Kyoto Prefecture

Last updated

Kyoto Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 京都府
   Rōmaji Kyōto-fu
Flag of Kyoto Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Kyoto prefecture.svg
Map of Japan with highlight on 26 Kyoto prefecture.svg
Kyoto Prefecture
Coordinates: 35°1′18″N135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°E / 35.02167; 135.755611 Coordinates: 35°1′18″N135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°E / 35.02167; 135.755611
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Kansai
Island Honshu
Capital Kyoto
Subdivisions Districts: 6, Municipalities: 26
   Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki
  Total4,612.19 km2 (1,780.78 sq mi)
Area rank 31st
 (1 October 2020)
  Rank 13th
  Density566/km2 (1,470/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-26
Bird Streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas)
FlowerWeeping  cherry   blossom (Prunus spachiana)
TreeKitayama  Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica)

Kyoto Prefecture (京都府, Kyōto-fu) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. [1] (pp477,587) Kyoto Prefecture has a population of 2,562,005 [2] (as of March 2021) 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.


Kyoto is the capital and largest city of Kyoto Prefecture, with other major cities including Uji, Kameoka, and Maizuru. [1] (pp565–587) Kyoto Prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan coast and extends to the southeast towards the Kii Peninsula, covering territory of the former provinces of Yamashiro, Tamba, and Tango. Kyoto Prefecture is centered on the historic Imperial capital of Kyoto, and is one of Japan's two "prefectures" using the designation fu rather than the standard ken for prefectures. Kyoto has made Kyoto Prefecture one of the most popular tourism destinations in Japan for national and international tourists, and 21% of the prefecture's land area was designated as Natural Parks. Kyoto Prefecture forms part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world's most productive regions by GDP.


Iwashimizu Hachimangu, a Shinto shrine in Yawata IwashimizuHachimangu.jpg
Iwashimizu Hachimangū, a Shinto shrine in Yawata

Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto Prefecture was known as Yamashiro. [1] (p780)

For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was Japan's Imperial capital. The city's history can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.

Kyoto did not start out as Japan's capital. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shōmu moved the capital briefly to Kuni-kyo, between the cities of Nara and Kyoto, in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaokakyō, also in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 794, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyō, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.

Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto remained the imperial capital as the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.

In 1467, a great civil war, the Ōnin War, took place inside Kyoto, and most of the town was burned down. Japan plunged into the age of warring feudal lords. A new strong man, Tokugawa Ieyasu, established the shogunate at Edo (today's Tokyo) in 1603.

In the 15th century AD, tea-jars were brought by the shōguns to Uji in Kyoto from the Philippines which was used in the Japanese tea ceremony. [3]

The Meiji Restoration returned Japan to imperial rule in 1868. Emperor Meiji, who was now the absolute sovereign, went to stay in Tokyo during the next year. The imperial court has not returned to Kyoto since then. During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu . The subsequent reorganization of the old provincial system merged the former Tango Province, Yamashiro Province and the eastern part of Tanba Province into today's Kyoto Prefecture.

Although many Japanese major cities were heavily bombed during World War II, the old capital escaped such devastation. [4] During the occupation, the U.S. Sixth Army was headquartered in Kyoto. [5]


Map of Kyoto Prefecture Government Ordinance Designated City City Town Village Map of Kyoto Prefecture Ja.svg
Map of Kyoto Prefecture      Government Ordinance Designated City     City     Town     Village
Historical population
1885 846,761    
1890 894,928+5.7%
1900 1,022,695+14.3%
1910 1,197,473+17.1%
1920 1,287,147+7.5%
1930 1,552,832+20.6%
1940 1,729,993+11.4%
1950 1,832,934+6.0%
1960 1,993,403+8.8%
1970 2,250,087+12.9%
1980 2,527,330+12.3%
1990 2,602,460+3.0%
2000 2,644,391+1.6%
2010 2,636,092−0.3%
2015 2,610,353−1.0%
2020 2,579,921−1.2%
Source: Statistics Division, Policy Planning Department, Kyoto Prefecture [6]

Kyoto Prefecture is almost in the center of Honshu and of Japan. It covers an area of 4,612.19 square kilometres (1,780.78 sq mi), which is 1.2% of Japan. Kyoto is the 31st largest prefecture by size. To the north, it faces the Sea of Japan and Fukui Prefecture. To the south, it faces Osaka and Nara Prefectures. To the east, it faces Mie and Shiga Prefectures. To its west is Hyōgo Prefecture. The prefecture is separated in the middle by the Tanba Mountains. This makes its climate very different in the north and south.

