Yoshiharu Shimoda/Marubeni Australia, Melbourne Office
Melbourne is Australia's second biggest city next to Sydney. While Sydney is said to be more open and Americanized, Melbourne is regarded as one of the most Britainesque cities in Australia, with many remnants of traditional culture. The city has many historic buildings and beautiful churches. The streets are bordered by verdant parks both large and small. The relaxing scenery reminds the visitor of a typical European locale and is one of the city's benefits that make Melbournians proud.
The other side of the city is that many immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as Asia and other parts of the world, come together to create a multiracial society, and on the streets you can see people from many racial backgrounds. A row of Italian cafes and restaurants sit side-by-side along Lygon Street, known as "Italian town." Most of these restaurants and cafes have outdoor spaces and are very crowded in the evenings. Activity here reached fever pitch when Italy recently won the soccer World Cup, even though it was in the early hours of the morning. Melbourne also has many Greek immigrants. I have heard that Melbourne is second only to Athens in the number of its Greek inhabitants. Incidentally the current mayor of Melbourne, Mr. John So, is of Chinese decent.
The Great Ocean Road, a famous and highly recommended tourist attraction that originates from the outskirts of Melbourne, runs nearly 270 kilometers from south to west adjacent to the sea. The beautiful road passes through a variety of landscapes such as cliffs, forests and rural fields. The Twelve Apostles, a series of strange-looking sedimentary rocks rising from the sea, is promoted as the art of nature. The Great Ocean Road also leads you to a less known spot where you can see wild koalas very closely. This is a rare opportunity in Australia today.
If you come to Australia, I recommend that you visit Melbourne, a wonderful city where tradition, modern culture and nature coexist in harmony.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.35 (September, 2006)