Tokyo is a city with 400 years of history and tradition. Ever since the Edo Shogunate was established in 1603 it has developed as the center of politics in Japan and at the beginning of the 18th century, it became one of the world's largest cities with a population of over 1 million people. After the Meiji Restoration, Tokyo became the capital of Japan. Although it was reduced to ashes twice; first by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and then by the bombings of the World WarⅡ, it was always able to rebuild itself and has continued evolving to date. Tokyo maintains excellent public safety and a high-quality living environment. While the city disseminates cutting-edge technologies and new culture and trends such as anime and fashion to the world, the chic culture of Edo is still very much alive. Such a unique blend of tradition and sophistication is the allure of Tokyo.
Tokyo has many faces. If you leave the city center with its rows of skyscrapers and go out to the suburbs, you can also encounter beautiful scenery abundant with greenery and water. The islands in the Pacific Ocean, particularly the Ogasawara Islands which were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2011, are yet another face of Tokyo.
A safe and secure city
Tokyo is an extremely safe city, and you can feel safe walking the streets alone even at night. There are 10.5 murders per a population of 1 million annually, a low level compared with other major cities around the world. Moreover, even in the unfortunate event that you lose your wallet, more often than not it will be returned to you in the same condition as when you lost it – even with the cash still inside. In fact, 3 billion yen is found annually and turned in to authorities by honest citizens. It is the system of "koban," or police boxes maintained by the police in the local communies that support Tokyo's public safety. There are approximately 1,100 police boxes located within a distance of about 500 meters (about ten minutes' walk) of anywhere in Tokyo.
Tokyo has little violent crime
The Mori Memorial Foundation "Tokyo's Future Scenarios"
Metropolitan Police Department website
Clean water and air
Tokyo has a much more comfortable living environment than other cities in Asia in terms of the high quality of tap water and clean air environment. Japan is one of the few countries in the world where tap water can be drunk directly from the tap. Tokyo in particular has introduced an advanced water treatment system and has established its own water quality standards that are stricter than the national standards, and stably provides safe and delicious water. Furthermore, Tokyo has the least air pollutant emissions per urban area among Asian cities. The clean air ensures that you can live in a healthy and comfortable manner.
Tokyo has the least air pollutant emissions per urban area
Source: 2011 Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey
Substantial health care and educational environment
With some 24,000 medical institutions, Tokyo has over 10 percent of all the medical institutions in Japan. Japan ranks among the top in the world in medical facilities, with the total number of CT scanning and MRI machines per 10,000 population about 10 times more than in the UK, and about double the number in the United States.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is striving to increase medical institutions offering services in foreign languages to provide reassurance to foreign businesspeople and their families that they can receive medical care in their native language such as English. In addition, as a special exception for medical institutions in the Special Zone, foreign physicians can treat all foreign patients regardless of their nationality.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is also working to have more international schools so that the children of foreign businesspeople can be educated in English and other languages.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare “Medical Institutions Survey” (2013)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government “Tokyo’s Medical Institutions” (2015)
Tokyo MetropolitanGovernment “Creating the Future: Long-Term Vision for Tokyo” (2014)
In Tokyo you can enjoy not only traditional Japanese cuisine but also food from all parts of Japan and diverse cuisine from around the world. There are 243 restaurants in Tokyo that received stars in the Michelin Guide (2014), including 13 restaurants awarded three stars. In total, Tokyo has a greater number of Michelin stars than any other city in the world. On the other hand, there are also huge numbers of eateries offering cheap but delicious food called "B-grade gourmet."
Information about restaurants which have menus in foreign languages
Information about restaurants which have menus in foreign languages
Source: Japan Michelin Tire Co., Ltd. "Michelin Guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2014"
Diverse art and culture
Tokyo provides an environment where people can enjoy the traditional performing arts of Japan such as kabuki and noh, and sumo, Japan's national sport. It also has a thriving art scene, including music, theater, and other activities. There are eight full orchestras active in Tokyo, and performances by world top orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic are held every year, and classical music concerts, operas, ballets, musicals and other performances can be enjoyed year round. There are over 100 art galleries and museums, offering abundant opportunities to appreciate first-class artworks through, for example, temporary exhibitions in collaboration with world-famous art galleries such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tokyo is also a trendsetter for youth fasion and pop culture, such as anime and manga, which is attracting the attention of the rest of the world as the symbols of "Cool Japan."
Moreover, a variety of events from traditional festivals to cutting-edge art festivals and international sports tournaments are held in Tokyo throughout the year. Please savor what Tokyo has to offer, there is no way you will ever tire of it.
Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau website
Regional Council for the Asian Headquarters Special Zone "Vision for Tokyo's Special Zone for Asian Headquarters"(2012)
Tokyo is blessed with a rich natural environment. You can enjoy hiking on Mt. Takao, which was also introduced in the Michelin Guide, by travelling just one hour to the west by train from central Tokyo. Mt. Takao, which soars to an altitude of 599 meters, welcomes about 4 million hikers a year.
Furthermore, travelling by sea or air, you can visit Tokyo's balmy islands which offer blue seas, white sandy beaches, and large open-air hot springs by the ocean. In 2011 the Ogasawara Islands, which are located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1,000 kilometers south-southeast of Tokyo, were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List because of their unique ecosystem rich in endemic species.
Source: Kanto Regional Forest Office "Kanto Forests" (Issues 121, April 30, 2014)
A spirit of hospitality
Said to be related to the spirit of the tea ceremony, there is a culture or climate that values hospitality in Japan. This spirit is also deeply rooted in Tokyo. If you visit Tokyo you will surely experience that hospitality at hotels, shops, and everywhere else in the city.
Tokyo 2020 and new business opportunities
With Tokyo boosting preparations to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a myriad of business opportunities exist in the fast-paced city. Now is the time for companies to expand business into Tokyo to give birth to new innovation and growth.