As of April 2016, 21% of the prefecture's land area was designated as Natural Parks, namely Sanin Kaigan National Park; Biwako, Kyoto Tamba Kogen, Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama and Wakasa Wan Quasi-National Parks; and Hozukyō, Kasagiyama, and Rurikei Prefectural Natural Parks. [7]


Fifteen cities are located in Kyoto Prefecture:

Kansai Science City is located in the southwest.

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:



GDP (PPP) per capita [8] [9]

Kyoto prefecture's economy is supported by industries that create value that is unique to Kyoto, such as the tourism and traditional industries supported by 1,200 years of history and culture, as well as high-technology industries that combine the technology of Kyoto's traditional industries with new ideas. [10]

Northern Kyoto on the Tango Peninsula has fishing and water transportation, and midland Kyoto has agriculture and forestry. The prefecture produces 13% of the domestic sake and green tea. Japan's largest vertical farm is located in the prefecture. [11]

The Kyoto-based manufacturing industry holds shares of Japan's high-technology product markets and others. As of 2021, eight Forbes Global 2000 companies were located in Kyoto prefecture: Nintendo, Nidec, Kyocera, Murata Manufacturing, Omron, Rohm, Bank of Kyoto, SCREEN Holdings. Takara Holdings, GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Logisnext, Maxell, and Kyoto Animation are also based in the prefecture.

As of September 2020, the minimum wage in the prefecture was ¥909 per hour. [12]


Kyoto has been, and still remains, Japan's cultural center. [13] [14] For over 1000 years it was Japan's capital. When the capital was changed to Tokyo, Kyoto remained Japan's cultural capital. The local government proposes a plan to move the Agency for Cultural Affairs to Kyoto and to regard Tokyo as the capital of politics and economy and Kyoto as the capital of culture. [15] See Culture of Japan.


Colleges and universities


Sanga Stadium by Kyocera. Sanga stadium by kyocera05.jpg
Sanga Stadium by Kyocera.

The sports teams listed below are based in Kyoto.

Football (soccer)





Kyoto Station Kyoto Station Panorama-view from Kyoto Tower 2013-07-21.jpg
Kyoto Station
Tokaido Shinkansen arriving at Kyoto Station 021 Xin Gan Xian N700 Series Shinkansen high speed train arriving at Kyoto Station, Japan.jpg
Tōkaidō Shinkansen arriving at Kyoto Station


City Tram




National highways


The city of Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist spots in Japan, and many people from far and wide visit there. Along with Tokyo, Kyoto is a favorite location for the graduation trip of Junior High and High schools.

Some of the festivals held in Kyoto are Aoi Matsuri from 544, Gion Matsuri from 869, Ine Matsuri from the Edo-era, Daimonji Gozan Okuribi from 1662, and Jidai Matsuri from 1895. Every shrine and temple holds some sort of event, and many of them are open for public viewing.

Defense facilities

On 1 August 2013, prefectural and municipal authorities gave consent for a USFJ missile monitoring station to be set up in the city of Kyōtango. It will be co-located with a JASDF facility already based in the city. At least initially, its primary sensor will be a mobile X-band radar used to gather data on ballistic missile launches which will then be relayed by the station to warships equipped with Aegis air defense systems and to ground-based interceptor missile sites. A hundred and sixty personnel will be based at the station. [16]


The current governor of Kyoto is Takatoshi Nishiwaki, a former vice minister of the Reconstruction Agency. He has been elected in April 2018. [17]

The previous governor of Kyoto is former Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat Keiji Yamada. He has been reelected to a fourth term in April 2014 with support from the major non-Communist parties against only one JCP-supported challenger. [18] [19] [20]

The prefectural assembly has 60 members from 25 electoral districts and is still elected in unified local elections (last round: 2019). As of September 2020, it was composed as follows: Liberal Democratic Party 30, Japanese Communist Party 12, Democratic Party 11, Kōmeitō 5, Japan Restoration Party 2. [21]

Kyoto's delegation to the National Diet consists of six members of the House of Representatives and four members (two per election) of the House of Councillors. After the national elections of 2016, 2017 and 2019, the prefecture is represented by four Liberal Democrats and two Democrats in the lower house, and two Liberal Democrats, one Democrat and one Communist in the upper house.

