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Until last year, Kyoto basked in the glow of being ranked as one of the best, if not the best, places in the world to visit. Polls like one by the U.S. travel magazine Conde Nast in 2020 called Japan’s ancient capital the world’s best city.

Of Kyoto’s 53.5 million tourists in 2019, about 8.8 million were from abroad. Together, they spent around ¥1.2 trillion — the fourth straight year the figure had topped ¥1 trillion.

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