Kyoto is one of Japan’s most historically and culturally significant cities. It is located in the west of the Japanese main island of Honshu, about 40 kilometers from Osaka. More clearly than in the other cities of Japan, the historical influences and the ancient culture in Kyoto are still visible today. The historic city with its many extraordinary sights was the seat of the Emperor of Japan. 14 temples and Shinto shrines, along with three others in the neighboring cities of Uji and Otsu, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in Historic Kyoto in 1994.
Magnificent temples, castles and impressive buildings characterize the cityscape and the surrounding area. Kyoto has historically counted 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, many of which are still preserved today. Most temples rise on the mountain slopes in the northeast and northwest of the city. One of the most important temples is the Kiyomizu Temple with its Zen Garden. Gardening can also be admired in the Ginkaku-Ji. The most famous Shinto shrine in the city is the Fushimi Inari Taisha. A witness of the imperial period is next to the Imperial Palace the Nijo Castle.