Kyoto Prefecture is located to
the north of Osaka, and has a long area.
The north area faces the sea of Japan.
The whole area of the prefecture is hilly, but has no high mountain and the highest peak in the prefecture is under 1,000 meters.
In the south part of the prefecture, there are some historic cities such as Kyoto and Uji.
Kyoto city is the prefecural capital and is well-known historic city in
Japan. The population is about 1.46 million (2009).
"Kyoto" is pronounced as "Kyooto".
From the 5th to the 8th centuries, the capital of Japan was mainly
around current Nara city.
In 794, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Kyoto, and Kyoto as the Japan's capital had continued until 1868.
During the period, this city had had Emperor, nobilities, samurais and ordinary citizens. And they created various cultures.
The central city has been built on a grid, and many temples, shrines
and the other historic buildings are dotted around the area.
And 17 constructions of them are designated a World Heritage Site as Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
Kyoto escaped the damage of World War II, so it has about 20 percent of Japan's national treasures.
Kamo River flows on the east side of the main area, and Katsura River
flows on the west side from north to south.
To the east of Kamo River, many gentle mountains line from north to south, and the area is called "Higashiyama".
And, to the west of Katsura River, there are nice areas such as "Arashiyama" and "Saga".
Please enrich your view of Kyoto about the followings.
The official websites by local governments are the followings.
Useful and unique websites about Kyoto are the followings.
: The best informational website when traveling to Kyoto. Sightseeing
spots, Temples, Hotels, Ryokan, Kyoto Maps, Transportation, Dining,
Kyoto Accommodation : Find the best Kyoto hotel or Kyoto ryokan.
WAK JAPAN : Please enjoy Japanese traditional cultural experience.
Kyoto Weddings : Your local planner for ceremonies and photo plans. Would you have a wedding in Kyoto?
Sightseeing of Kyoto - Go aroung to get the "GORIYAKU"
CycleKyoto : There is information on popular tourist routes for the temples and shrines, off the beaten trail routes, safety information, bike law, bike rental and much more.
|Average value 1981-2010||JAN||FEB||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL||AUG||SEP||OCT||NOV||DEC|
|Highest Temperature (deg C)||8.9||9.7||13.4||19.9||24.6||27.8||31.5||33.3||28.8||22.9||17.0||11.6|
|Lowest Temperature (deg C)||1.2||1.4||4.0||9.0||14.0||18.8||23.2||24.3||20.3||13.6||7.8||3.2|
|Mean monthly rainfall (mm)||50||68||113||116||161||214||220||132||176||121||71||48|
Kyoto is the international tourist city, and about 50 million people a
And the sightseeing area spreads within 5-10 km.
To tour around Kyoto, we can use route bus, subway and taxi.
The network of subway is not so enough, then the main transportation is
But the route bus is very crowded in high season, and some buses sometimes overflow with passengers.
So I suggest you give yourself enough time to tour around Kyoto.
To tour around main spots, it is convenient to use a tour bus.
Tour buses with various tourist routes leave from Kyoto station.
If you want to visit by car, you should be prepare to get struck in a jam and stray into any narrow, one-way street.
Public transport in Kyoto : The
page in Kyoto City official website
Kyoto Regular Tour Bus
Kyoto Bus Information : Information about bus system in Kyoto and how to get around to the various tourist sites conveniently and inexpensively.
Convenient tickets to tour around Kyoto
Yuyu Kyoto : Official website of a group of sightseeing taxis in Kyoto
Sanjusangendo /12/ , Kiyomizu-dera
/14/ , Gion /19/ , Ginkakuji /29/
Nishiki Market /44/ , Kyoto Gosho /45/ , Nijo Castle /47/ , Shimogamo Shrine /50/
Kinkakuji /61/ , Ryoanji /63/ , Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine /83/
Sanjusangendo temple /12/
Chishaku-in temple /13/
Kiyomizu temple /14/
Ninen-zaka / San'nen-zaka /15/
Yasaka Pagoda /16/
Kodaiji temple /17/
Ken'ninji temple /18/
Gion district /19/
Minamiza theater /20/
Yasaka Shrine /21/
Maruyama Park /22/
Chion-in temple /23/
Shoren-in temple /24/
Nanzenji temple /25/
Heian Shrine /26/
Eikando temple /27/
Honen-in temple /28/
Ginkakuji temple /29/
The Museum of Kyoto /42/
Rokkakudo temple /43/
Nishiki Market /44/
Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace) /45/
Kyoto International Manga Museum /46/
Nijo Castle /47/
Kitano Tenmanguu Shrine /48/
Daitokuji temple /49/
Shimogamo Shrine /50/
Kamigamo Shrine /51/
Shisendo temple /52/
Shugakuin Imperial Villa /53/
Temples in Ohara district /54/
Kurama Temple /55/
Kifune Shrine /56/
Mount Hiei /57/
Toji-in temple /62/
Ryoanji temple /63/
Nin'naji temple /64/
Myoshinji temple /65/
Toei Kyoto Studio Park /66/
Koryuji temple /67/
Tenryuji temple /68/
Arashiyama area /69/
Sagano area /70/
Jingoji temple /71/
Kozanji temple /72/
Saihoji temple (Moss temple) /73/
Bell cricket temple /74/
Katsura Imperial Villa /75/
Sennyuji temple /82/
Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine /83/
Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum /84/
Daigoji temple /85/
Manpukuji temple /86/
Byodo-in temple /87/
Ujigami Shrine /88/
The Tale of Genji Museum /89/
It is the annual festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo
It had been the festival for nobility since the 9th century, but it had been lost in the samurai period.
