Top 10 most desirable Japanese prefectures to live in may show new trend toward small-city living

Two largely rural prefectures gain ground against Japan’s biggest metropolis.

Japan is a great place to live, but not every prefecture is created equal, apparently. Japanese people have perceptions of the best prefectures to live in, and as it turns out, opinions vary greatly.

Last year, Tokyo was voted as the best prefecture to live in, but earlier this year, Fukui looked like a great place to live on paper, though citizens begged to differ. And just a few months ago, Hokkaido was voted as the best place to settle down in. Every survey shows different results…and with coronavirus still threatening the world’s populations, opinions might have changed again, because there’s a new ranking in town, and neither Tokyo nor Hokkaido nor Fukui are at the top of its list.

▼ I mean what’s not to love about the glittering lights and bustling crowds of Tokyo (except for the impending risk of infection)?

Brand Research Institute’s annual Regional Brand Survey asked 31,734 respondents from across the country to rate each prefecture based on their perceptions of it in 84 different categories, including appeal, recognition, and image.

Chiefly, the survey asked respondents whether they would like to live in each prefecture, with five levels of responses available: “I really want to live there,” “I’d like to live there”, “I wouldn’t mind living there”, “I don’t feel one way or another about living there”, and “I don’t really want to live there”. Each answer was worth a specific amount of points (100 for the first, then 50, then 25, and 0 for the last two). The weighted average of all the responses for each prefecture determined its position in the ranking.

Last year’s survey saw …continue reading