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What are your 10 favorite cities in the world? - Page 6

post #76 of 247
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The food there is better than SOME places in Europe.
At which price? How much is an apple? A goat cheese? A bottle of wine? A tomato? You can always find worse. The question was to be among the best 10 in the world. And you can find at least 20 cities in the world where food is better than in Tokyo (in choice and quality)
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Quite a few people there speak English - They are required to study it in school from a fairly young age
Most of japanese I met didn't speak English (and they were the most open to west culture ones.). Whose who speaks are very hard to understand because of their acccent. They speak English as if they were speaking japanese. Going in a city where nothing is written in English (in Paris many restaurant have menu in English) and where you must look at pictures to choose what you eat is not very attractive.
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White people who don't tread all over the local culture and customs aren't (IMHO) treated with much racism. Its the same story anywhere you go - if you treat the people there with respect and make an attempt to deal with them in their comfort-zone you won't have any problems
Their confort zone is so complicate and different from ours that you can not avoid bad surprises... Japanese are one of the most racist people. Exemple = they have no jews and many of them declare not no like jews...
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I see no intentional hypocracy in that, its more that its considered pretty rude to just tell someone "no" in a formal setting. They would rather be polite and give the impression that they are considering your request. They do it to each other too - not just white people. Its a cultural thing. Many businesses are run with a very similar mindset. I know, I work for two of them.
I know that. You can call it as you want but the problem is the same = it is too different from ours habits to be attractive for us. I have read about Japan and know people who have visited Japan. A friend of mine spent 3 days without talking to anybody in Tokyo because nobody was speaking English (she speaks well and like to speak very much, she lived 1 year in Canada, traveled in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, US, Hong Kong and told me she had never seen people speaking English so few...)
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Yeah, its mostly Japanese people in Japan. Who would have thought it possible? I bet the majority of people in Paris are French too...
What is the % of blacks/hispanic/jews/italian/chinese... in NYC, LA, SF, Paris, London, Milano, Sidney, Vancouver, Berlin, Vienne, Madrid...?? What is the same % in Tokyo? Tokyo is not at all a cosmopolite city. So less attractive than a cities with 100 differents nationality like NYC where you can travel from Italy to China when you cross the street. Tokyo is one of the city I would like to SEE. Probably in the top 10. But I don't think  it is one of the best to live in.
post #77 of 247
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They are required to study it in school from a fairly young age.
Same applies to Ernest so...
post #78 of 247
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Tokyo is one of the city I would like to SEE. Probably in the top 10. But I don't think it is one of the best to live in.
Well Ernest, the topic of this thread isn't "What cities would you like to live in" it's "What are you ten favorite cities in the world" As far as living there goes - yeah, I don't suppose you'd enjoy living there. I know quite a few Americans and Europeans that would never even think of it. First of all, you have to love city life. The cost, crowds, and culture can be overwhelming. You have to be prepared for it. It is literally in many cases quite staggering. (see Lost In Translation for example) It is very easy to get disconnected and depressed - but if you have that kind of expectation and attitude while over there - you might as well save your money and watch some American reality T.V. and the State Of The Union Address. Now THAT is depressing. (I'll send you a tape if you REALLY want) The easiest thing in the world to do is to ATTEMPT talking to some people over there. Many of them speak excellent French too - it's the third most common language taught over there, and many students take more of it in school than English. France is as highly romanticized as America is nowadays, so chances are good that just about any Japanese person under the age of 30 is going to either speak passable English or passable French or both. I found that most English speakers over there had perfectly understandable speech, well - about as good as your writing in English anyways - and I would like to think that I understand what you are saying most of the time. Also, as you pointed out - the culture is so radically different from say, Europe, that if you just landed in Narita without knowing anything about Japan, or what to expect, you might as well have just landed on Mars. Perhaps your friend just wasn't willing to try and make any friends in the three days she was there. Or maybe she didn't know where to look for any. I'd bet that if she would have researched a little before hand, gotten a pen-pal, a tour guide, or took a halfway decent guidebook, she would have had a much better time. Three days isn't a lot of time in Tokyo anyways, It takes most people longer than that to recover from jet lag. As far as I'm concerned, none of those things detract from Tokyo being a great city. And seeing as I've been there, and you have not - I believe that I am the first hand authority on the subject in this conversation. I may have to bow out if Bic Pentameter of Kaga chime in with an opposing veiwpoint however, as they actually live there.
post #79 of 247
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Quote The food there is better than SOME places in Europe. At which price? How much is an apple? A goat cheese? A bottle of wine? A tomato? ... The question was to be among the best 10 in the world. And you can find at least 20 cities in the world where food is better than in Tokyo (in choice and quality)
BETTER? I would really have to dispute you there, but then again, perhaps you don't like Japanese food. And as far as finding 20 cities in the world with greater CHOICES in food than Tokyo - I would like to see you prove that. I can come up with restaraunt guides for Tokyo that are as big as some cities phone books. I would say that *possibly* NYC has a wider selection... and thats probably about it. I mean, I know of not one, but TWO Basque restaraunts in Tokyo, outside of a few small areas in Spain - I've never heard of many others, and especially not two in the same city. French, American, Spanish, Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Vegan, Nordic, Italian, Irish, British, and all the other standard cuisines are overwhelmingly abundant. As far as pricing goes - when I am over there, I spend on average $10-20 US dollars per meal. Thats about the same I'd spend here. Price isn't really that different unless you are eating in the swankiest of establishments, or are intent on consuming only delicacies like Fugu, out of season, or imported items. Guiness is rather pricey in the English pubs I went to, but then again - I guess it depends on the pub. If you are so intent on eating nothing but goat cheese and drinking wine, why even leave home? I mean, you can do that in France.
