Most livable cities in Japan named in annual ranking

The city of Hakusan in Japan’s central Ishikawa Prefecture has emerged on top of a ranking of the most livable cities across Japan compiled by publisher Toyo Keizai Inc.

Hakusan came out on top of the publisher’s annual “livability” ranking (住みよさランキング) which in 2019 covers over 800 cities and special wards across Japan and was published in June as part of Toyo Keizai’s City Data Pack.

Indices for the annual ranking of livable cities in Japan covered the four central themes of degree of security, convenience, comfort, and wealth which in turn comprised 22 datasets drawn from government ministry surveys, among others.

The city of Hakusan, the largest city in terms of area in Ishikawa Prefecture stretching from the coast of the Sea of Japan in the west to the Hakusan National Park in the east, lies southwest of Kanazawa City. The highest ranking position for the city was an 8th for degree of comfort — a ranking index which covered factors such as financial expenditure per capita, climate, the number of green spaces, low-cost water rates, sewage treatment, and ratio of migration to / from the city.

Osaka, which recently hosted the G-20 summit, ranked at No. 23 with highs of 7 (convenience) and 2 (comfort).
The highest ranking city in Japan in terms of degree of wealth — including sales per business establishment, income per taxpayer, rate of homeownership and residential land prices — was the city of Miyoshi (みよし市) in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.

Last year’s most livable city in Japan, the city of Inzai, in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, came in at No. 14 after having topped the ranking for seven consecutive years. The significant drop in position for Inzai might be down to the publisher’s decision to expand the number of ranking indices from 16 in previous years to 22 in 2019, a factor, according to the publisher, which has lead to a lack of continuity between the latest ranking and previous editions.

The 10 most livable cities in Japan (rank /city / prefecture)
1 Hakusan Ishikawa
2 Bunkyo-ku Tokyo
3 Nonoichi Ishikawa
4 Fukui Fukui
5 Kurayoshi Tottori
6 Tsuruga Fukui
7 Kurobe Toyama
8 Nomi Ishikawa
9 Uozu Toyama
10 Komagane Nagano


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