World consists of many places and cities which are not known to everyone till date. We have many such alluring cities on earth to watch once in a lifetime. Mother earth holds many such cities or places who have natural beauty with many scenic spots. Regarding the habitation those cities do have habitation yet the natural beauty and authenticity of the city stay’s as it is. What matters the most for every city is nurturing and protecting its renewable and non-renewable sources as well as its historical importance.
Such a place where tourists are mesmerized by seeing its natural beauty is Kyoto in Japan. This city is known as oldest city in Japan. Located in Kansai region on the island of Honshu is known for its history and its ambience.
Exploring the beauty of The City, it includes many various varieties of things and places. It is considered as cultural capital of Japan and is major tourists’ destination. the modern municipality of Kyoto was established in 1889. The city was destroyed in World War II. With economical and architectural importance Kyoto also has a great geographical importance since a long period of time.
Let’s travel to Kyoto with knowing amazing facts about the metropolis and its culture.
1. Geographical Importance
Kyoto is located at a place where its beauty gets multiply with the scenic areas consisting each aspect of nature’s beauty.
The City is situated in a rift, part of the Yamashiro (or Kyoto) Basin, in the eastern part of the precipitous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Valley is adjoining on three sides by mountains called as Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama, with a maximum altitude of approximately 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) above sea level. This interior positioning results in flaming summers and freezing winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Uji River to the south, the Katsura River to the west, and the Kamo River to the east. The City takes up 17.9% of the land in Kyoto Billet and has a total area of 827.9 square kilometers (319.7 sq. mi).
It stands atop a large natural water table that provides the city with ample freshwater wells. Due to large-scale urbanization, the amount of rain draining into the table is shrinking and wells across the area are desiccating at an increasing rate.
Kyoto has a humid subtropical climate steamy, promoting a marked periodic variation in temperature and precipitation. Summers are flaming hot and sticky humid, but winters are relatively cold with occasional snowfall. Kyoto’s monsoon season begins around the middle of June and lasts until the end of July, yielding to a hot and sunny latter half of the summer. The City, like most of the Pacific coast and central areas of Japan, is vulnerable to typhoons during the summer and autumn.
As of 2020, the metropolis had a population count around 1.46 million. The city is the cultural broadcaster of a significantly larger metropolitan area known as Greater Kyoto, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 3.8 million people.
2. History of The City:
Well-known to everyone It is one of the oldest civilizations in Japan. Considering the consequences of World War II on Japan. Yet Japan and every single city of Japan stood up with a strong base even after unhuman incidences.
History of Kyoto is mainly divided in three different parts namely Ancient History, Middle History, and Modern History. Before modern period one aspect of history also is considerable in the study.
Early modern phase of Kyoto is also holding importance in Kyoto’s History. The capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years almost from 794 to 1889, Kyoto the very first capital of Japan has been called a variety of names through the centuries—Heian-kyo which literally means Capital of Peace, Miyako meaning The Capital, and Saikyo known as Western Capital, its name after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 when the imperial household moved to Tokyo. Replacing the Kyoto as Capital to Tokyo as capital of Japan.
Abundant archaeological authentications suggests human settlement and civilisations in the area of Kyoto began as early as the Palaeolithic period, although not much published material or scriptures retained about human activity in the region before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established. During the 8th century, when influential Buddhist priests became involved in the happenings of the monarchical government, Emperor Kanmu chose to resituate the capital in order to distance it from the administrative establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Territory.
The new city, Heian Kyo, a scaled dummy of the then Chinese Tang dynasty capital Chang’an, became the seat of Japan’s monarchical court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, This remained Japan’s capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration.
In the middle ages, this city was extensively destructed by the Onin War in 1467 – 1477 during the period of Shengoku. During the war, fights between samurai contingents spilled into the streets, and came to involve court decency and religious contingents as well. Nobles’ mansions were transformed into castles, deep channels dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, and numerous buildings burned. The city saw such destruction for first time in its existence and was collapsed morally.
In the late 16th century, The city’s destiny revived under the sovereignty of the national unifiers Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Buddhists, especially the Tendai monks on Hiei-zan, were such a repugnant to Nobunaga that he set fire to the entire charterhouse complex; but under Hideyoshi, a passionate sponsor of the arts, Kyoto flourished. One of his tea parties was attended by thousands of people and went on for days. Teramachi Street in central This is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city.
In the modern history of The City, at the start of the Meiji period, the emperor’s move from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1869 incapacitate the economy of The City. The modern city was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one major decision taken to bring the city back to life. The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932.
3. Exploring Kyoto and its Cultural aspects
It is considered the cultural capital of Japan and is a major tourist destination. Many Buddhist Temples, Shinto shrines, palaces and gardens are situated in the city, some of which have been delegated inclusively as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Eminent beacon include the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, and Kyoto Tower.
Although devasted by wars, fires, and earthquakes during its eleven centuries as the sovereign capital, It underwent only minor damage in World War II. It was removed from the atomic bomb target list which it had headed by the personal interference of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, as Stimson wanted to save this cultural center, which he knew from his consular visits. This has been, and still remains, Japan’s cultural center. About 20% of Japan’s National Treasures and 14% of Important Cultural Properties exist in the city proper. The government of Japan plans to relocate the Agency for Cultural Affairs to Kyoto in 2023.
