Two Japanese cities made this year’s list of the Top Ten Most Liveable Cities in the World.

Each year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU; headquartered in London) releases a Global Liveability Index to rank the world’s cities in terms of best living conditions. The recently released 2018 ranking compares 140 cities using scores in five overarching categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. While the Australian city of Melbourne has topped the rankings for the past seven years, this year’s list saw a different city in Europe take the number-one spot, as well as the inclusion of two Japanese cities in the top ten that did not appear there last year (in fact, no Asian cities appeared on last year’s top ten ranking at all). Watch the following video for a brief overview of the 2018 index:

Here is the list of the top ten most liveable cities, followed by the ten lowest-scoring cities on this year’s index (which are largely affected by factors such as war, natural disaster, civil unrest, or crime).

10 Most Liveable Cities in 2018

1. Vienna (Austria)

2. Melbourne (Australia)

3. Osaka (Japan)

▼ A view of Osaka’s Dotonbori entertainment area with the famous Glico sign in prominent view

4. Calgary (Canada)

5. Sydney (Australia)

6. Vancouver (Canada)

7. Tokyo (Japan)

▼ A view of Takeshita-dori in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, famous for youth fashions

8. Toronto (Canada)

9. Copenhagen (Denmark)

10. Adelaide (Australia)


10 Least Liveable Cities in 2018

1. Damascus (Syria)

2. Dhaka (Bangladesh)

3. Lagos (Nigeria)

4. Karachi (Pakistan)

5. Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)

6. Harare (Zimbabwe)

7. Tripoli (Libya)

8. Douala (Cameroon)

9. Algiers (Algeria)

10. Dakar (Senegal)

Japanese net users reacted to the news with intrigue, particularly over why Osaka was able to edge out Tokyo with a slightly higher score:

“Osaka may be the third best, but I find it strange that the schools there aren’t particularly good.”

“I agree. The bullet train, an airport, and ferries are all in Osaka.”

“Honma ka?” [“Really?” in Osaka dialect]

“Maybe Tokyo’s lower because it’s overcrowded…?”

“It’s definitely that high for Osaka because takoyaki’s everywhere.”

“Foreigners often say that Osaka’s more fun than Tokyo. It’s gotta be those friendly vibes or something.”

“But Osaka’s Tobita Shinchi area [western Japan’s largest brothel district] is quite infamous…”

▼ Could Osaka’s sudden jump in ranking have anything to do with the prevalence of delicious street foods such as takoyaki?

With so many famous sites and delectable regional delicacies, it’s easy to understand Osaka’s appeal. Plus, it’s absolutely got the hippest old ladies in all of the country. Take that, AKB48 in Tokyo!

Source: Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso 1, 2