37 Facts About Kyoto


Kyoto is one of the oldest municipalities in Japan, having been chosen in 794 as the new seat of Japan's imperial court by Emperor Kanmu.

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Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan and is a major tourist destination.

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Kyoto is a center of higher learning in the country, and its institutions include Kyoto University, the second oldest university in Japan.

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Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands.

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Kyoto sits atop a large natural water table that provides the city with ample freshwater wells.

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Kyoto has a humid subtropical climate, featuring a marked seasonal variation in temperature and precipitation.

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Kyoto was the largest city in Japan until the late 16th century, when its population was surpassed by those of Osaka and Edo.

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Areas outside of the city center do not follow the same grid pattern, though streets throughout Kyoto are referred to by name, a practice that is rare in most regions of Japan.

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Ample archeological evidence suggests human settlement in the area of Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the region before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.

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Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city.

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Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956.

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In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference that resulted in the protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

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Since 1947, mayors of Kyoto have been chosen by direct election to four-year terms.

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City of Kyoto has sister-city relationships with the following cities:.

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At present, Kyoto has partner-city arrangements with the following cities:.

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Kyoto University is often ranked first or second among national universities nationwide.

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Consortium of Universities in Kyoto is a Kyoto-based higher education network consisting of three national universities, three public universities, 45 private universities, five other organizations, and representatives from the city government.

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The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies is a group of 14 American universities that runs overseas academic programs in Japanese language and cultural studies for university students.

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Kyoto is served by rail transportation systems operated by several different companies and organizations.

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The city's main gateway terminal, Kyoto Station, connects the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train Line with five JR West lines, a Kintetsu line, and a municipal subway line.

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Beyond Osaka, many trains boarding at Kyoto continue on the San'yo Shinkansen route managed by JR West, providing access to cities including Kobe, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

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Kyoto's buses have announcements in English and electronic signs with stops written in the Latin alphabet.

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Many older streets in Kyoto are narrow, there are a significant number one-way roads without sidewalks.

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Kyoto has fewer toll-highways than other Japanese cities of comparable size.

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Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese foods and cuisine.

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Dialect spoken in Kyoto is known as Kyo-kotoba or Kyoto-ben, a constituent dialect of the Kansai dialect.

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Until the late Edo period, the Kyoto dialect was the de facto standard Japanese, although it has since been replaced by modern standard Japanese.

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Traditional Kyoto expressions include the polite copula dosu, the honorific verb ending -haru, and the greeting phrase okoshi-yasu.

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Kyoto is well known for its traditional festivals which have been held for over 1, 000 years and are a major tourist attraction.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto includes fourteen temples, shrines, and castles in Kyoto dating from between the sixth century (Shimogamo Shrine, though extant structures are more recent) and the seventeenth century (Nijo Castle).

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Kyoto has been the site of many annual sporting events, ranging from the 400-year-old Toshiya archery exhibition held at the Sanjusangen-do Temple to the Kyoto Marathon and the Shimadzu All Japan Indoor Tennis Championships.

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Several sports teams are based in Kyoto, including professional football and basketball teams.

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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.

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Kyoto Sanga began as an amateur non-company club in the 1920s, making it the J League team with the longest history, although it was only after professionalization in the 1990s that it was able to compete in the Japanese top division.

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Kyoto has been the home of other professional teams that have subsequently moved or been disbanded.

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Kyoto hosted two teams in the Japan Women's Baseball League before the league folded in 2021.

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Company teams in Kyoto include two rugby squads, the Mitsubishi Motors Kyoto Red Evolutions and the Shimadzu Breakers, which compete in the Kansai regional rugby league Top West.

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