Prefectural symbols

The prefectural flower of Kyoto is the weeping cherry. The Kitayama Sugi is the official tree, and the streaked shearwater the bird that symbolizes the prefecture.

Sister areas

Kyoto Prefecture has sister relationships with these places: [22]

These relationships are distinct from those of cities in Kyoto Prefecture with other cities.

Related Research Articles

Kyoto City in Kansai, Japan

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto forms a part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kobe. As of 2021, the city had a population of 1.45 million, making up 57% of the prefecture's total population.

Osaka Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Osaka Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Osaka Prefecture has a population of 8,823,358 and has a geographic area of 1,905 square kilometres (736 sq mi). Osaka Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture to the northwest, Kyoto Prefecture to the north, Nara Prefecture to the southeast, and Wakayama Prefecture to the south.

Uji City in Kansai, Japan

Uji is a city on the southern outskirts of the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Kameoka, Kyoto City in Kansai, Japan

Kameoka is a city in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. As of October 1, 2015, the city has an estimated population of 89,479, with 33,915 households and a population density of 398 persons per km². The total area is 224.80 km².

Kyōto Station Major railway and metro station in Kyoto, Japan

Kyōto Station is a major railway station and transportation hub in Kyōto, Japan. It has Japan's second-largest station building and is one of the country's largest buildings, incorporating a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities under one 15-story roof. It also housed the Kyōto City Air Terminal until August 31, 2002.

Katamachi Line Railway line in Japan

The Katamachi Line, officially nicknamed the Gakkentoshi Line, is a commuter rail line and service in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area of Japan, owned and operated by West Japan Railway Company. The line connects Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture and Kyōbashi Station in Osaka.

Kyoto Broadcasting System Television station in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Kyoto Broadcasting System Company, Ltd is a commercial broadcasting station headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It is doing business in Kyoto Prefecture as "KBS Kyoto" (KBS京都) and in Shiga Prefecture as "KBS Shiga" (KBS滋賀)

Japan National Route 1 Japanese road from Tokyo to Osaka, major road on the island of Honshū in Japan.

National Route 1 is a major highway on the island of Honshū in Japan. It connects Chūō, Tokyo in the Kantō region with the city of Osaka, Osaka Prefecture in the Kansai region, passing through the Chūbu region en route. It follows the old Tōkaidō westward from Tokyo to Kyoto, and the old Kyo Kaidō from there to Osaka. Between Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture it parallels the Tomei Expressway; from there to Mie Prefecture, the Higashi-Meihan Expressway, and from Shiga Prefecture to Osaka, the Meishin Expressway. It has a total length of 760.9 kilometers (472.8 mi). At its eastern terminus in Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo, it meets National Routes 4, 6, 14, 15, 17, and 20. At its western terminus in Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, it links with Routes 2, 25, 26 and other highways.

Nara Line (JR West) Railway line in Kyoto prefecture, Japan

The Nara Line is a commuter rail line in the Osaka–Kobe–Kyoto metropolitan area, operated by the West Japan Railway Company. Its official termini are Kizu Station in Kizugawa and Kyōto Station in Kyoto, within Kyoto Prefecture; however, all trains continue past Kizu on the Yamatoji Line to Nara Station in Nara, Nara Prefecture.

Kansai Science City Planned community in Kansai, Japan

Kansai Science City is an unincorporated city located in the Keihanna Hills, a border region between Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara Prefectures in Kansai region, Japan. The name is commonly shortened to Keihanna Science City or Gakken-toshi (学研都市). The name Keihanna is constructed by extracting a representative kanji from Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. It is about 25 kilometers (16 mi) south of the city of Kyoto and 30 kilometers (19 mi) east of the city of Osaka. The city was constructed to help the advancement of creative arts, sciences, and research, as well as to spur the creation of new industries and cultures.

Obama Nishi Interchange

The Obama Nishi Interchange, or Obama Nishi IC (小浜西IC), is an interchange located in Okazu, Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. It is the #10 interchange on and the terminus of the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway, operated by the West Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO). There are plans to extend the expressway beyond the Obama Nishi Interchange.

Nijō Station is a train station in Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

Japan National Route 24

National Route 24 is a national highway connecting Kyoto and Wakayama in Japan.

Miyazu Line

The Miyazu Line is a railway line of the Kitakinki Tango Railway in Kyoto Prefecture and Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Trains on the line are operated by Willer Trains Inc. as part of its Kyoto Tango Railway system.

