What Makes a ‘Best City’? Ask Japan

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tokyo- PanOrient News

Japan’s big cities have something to celebrate.

In a poll of 429,000 readers of Conde Nast Traveler that ranked the ‘best cities in the world,’ Japan has more spots on the list of top twenty best big cities than any other country, with Tokyo and Kyoto coming in first and second.

The travel magazine divided its list of reader-ranked cities into two groups – top 20 small cities and top 20 big cities. While no Japanese small cities made the grade, Osaka nabbed 12th place for big cities, making Japan the only country with three spots on the big city list.

The magazine described Tokyo as a “fever dream you don’t want to wake up from” and cited the contrast of its lit-up skyscrapers with peaceful temples, as well as its street style and abundance of internationally-ranked eateries, as reasons to visit.

Kyoto, in second place, was recognized as a well-preserved imperial capital complete with antique temples and geishas. Meanwhile, Osaka was noted for its food and baseball culture.

After Tokyo and Kyoto, the other big cities rounding out the top five were Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria and Hamburg, Germany. Western cities, especially ones located in Europe, made up a majority chunk on both lists, presumably reflecting the travel habits and personal viewpoints of Conde Nast Traveler’s readership.

The only cities in the Middle East to appear on the lists were Jerusalem, in seventh place for small cities, and Istanbul, in seventeenth place for big cities. Jerusalem was the only city on either list that is part of the Arab world.

While the poll was arguably narrow in scope because it only surveyed readers of one travel magazine, it shared a few of its top-ranked cities with the 2018 Global Livability Index of most-livable cities, affiliated with the Economist newspaper.

In that list, Osaka made third place, after Vienna and Melbourne, and Tokyo came in seventh. The Global Livability Index ranks cities in areas like stability, healthcare and education.

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