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Kyoto Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Kyoto

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Kyōto is a Japanese city in the middle section of the island of Honshu. It has a population of about 1.5 million people. It was the Imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years and is currently the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in the Kansai region, as well as a key component of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. Kyoto is frequently referred regarded as the “Thousand-Year Capital.”

Kyoto is known as the most beautiful city in Japan. Visitors may be shocked by how much effort is required to explore Kyoto’s lovely side. Most visitors’ first impressions of Kyoto will be of the city’s urban sprawl, centered on the ultra-modern glass-and-steel railway station, which is an example of a city steeped in history clashing with the contemporary world.

Nonetheless, the patient visitor will quickly uncover Kyoto’s hidden beauty in the temples and gardens that surround the city center, and will learn that the city has much more to offer than meets the eye.

Kyoto – Info Card

POPULATION : 1,474,570
FOUNDED :  
TIME ZONE : 
LANGUAGE : Japanese
RELIGION : observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
AREA : 827.83 km2 (319.63 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 
COORDINATES : 35°0′42″N 135°46′6″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 49%
 Female: 51%
ETHNIC : Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%
AREA CODE : 75
POSTAL CODE : 
DIALING CODE : +81 75
WEBSITE : http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/   http://kyoto.travel/en

Tourism in Kyoto

Despite being battered by battles, fires, and earthquakes over its eleven centuries as the imperial capital, Kyoto was spared most of World War II’s devastation. It was withdrawn off the atomic bomb target list (which it had topped) due to the personal involvement of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who wished to rescue this cultural center that he had known from his honeymoon and subsequent diplomatic trips.

It is one of Japan’s finest preserved towns, with 2,000 religious sites — 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines – as well as palaces, gardens, and architecture. Kiyomizu-dera, a spectacular wooden temple supported by pillars off the slope of a mountain; Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion; Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion; and Ryan-ji, noted for its rock garden, are among Japan’s most famous temples. The Heian Jing is a Shinto temple that was established in 1895 to commemorate the Imperial family and the first and last Emperors to stay in Kyoto. The Kyoto Gyoen district, which includes the Kyoto Royal Palace and Sento Imperial Palace, has links to the imperial family; Katsura Imperial Villa, one of the nation’s greatest architectural assets; and Shugaku-in Imperial Villa, one of its best Japanese gardens. Furthermore, the graves of the emperors from Shij to Kmei are housed at the temple of Sennyu-ji.

Arashiyama, the Gion and Pontoch geisha areas, the Philosopher’s Walk, and the canals that run some of Kyoto’s older streets are all worth a visit.

UNESCO has designated the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” as a World Heritage Site. The Kamo Shrines (Kami and Shimo), Ky—Gokokuji (T-ji), Kiyomizu-dera, Daigo-ji, Ninna-ji, Saih-ji (Kokedera), Tenry-ji, Rokuon-ji (Kinkaku-ji), Jish-ji (Ginkaku-ji), Ryan-ji, Hongan-ji, Kzan-ji Other locations outside of the city are on the list as well.

Kyoto is well-known for its wonderful Japanese delicacies and cuisine. Kyoto’s unique characteristics as a city distant from the sea and home to numerous Buddhist temples led in the creation of a range of vegetables unique to the Kyoto region.

Kyoto is the heart of Japan’s television and film industries. Many jidaigeki, or samurai-themed action films, were filmed at Toei Uzumasa Eigamura. Eigamura is both a film set and a theme park, including reconstructions of traditional Japanese structures used for jidaigeki. A recreation of the historic Nihonbashi (the bridge at the entrance to Edo), a traditional courtroom, a Meiji Period police box, and a section of the former Yoshiwara red-light district are among the sets. Actual filming occurs on occasion, and guests are invited to view the activity.

Kyoto’s dialect is known as Ky-kotoba or Kyto-ben, and it is a component dialect of the Kansai dialect. When Kyoto was Japan’s capital, the Kyoto dialect was de facto standard Japanese, and it affected the formation of the Tokyo dialect, which is now the present standard Japanese. Famous Kyoto idioms include the courteous copula dosu, the honorific verb ending -haru, the greeting phrase okoshi-yasu “welcome,” and many more.

