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Vienna tops 'world's most liveable city' ranking; Osaka 3rd, Tokyo 7th

53 Comments
By Joe Klamara

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Congrats to Osaka and Tokyo, very well deserved!

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Wellington: "Congrats to Osaka and Tokyo, very well deserved!"

In what world? I believe this is the same survey group that was bought out partly by Sankei Shimbun, is it not? There is no way at all that Tokyo and Osaka should rank anywhere near the top 100 save for the categories of safety and transportation. They are easily among the most expensive places to live in the world -- particularly Tokyo, they are among the most crowded and population dense -- again, particularly Tokyo, they are not very green, there is little to no daycare available for kids, the pension system has all but dried up, taxes are high, health care is not bad but expensive, the air is not so great, and have you not noticed the weather lately? And in terms of danger, Tokyo and Osaka right #s 1 and 2 respectively in terms of world's most dangerous places for earthquakes, they are top for typhoons, and other natural disasters, and now, pretty much the world's longest fatal heatwave.

6 ( +31 / -25 )

No Japanese city should even be considered due to the non-existence of work-life balance and severe lack of personal space. Most livable? How about "Most Like an Ant Colony"?

9 ( +30 / -21 )

LMAO....ROFL....tell that to my friend who's from Shinjuku, that looks for an excuse to "Escape Japan"

and come to visit, every chance she gets.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

Though Tokyo should be higher compared to the others on that list. Those others have shocking crime, terrible drivers, poor infrastructure, lower life expectancies, etc. I guess it is the Economist Intelligence Unit, so we can expect significant bias in the survey

1 ( +14 / -13 )

I don't know what their definition of "liveable" is, but Tokyo and Osaka wouldn't come to my mind...

10 ( +27 / -17 )

smithinjapan: Nah, Osaka and Tokyo are miles safer than any other city on that list. Infrastructure is decades ahead; healthcare, education, public safety and utilities not even in the same league it's so far ahead. Terrorism fears in all those other cities as well as gun violence, mental health issues, political instability. Child safety far ahead. Life expectancy in a different decade. PISA results so far ahead you question the quality of those other countries.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yeah that list makes sense, although some of those non-Japanese cities have considerable crime and terrorism fears. I am doubtful of the infrastructure ratings of the Canadian and Aussie cities though, Australia can't even get its internet past 25mbs, how is its infrastructure rating so high?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Vienna is a well deserved first. Not the most exciting city for young people but perhaps that's what makes it so liveable.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Not sure how Sydney makes that list, it's the most unaffordable place on Earth with shocking public transport. Melbourne isn't too much different..

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Sydney is definitely expensive, but other than that I can see the appeal. It’s pretty safe, good food, nice weather, decent public transport etc.

Tokyo is awesome. I’m surprised it’s not higher up. Safe, easy to get around, awesome food, and even though properly is expensive, it’s not as expensive as other cities on the list like Sydney, Melbourne and Vancouver. Not as good weather either though.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Osaka is a miserable city - dirty, unappealing and dull. I used to go there regularly on business but thankfully could spend some time in Kobe - far better.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just for the food I would say Osaka and Tokyo should be top 2! Food heaven!

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Osaka 3rd? Hah while im not too hyped, I guess it aint so bad. We are between Kyoto and Kobe, friendly people, clean trains, good public transport, relatively safe depending where you are etc.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

If you want to cut your rent costs ( I was paying ¥200, 000 plus for a pretty crappy flat in a nice-ish area of Tokyo ), the satellite towns around the city are an option. The satellite towns are soulless and miserable, but you can get a flat big enough for humans. They are like small Osakas.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Meh.  Vienna is also very expensive.  Range of cuisine and booze not great.  Culture pretty one track.  No beaches....

Agree that on many of these criteria Tokyo and Osaka score well.

Surprised that Singapore so low.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Not sure how Sydney makes that list, it's the most unaffordable place on Earth with shocking public transport. Melbourne isn't too much different..

If you make 100k plus a year, live in the 'right' suburbs and can afford the lifestyle then both Melbourne and Sydney are awesome cities to live in.

Osaka in the top 10?! Smh

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Did they measure for affordability here? Average studio apartment in good areas in Sydney is $2,000+ a month. For that price you could get an amazing apartment in the centre of Tokyo

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If you make 100k plus a year

100k Aussie Dollars? My Aussie coworker said you’d need more than that to live well in Sydney. My impression was very expensive.

As you said, it’s a stunning city. I found Melbourne a bit staid but maybe I wasn’t there long enough to make a good judgement.

Sydney blows any Japanese city out of the water. Osaka isn’t on the same planet.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

$2,000+ a month. For that price you could get an amazing apartment in the centre of Tokyo

If by amazing you mean big enough to cram two reasonably sized humans in it, yes.

I paid over that in central Tokyo after looking around for quite a bit.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

100k Aussie Dollars? 

