Gregory Moulinet
I lived in Tokyo for about 12 years and in Beijing for about 5. I left Tokyo for Beijing. I currently live in Shanghai. My answer to your question is ‘neither’… but if my choice was limited to these 2 cities and my work/life offering being perfectly equivalent, I would probably sext (again) Beijing.


As most people pointed out, the biggest drawback living in Beijing is the pollution. That is the key reason I moved to Shanghai. Beyond that, the 2 cities are so different you will find good and bad things on both side.


Choosing Tokyo instead of Beijing may seems a no-brainer considering the quality of services, internet ‘freedom’ and the visual esthetics of Japan. Talking Japanese is far easier to learn than Chinese among many other advantages that I am certain many will point-out.


It’s easy to live well in Tokyo if you can blind yourself from the massive pile-up of social and environmental issues Japan is stacking against itself. By all means, choose Tokyo if you plan to live this way.


I personally prefer to be surrounded by optimistic Beijingers who have witnessed rapid positive changes and have become accustomed to try and integrate new ideas.The question is, do you prefer to be living in a place climbing rapidly upward or moving slowly downward?