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World's Most Beautiful Airports

Kansai International Airport

VIEW Pictures Ltd/Alamy

Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

While it's no longer the world's largest, the airport that rests on a giant man-made island two miles off the coast of Osaka is still a thing of wonder. Designed by architect Renzo Piano and opened in 1994, it is a single, sunlight-filled tube, a supersize airplane fuselage that stretches for more than a mile, with a roofline that moves through space like a wave. International passengers, departing from the terminal's top floor, are treated to a display of exposed structure—as in the architect's famous early work, the Centre Pompidou—revealing the exquisite complexity of this deceptively simple building.

Beauty Mark: Adjacent to the airport is Sky View, "the very first aero theme park in Japan," where you can play with flight simulators or watch takeoffs and landings from the observatory level.

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