|Above, the stage of Kyoto's Kiyomizu-dera. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Travel surveys are always subjective, so in one year (or two) a place may be in the top spot, while in another, it could be bumped down. It depends on the number of people participating and other factors.
Such is the case of Kyoto, Japan. It had been the number one tourist spot in Travel + Leisure's reader surveys, but it has been bumped down a bit.
According to the Japan Times:
OSAKA – Kyoto fell from its perch as the world’s top tourist city in survey rankings compiled by the influential U.S. magazine Travel + Leisure, which dropped Japan’s ancient capital to No. 6. Charleston, South Carolina, claimed the top spot.
While the reasons for the fall were not explained, city officials suggested that the huge crowds of foreign and Japanese tourists visiting its popular temples, shrines and gardens as well as its major downtown shopping districts, might be the cause.
The result of the recent tourism boom has been often long lines in shops and restaurants, as well as traffic gridlock that has created apprehension among municipal emergency workers concerned about fire trucks and ambulances trying to get through Kyoto’s narrow streets.
There have also been growing allegations of price-gouging, with some English-language travel websites posting reader comments warning that Kyoto jacks up prices during peak periods such as April’s cherry blossom-viewing season or the late autumn months.We visited Kyoto last October and enjoyed it immensely. We didn't find the prices in the city any worse than anywhere else in Japan.
Maybe next year Kyoto will reclaim its number one survey perch.
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