Well, after being here for 3 weeks, I think I'm ready to draw some very biased conclusions on living in what could perhaps be the most two extreme cities, that both have their fair share of influence from the opposing. While it's safe to say I wasn't quite ready to say Sayonara to a lot of friends I had made over the years, I think I made the right decision. In order to bring some comic relief to the situation, here's a comparison on a few subjects that come to mind.
Tokyo's 4 very distinct seasons (plus a rainy season) give a very nice diversity, but being able to go to the beach on almost any day of the year is a nice plus.
Bang for Buck:
Tokyo might be the most expensive city in the world, but one very cliche catchphrase comes to mind after finally closing a deal on my apartment in Honolulu: "Quality over Quantity" (and availability). Hawaii is booming now, after 10 years of deep recession. The result? Old apartments, that are DIY havens. Besides, you CAN rent a shithole in Tokyo if you want.
A tough choice. Tokyo features way overpriced produce, and extremely small portions. On the bright side, their prices aren't as ridiculous as they used to be, and to be honest - the portions are enough for a normal person. On the high end of things, you can spend about as much as you want to on presentation. Hawaii is much more simple, and while there is a selection of nice restaurants, it's extermely limited when compared to the Asian megalopolis. The food, however, is quite tastey.
Traffic and Transportation:
Tokyo: Buses, trains, and cabs -- save the latter always on time, and even though pricey, they get you there, and is by far the best public transportation in the world. Hawaii: Cars and some really crappy busses, and hellish rushhour traffic.
Hawaii's volcanic activity of distant past vs. Tokyo's simultaneous Earth-shattering earthquakes and typhoons. Hmm....
Tokyo's scantily clad girls gone wild vs. Hawaii's 280 pound The Biggest Loser rejects prancing around in bikinis.
I'm not going to announce a clear-cut winner, as some of those things are weighed diffierently depending on who you are. I might also add some in the near future.
Rade wrote:Finally received a reply by posting in a thread at that Gaijin forum: