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L'entree du palais Ninomaru (Chateau de Nijo, Kyoto) (41286152260).jpg
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From top left: Kiyomizu-dera temple, Nijō Castle, Kinkaku-ji temple, Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama, Nanzen-ji temple, Katsura Imperial Villa, Rock garden of Ryōan-ji, Three-story Pagoda of Kiyomizu-dera temple, Shimogamo shrine, Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine, Heian shrine, Kyoto Imperial Palace complex, and Kyoto skyline with Kyoto Tower at the centre.
Flag of Kyoto City.svg
Emblem of Kyoto, Kyoto.svg
Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture
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Kyoto (Asia)
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Kyoto (Earth)
Coordinates: 35°0′42″N135°46′6″E / 35.01167°N 135.76833°E / 35.01167; 135.76833 Coordinates: 35°0′42″N135°46′6″E / 35.01167°N 135.76833°E / 35.01167; 135.76833
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Prefecture Kyoto Prefecture
  Type Mayor–council
  BodyKyoto City Assembly
  Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa
   Designated city 827.83 km2 (319.63 sq mi)
Highest elevation
971 m (3,186 ft)
Lowest elevation
9 m (30 ft)
 (October 1, 2020) [1]
   Designated city 1,463,723
  Rank 9th, Japan
  Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
   Metro 3,783,014
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Weeping Willow, Japanese Maple and Katsura
- Flower Camellia, Azalea and Sugar Cherry

Partner cities

In addition to its sister city arrangements which involve multi-faceted cooperation, Kyoto has created a system of "partner cities" which focus on cooperation based on a particular topic. At present, Kyoto has partner-city arrangements with the following cities: [28]


Kyoto (Chinese characters).svg
"Kyoto" in kanji
GDP (PPP) per capita [31] [32]
Kyoto Economic Center Jing Du Jing Ji sentaWai Guan .jpg
Kyoto Economic Center
Nintendo main headquarters Nintendo Headquarters - panoramio.jpg
Nintendo main headquarters

Information technology and electronics are key industries in Kyoto. The city is home to the headquarters of Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, SCREEN Holdings, [33] Tose, Hatena, Omron, [34] Kyocera, Shimadzu, [35] Rohm, [36] Horiba, [37] Nidec Corporation, [38] Nichicon, [39] Nissin Electric, [40] and GS Yuasa.

Domestic and international tourism contributes significantly to Kyoto's economy. In 2014, the city government announced that a record number of tourists had visited Kyoto. [41] As a result of a sharp decline in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor acknowledged 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. [42]

Traditional Japanese crafts are also a major industry of Kyoto; Kyoto's kimono weavers are particularly renowned, and the city remains the premier center of kimono manufacturing. Sake brewing is another prominent traditional industry in Kyoto, and the headquarters of major sake brewers Gekkeikan and Takara Holdings are found in Kyoto.

Other notable businesses headquartered in Kyoto include Aiful, Ishida, Nissen Holdings, Gyoza no Ohsho, Sagawa Express, Volks, and Wacoal.


Colleges and universities

Kyoto University Kyoto University Clock Tower.jpg
Kyoto University

Home to 40 institutions of higher education, Kyoto is one of the academic centers in Japan. [43] Kyoto University is often ranked first or second among national universities nationwide. The Kyoto Institute of Technology is considered to be among best universities for architecture and design in the country. Influential private universities such as Doshisha University and Ritsumeikan University are also located in the city.

The Consortium of Universities in Kyoto is a Kyoto-based higher education network consisting of three national universities, three public (prefectural and municipal) universities, 45 private universities, five other organizations, and representatives from the city government. The Consortium does not offer its own degree, but allows students to take courses at other participating universities. [44]

In addition to Japanese universities and colleges, educational institutions from other countries operate programs in the city. The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a group of 14 American universities that runs overseas academic programs in Japanese language and cultural studies for university students. [45]



The interior of Kyoto Station Kyoto Station building-3.jpg
The interior of Kyōto Station

Kyoto is served by rail transportation systems operated by several different companies and organizations. The city's main gateway terminal, Kyōto Station, connects the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train Line with five JR West lines, a Kintetsu line, and a municipal subway line.

The Keihan Electric Railway, the Hankyu Railway, and other rail networks also offer frequent services within the city and to other cities and suburbs in the Kinki region. Although Kyoto does not have its own commercial airport, the Haruka Express operated by JR West carries passengers from Kansai International Airport to Kyōto Station in 73 minutes. [46]

The Kyoto Railway Museum in Shimogyō-ku, operated by JR West, displays many steam, diesel, and electric locomotives used in Japan between the 1880s and the present.

High-speed rail

The Tokaidō Shinkansen, operated by JR Central, provides high-speed rail service linking Kyoto with Nagoya, Yokohama, and Tokyo to the east and with nearby Osaka to the west. Beyond Osaka, many trains boarding at Kyoto continue on the San'yō Shinkansen route managed by JR West, providing access to cities including Kobe, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka. The trip from Tokyo to Kyoto takes around 2.5 hours, and the trip from Hakata Station in Fukuoka to Kyoto takes just over three hours by Nozomi train service. All Shinkansen trains stop at Kyōto Station, including Hikari and Kodama trains.

Conventional lines

Railway map around Kyoto City Railway map around Kyoto City.png
Railway map around Kyoto City
West Japan Railway Company(JR West)
Keihan Electric Railway (Keihan)
Kintetsu Railway (Kintetsu)
Sagano Scenic Railway
  • Sagano Scenic Line


A Karasuma Line subway train bound for Takeda Station Kyoto Subway 1111.JPG
A Karasuma Line subway train bound for Takeda Station
Platform screen doors at Higashiyama Station of the Tozai Line Platform of the Higashiyama Station Kyoto City Subway01.jpg
Platform screen doors at Higashiyama Station of the Tōzai Line

The Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau operates the Kyoto Municipal Subway consisting of two lines: the Karasuma Line and the Tōzai Line. The two lines are linked at Karasuma Oike Station near the center of the economic district.

The Karasuma Line runs primarily north to south between the terminal of Kokusaikaikan Station and Takeda Station, and takes its name from the fact that trains run beneath Karasuma Street between Kitaōji Station in Kita-ku and Jūjō Station in Minami-ku. The Karasuma Line connects to the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line at the intersection of Shijō Karasuma in Kyoto's central business district and to JR lines and the Kyoto Kintetsu Line at Kyōto Station. In addition, the Transportation Bureau and Kintetsu jointly operate through services which continue to Kintetsu Nara Station in Nara.

The Tōzai Line runs from the southeastern area of the city towards the center, then east to west (tōzai in Japanese) through the Kyoto downtown area where trains run beneath the east–west streets of Sanjō Street, Oike Street, and Oshikōji Street. The Keihan Keishin Line has been integrated into this line, and thus Keihan provides through services to Hamaōtsu in the neighboring city of Ōtsu, the capital of Shiga Prefecture. Within the city of Kyoto, the Tōzai Line also connects to Keihan lines at Yamashina Station, Misasagi Station, and Sanjō Keihan Station, and to the Keifuku Electric Railroad at the terminal of Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station.


Keifuku Electric Railroad (Randen)
Eizan Electric Railway


A typical Kyoto Municipal Bus Kyoto City Bus 200 Ka 1519.jpg
A typical Kyoto Municipal Bus

Kyoto's municipal bus network is extensive. Private carriers also operate within the city. Many tourists join commuters on the public buses, or take tour buses. Kyoto's buses have announcements in English and electronic signs with stops written in the Latin alphabet. Buses operating on routes within the city, the region, and the nation stop at Kyōto Station. In addition to Kyōto Station, bus transfer is available at the intersections of Shijō Kawaramachi and Sanjō Keihan. The intersection of Karasuma Kitaōji, near Kitaōji Station on the Karasuma Line north of downtown, has a major bus terminal.

Roads and waterways

Shijo Street Si Tiao Jing Ban Qian (basu), Kyoto, Japan (Unsplash).jpg
Shijō Street

Because many older streets in Kyoto are narrow, there are a significant number one-way roads without sidewalks. Cycling is a common form of personal transportation in the city, although there are few areas set aside for bicycle parking and bicycles parked in restricted areas are impounded.

Kyoto has fewer toll-highways than other Japanese cities of comparable size. There are nine national highways in the city of Kyoto: Route 1, Route 8, Route 9, Route 24, Route 162, Route 171, Route 367, Route 477, and Route 478.

The city is connected with other parts of Japan by the Meishin Expressway, which has two interchanges in the city: Kyoto Higashi (Kyoto East) in Yamashina-ku and Kyoto Minami (Kyoto South) in Fushimi-ku. The Kyoto Jūkan Expressway connects the city to northern regions of Kyoto Prefecture. The Second Keihan Highway is another bypass to Osaka.

Traditionally, trade and haulage took place by waterway, and there continue to be a number of navigable rivers and canals in Kyoto. In contemporary Kyoto, however, waterways are no longer commonly used for transportation of passengers or goods, other than for limited sightseeing purposes such as excursion boats on the Hozu River and cormorant fishing boats on the Ōi River.


A tsukemono shop on Nishiki Street Tsukemono shop by Gavin Anderson in Nishiki Ichiba, Kyoto.jpg
A tsukemono shop on Nishiki Street

Although ravaged by wars, fires, and earthquakes during its eleven centuries as the imperial capital, Kyoto suffered only minor damage in World War II. It was removed from the atomic bomb target list (which it had headed) by the personal intervention of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, as Stimson wanted to save this cultural center, which he knew from his honeymoon and later diplomatic visits. [47] [48] Kyoto has been, and still remains, Japan's cultural center. [49] [50] 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.

Geisha in Kyoto Geishas in Kyoto.jpg
Geisha in Kyoto

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 cities in Japan. Among the most famous temples in Japan are Kiyomizu-dera, a magnificent 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 Ryōan-ji, famous for its rock garden. The Heian Jingū is a Shinto shrine, built in 1895, celebrating the imperial family and commemorating the first and last emperors to reside in Kyoto. Three special sites have connections to the imperial family: the Kyoto Gyoen area including the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sentō Imperial Palace, homes of the emperors of Japan for many centuries; Katsura Imperial Villa, one of the nation's finest architectural treasures; and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, one of its best Japanese gardens. In addition, the temple of Sennyu-ji houses the tombs of the emperors from Shijō to Kōmei.

Other sites in Kyoto include Arashiyama, the Gion and Ponto-chō geisha quarters, the Philosopher's Walk, and the canals that line some of the older streets.

The "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" are listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. These include the Kamo Shrines (Kami and Shimo), Kyō-ō-Gokokuji (Tō-ji), Kiyomizu-dera, Daigo-ji, Ninna-ji, Saihō-ji (Kokedera), Tenryū-ji, Rokuon-ji (Kinkaku-ji), Jishō-ji (Ginkaku-ji), Ryōan-ji, Hongan-ji, Kōzan-ji, and the Nijō Castle, primarily built by the Tokugawa shōguns. Other sites outside the city are also on the list.

Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese foods and cuisine. The special circumstances of Kyoto as a city away from the sea and home to many Buddhist temples resulted in the development of a variety of vegetables peculiar to the Kyoto area (京野菜, kyō-yasai). The oldest restaurant in Kyoto is Honke Owariya which was founded in 1465. [51]

Japan's television and film industry has its center in Kyoto. Many jidaigeki , action films featuring samurai, were shot at Toei Uzumasa Eigamura. [52] A film set and theme park in one, Eigamura features replicas of traditional Japanese buildings, which are used for jidaigeki. Among the sets are a replica of the old Nihonbashi (the bridge at the entry to Edo), a traditional courthouse, a Meiji Period police box and part of the former Yoshiwara red-light district. Actual film shooting takes place occasionally, and visitors are welcome to observe the action.

The dialect spoken in Kyoto is known as Kyō-kotoba or Kyōto-ben, a constituent dialect of the Kansai dialect. Until the late Edo period, the Kyoto dialect was the de facto standard Japanese, although it has since been replaced by modern standard Japanese. Traditional Kyoto expressions include the polite copula dosu, the honorific verb ending -haru, and the greeting phrase okoshi-yasu.


Kyoto is well known for its traditional festivals which have been held for over 1,000 years and are a major tourist attraction. [53] The first is the Aoi Matsuri on May 15. Two months later (July) is the Gion Matsuri known as one of the 3 great festivals of Japan, culminating in a massive parade on July 17. Kyoto marks the Bon Festival with the Gozan no Okuribi, lighting fires on mountains to guide the spirits home (August 16). The October 22 Jidai Matsuri, Festival of the Ages, celebrates Kyoto's illustrious past.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) 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 (Nijō Castle). The sites were designated as World Heritage in 1994.


Kyoto International Manga Museum Sitting people reading outdoors at Kyoto International Manga Museum 20080608.jpg
Kyoto International Manga Museum
Kyoto Botanical Garden KyotoBotanicalGarden.jpg
Kyoto Botanical Garden


Kyudo archers participating in the Omato Archery Competition at Sanjusangen-do Toshi-ya.JPG
Kyūdō archers participating in the Ōmato Archery Competition at Sanjūsangen-dō

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

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

Another professional team based in Kyoto is the Kyoto Hannaryz, a men's basketball team in the First Division of the B.League that plays its home games at the Kyoto City Gymnasium in Ukyō-ku. Kyoto has also been the home of other professional teams that have subsequently moved or been disbanded. Between 1949 and 1952, the Central League professional baseball team Shochiku Robins played home games at Kinugasa Ballpark in Kita-ku and Nishi-Kyōgoku Baseball Park (now known as Wakasa Stadium) in Ukyō-ku. This team eventually became the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. Kyoto also hosted two teams in the Japan Women's Baseball League before the league folded in 2021.

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. In baseball, company teams have competed in the regional JABA Kyoto Tournament annually since 1947.

Kyoto Racecourse in Fushimi-ku is one of ten racecourses operated by the Japan Racing Association. It hosts notable horse races including the Kikuka-shō, Spring Tenno Sho, and Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kyoto Prefecture</span> Prefecture of Japan

Kyoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Kyoto Prefecture has a population of 2,561,358 and has a geographic area of 4,612 square kilometres (1,781 sq mi). Kyoto Prefecture borders Fukui Prefecture to the northeast, Shiga Prefecture to the east, Mie Prefecture to the southeast, Nara Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture to the south, and Hyōgo Prefecture to the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ukyō-ku, Kyoto</span> Ward of Kyoto in Kinki, Japan

Ukyō-ku (右京区) is one of the eleven wards in the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fushimi-ku, Kyoto</span> Ward of Kyoto in Kinki, Japan

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sakyō-ku, Kyoto</span> Ward of Kyoto in Japan

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kita-ku, Kyoto</span> Ward of Kyoto in Japan

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kitaōji Station</span> Metro station in Kyoto, Japan

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