If you’ve ever been to Japan, then you’ll immediately recognize the name Kyoto as being pretty much the epicenter of traditional culture in the country. Packed full of temples, shrines, museums, galleries, chic retail options and the finest cuisine, it’s known globally for its sophistication and storied history.

Culture Capital Rankings 2024

In a new international ranking by UK firm Titan Travel, Kyoto ranked in eighth place as a destination in which to experience culture. The company ranks major cities on “the most ‘things to do,’ from museums to art galleries, music tours, and tourist landmarks,” as well as which destinations have “the most five-star restaurants and wine-tasting tours.”

Kyoto ranked number one for having the most five-star restaurants in the world, with 97.83 restaurants per 100,000 people. Not bad for a city which often sits overlooked by its Kanto rival, Tokyo. Titan writes that it “is known for formal traditions such as Kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and is home to the most five-star restaurants out of 30 other cities. There are plenty of steak restaurants to choose from, with dishes like Kobe beef and sirloin katsu. Kyoto serves some of the best tempura seafood dishes in the world, and although it is originally from Portugal, tempura is one of the most beloved dishes in Japanese food.”

And in another boon for Kyoto, it ranked number one for having the most sights and landmarks with 110.03 per 100,000 people.

Granada in Spain took the overall cultural crown, with Florence, Prague, San Francisco and Amsterdam taking the other positions in the top five. Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh missed out in the top five, sitting in sixth. 

Perhaps next year’s culture capital rankings will include Tokyo, as its soft power supremacy roars back into action after the debilitating pandemic.

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