Kyoto prefecture is west of the main Japan Island of Honsu, surrounded in the north by Japan Sea, in the south by Osaka and Nara prefectures, in the east by Mie and Shiga prefectures. The Kyoto prefecture is divided and usually known by four regions: 1) Tango area, which is closer to the Japan Sea to the north, 2) Tamba area, which is the central part of Kyoto prefecture and quite mountainous, 3) Kyoto city area to the southwest 4) Yamashiro area to the southern most.
From these four regions, Kyoto city is by far the most popular with tourists and has the highest number of temples and shrines than any other area in Japan.
Kyoto prefecture and Kyoto city has been the ancient capital of Japan since 794, when the capital city was moved from Nara to Kyoto. Since then and until the beginning Meiji Restoration, for over 1000 years, Kyoto has been the capital of Japan. During this time Kyoto prefecture has flourished culturally and economically.
Kyoto city is surrounded all sides by mountains, (Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama mountain ranges) and essentially a valley city.
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Here is a video of strolling in the backstreets of Higashiyama:
Like other regions in Japan, Kyoto city is blessed with many rivers, in the east by Kamo river, west by Katsuura river and in the south with the Uji river.
Over the years Kyoto city has struck a balance between the old and new, a perfect example of a microcosm of modern Japan. The JR Kyoto station is a modern architectural marvel, shopping districts of Kawaramachi and Shijo mimic shopping districts like Ginza in Tokyo. All the while, the old style charms in places like Arashiyama, Kurama and Gion are kept intact.
I hope to cover as many temples as possible in the Kyoto prefecture and specifically Kyoto city area. Please keep coming back to this list for new updates.
Click the link below, to peruse through the temples and shrines of Kyoto prefecture.