Sagano Scenic Railway

The Sagano Scenic Railway or Sagano Sightseeing Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of West Japan Railway Company that operates the Sagano Scenic Line, Sagano Sight-seeing Line, or Sagano Romantic Train in Kyoto.

National Route 423 is a national highway of Japan connecting Kita-ku, Osaka and Kameoka, Kyoto in the Kansai region of Japan.

Maizuru (train)

The Maizuru (まいづる) is a limited express train service operated by West Japan Railway Company in Japan. It operates between Kyoto and Higashi-Maizuru via the Sanin Main Line, and is one of the services that make up JR West's "Big X Network".

Greater Kyoto Urban Employment Area in Japan

Greater Kyoto is a metropolitan area in Japan encompassing Kyoto, the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as its surrounding areas including Ōtsu, the capital of Shiga Prefecture.

Keinawa Expressway

The Keinawa Expressway is a 104.9-km-long north–south National Highway with access control in the Kinki region of Japan that connects Kyoto Prefecture to Wakayama Prefecture via Nara Prefecture. It is numbered "E24" under Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's "Expressway Numbering Systemg."


  1. 1 2 3 Frédéric, Louis (31 May 2002). Japan Encyclopedia . Translated by Roth, Käthe. Harvard University Press. ISBN   978-0674007703. OCLC   58053128. OL   7671330M.
  2. "京都府推計人口". (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  3. Manansala, Paul Kekai (5 September 2006). "Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan: Luzon Jars (Glossary)".
  4. Oi, Mariko (9 August 2015). "The city saved from the atomic bomb" . Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  5. Chronology of the Occupation
  6. "[Kyōtofu] Kyōtofu no jinkō nenji betsu suii" 【京都府】京都府の人口年次別推移 [[Kyoto Prefecture] Changes in Kyoto Prefecture by population year] (in Japanese). Kyoto Prefecture. Information Policy Division, Policy Planning Department. n.d. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  7. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  8. "Kokumin Keizai Keisan (GDP Tōkei) > Kenmin Keizai Keisan" 国民経済計算(GDP統計) > 県民経済計算 [National Accounts (GDP Statistics)> Prefectural Accounts] (in Japanese). Government of Japan. Cabinet Office. 14 October 2020. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  9. "Purchasing power parities (PPP)". OECD . Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  10. "Kyoto Prefecture Financial Profile and Fiscal Reforms" (PDF). October 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  11. "The only way is up: Vertical farming in Kyoto". CNN. 19 September 2016.
  12. 地域別最低賃金の全国一覧 [List of minimum wages by region] (in Japanese). Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare . Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  13. Kyoto | History, Geography, & Points of Interest |
  14. Shinzō Abe (18 November 2018). Committee on Budget. The 190th ordinary session of the Diet (in Japanese). 8. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2018. 京都というのは文化的な中心
  15. Shigefumi Matsuzawa (7 June 2018). Committee on Education, Culture and Science. The 196th ordinary session of the Diet (in Japanese). 14. House of Councillors. 政治経済の首都東京に対して文化の首都京都をつくっていく、そういう双眼構造、二元構造にする
  16. U.S. to deploy mobile radar in Kyoto Prefecture to detect missile launches Archived 2013-08-12 at the Wayback Machine The Asahi Shimbun, 2 August 2013
  17. "Nishiwaki triumphs in Kyoto gubernatorial race, vows to continue policies of predecessor". The Japan Times. 8 April 2018.
  18. Asahi Shimbun, 6 April 2014: 京都知事に山田氏、4選 新顔の尾崎氏破る
  19. Yomiuri Shimbun, 6 April 2014: 京都府知事選、現職の山田啓二氏が4選
  20. The Japan Times, 7 April 2014: Kyoto re-elects Yamada to top post
  21. Kyoto Prefectural Assembly: caucuses (in Japanese)
  22. International Exchange: Regions with Friendly Ties to Kyoto Prefecture Retrieved 29 November 2015
  23. "Peringatan 25 Tahun Sister City Kyoto-Yogya, Kedua Kota Mendapat Manfaat" (in Indonesian). Koran Tempo. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  24. "Edinburgh – Twin and Partner Cities". 2008 The City of Edinburgh Council, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ Scotland. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  25. "Twin and Partner Cities". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  26. "Communiqué du 26 mai 2016 – Signature d'une première entente de collaboration entre le Québec et la préfecture de Kyoto".