Osaka: If you could live in any city outside Japan, which would it be?

Bianca Scheurer, 25
Office manager (German)
Amsterdam comes to mind, but on second thoughts, I would choose to live in Maastricht, the Netherlands, because I love the pastoral atmosphere there. It has many of the same benefits as the more famous capital — canals, nice people, coffee shops — but without the tourists, and combined with a wonderful countryside feeling, so for me it is the best of both worlds, combining city and country life.

Ayaki Aridome, 19
Vocational school student (Japan)
I haven’t been abroad yet, but I would choose Melbourne, because I’ve heard so many good things about it. It seems to be a very trendy city, with lots of good food and cultural offerings, especially the coffee-shop scene. There I could experience Western culture while still stay in Asia, close to home. And all of the Australians I’ve ever met here in Japan have been really nice, so I think Aussies are good people!

Tebogo Obuseng, 29
Aspiring writer (Botswana)
Within Africa I would choose Lagos [Nigeria] or Dakar [Senegal], but globally I would like to live in New York City. There is just no other place like it on the entire planet: It is truly the international city of the world, with so much diversity and such an amazing mixture of all the world’s different peoples and cultures. I’ve visited twice but found it too expensive to stay long.

Dylan Chandler, 31
Photographer (American)
Coming from NYC, I like cities with some grit to them, like Hong Kong or Berlin, but in this case I would choose Cairo, Egypt, because it has such a different culture that fascinates me. Besides the Nile and all the history there, I especially love the sounds of the calls to prayer. The fact that it recently had a revolution —and still has some turmoil — just makes it all the more interesting for me . The times they are a-changing!

Miyoko Shimada, 38
Esthetician (Japanese)
I spent three weeks in London once, and would jump at the chance to live there! The whole city is like one big garden. People there are nice, but a bit quirky sometimes. I love all the history, and at the free museums we can see the whole world through the British Empire days. Also, it’s a great base to explore the rest of Europe from. The food and weather could be better, though, but that wouldn’t stop me.

William Melville-Rea, 49
English professor (New Zealand)
I’d choose Ubud, Bali. The town is lively and colorful with so many festivals and artists, and a vibrant expat community. It’s rapidly developing but still maintaining a strong sense of community and tradition. Bali’s lush nature with bountiful fruits, vegetables and spices makes it a gourmet’s delight and artist’s utopia. My family often visits to support an eco-tourism high-school there [via the PEP Foundation NGO].

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