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2010 ranking: 23 | 2009 ranking: 22

Japan’s ancient capital has everything that Tokyo is lacking
If the bullet train took 45 minutes rather than two hours, most of Tokyo’s population would commute from Kyoto. The ancient Japanese capital has everything the modern one does not – historic architecture, open spaces alongside the Kamo river, and a thriving cultural life based on artisanal crafts uninterrupted by earthquakes and war.

Finding a way for past and present to co-exist has always been a challenge Kyoto but successive city administrat…


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