Bangkok, rated the world's best city last year for the fourth year in a row by the magazine's readers, did not feature in the top 10 for 2014, and lost its number one place in Asia last year to Kyoto. It also slipped below Siem Reap, which came in second in the latest poll by the magazine.
Cities were rated by the magazine's readers on sights and landmarks; culture and arts; restaurants and food; people; and value.
Kyoto, renowned for its centuries-old temples and shrines, ranked ninth in 2012, becoming the first Japanese city to break into the magazine's top 10. In the latest poll, it scored 90.21 points, followed by Charleston, South Carolina (90.18), Florence, Italy (89.99) and Siem Reap (89.82).
In 2013, Kyoto received a record 51.62 million tourists, according to the city. Kyoto hotels and inns accommodated 1.13 million foreign travelers, topping the 1 million threshold for the first time.
A city official said its promotion of "washoku", or Japanese cuisine, and cultural traditions helps to draw in the tourists.