I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. I have lived my entire life there, aside from the six-and-a-half years I’ve lived in Japan, of course. Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, and has a population in excess of four million people. It is located in the south east of the country and is a port city in the tradition of Yokohama and Kobe.
Melbourne has numerous attributes. The first of these is that the city center is compact but not overly congested. It contains many notable historical buildings, such as Flinders Street Station, which is an architectural marvel consisting of a traditional yellow brick facade and a distinctive entrance, with a row of analogue clocks indicating the time of the next train’s arrival on each line.
The city center is accessible by Melbourne’s iconic tram system. Although the traditional yellow and green tram design has been replaced by a sleeker, more modern design, they remain a distinctive aspect of the city. For tourists, there is the city circle tram, which retains a traditional design and can be ridden free of charge.
Melbourne also has a well-deserved reputation as the sporting capital of the world, boasting world-class stadiums such as the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which hosts international cricket matches in the summer months and Australian Rules Football (AFL) matches in the winter, and Melbourne Park, which hosts the Australia Open tennis tournament.
Melbourne is also known as “the Garden City”, because of the number of spacious and beautifully maintained parks and gardens located within the city center. The best among these is the Royal Botanical Gardens, which has something to offer in every season.
For food lovers, Melbourne has a plethora of dining options, with virtually every imaginable cuisine being available. For all day brunch, diners should visit Flinders Lane, where eggs benedict tends to be the most popular choice on the menu. For high quality yum cha, Melbourne’s Chinatown district spans the length of the city center. For Greek and Italian cuisine, diners should visit Lygon Street, located only a short distance from the city center.
For people interested in studying abroad in Australia, Melbourne boasts two world-class universities: the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Both of these institutions attract large numbers of international students every year.
The only downside of Melbourne as a city is its public transportation system. In particular, the train system has been plagued by service delays, cancellations and overcrowding. The fact that it is a privatized system may be part of the reason for these issues.
To sum up, Melbourne is a city that has all bases covered for people of all walks of life. Whether one is interested in culture, food, sport or education, the city has it all. It is no surprise that Melbourne was named “The World’s Most Liveable City” for seven consecutive years from 2011-2017. While Sydney tends to attract the lion’s share of attention among Australian cities, a trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Melbourne.
marvel (noun) - a wonderful or amazing person or thing
facade (noun) – the front of a building, especially one that is large or impressive
sleek (adj.) – fashionable and attractive in design
plethora (noun) – a greater amount than you need or want
the lion’s share (idiom) – the largest part of something; the majority of something