Located on the island of Honshu, 400km to the west of Tokyo, Kyoto is the former imperial capital of Japan and its cultural centre. The history of Kyoto starts in 794 AD when the capital of Japan was established here as Heian-kyo, "tranquility and peace capital" in Japanese. In the 11th century the city was renamed Kyoto. Kyoto remained the capital of Japan until 1868 when the government was transferred to Edo, which was subsequently renamed Tokyo. Kyoto is located in a valley in the eastern part of the Tamba highlands and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. It has 1.5 million inhabitants. About 20% of Japan's "national treasures" and 14% of important cultural properties are located in the city of Kyoto. The historic monuments of ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. A large number of Shinto and Buddhist temples are found in the city.

City centre photo gallery  - 32 pictures of City centre
Heian Shinto shrine photo gallery  - 18 pictures of Heian Shinto shrine
Kinkaku-ji temple photo gallery  - 14 pictures of Kinkaku-ji temple
Kiyomizu-dera temple photo gallery  - 32 pictures of Kiyomizu-dera temple
32 photos of the urban centre of Kyoto, a blend of old and new
18 photos of the Heian Shinto shrine, a large and relatively new shrine with beautiful red and green structures
14 photos of Kinkaku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto
32 photos of Kiyomizu-dera, a large Buddhist temple built on a hill overlooking Kyoto
Nijo castle photo gallery  - 10 pictures of Nijo castle
Sanjusangendo temple photo gallery  - 6 pictures of Sanjusangendo temple
10 photos of the Nijo castle in Kyoto, consisting of two concentric rings of fortifications and several palaces
6 photos of Sanjusangen-do, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto with beautiful vermilion colour structures
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©Copyright Alfred Molon