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Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka recognised as best cities in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Award

Tokyo and Kyoto have been voted the world’s first and second best big cities, followed by Osaka in twelfth place in the 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey by Condé Nast Traveler!


Every year Condé Nast Traveler’s readers cast their votes for the world’s best cities and this year the turnout was so large (nearly 430,000 voters!) Condé Nast Traveler put together a Top 20 list for small cities and another for big cities!

For the third year running Tokyo and Kyoto have been named two of the world’s best Top 10 Big Cities but 2018 was indeed the year to secure their places as the world’s top two respectively! Osaka meanwhile made its debut in the ranking with an impressive twelfth place, thereby cementing Japan’s place as top among other countries to have cities featured within “The Best Cities in the World: Best Big Cities” list. Read on below to find out what clinched readers’ interests and what to look out for should you plan a trip yourselves!


Continuing to resonate strongly with visitors to the extent that “it’s like a fever dream you don’t want to wake up from” (so true!), Tokyo once again topped the ranking thanks to its astounding vibrancy and many contradictions, such as the “ultramodern, neon-lit skyscrapers” of Shinjuku and the “tranquil temples, unmatchable street style and centuries-old etiquette” of Nakano, Sangenjaya and many other neighbourhoods. The city of 37 million is in perfect stead to maintain its position in the years to come, with both the Rugby World Cup next year and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 set to attract millions of new and seasoned visitors to Japan and predominantly via this truly exciting city of the future. 


Boasting hundreds of awe-inspiring temples and shrines, charming little streets that hark back to a bygone era and stunning natural scenery, it’s no wonder that Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, has maintained its top tier position in this year’s ranking either. That being said, Kyoto is by no means a relic of the past - rather, the city is home to thriving arts and culinary scenes and prides itself as being at the forefront of the latest trends: take the newly-opened Hotel Resol Trinity Kyoto Oike Fuyacho for example, founded on the fusion of jazz’s earthy tones and coffee!


The motivation of many of today’s tourists when on holiday is to taste new and exciting foods, especially those eaten by the locals. So it’ll come as no surprise that the king of the Kansai region, Osaka, has made its way into this exclusive list. Often referred to as “Japan’s kitchen”, Osaka has more food than you can shake a stic— I mean skewer at, from takoyaki to kushikatsu and okonomiyaki to “fugu” (blowfish). Not only that, but Osaka is also the perfect base for touring a number of Kansai’s other major cities, including Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Wakayama - why visit just the one city when you can visit five?!

Find out more about the other finalists and winners in this year’s Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Award on their website.

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