post #80 of 247
Tokyo Slim, My Japanese lady friend, who now lives in the US and is married to a Frenchman, knew a lot about French cooking before she met her husband. Do you have any insight into how the Japanese generally feel about French cooking? To me, it felt as though it was almost part of her regular repertoire, she knew the terms, etc, which surprised me greatly. Once, she cooked us a traditional Japanese "peasant" meal, and my oh my was it hard to swallow... The appetizers were some seaweed salad with an abominable dressing (I usually like seaweed salads), then shrimp balls, steamed (tasteless, strange consistency), then a stew with far too many shitake mushrooms, and a sweet root vegetable, and finally a gooey bean custard, fairly tasteless, almost impossible to tear from the bowl. I ate bravely, but it was a trial for my husband. I much prefer it when she cooks Thai or French dishes for us. Fabienne
post #81 of 247
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If you are so intent on eating nothing but goat cheese and drinking wine, why even leave home? I mean, you can do that in France.
You told me that the choice was wide and food good. So finding cheese and wine is completely normal. In the best 10 cities for food, you can at least found these products as they are the most basic ones. All products are imported in Japan so they are expensive. How much a kilogramme of apple? A yaourt? A banana? A western, tourist can not eat sushi and rice 3 times per day and think that the food is good and the choise wide. Talk me about japanese food. What do they can in the morning most of time?
post #82 of 247
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I found that most English speakers over there had perfectly understandable speech, well - about as good as your writing in English anyways - and I would like to think that I understand what you are saying most of the time. Also, as you pointed out - the culture is so radically different from say, Europe, that if you just landed in Narita without knowing anything about Japan, or what to expect, you might as well have just landed on Mars. Perhaps your friend just wasn't willing to try and make any friends in the three days she was there. Or maybe she didn't know where to look for any. I'd bet that if she would have researched a little before hand, gotten a pen-pal, a tour guide, or took a halfway decent guidebook, she would have had a much better time. Three days isn't a lot of time in Tokyo anyways, It takes most people longer than that to recover from jet lag. As far as I'm concerned, none of those things detract from Tokyo being a great city.  And seeing as I've been there, and you have not - I believe that I am the first hand authority on the subject in this conversation. I may have to bow out if Bic Pentameter of Kaga chime in with an opposing veiwpoint however, as they actually live there.
Writing and speaking are 2 very different things and japanese are very much harder to be understood than euroepean, you can not deny this fact. How do you know she had no guide book about culture? She tried to talk to people in shops, in the street and in restaurants and NOBODY was speaking correct English.... What would a book change to this fact? Tokyo is a great city it is sure but not among the 10 favorite for people of this forum. Are they all so silly so ignore Tokyo? Why are you the first authority ? I guess this is a city you like to see but not to go back the next holidays...
post #83 of 247
Thread Starter 
It could be that less people have been to Tokyo than to cities in Europe, it's difficult to call a city one of your favorite if you haven't been there. I've spent a lot of time in Tokyo and while I would agree with ernest that it's a more difficult city for most caucasians and europeans to explore than a city like Paris because of the language issues, it's no more diffcult to explore than a city like Budapest (which has a far lower percentage of English speakers than Tokyo, and whose language is absolutely incomprehensible if you don't speak it, some words in Japanese [quite a few in fact] have western or english origins and you'll be able to understand them, while Hungarian has almost no similarity with almost any languages [5% similarity to Finnish or Basque]) adjusted for size (as it's much larger than budapest) and while it's not as heterogeneous as European capitols, that's not necessarily a bad thing IMO. There is an amazing breadth of goods and services available. I think if everyone here had visited Tokyo it would be on their top 10 list. Comparing Paris to Vienna is rather interesting, I wouldn't say there were more gypsies in Vienna, although there certainly were some, I think Vienna is a more orderly city in general though, people are VERY law-abiding in general. I had people cluck at me disapprovingly for walking across the street against a light and you get a big dose of bitte recht stehen if you aren't moving rapidly on the left side of an escalator. I don't see the same sense of order in Paris.
post #84 of 247
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Well Ernest, the topic of this thread isn't "What cities would you like to live in" it's "What are you ten favorite cities in the world"
Isn't is the same thing? Usually, when you like a city, you would like to live in it. You told us that people had forgotten Tokyo and gave us some arguments to put it in the list. I replied to some of your arguments, food for exemple = Tokyo is definitly not in the 10 best cities for food. Aren't these cities more attractive regarding foods? Paris London Roma, Milano, Napoli, Florencia... Sidney NYC LA Las Vegas LOS ANGELES Boston Hong kong Taiwan Bruxels Berlin Marseille Lyon ?????
post #85 of 247
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim,Feb. 23 2005,07:25
Well Ernest, the topic of this thread isn't "What cities would you like to live in" it's "What are you ten favorite cities in the world" Isn't is the same thing? Usually, when you like a city, you would like to live in it. You told us that people had forgotten Tokyo and gave us some arguments to put it in the list. I replied to some of your arguments, food for exemple = Tokyo is definitly not in the 10 best cities for food. Aren't these cities more attractive regarding foods? Paris London Roma, Milano, Napoli, Florencia... Sidney NYC LA Las Vegas LOS ANGELES Boston Hong kong Taiwan Bruxels Berlin Marseille Lyon ?????
