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Kyoto

Kyōto (京都(きょうと) lit. capital city) is a city in Japan. Population 1.5 million. Time Zone UTC + 9 hours.

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History

Kyoto was the capital or Heian Kyo of Japan from 794 until the transfer of government to Tokyo in 1868 at the time of the Imperial Restoration. Located on the western portion of the island of Honshu the city is surrounded by magnificent hills.

Though archaeological evidence places the first human settlement on the islands of Japan back to about 10,000 BC the Kyoto area was not settled until the 7th century by the Hata clan from Korea. During the 8th century when the powerful Buddhist clergy became meddlesome in the affairs of the Imperial government, the Emperor chose to relocate the capital to a region far from the Buddhists.

Geography

The city was laid out in a logical grid pattern in accordance with traditional Chinese geomancy. Today, the main business district is located in the south and centre of town with the less populated northern area retaining a far greener feel.

Demographics

Kyoto people speak a dialect called Kyotoben, a slightly archaic version of Osakaben (the Osaka dialect). It is most noticeable in the unique Kyotoben word for "thank you" - "ookii-ni".

Culture

Kyoto is renowned for its plethora of delicious foodstuffs. Unlike the volcanic Kanto region the rich soil of Kyoto allows for the cultivation of a variety of vegetables, and the various bodies of water provide ample fishing.

Kyoto is considered the cultural center of Japan. During World War II when firebombing was conducted throughout the country Kyoto and its 1600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, palaces, gardens and architecture was spared. Kyoto has some of the finest temples in Japan, including:

Other notable sites in and around Kyoto include Arashiyama[?] and its picturesque lake, the Philosopher's Walk[?], and the canals which line some of the older streets.

The "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" are listed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Economy

  • The car manufacturer Daihatsu operates a plant in Kyoto.

Colleges and universities

Miscellaneous topics

It is the sister city with Boston, Paris, Cologne, Florence, Kiev, Xian, Guadalajara and Zagreb.

In 1997, Kyoto was the site of the Kyoto conference that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

External link

  • www.city.kyoto.jp (http://www.city.kyoto.jp/koho/index_e) - Official site of Kyoto City (in english).



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