In 1884, Emperor Meiji commanded to resume the festival, and it has been held every year since that.
About 500 people wearing the graceful costume of ancient nobility parades on the road in Kyoto city. The route is from Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace) through Shimogamo Shrine to Kamigamo Shrine.
"Aoi" means "hollyhock". The people wear the flowers of hollyhock.
It is the annual festival of Yasaka Shrine. and is one of
the three major festival in Japan, along with Kanda festival in Tokyo
and Tenjin Festival in Osaka.
And it is the famous festival with beautiful floats as well as Takayama Festival.
It is said that this festival has been held since 970.
As the festival of the shrine, it is held from the first day to the end day in July. Various events are held.
But the most popular events are the Yoiyama in the evening from the 14th to 16th and the parade of floats on the 17th.
In Yoiyama, the beauriful floats with lighted lanterns are set up at many town, and many stalls line there.
And in the 17th day, 32 beautiful floats parade from Shijo-Karasuma through Shijo street, Kawaramachi street and Oike street.
It is the famous event in the Obon period. The foemal name
is "Gozan Okuribi".
In the evening, five giant bonfires are lit on mountains to the northwest, north and northeast of the city.
They form kanji characters and signs. Espcially the character "Dai" is simple and clear. "Dai" means "big" or "large", and "monji" means "character".
In Obon, dead souls return to their families, and Kyoto people send the souls to the heaven at the last day of Obon.
We can see the characters in the darkness.
It is the annual festival of Heian Shrine. Heian Shrine
was built in 1895, and this festival has been held every year since the
"Jidai" means "era" or "period". Eighteen groups of seven historical periods in Japan parade in the city.
About two thousand people wearing the costume of each era parade. The length of the procession is about 2 km.
The head of the procession is the group of Meiji Period (the late 19th century), and the following groups extend back in sequence.
The route is from Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace) through Marutamachi Street, Karasuma Street, Oike Street and Kawaramachi Street to Heian Shrine.
It is a confectionary made in Kyoto. It is made from rice
flour, sugar and cinnamon.
Baked Yatsuhashi is similar to senbei (Japanese cracker or cookie).
Unbaked Yatsuhashi has a soft and mochi-like texture, and is often eaten wrapped around "an" (sweet red bean jam).
In the 17th century, Kengyo Yatsuhashi, a leading Japanese harp musician, gave the idea of this confectionary to his acquaintance of tea house.
The acquaintance made a confectionery baked into the shape of Japanese harp, and he gave this the name of "Yatsuhashi".
Kyoto has a culture that some pickles are served at meals.
And various pickles are produced and are selled as one of daily foods
It is said that the three major pickles in Kyoto are "Shiba-zuke", "Suguki" and "Senmai-zuke".
Shiba-zuke is made by salting chopped eggplants with red perilla for about a year.
Suguki is a kind of turnip, and is made by fermenting it in a cask for a year. It has a unique sour taste.
Senmai-zuke is made by pickling thin-sliced turnip with konbu (seaweed) and hot pepper in vinegar.
It is the famous dying in Japan, and was invented by
Yuzensai Miyazaki living in Kyoto in the 1690s.
He was a popular painter of folding fan, and he created the method to draw a picture on silk fabric and to color with dyes.
The method had made Kimono very beutiful and gorgeous.
To complete a work, there are many processes. And many craftmen get involved the works.
Nishijin is the area to the northwest of Kyoto city.
Since the 16th century, many excellent craftmen had gathered in this area and silk textile industry had developed.
And in the 1870s, mechanical looms were introduced from France, and various Nishijin works enabled the mass production.
Nishijin is still the Japan's leading traditional textile.
Kyoto Nishijin : Nishijin Textile Industrial Association official website