The British lifestyle magazine Monocle has declared Tokyo the most livable city in the world in its annual quality of life survey, the company said Thursday.
It was the first time that Tokyo has topped the list since the magazine launched the ranking nine years ago. Japan’s capital finished in second place last year.
Tokyo earned high marks for its “defining paradox of heart-stopping size and concurrent feeling of peace and quiet,” the magazine said.
Fukuoka and Kyoto also made the top 25, ranking 12th and 14th.
This year’s ranking saw some significant changes.
Rising from sixth place last year, Vienna finished second, followed by Berlin in third, up from 14th, while Sydney climbed to fifth from 11th.
Meanwhile, Copenhagen, a three-time winner and last year’s champion, dived to an underwhelming No. 10. Other old favorites such as Helsinki, Munich and Zurich also fell in the rankings.
Monocle attributed the shake-up to a revamped survey system this year in which 22 new criteria were added, including the price of a three-bedroom house, the cost of a cup of coffee, glass of wine and decent lunch, and access to the outdoors.
But other more traditional criteria such as crime rate, health care infrastructure, educational and environmental well-being remains the “backbone” of the assessment, the magazine said, adding that the survey similarly took into consideration intangibles such as commitment to culture and the closing time of bars.
“We’ve tried to give value to places where there’s something else we know is vital: freedom, grit, independence, a joy with life,” Monocle Editor-in-chief Tyler Brule said in a statement released Thursday.
“We’re frustrated with city councils that are too quick to say no, places where parents never let their children run free and capitals that seem opposed to the odd late night out.”