We all know Osaka is great, but we didn’t know it would be this great.
Airbnb, a network that allows people all over the world to host visitors in their home, released a ranking titled, Top Places to Visit in 2017. The scenic and southern Melbourne, Australia, the romantic port city of Marseille, France, and the green, green city of Dublin, Ireland made the top 20, to no one’s surprise. What we are proud to say, though, is that a neighborhood in Japan stole the fourth spot over Marseille and Dublin.
▼ Konohana in Osaka, Japan
Your first guess may be that the neighborhood is in Tokyo or Kyoto, but it’s actually in Osaka, a little over 50 kilometers (31 miles) away from Kyoto. More specifically, it’s the neighborhood named Konohana. Though there are a lot of people who don’t know the neighborhood by name, it’s where Universal Studios Japan is located. However, the presence of Universal Studios Japan (which will add a new Nintendo section to its park by 2020) alone doesn’t seem like it’s enough for the neighborhood to land a spot on the list of Top Places to Visit.
▼ Universal Studios Japan
So, how did Konohana make the list, exactly? Airbnb compiled the list after looking at how much the number of visitors has increased in each area over the past couple of years. New Orleans, Louisiana, which made the top of the list, saw a mind-boggling 1,500-percent increase in Airbnb users over the course of 2015 and 2016, but Konohana was no slouch either, showing a 609-percent increase over the same period.
Here’s the full list for 2017:
1. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: 1,500% growth
2. Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 976% growth
3. Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia: 770% growth
4. Konohana in Osaka, Japan: 609% growth
5. Chutes Lavie in Marseille, France: 604% growth
6. Rockcliffe-Smythe in Toronto, Canada: 497% growth
7. Midtown in Miami, Florida, USA: 430% growth
8. Narvarte in Mexico City, Mexico: 264% growth
9. West Seattle, Washington, USA: 230% growth
10. Usera in Madrid, Spain: 228% growth
11. Din Daeng/Huai Kwang in Bangkok, Thailand: 218% growth
12. Chippendale in Sydney, Australia: 204% growth
13. Daehangno Street in Seoul, South Korea: 203% growth
14. Lyndale in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 193% growth
15. Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland: 180% growth
16. Chacarita in Buenos Aires, Argentina: 172% growth
17. Žižkov in Prague, Czech Republic: 103% growth
What happened over the past two years to warrant such an increase in visitors to Konohana? We’re not exactly sure. However, this isn’t the first time Osaka has made Airbnb’s Top Places to Visit list. Osaka’s Chuo Ward topped last year’s Airbnb ranking with a jaw-dropping 7,000 percent increase in visitors.
▼ Sunset from Maishima in Konohana
▼ Shopping area in Konohana
Airbnb users rated the neighborhoods that made the list positively for a few reasons: they’re within convenient commuting distance of downtown while also being away from the hustle and bustle of the city, they’re abundant in greenery, and it’s fairly easy to try local cuisine. So, how does Konohana match up to these standards? Let’s look at some of its competition.
▼ Narvarte in Mexico City, Mexico
▼ Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
▼ Žižkov in Prague, Czech Republic
▼ And here’s Konohana in Osaka, Japan, one more time for comparison.
Well, folks, it’s a mystery. What is it about Konohana that makes it into Airbnb’s top list? Is it in its proximity to Universal Studios Japan? Is it in its local charm? Is it in the food? Make a stop by Konohana during your travels to Japan this year and see for yourself what makes it so awesome!