Kyoto, Learn about the former capital of Japan

What’s the first thing that pops in your mind when you think of Japan? Maybe robots or perhaps fast trains. You are right! Japan has all of this but it also has rich history and culture. If you are looking for a journey to the core of Japanese traditions, then you should definitely visit the cultural capital, the former capital of japan, Kyoto.

Pin On the Map

Japan has around 7000 island, of which only around 430 are inhabited. There are 5 main islands of the country. One of them is Honshu. Honshu has the capital, Tokyo and today’s destination, Kyoto.

Look in the history book

 Old Kyoto

First traces

Some experts believe that people started living in Kyoto 12000 years ago but the first written record of the city dates back to the 6th century. At this time, people built Shimogamo Shrine in the city. It’s considered as one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Becoming the capital 
The year 794 was a great year for Kyoto. Emperor Kanmu decided to relocate the capital to Kyoto. Kyoto remained the Japanese capital for centuries till 1868 when Tokyo took that title.

Ups and downs

From 1467 till 1477, there was a civil war in Japan. It was called The Ōnin War. Many of Kyoto’s buildings and streets were destroyed during that war.


In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi was an important Japanese politician. He helped in the reconstruction of the city’s buildings and streets. He also gathered many of the temples in one street called Teramachi Street.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi - A Japanese Politician
Toyotomi Hideyoshi - A Japanese Politician

Modern Kyoto

In 1864, there was a revolution. People burned around 30000 houses of Old Kyoto.

In 1890, Lake Biwa Canal was constructed. This important waterway started a new chapter in Kyoto’s story and revived the city.

Lake Biwa Canal
Lake Biwa Canal

Tour in the city

Shimogamo Shrine

This magnificent shrine overlooks Takano and Kamo rivers. It’s also surrounded by Tadasu no Mori forest. It’s considered one of the most visited shrines of Shinto religion. In 1994, UNESCO announced that the site has become one of the World Heritage sites.

shimogamo shrine entrance
shimogamo shrine entrance

Kamigamo Shrine

Just around 3 kilometers away from Shimogamo Shrine, Kamigamo Shrine has also been named World Heritage site in 1994. The site is famous for its two sand cones that sit by the entrance.

Kamigamo Shrine Sand
Kamigamo Shrine Sand

The Kyoto Imperial Palace

Until 1868, Japanese emperors lived in that place. Over the centuries, the palace was destroyed and burnt several times. The current palace was reconstructed in 1855. The palace stands tall in Kyoto Imperial Park which is located in the city center. 

kyoto imperial palace park
kyoto imperial palace park

Take a bite

For centuries, Kyoto has been the emperor’s home. This brought the best foods to the old city.

To many locals, “youdofu” is considered the signature dish of the city. It consists of tofu, water, kelp. Chefs put the kelp on the bottom of the pot. Then, they add tofu and water. After that, the mixture is heated. When it’s ready, you can eat it with a dipping sauce. One of the most famous sauces in Kyoto is called “Ponzu” which is made of soy.

Hot Japanese Tofu
Hot Japanese Tofu

Fun fact about the city

The original name of “Kyoto” was “Heian-kyō” which means the city of the capital of peace. Then the name was changed to “Kyoto” which means “the capital city”!

       guess they didn’t get very creative with the rebranding J

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