Why Tokyo Is the Best Place to Be
By Mark Ellis
So you have decided to move to Tokyo or you have been here for a while. Either way, congratulations! You are in one of the best cities in the world. That is no exaggeration. I have been to almost every major city and all of the continents except Africa and Antarctica. So far, my journeys have all led me to the same conclusion. There is no place on earth that’s quite like Tokyo.
For starters Tokyo has the best and most efficient train and subway system in the world. It goes everywhere, always arrives on time and is so clean you could practically lie down on the floor and take a nap without worrying about catching some sort of parasite or being bitten by vermin. Speaking of sleeping, the train is the best place to get a quick nap between meetings or parties. I have heard horror stories of people falling asleep on the train in other towns and waking up a few pounds light of their possessions. It always pays to be on guard but in Tokyo, if you fall asleep on the train you will, unless you are extremely unlucky, wake up with all of your belongings and unmolested. If your wallet falls to the floor or your cell phone slips out of your hand and onto the seat these items will magically remain where they are or find their way on your lap when you wake up.
This leads me to the next point. Tokyo is the safest metropolis in the world. In fact, the Huffington Post ranked it the number one safest city followed by Singapore and Dubrovnik, Croatia. There are no real “rough parts” of town in Tokyo. The neighborhoods Japanese people call rough, like the Sanya area near Minami Senju Station, are clean, well kept working class communities that have almost no violent crime. You will never be mugged, attacked, or murdered in Tokyo. While it does happen once every five years or so, the chances of it not happening are astronomically in your favor. Since Astronomical rhymes with gastronomical let’s talk about the third reason why Tokyo is the best city in the world, food.
Michelin, the world’s foremost authority on fine dining haughtily made Tokyo the reigning champion of good eating by awarding her restaurants more stars than any other city in the world. They made this proclamation 6 years in a row. At present, Tokyo has more three-star restaurants than Paris, New York, or London! Even the places in Tokyo that don’t get stars can be miles above other cities’ establishments in terms of cleanliness, freshness, nutrition, presentation and taste. You can also find cuisine from most places in the world, China, Thailand, Korea, France, Italy, Spain, India, Morocco, Senegal, and the US. You can find it all in this town. The only down side is portions are smaller so if you like being a glutton then you will have to order two of everything to get your fill.
The service in Tokyo is also unmatched. You don’t have to be in a place that serves truffles or hundred-dollar sushi to get great service. Even at the local hamburger shop the staff is always pleasant and eager to help. Everyone does their job with absolute professionalism. From the sandwich maker to the master chef, from the train conductor to the old lady who cleans the toilets, you will be hard pressed to find anyone who shows their bad attitude or slacker side to the general public.
It really is the little things we take for granted that make the experience worthwhile. Tokyo is famous for being futuristic, colorful, full of manga, architecturally inspiring, fashionable and often bizarre. All of that is well and good but being able to experience it all in comfort, safety, and with a belly full of great food makes this city truly one of the best places to live in whole wide world.
Photos by Marcellus Nealy