Location Details

Kyoto, in Japan (in the central of the Honshu island), is inside the valley and is part of the Yamashiro or Kyoto basin. It is also in the eastern part of the mountain region which is known as the Tamba highlands. It is part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area and the Kansai region. It roughly has a population of around 1.5 million people.

Map of where Kyoto is located in Japan. The capital Tokyo is also starred.


Transportation is big in Kyoto since it takes up around 17.9% of the islands land mass. A few of the most popular forms of transportation are buses, bicycling, and railways or subways.

Kyoto Bus 73

Starting with the bus system in Kyoto its area bus system is very extensive. Most of the tourists decide to take the bus as their choice of transportation. All of Kyoto's bus systems have announcements in English, they also have electronic signs that have the stops written in the Latin alphabet. Most of the city buses have a set fare, though many one-day bus and train passes are available. The buses also contain a useful pamphlet called the "Bus Navi" which contains a route map that shows were the most popular sights are located along with all the pay information.

Kyoto Citizens Cycling by a Famous Temple

Cycling is a form of transportation mainly for those who live in Kyoto, though there are available cycling tours to take while on vacation there. Since not everything is in walking distance this is said to be an easy replacement.

The Karasuma Line, Tozai Line, and the Kyoto Speed Rail

The last common form of transportation is subway and train stations. The two most traveled lines are the Karasuma line and the Tozai line. In the picture above the bottom left picture is the Karasuma line, all the trains are colored green. On newer trains they are given numbers after the letter K. It is a 24/7 rail and got its name from the JR station, it is beneath the intersection of Shijo Street and Shijo Karasuma. The Tozai line train is the biggest picture above, most all of these trains have a light blue colored strip around it. This is the line most commonly traveled by travelers since it is an outlet to all other train stations. The high speed rail or Kyoto speed rail (bottom right picture) is a tourist attraction because it can reach very high speeds. This is why many go to watch it depart or even ride it.

Things to Do In Kyoto


This Buddhist temple was built in 1482 as a retirement villa for a wealthy man known by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. After his death they changed it into a temple. This is a popular tourist attraction to visit. Most of the walkways lead through gardens that include raked white sand, this is to resemble the mountains. There is also a pathway that leads through the treeline and up the mountain side. The most common seasons for visitors is Spring and Autumn, these are the seasons when it is almost packed


Another popular Buddhist temple to visit is the Kiyomizu-Dera. It is said to represent the expression of faith in Japan. Inside the temple for the tourists there is a guide of how to pray while you are there. This temple was built in 798 and is now being renovated, its last renovation was in 1633. It was originally a Buddhist school before its closing, now its one of the most popular attractions in the city.


Kinkaku-Ji is another popular Buddhist temple and tourist attraction in Kyoto. It name means Golden Pavilion and its main hall is covered in "brilliant gold leaf" and shines in its reflecting pond. This is one of the main reasons tourists are to go there. The original building was built in 1397 as a retirement villa for another wealthy man. In 1950 the original building was burnt down by an obsessed monk, full restoration had been finished by 1955. This current renovation is almost identical to the original except for the lower floors now also have the shared gold-foil covering.

Kaleidoscope Museum of Kyoto

This is a family friendly museum and families often take visits here. It is a one room museum full of kaleidoscopes. There are more types of kaleidoscopes than what comes to mind. It is directly behind the Museum of Kyoto which is another tourist attraction many like to visit in their time there.

Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

The Kyoto Imperial Palace Park is well known to attract tourists. It has many different types of flowering trees and it also has open fields. Many tourists play sports there, eat picnics, and take long walks. At the southern end of the park there is a pond which contains carp fish. It is very pretty in February and March seasons which is when the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, despite the cold many people decide to visit during those months.

Historical Information

Kyoto is one of the oldest cities in Japan it being as old as the Paleolithic period. Kyoto being the capital of Japan before Tokyo, it was subject to many war attacks. In its early ruling days it had been set on fire and destroyed by many different wars. One of the most famous wars was the Onin War which lasted from 1467 to 1477, this caused extensive damage that Kyoto did not recover from until the mid 16th century. There were many problems with samurai factions fighting each other in the streets. You could almost count on any important buildings being burnt and many of the rich people's houses being turned into fortresses for the wars. In 1864 there was a famous rebellion called the Hamaguri Rebellion burnt down over 28,000 homes in the city. Three years later in 1869 the move of the Emperor to Tokyo began to weaken the economy. Originally at the end of World War II Kyoto was to be bombed by the American forces because it was an intellectual center and had a population fit for the weapon. Though Henry L. Stimson, Roosevelt's secretary of war removed it off of the target list, it was then replaced by Nagasaki. Kyoto now is one the only big cities left with any prewar structures, as an example the traditional townhouses or machiya. It stayed out of the news until 1997 when it hosted a conference, this conference resulted with the protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

What is Believed to be Old Kyoto Maps

Cultural Information

Traditional Cultural Women, Cultural Lanterns with Japanese Sayings, A Traditional Women's Archery and War Competition, Cultural Japanese Dance

Kyoto has much culture behind it as many older Japanese cities do. Kyoto has over 2,000 religious places, around 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, palaces, gardens, and it is also one of the most architecturally and best preserved cities in Japan. Many celebrations are done in Kyoto it being a city of many religions. Some of the festivals held in Kyoto are Gion Matsuri, Aoi Matsuri, Jidai Matsuri, and Gozan Okuribi. All have been held for over 1,000 years and attract many tourists. The first of these four is Aoi Matsuri on May 15, then from July 1 to July 31 is Gion Matsuri, Gion Matsuri also holds a massive parade on July 17th and is considered one of the three greatest Japanese festivals. Thirdly is Gozan Okuribi held on August 16th, on this day they light fires on mountains to guide any lost spirits to their homes. Last of these four is on October 22, Jidai Matsuri, or the Festival of Ages that celebrates all of Kyoto's past. Kyoto is also known for its very good traditional Japanese food. Many recipes have ingredients that contain vegetables only in the Kyoto area. Japan's film industry is also located in Kyoto, since filming for movies is done occasionally in daylight throughout the town visitors are allowed to watch. The native tongue of Kyoto is called Kyo-kotoba or Kyoto-ben, it is derived from the dialect of the Kansai. Since Kyoto was once the capital many of the modern day Japanese languages are based off of it. One of the most commonly said phrases is okoshi-yasu which is welcome, this is said when welcoming someone to a home, a religious temple, when responding to someone's thanks, and when welcoming them to a place of business.

Celebrations of Gion Matsuri, Aoi Matsuri, Jidai Matsuri, Gozan Okuribi

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