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Tokyoites went to the poll last week to do their civic duty of picking a new governor. In the end, the people chose Yoichi Masuzoe, who has gone on record with his desire to make Tokyo the “number one city in the world.”

Of course, your city doesn’t toss out the term “mayor” and replace it with “governor” for its elected leader without already having some legitimate claims to greatness. Masuzoe has yet to specify exactly what benchmarks he plans to use in making good on his pledge, but here are nine things for which Japan’s capital already occupies the top spot.

Let’s start with an obvious one: population. Tokyo proper claims over 13 million residents. Add in all the people living in the surrounding, contiguously developed districts, and some estimates for the number of people living in the Tokyo area run as high as 34 million.

▼ Suddenly, all the packed rush hour trains make sense.

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Speaking of trains, Tokyo is also home to the busiest rail station in the world. On an average day, 3.5 million people pass through Shinjuku Station, located on the west side of the Yamanote Loop that circles downtown. Nearly a dozen train and subway lines converge in Shinjuku, whose dense developments of office and entertainment spaces ensure a never-ending flow of workers, shoppers, and drinkers.

▼ Even at 11:30 at night, Shinjuku Station is packed.

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All those people need places to work, though, which Tokyo delivers by virtue of having the highest citywide GDP on the planet. The Japanese metropolis’ US $1.99 trillion-economy is nearly double that of its closest rival, New York, and certain experts expect Tokyo to sit at the top of the list for at least the next decade.

▼ Today’s economic equation: Lots of people plus lots of overtime equals high GDP

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Of course, that monetary splendor is offset by Tokyo also being the most expensive city in the world, according to studies by human resources consulting firm Mercer and English financial newspaper The Economist. Obviously, this isn’t to say that you’ll pay more in Tokyo than anywhere else regardless of what you’re buying. Still, Tokyo did show the highest price for a basket of goods and services, although some contest the results were colored by the high value of the yen compared to other currencies during the years in which the surveys took place. Any way you slice it though, Tokyo is far from a cheap place to live.

▼ Believe it or not, there is a limit to how much of your lifestyle you can outfit at the 100 yen shop

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With that much money changing hands in Tokyo, a sizeable chunk of it has to be going to dining. While there are countless ramen and beef bowl joints where you can grab some cheap eats, Tokyo is also prepared for gourmets who want to go upscale, with 14 restaurants receiving three stars from the 2013 edition of the Michelin restaurant guide, giving it four more than second-place Paris. In total, 281 restaurants in Japan’s capital have been recognized by the book’s editors, giving the city a total star count of 323, also the most in the world.

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As an island nation, fish makes up a large part of the Japanese diet, but all those restaurants can’t be bothered to go out and catch their own seafood. Luckily for them, Tokyo also has the biggest fish market in the world. The Tsukiji Fish Market has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years, but it remains first and foremost a working wholeseller where 2,080 tons of seafood are sold each day for a total of 1.79 billion yen ($17.5 million).

Not too far from Tsukiji is another of Tokyo’s big tourism draws, the Sky Tree. At 634 meters (2,080 feet), the Sky Tree is the world’s tallest tower, which explains why almost two years after its opening, reservations are still highly recommended for those hoping to take the elevator ride up to its observation platform.

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If the sky isn’t enough, Tokyo also has a record for stars. The planetarium at the city’s Tamarokuto Science Center is recognized by Guinness as having the world’s most advanced planetarium projector, due to its ability to accurately position representations of 140 million fixed stars.

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Finally, we come to perhaps the most unique way in which Tokyo can call itself the world’s best city, its water supply system. On any given day, 4.3 million cubic meters of waters pass through Tokyo’s pipes, with a leakage rate of just three percent, compared to the 10 percent or more of many of the world’s other metropolises.

On one hand, this may seem like a pretty trivial thing to go patting yourself on the back for. But let’s take a look over these figures one more time. 13 million people eating 2,000-plus tons of seafood every day, much of it raw? That’s a lot of showers, all of which need a reliable flow of water. The next time you find yourself pressed up against a handful of strangers on a packed Tokyo train, you’ll be glad it has the planet’s best plumbing.

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: Webry
Insert images: Sekaikan, Livedoor, Saeki Labor Consultant, Harumi Triton Square, Yahoo! Japan, 47 News, Hira 2, Tokyo Planetarium