Yep aud. If you take home say aud6,000/7,000 a month (120-135k year) and live alone you can definitely afford the Sydney lifestyle (and will still be able to save a couple of grand a month). Even better if you have a partner & no kids.

Also take into consideration that it is much easier to crack the 100k mark in Oz than it is in Europe. I know EA who were on this sort of $.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Livable? Are they talking about minimum viable apartments? I could rent a much better place overseas for the same money than here.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Osaka 3rd, Tokyo 7th"

So, only Melbourne and Vienna are more livable cities than Osaka? And only 6 cities are more livable than Tokyo? This is foreboding...

I think this survey didn't consider Boise, Idaho, USA...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Convenience, transportation, cleanliness, health care, yes, Japanese cities can own this ranking. Just forget about work-life balance and overall life satisfaction. Majority of the companies do not have flex time.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

While I like Osaka and Tokyo, I never put them in the "most liveable" category. They score well in food, public transport, cultural offerings, relative safety etc, but their masses of people, crowded streets, compacted housing doesn't put them in the same boat re liveability as say, Vienna, Calgary or Adelaide - not by a long shot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sydney does not have anywhere even close to "decent" public transport, especially compared to ANY Japanese city.

And stuff to do after dark? Say hi to lockout laws.

I've lived here for over 20 years. I hate it now. The only real "plus" is work-life balance.

I'm lucky I own here, otherwise life would really be hell renting.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

smithinjapanToday 04:19 pm JST

Wellington: "Congrats to Osaka and Tokyo, very well deserved!"

In what world? I believe this is the same survey group that was bought out partly by Sankei Shimbun, is it not? There is no way at all that Tokyo and Osaka should rank anywhere near the top 100 save for the categories of safety and transportation. They are easily among the most expensive places to live in the world -- particularly Tokyo, they are among the most crowded and population dense -- again, particularly Tokyo, they are not very green, there is little to no daycare available for kids, the pension system has all but dried up, taxes are high, health care is not bad but expensive, the air is not so great, and have you not noticed the weather lately? And in terms of danger, Tokyo and Osaka right #s 1 and 2 respectively in terms of world's most dangerous places for earthquakes, they are top for typhoons, and other natural disasters, and now, pretty much the world's longest fatal heatwave.

Right?! It was my dream since childhood to live in Japan but...tears

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Tokyo is tough if you don't have much money. It's small, expensive, crowded, and rough. But if you have money, Tokyo is awesome. There are plenty of places to get away where it's quiet, and if you have money you can send your kids to private schools that are not as rough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Osaka 3rd, Tokyo 7th

I guess Osaka is only 2.5 hours away by bullet train from Tokyo LOL

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Austria's capital Vienna has beaten Melbourne to be ranked the "world's most liveable city" in a new annual survey released Monday

This means nothing to me.

Although I'd agree with Tokyo being in there, in the sense that there's always something to do there. Can't remember Osaka one way or the other. Must visit again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would just like to say these "Best in the World" type surveys always need to be taken lightly, whether it be the "Best Wine", "Best Beaches" or "Best Liveability". Often there are vested interests involved, willing to self-promote (I know, I've been involved in such practices in my job years ago).

Of course Tokyo and Osaka are great cities in their own rights - especially for tourists - but many will disagree with the "Liveability" tag as liveability usually has the feeling of long(er) term.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is good reason Melbourne was number one for 7 years straight and remains at number

two. It has everything you need. As for net speed I get 100mbs down and 40mbs up with unlimited data.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Come on. Osaka high on list of livable cities? That has to be some kind of joke.

I defy people to find 100 people in a year who upon visiting Osaka started thinking "What a great city, nice looking and pleasant. I would love to live here".

Look, I don't mind visiting the place but living there? It's a warren of concrete, wires and an architect or urban planners worst nightmare.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

This is a joke, every year. Osaka the third most livable city? It depends what you base it on, but not even in the top 20 in my opinion.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

smith: "health care is not bad but expensive,"

What about national health insurance? Wait... I know this guy who had surgery and even with national health it cost him nearly a million yen. But that would be in any city in Japan, not just Osaka or Tokyo. Don't get sick or injured!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

smithinjapan Today  04:19 pm JST

There is no way at all that Tokyo and Osaka should rank anywhere near the top 100 save for the categories of safety and transportation. They are easily among the most expensive places to live in the world

That was true... a while back. My home nation of Australia is significantly more expensive to live in than Japan. Sydney/Melbourne are more expensive than Osaka/Tokyo. Yes, there are benefits to living in Oz, but the infrastructure is far better here in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Toronto at 7th? Have they even try to take the self-proclaimed "so very reliable and efficient" subway system? And, I do think working and living in Japan would be hard for long hours....I think it is pretty much in most of the Asia countries after I had spent many years working every where.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I'm in Vienna, I tend to be happy. Don't know why. The Toilet of Modern Art shows they don't take themselves too seriously. https://www.wesaidgotravel.com/vienna-toilet-modern-art/

The main downside for Australia would be poor internet and crawly critters trying to kill humans, travel distances to the rest of the world. Upsides are weather, people,

Downside for Canada would be poor weather - too cold or too rainy in BC. Upsides Maple Syrup, nice people.

