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Tokyo doesn't really get the recognition that it should in the west for being a very livable city despite being in a metro of 30M+ people. Here is a recent video that someone made of the city. There are several things of note for someone interested in city planning. The first is to keep in mind that Tokyo is a new city. It was mostly burned to the ground during WWII so it had to be completely rebuilt.

Keeping that in mind and watching this video notice the relative absence of automobiles. For this many people there are almost none in the videos. Other items of note that many cities here seem to have trouble with. First the city does not have a concentration of skyscrapers or seems to be focused that much on these kinds of buildings. Instead the focus is on the ground where it should be. There is almost no building there that does not have some sort of retail or other similar public space provided. Normally here, we build skyscrapers with lobbies of elevators and not much else.

Another lesson is the amount of public space. There is a great deal of it and there are attractions such as the observation towers, ferris wheel, etc. i.e. plenty of things for people to do all the time. Many of the new cities that I have seen in the USA spend tremendous amounts of money to build sports arenas for profession sports that stay empty most times of the day most days out of the year. The suck up all the funds for public buildings and offer little in the way of livability. Try here if you don't see a video below. (click high quality for better)

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Thanks for that Monsoon! I really enjoyed that video!

You are correct. Tokyo is, in my opinion, the most livable city in the world. It has the safest streets and is rated the cleanest city in the world I do believe. There is always something to do at all times of the day and quite a few (but not all for the record) subway lines run 24/7. Yes the subway trains are overcrowded but what do you expect when you have 20-30 million people using a subway system? I would like to post a few things here. First are a few pictures I found on the internet that show the cities beauty and density.




Next we have an area in Shinjuku that I found on Google street view that shown how far behind the infrastructure in the United States really is. Notice the complete lack of power lines, smooth pavement, bright fresh paint on the roads, not to mention the crazy system of stoplights. Here's the link:

Link to Google Street View - Shinjuku-Tokyo, Japan

...and I don't believe we have traffic signs with real-time road conditions like this anywhere either.


We have a lot of work to do.

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Actually Tokyo has 2 subway systems, the JR train lines (which is probably bigger than the subways) a number of private train lines and a number of other fixed guideway lines. There is a 3rd subway line in Yokohama. As far as I know, they do shut down at night which results in a mad rush to get on the last train. If you miss it, you are sleeping in the station or getting in an extremely expensive taxi.

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I am only aware for a tourist of the JR Rail pass that can be purchased in 7 day increments. You have to have a tourist visa to use it and it has to be purchased before going there. It doesn't work on non-JR trains such as the subway. (not a huge disadvantage depending on where you are traveling) I know they have a smart card you can get now that works on everything, but I don't know if there are discounts for using it.

I think it is custom for most employers to provide some sort of pass as part of compensation which might explain the lack of such a thing.

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