City views - Kyoto, JAPAN

Kyoto was the capital city of Japan and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868, an ancient city that has kept its roots and culture. It is one of the country's ten largest cities with a population of 1.5 million people. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto is 450 km from today's Japan's capital city, Tokyo.

Although ravaged by wars, fires, and earthquakes during its eleven centuries as the imperial capital, Kyoto was not entirely destroyed in WWII. It was removed from the atomic bomb target list (which it had headed) by the personal intervention of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, as Stimson wanted to save this cultural center.

With its 2,000 religious places – 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and architecture intact – it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan. Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese foods and cuisine, with sake brewing to be Kyoto's traditional industry. Also, Japan's television and film industry has its center in Kyoto.