Places of Interest in Japan
Travel Guide


Kyoto was located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro (or Kyoto) Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese geomancy following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an (present-day Xi'an).

The Imperial Palace faced south, resulting in Ukyo (the right sector of the capital) being on the west while Sakyo (the left sector) is on the east. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyo, Shimogyo, and Kamigyo still follow a grid pattern.

Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a far greener feel. Surrounding areas do not follow the same grid pattern as the center of the city, though streets throughout Kyoto share the distinction of having names.

Kyoto is well known as a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists throughout Japan. Over 2,000 Buddhist temples and monasteries have been established in Kyoto over the course of the last 1,500 years. In addition, there are several Buddhist universities in the city where male and female clerics, together with lay scholars, live and conduct research.

The following are some, but not all of the Buddhist Temples in the municipality of Kyoto and Kyoto Prefecture:

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