• Kyodo

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Tokyo and Kyoto have been picked as the world’s best and second-best cities outside the United States, the U.S. travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler said Tuesday.

Its readers cast more than 100,000 votes in the 2016 poll. Japan’s current and former capitals climbed in the ranking from 15th and ninth the previous year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Italy’s Florence ranked third.

The magazine highlighted Tokyo’s variety — encompassing modern skyscrapers and historic temples and shrines — and added that it is “one of the world’s best food destinations.”

Kyoto was described as “one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan” and as “well known for kaiseki, the traditional multicourse meal that changes seasonally.”

Also in the poll, the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo was named the top hotel in Northern Asia, while All Nippon Airways came in fifth in the “Best Airlines in the World” ranking.

More than 300,000 readers made their voices heard via computers, tablets and smartphones in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, which started 29 years ago.

The total number of foreign visitors to Japan this year is expected to top 20 million for the first time. The government has doubled its annual target of overseas visitors to 40 million in 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympics and Paralympics.

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