23 pictures that show why travelers voted Kyoto the best city in the world

Sophie-Claire Hoeller
Kyoto Kiyomizy temple Sunset
Kyoto Kiyomizy temple Sunset

Travel + Leisure

just released its annual World's Best Awards, which surveys thousands of readers to come up with a comprehensive list of the year's best hotels, islands, airlines, and destinations.

This year, for the second time in a row, travelers voted Kyoto, Japan, to be the best city in the world.

Kyoto — Japan's imperial capital for over 1,000 years — is full of incredible temples, parks, and markets that make it a favorite with travelers.

These photos show why Kyoto was named the world's best city — twice.

Kyoto is home to incredible temples, like the Byodo-in Buddhist temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the most breathtaking temples is the 14th-century Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), which has a shiny gold facade that reflects beautifully in the pond it sits on.

Travelers love the thousands of scarlet colored torii (shrine gates) that lead 2.5 miles up a mountain to the main Inari shrine: Fushimi Inari Taisha. As Inari is considered the patron of business, each gate was donated by a Japanese business.

Nishiki Market, also known as Kyoto's Kitchen, is a 400-year-old market that spans five blocks of over 100 shops and restaurants. It's a treasure trove of rare delicacies and unusual foods.

You'll find rarities like these quail egg-stuffed-octopi. Lots of shops offer samples, so go hungry.

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