Tokyo’s much-photographed bright lights and towering modern skyscrapers give way to small, residential roads where life feels intimate and well-paced, a rarity for such a big city.
In 2015, Monocle Magazine awarded Tokyo the accolade of the global city with the best quality of life, not bad for a city with a population pushing 14 million. They praised Tokyo for its safety, punctual and affordable public transport, plentiful open spaces and excellent culture.
Tokyo has 26 wards, the most international include the adjacent wards of Minato, Meguro and Shibuya. Within these wards the upmarket embassy area of Azabu, Roppongi, Aoyama and traditional Akasaka along with the bright lights of youthful Shibuya with part of the British International School all have larger apartments as well as direct access to the city centre.
Quiet Hiroo between buzzy Shibuya and Roppongi is also popular while Aoyama-Itchome next to Roppongi in Minato is a fashionable district, the long-term home for many established Japanese families. Nakano is Tokyo’s largest neighbourhood, a particularly densely packed yet still a much-loved place to live while Meguro is a central and established Downtown community.
Those who want more space can head to Seta or to Denenchoufu on the Tama River, a leafy town created from farmland in the 1900s and based on London’s Garden Squares.