With its 2,000 religious places, 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and architecture intact – It is one of the best preserved and protected cities in Japan. Among the most prominent temples in Japan are 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 Ryoan-ji, admired for its rock garden. A Shinto shrine, namely the Heian Jingu is built in 1895, celebrating the monarchical family and remembering the first and last emperors to reside in Kyoto.
Three special sites are connected to the imperial family of the Kyoto Gyoen area including the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sento Imperial Palace, homes of the emperors of Japan for many centuries; Katsura Imperial Villa, one of the nation’s spectacular and finest architectural treasures; and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, one of its best soothing Japanese gardens. In addition, the temple of Sennyu-ji houses the tombs of the emperors from Shijo to Komei.
As being the ancient city of Japan, it includes many historic monuments. The “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” are listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. These include the Kamo Shrines, Kyo-o-Gokokuji, Kiyomizu-dera, Daigo-ji, Ninna-ji, Saiho-ji, Tenryū-ji, Rokuon-ji, Jisho-ji, Ryōan-ji, Hongan-ji, Kozan-ji, and the Nijo Castle, primarily built by the Tokugawa shoguns. Other sites outside the city are also on the list.
Japan’s television and film industry has its center in The city . Many jidaigeki (A genre of film, television and video games in Japan), action films featuring samurai, were filmed at Toei Uzumasa Eigamura. Among the sets are a dummy of the old Nihonbashi (the bridge at the entry to Edo), a traditional courthouse, a Meiji Period police box and part of the preceding Yoshiwara red-light district. Actual film shooting takes place once in a while, and visitors are welcome to watch the action.
The dialect mainly spoken in The City is known as Kyo-kotoba or Kyoto-ben, a constituent dialect of the Kansai dialect. Until the late Edo period, the dialect was the de facto standard Japanese, although it has since been replaced by modern standard Japanese. Traditional articulation include the polite copula dosu, the honorific verb ending -haru, and the greeting phrase okoshi-yasu.
4. Delightful Cuisine of Kyoto
It is well-known for its feast of delicious Japanese foods and cuisine. The special situations of The City as a metropolis away from the sea and home to many Buddhist temples resulted in the development of a variety of vegetables weird to the area. The oldest restaurant in It is Honke Owariya which was founded in 1465.
As Japan’s previous capital and seat of the imperial court for over a millennium, Kyoto offers a rich culinary heritage. The regional food culture is miscellaneous and varies from aristocratic kaiseki course dinners to vegetarian shojin ryori of monks and the simple obanzai home-style cooking.
While some restaurants take inspiration from the past, others experiment with new flavours and cuisines. Fusion restaurants, which combine ingredients and techniques of cuisine with cooking styles from other parts of the world, can also be found in the city. The Pontocho nightlife district is one of the admired places to find best fusion restaurants along with traditional establishments.
Not far away, the Gion district also offers a wide range of interesting dining opportunities, as does the Kyoto Station area. Usual Japanese food that is not necessarily associated with this in particular, such as ramen, sushi and udon, is also available across the city. Foodies should not miss a visit to the Nishiki Market in central Kyoto, which has been serving the city for many centuries.
5. Strong Economy of The City
As It was previous Capital of Japan it has been very famous for its industrial growth over the period of time. Information technology and electronics are major industries in The City. The city is home to the headquarters of Nintendo (Famous system for video games), Intelligent Systems, Holdings, Tose, Hatena, Omron, Kyocera, Shimadzu, Rohm, Horiba, Nidec Corporation, Nichicon, Nissin Electric, and GS Yuasa.
Domestic and international tourism contributes significantly to Kyoto’s economy. According to the survey in 2014, the city government announced that a record number of tourists had visited Kyoto. Although, a sharp decline in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor admitted in 2021 “the possibility of bankruptcy in the next decade” and announced job cuts in the administration and cuts in social assistance, including reductions in funding for home care.
Traditional Japanese crafts are also a important industry of Kyoto, Kyoto’s kimono weavers are particularly eminent, and the city remains the leading center of kimono manufacturing. Sake brewing is another distinguished traditional industry in Kyoto, and the headquarters of major sake brewers Gekkeikan and Takara Holdings are found in Kyoto.
6. Progress in Sports & Events
Kyoto has got its very own identity of site to many annual sports events. Since 400 years old, Toshiya archery exhibition held at the Sanjusangen-do Temple to the Kyoto Marathon and the Shimadzu All Japan Indoor Tennis Championships.
In football, Kyoto has been represented by Kyoto Sanga FC, a club which won the Emperor’s Cup in 2002 and rose to J. League‘s Division 1 in 2005. Until 2019, Kyoto Sanga used Takebishi Stadium Kyoto in Ukyō-ku as its home stadium, but home matches were moved to the city of Kameoka, Kyoto in 2020. There are also several amateur football clubs based in Kyoto. The amateur clubs AS Laranja Kyoto, Ococias Kyoto AC, and Kyoto Shiko Soccer Club compete in the regional Kansai Soccer League.