I would rank Tokyo behind only Paris, London, New York, and perhaps Lyon for food, although I am a bit biased against Lyonnaise cuisine, many French (or others) may rate it ahead of Paris, and I have dined at most of the best restaurants in all of these cities. Also, wanting to live in a city and it being your favorite is not the same thing. I like New York but I wouldn't want to live there, no offense to the New Yorkers on this board.
post #86 of 247
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(ernest @ Feb. 23 2005,09:19)
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Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim,Feb. 23 2005,07:25
Well Ernest, the topic of this thread isn't "What cities would you like to live in" it's "What are you ten favorite cities in the world"
Isn't is the same thing? Usually, when you like a city, you would like to live in it. You told us that people had forgotten Tokyo and gave us some arguments to put it in the list. I replied to some of your arguments, food for exemple = Tokyo is definitly not in the 10 best cities for food. Aren't these cities more attractive regarding foods? Paris London Roma, Milano, Napoli, Florencia... Sidney NYC LA Las Vegas LOS ANGELES Boston Hong kong Taiwan Bruxels Berlin Marseille Lyon ?????
I would rank Tokyo behind only Paris, London, New York, and perhaps Lyon for food, although I am a bit biased against Lyonnaise cuisine, many French (or others) may rate it ahead of Paris, and I have dined at most of the best restaurants in all of these cities. Also, wanting to live in a city and it being your favorite is not the same thing.  I like New York but I wouldn't want to live there, no offense to the New Yorkers on this board.
Just one detail = food is not only restaurants but what you can buy in shops ...
post #87 of 247
Thread Starter 
Japan is not lacking for premium foods of any type, it is more expensive, but they have things flown in from all over the world.
post #88 of 247
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It could be that less people have been to Tokyo than to cities in Europe, it's difficult to call a city one of your favorite if you haven't been there.   I've spent a lot of time in Tokyo and while I would agree with ernest that it's a more difficult city for most caucasians and europeans to explore than a city like Paris because of the language issues, it's no more diffcult to explore than a city like Budapest (which has a far lower percentage of English speakers than Tokyo, and whose language is absolutely incomprehensible  if you don't speak it, some words in Japanese [quite a few in fact] have western or english origins and you'll be able to understand them, while Hungarian has almost no similarity with almost any languages [5% similarity to Finnish or Basque]) adjusted for size (as it's much larger than budapest) and while it's not as heterogeneous as European capitols, that's not necessarily a bad thing IMO.  There is an amazing breadth of goods and services available.  I think if everyone here had visited Tokyo it would be on their top 10 list. Comparing Paris to Vienna is rather interesting, I wouldn't say there were more gypsies in Vienna, although there certainly were some, I think Vienna is a more orderly city in general though, people are VERY law-abiding in general.  I had people cluck at me disapprovingly for walking across the street against a light and you get a big dose of bitte recht stehen if you aren't moving rapidly on the left side of an escalator.  I don't see the same sense of order in Paris.
Saying that people in Budapest speaks less English that people from Tokyo is not serious. They speak also French & German well. At least the letters are latin, so you can read. Gypsies don't care about the law more in Vienna than in Paris.
post #89 of 247
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Gypsies don't care about the law more in Vienna than in Paris.
Please keep the racism off the forum. It's distasteful.
post #90 of 247
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(Tokyo Slim @ Feb. 23 2005,07:25) Well Ernest, the topic of this thread isn't "What cities would you like to live in" it's "What are you ten favorite cities in the world"
Isn't is the same thing? Usually, when you like a city, you would like to live in it. You told us that people had forgotten Tokyo and gave us some arguments to put it in the list. I replied to some of your arguments, food for exemple = Tokyo is definitly not in the 10 best cities for food. Aren't these cities more attractive regarding foods? Paris London Roma, Milano, Napoli, Florencia... Sidney NYC LA Las Vegas LOS ANGELES Boston Hong kong Taiwan Bruxels Berlin Marseille Lyon ?????
I am not sure I would put boston, london or berlin ahead of tokyo for food. E, your list is very Euro heavy food wise. London has some great food, ditto Berlin, but I am not sure if I would consider them world class food cities. Granted, you might have to apprectiate japanese food to consider Tokyo a great food city (I am sorry, I would have a problem calling a city a great food city based entirly on imported cuisines), but for people who love sushi or ramen or any number of other japanese dishes Tokyo can be heaven.
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