always thought suspicious, and dark-skinned foreigners more suspicious than light-skinned ones.

      If Dustin speaks Japanese well enough, he could contest such stop-and-search actions by reciting relevant laws, but that could provoke the police stopping him to harrass him more. He’d probably do better to ask them if they were stopping and searching him because of his skin color, and whether they also stopped Japanese with suntans. He should speak loud enough for passersby to hear, unembarrassedly, continually, and always politely while being searched. If he can carry it off, he’ll embarrass the police, and probably anger them, but give them no reason to show their anger. He’ll defeat them on their terms and, perhaps, make them hesitate before stopping someone ‘walking while Black’ again.

      James Wiegert