The Good Points And Bad Points Of Living In Tokyo

Photo: Jae C. Hong (AP)
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Do you live in Tokyo? Do you want to? Recently online in Japan, people listed the good points and the bad ones of living in the metropolis with the largest population density on Earth.

Thirty-eight million people reside in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is more than in Delhi (25.7 million), Shanghai (23.7 million) and Sao Paulo (21 million). Surely, there must be benefits to living in such a place! There are, but living in Tokyo also has drawbacks.

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Below are some of the upvoted comments about the merits and demerits of Tokyo life from popular online Japanese forum GirlsChannel:

“Merits: It’s kinda fun, easy to make more connections and become successful. Demerits: High rent, lots of people.”

“Too many people. The trains are packed.”

“Merit: People don’t interfere with you. Demerit: If you’re poor, you can only live in bad areas (rent).”

“You can easily go to Disneyland.”

“Merits: You can go anywhere by train. You’re close to your company. Demerits: High cost of living. There’s no land. There are no nursery schools.” (Note: Obviously, there are nursery schools, but in some parts of Tokyo, not enough to meet the demand.)

“In the countryside, people interfere with your life. There are rumors and lies.”

“Demerit: It costs money.”

“Rent is high and I hate packed trains. For my wedding, I returned back home to the countryside, and while I’m from the countryside, the countryside is fucking shit.”

“Merit: The number of job options you have opens up. Demerit: Even though houses are stupidly expensive, they’re small.”

“For someone in places like Osaka or Nagoya or any reasonably sized city, where you can get work, there is no merit, I think. The land is expensive and there are way too many people.

“It’s too hot in the summer!! It’s hot in local areas, but the concrete jungle is awful.”

“The fact that it’s no problem if you don’t have a car [is a good thing].”

“Even if the rent is high, if you think about the maintenance costs of a must-have car in the countryside, there isn’t much difference.”

“The biggest demerit is that the disparity of wealth is on public display.”

“Merit: If you are a person of talent, your potential is limitless. Demerit: This is a town that for below average people makes one fully realize disparity and sadness.”

“I worry if I had a child that the kid would be groped on the train.”

“I think there are only merits. The only demerits would be high rent and that the trains get crowded.”

“There are things I don’t like, but I don’t want to go back to my hometown in the countryside.”

“I think it is good if you want to travel abroad. There are lots of flights and you can pick from different airlines, so that makes it cheaper than in other areas. The demerit would be that commuting to work is hell. Having said that, I would not want to live in the city center.”

“For a topic like this, I guess anything other than Tokyo is the countryside.”

“Merit: I’m originally from here, so there are only good things. Demerit: When my parents die, the inheritance tax is brutal.”

“It’s a good place. There’s everything! Even if you are single, you are not lonely. The bad point is that rent is high!”

“I think there are lots of people just scraping by in Tokyo.”

“Merits: Convenience, you don’t interact with your neighbors, places are open even in the middle of the night, transportation is good, going drinking is no problem, you can kill time just by wandering around. Demerits: the cost of living is too high, it’s too noisy, the air is dirty, there’s no nature, there’s no solace, people are stressed out, the trains get so crowded you think you’re going to go crazy, wherever you go there are people, people, people to the point of being maddening.”

“Demerit: Your money vanishes.”

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.