Being the capital city, Tokyo very often tends to come out on top when it comes to rankings – it’s the top tourist destination for foreign visitors, the safest city in the world, the most populated (in fact, the most densely populated place on earth), has long been one of the most expensive (that dubious honour now belongs to Singapore, apparently), was recently declared the most satisfying city…we could go on.
But the student section of Japanese website MyNavi published a list this week of six national rankings that Tokyo comes at the bottom of – things it does worse at than any other city in Japan. Let’s take a look at what they found!
Tokyo is seriously lacking in…
Japan already has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and that rate plummets to its lowest in the capital. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Tokyo women have a total fertility rate (a calculation of the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime).
▼ Which means a hypothetical woman can be expected to give birth to 1 and ⅛ of a child. Ouch!
Urban sprawl has left the Tokyo area with just 7,400 hectares of agricultural land. That’s one twentieth of that found in neighbouring Ibaraki Prefecture, which boasts some 173,000 hectares.
4) Rice production
With barely any land to grow it on, it’s no surprise that the Tokyo Metropolis produces less rice than any other prefecture in Japan. Still, Tokyoites managed to grow 666 tons of rice last year – although that pales into significance compared with the 657,000 tons produced in Niigata Prefecture in the same period.
▼ That’s right, you can get your rice balls squeezed by a cute girl in Akihabara, but we bet it’s not Tokyo rice.
3) Home owners
Only 46 percent of Tokyo households live in their own home, significantly below the national average of 61 percent. Other prefectures with a high proportion of renters include Okinawa, Fukuoka, and Osaka. The city with the highest rate of home owners is Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture where 80 percent of households live in a home they own.
▼ “Meh, home owning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.”
2) Car owners
Tokyo has more cars than any other city in Japan, but when you look at the average number of cars per household, the capital comes in bottom of the list nationally, with just under 0.5 cars per household. The prefecture with the most car owners on average is Fukui Prefecture, with an average of 1.7 cars per household.
▼ Statistics on the average number of itasha per Tokyo household, sadly, are not yet available.
1) Renewable energy
It’s not just in food production that Tokyo depends heavily on other areas of the country. According to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, just 0.4 percent of the capital city’s energy is from renewable sources – the lowest in the country. In Akita Prefecture, by contrast, 19 percent of energy used is from renewables.
▼ Well, there isn’t as much space in the metropolis to start building wind farms as there is up in Akita.
The MyNavi Student article also cites an international study of climate change awareness that found Tokyoites to be less knowledgeable about global warming than residents of New York, London, Shanghai or Mumbai. Just 30 percent of Tokyo residents surveyed said they thought about the effects of global warming, putting them bottom of the five cities surveyed.
So there you have it – the archetypal Tokyoite is a childless public transport user who doesn’t grow rice or care a lot about the environment. Who’d have thought…!?