Which Asian cities were just voted the two best cities in the world?
According to a recent poll of over 300,000 readers, a highly esteemed luxury and lifestyle magazine just named Tokyo and Kyoto as the two best cities in the world outside of the United States.
Condé Nast Traveler is one of the world's premiere luxury and lifestyle magazine, boasting 25 National Magazine Awards since its founding in 1987. For their 2016 readers' poll, readers from all over the world voted which cities they loved the most. And to the delight of the Japan National Tourism Organization, Tokyo and Kyoto were selected as the top two cities in the world, with Tokyo coming out on top. For last year's ranking, Tokyo came in at #9 and Kyoto at #15, so it seems that both cities impressed a lot of travelers just this past year alone.
In regards to Tokyo, readers expressed their love of the city's variety, with the combination of modern skyscrapers and historic temples and shrines. And when you add what is probably the most efficient public transportation system in the world, along with all the delicious food and shopping Tokyo is known for, it makes sense why the world's original megacity made it to the top of the prestigious ranking.
Coming in at a close second, Kyoto was described as "one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan." The countless shrines and temples are sights to behold, but what makes this ancient city so special is the cuisine called kaiseki, an old-world Japanese multi-course culinary experience that changes along with the seasons. The history that still permeates modern Kyoto culture is what makes this city such a sought-after trail destination.
By the end of 2016, 20 million visitors are expected to set foot in Japan, which is a record number. By 2020, when the Olympics and Paralympics open in Japan, the government is hoping that number doubles to 40 million. Whether or not that will happen is up in the air, but one thing is for sure — visiting Japan, and everything that comes with it, is a very special experience and one that you will never forget.