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Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Tokyo recognised as the number one top large city in the world, with a score of 91.35, and Kyoto recognised as the number three top large city in the world, with a score of 88.98.
Tokyo, one of the world’s most popular capital cities, is a thriving hub of culture and innovation where visitors have endless opportunities for exploration. It also is a mix of contradictions, from ultramodern, neon-lit skyscrapers to tranquil temples, historic shrines, and expansive forests. A centre for innovation, this Japanese capital has more Michelin stars than any other place on earth, and is—no surprise—one of the world’s best food destinations. For just a taste of what the city can offer, pull up a stool and dig deep into a bowl of inventive ramen at Kikanbo, or sample rare Japanese whiskey at Bar Ben Fiddich.
Two hours on a bullet train from Tokyo, Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, offers rich history throughout the city. Take a step back in time in Kyoto, Japan’s imperial capital, where you can visit tenth-century temples, pass young geishas in the street, and stay in one of many renovated machiyas, which were once houses for craftsmen. One of the most well-preserved cities in Japan, Kyoto has approximately 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, and nearly 100 Michelin-starred restaurants. Because it was once the imperial capital, Kyoto is also well known for kaiseki, the traditional multi-course meal that changes seasonally: For an authentic meal without Michelin prices, try 200-year-old ryokan Kinmata. More than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto are tourist accessible.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers.