Town ranks in last place for second survey in a row, but there actually are some things to love about the place.

Despite Japan’s compact geographic dimensions, there’s actually quite a bit of variation in the local character and customs between its various cities. Bustling Tokyo, for example, can feel very different from Kyoto, the unhurried former capital of the country,

But even if each town has its respective charms, some are bound to be seen as more charming than others. The results of a recent survey asked participants which of Japan’s eight largest cities is the most appealing, and which is the least. Responses were gathered from 3,344 participants ranging in age from of 20 and 64 (all of whom had lived in one of the cities for at least five years), and they were particularly harsh regarding one town.

● Most appealing city:
1. Sapporo (chosen by 22.8 percent of respondents)
2. Tokyo (22.4 percent)
3. Kyoto (18.1percent)
4. Yokohama (10.8 percent)
5. Fukuoka (9.5 percent)
6. Kobe (7.6 percent)
7. Osaka (5.3 percent)
8. Nagoya (3.5 percent)

Despite being Japan’s fourth-largest city in terms of population, with more residents than anyplace besides Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka, Nagoya finished at the bottom of the list, repeating its basement-level result from 2016, the last time the survey was conducted.

▼ Nagoya

Nagoya did, however, make the top of another ranking compiled from the data (also mirroring its 2016 standing).

● Least appealing city:
1. Nagoya (chosen by 31.9 percent of respondents)
2. Fukuoka (15.7 percent)
3. Osaka (14.4 percent)
4. Tokyo (14.3 percent)
5. Sapporo (7.6 percent)
6. Kobe (6.2 percent)
7. Yokohama (5.3 percent)
8. Kyoto (4.7 percent)

So what makes Nagoya so unpopular among the respondents? Honestly, nothing in particular…but unfortunately “nothing in particular” sort of applies to their image of Nagoya as a whole. When asked specifically what they found appealing about Nagoya, the most common response, given by 33.1 percent of the respondents, replied “Nagoya Castle.” The second-most common answer, though, from 28.1 percent, was “I can’t really think of anything.”

▼ Nagoya Castle

Just about every other city on the list can boast multiple nationally famous landmarks and tourist-drawing events. Tokyo has the Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival. Headed to Kyoto? You’ll want to check out Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and take in a performance of Geisha arts. And of course, you haven’t really seen Yokohama until you’ve ridden its iconic seaside Ferris wheel, walked along the harbor at Yamashita Park, and been surrounded by Pokémon at the annual Pikachu Outbreak. But much of Japan simply sees Nagoya, if they bother to look at it, as just a large but nondescript city.

This is kind of unfair, since Nagoya has some awesome things going for it. In addition to its beautiful castle right in downtown (which is being restored to its authentically historical glory), Nagoya is arguably the best place in all of Japan to eat if you like hearty fare. Local culinary specialties include mouth-watering tebasaki chicken wings with a delicious sweet sesame glaze, tonkatsu pork cutlets slathered with miso, and bite-sized rice balls stuffed with tempura shrimp. It’s also the only major city in Japan where it’s normal to have breakfast out, with coffee shops across the city offering morning sets with pastries, salad, fruit, and coffee, often in unlimited quantities, for about the same price as you’d pay procuring breakfast at a convenience store.

And while they’re all outside of Nagoya itself, the city also makes a great base for forays into rural Gifu and Nagano prefectures, allowing you to spend the day enjoying anime Your Name inspiration Takayama and the preserved post towns of the Kiso Valley before heading back to for a night of big-city creature comforts. The highly-acclaimed Toyota Museum, in the city of Nagakute, is also just over a half hour from Nagoya Station, which means Nagoya will also be the most convenient large city from which to visit the Studio Ghibli anime theme park, which is projected to open in Nagakute in 2022.

So if you’re a “glass-is-half-full” kind of person, maybe the best way to think of Nagoya isn’t as “Japan’s least appealing large city,” but as “the Japanese city with the most appeal that a lot of people don’t know about.” Still probably best to think long and hard about whether you really need to visit Lego Land while you’re there, though.

Source: YouTube/ANNnewsCH via TV Asahi via Hachima Kiko. Sankei West
Top image: Photock
Insert images: Wikipedia/Benzoyl, Photock, Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where the first images he ever saw of Nagoya were the ones in Mr. Baseball.