Photo: Andre Benz / Unsplash
Photo: Andre Benz / Unsplash
- 2 min read

Kyoto, Tokyo & Osaka Make Favorite Cities in the World List

The cities were loved by Travel + Leisure magazine readers

Japan is renowned for having some of the best cities in the world from a travel standpoint, and several factors contribute to this reputation. From their unparalleled blend of tradition meets modernity to overall cleanliness, safety, and ease of getting around, urban areas here are popular with visitors for a myriad of reasons.

Recently, Travel + Leisure magazine published their Readers' 25 Favorite Cities in the World of 2023 list. Around 165,000 of the magazine's readers completed the 2023 survey, which was an increase of almost 25 percent when compared to pre-pandemic voting levels – travel is definitely alive and well once more!

In the survey, cities were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Sights and landmarks
  • Culture
  • Food
  • Friendliness
  • Shopping
  • Value

For each of those above categories, respondents were able to choose ratings of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor.

Impressively, three Japanese cities made the top 25, with Kyoto in third place, Tokyo at number 7, and Osaka rounding out the list at number 25. Kyoto was particularly praised by respondents for its wide variety of cultural attractions hidden in plain sight, and having some of the best food options in the world.

Part of Kyoto's praise was related to the wide variety of cultural attractions the city offers
Part of Kyoto's praise was related to the wide variety of cultural attractions the city offers (Photo: topcools tee / Unsplash)

As for Tokyo, the city was revered by readers for the numerous Michelin-starred restaurants it possesses, along with the plethora of interesting and varied neighborhoods there are to explore. If you need some Michelin ramen inspiration while you're visiting the urban area, explore some of the following articles on our site:

Tokyo's impressive range of Michelin star restaurants was heralded in the survey
Tokyo's impressive range of Michelin star restaurants was heralded in the survey (Photo: Mint Panchalee / JT)

Rounding out the top 25, Osaka received high praise for its fantastic public transport offerings, and how warm and welcoming the locals are. This warmth was felt by respondents even when there was a language barrier, making it even more special.

Osaka's fantastic public transport was a big part of what made it a favorite city among readers
Osaka's fantastic public transport was a big part of what made it a favorite city among readers (Photo: Tore F / Unsplash)

Getting there

The full list from Travel + Leisure can be explored here.

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