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

In the city proper, there are around 20% of Japan’s National Treasures and 14% of Important Cultural Properties. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji, and Otsu Cities) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses 17 locations in Kyoto, Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, and tsu in Shiga Prefecture. In 1994, the property was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

FESTIVALS

Kyoto is well-known for its traditional festivals, which have been conducted for over a thousand years and are a significant tourist draw. The first is the Aoi Matsurion, which takes place on May 15. Two months later (July 1 to 31), the Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s three main festivals, culminates in a large procession on July 17. Kyoto celebrates the Bon Festival with the Gozan no Okuribi, which consists of setting flames on mountains to lead the spirits home (August 16). The Jidai Matsuri, or Festival of the Ages, takes place on October 22 and honors Kyoto’s famous history.

Climate of Kyoto

Kyoto, like the rest of the nation, has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter, with beautiful flowers in the spring and changing leaves in the fall drawing throngs of visitors. Kyoto is very humid in the summer since it is surrounded by mountains. The rainy season lasts from roughly mid-June until the end of July, therefore most visitors attempt to avoid going during this period. Rainfall varies from drizzles to intermittent showers to downpours. In late August and September, there is another typhoon season. Winters are often chilly, although there is no snowfall. They normally begin towards the end of December and persist until March, when the plum blossoms, followed by the cherry blossoms, begin to appear.

Geography of Kyoto

Kyoto is situated in a valley, part of the Yamashiro (or Kyoto) Basin, in the eastern section of the Tamba mountains. The Yamashiro Basin is bounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama, Kitayama, and Nishiyama, which rise to slightly over 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) above sea level. As a consequence of this internal placement, summers are hot and winters are frigid. The basin has three rivers: the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, and the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City, with an area of 827.9 square kilometers, accounts for 17.9 percent of the land in the prefecture (319.7 sq mi).

The original city was laid out according to traditional Chinese feng shui principles, modeled after the ancient Chinese metropolis of Chang’an (present-day Xi’an). Because the Imperial Palace faced south, Uky (the capital’s right sector) is on the west and Saky (the capital’s left sector) is on the east. In the modern-day wards of Nakagy, Shimogy, and Kamigy-ku, the streets still follow a grid plan.

The major commercial sector is now situated to the south of the former Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern section remaining significantly greener. The surrounding districts do not follow the same grid arrangement as the city core, although all streets in Kyoto have names.

Kyoto is built on a vast natural water table, which supplies the city with an abundance of freshwater wells. The quantity of rain draining into the table is decreasing as a result of large-scale development, and wells around the region are drying up at an increasing pace.

Economy of Kyoto

Kyoto’s main industries include information technology and electronics, and the city is home to the headquarters of Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, Dainippon Screen, TOSE, OMRON, Kyocera, Shimadzu Corp., Rohm, Horiba, Nidec Corporation, Nichicon, Nissin Electric, and GS Yuasa.

Kyoto’s economy is likewise heavily reliant on tourism. The city’s cultural heritages are often visited by school groups from all across Japan, and many international visitors stop in Kyoto as well. Kyoto’s municipal administration stated in 2014 that a record number of visitors had visited the city, and it was named the world’s greatest city by a U.S. travel magazine.

Traditional Japanese crafts are also a prominent business in Kyoto, with the majority of them being managed by artists in small plants. Kyoto’s kimono weavers are especially well-known, and the city remains the world’s leading kimono production hub. Such enterprises, which were flourishing in previous ages, have diminished in recent years as conventional products sales have stagnated.

Kyoto’s traditional business is sake brewing. Gekkeikan and Takara Holdings are two significant sake brewers based in Kyoto.

Aiful, Ishida, MK, Nissen Holdings, Oh-sho, Sagawa Express, Volks, and Wacoal are among the other major companies located in Kyoto.

The population concentration in the capital city area is 55 percent, the highest among the prefectures. The economic disparity between the coastal and interior areas, especially the Kyoto basin, is substantial. In 2010, the Greater Kyoto, Kyoto Metropolitan Employment Area (2.7 million people) had a total GDP of US$ 115.3 million.

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