Downside for Japan would be earthquakes and tsunamis, people too busy. Upsides would be nice people, culture, crime rates.

I'd like to pass the Darwin test for where I live. No earthquakes, flooding, or dangerous animals that can easily get indoors uninvited. I've lived near major fault lines and where it flooded. No thanks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Vienna: Tourist town and snobbish locals who think they deserve the title of "classic cultural capital" more then Paris. Plus, all shops are closed on Sundays (if they haven't changed the laws recently)!

Otherwise you just have to know what budget range they were looking it. Tokyo is nice if you can live on the 50th floor of a company-provided condominium around Tokyo bay area and take the taxi after the night out at a nice restaurant etc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Change the criteria and all of the cities on the list change position.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I used to live near Osaka in my twenties and liked it, but I wouldn't say it was very livable for all ages. I wouldn't want to raise kids in Osaka-shi if I could help it. Zoom out on Google Earth and you have a vast blotch of grey. Other cities manage to incorporate far more green spaces.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those complaining about smallness of Japanese housing in Tokyo, I am always disgusted at how wasteful people in west are in their lifestyles (water to keep their lawns in green, every little space occupied by some junk, big automobiles, food wastage and so on). In general they have no respect for what they take out of nature and having a recycle bin makes them feel great and exporting their trash to other countries seems to be their right. Japan does not have much space and prone to disasters, it is a miracle that they do what they do. In America, the mighty Colorado river does not even reach the ocean anymore. USA is a beautiful country but people need to get over their obsession of living their life jumbo sized. This is nothing but robbery of the future generations at grand scale and sounds like China and India also want to follow this unsustainable model.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Fukuoka is the only Japanese city that has won an Asian poll, and consistently beats Tokyo and Osaka.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Vienna is dull. Everything is closed by 9pm. I'd rather live in Jakarta.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Australian and Canadian cities in the top 10, for example, had an average of 3.2 and 4 people per square kilometer respectively

Those numbers seem strange. (The population density of the whole of Scotland is 70 per square kilometer.)

Another site tells me the population density of Greater Melbourne was 450 people per sq km in 2015.

I defy people to find 100 people in a year who upon visiting Osaka started thinking "What a great city, nice looking and pleasant. I would love to live here".

I think the survey was not about the appeal to visitors but the liveability for residents. I lived in Osaka for about 12 years after living in Tokyo. I thought Osaka was miles better, but I guess everyone has their own opinion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan's Osaka took third place.

What a joke. Osaka isn't even the third most liveable city in Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Love “Wien” one of my favorite cities in the world. I try to go there at least once a year. Love the music culture and food. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In the winter the pollution from China ensures a very low air quality in Japan-doesn’t smell livable to me....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

thankfully could spend some time in Kobe - far better.

They must not have talked to anyone living in Japan for this poll. No way Tokyo or Osaka is more livable than Kobe or Fukuoka. Fukuoka is rated the most livable city by Japanese. Osaka come on, no way. It is a urban sprawl built with no planning, the equivalent of Houston in the USA. Food yes, fun yes, livable no.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Most posters seem to agree that the notion of Osaka as the 3rd most liveable city on the planet - and Tokyo 7th - as strange. Both are significant centers of sprawling mega-opolises and in the case of Tokyo - the largest in the world. And as pointed out, many would struggle to accept Osaka into the top 3 in Japan.

There are imho plenty of other more liveable alternatives in Japan. Fukuoka, Kobe, Yokohama, Okayama, Nara, Niigata etc - and the operative word here is liveable.

So why were Osaka / Tokyo chosen?

1) They really are # 3 / # 7 in the world.

2) The survey lacked comprehensive definition - cherry picked.

3) There are too many good cities to choose, so it finally comes down to pot-luck.

4) The survey felt the need to "balance" the Euro-heritage nations with Asian-heritage - you know to look fair.

5) The survey has "interests" to promote certain cities.

6) All of the above

7) None of the above

8) Other

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How can a city without any major beautiful parks be considered the 3rd most liveable city? Osaka's a drab concrete money sucking pit.

There are so many other cities in Japan that are so much more comfortable to live in. Not to mention other cities around the worls.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Big difference between how you feel about a city you live in and one you're just visiting. I love Tokyo, it's my favourite city in the world to visit, but would I want to live there? Not if I listen to what some of the residents say. I'd like to try, though.

As for needing $100K Australian to live well in Melbourne, I don't believe you need that much. Especially not if you own a house or apartment. As for dangerous critters getting into the house, I've lived in Melbourne for most of the past 50 years and I've never seen any. Well, except for the redbacks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

We are living in Melbourne but we miss Kameari and Ito Yokado. It's the place to be.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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