Kyoto Prefecture

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Kyoto Prefecture
京都府
Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 京都府
 • Rōmaji Kyōto-fu
Official logo of Kyoto Prefecture
Symbol of Kyoto Prefecture
Location of Kyoto Prefecture
Coordinates: 35°1′18″N 135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°E / 35.02167; 135.755611Coordinates: 35°1′18″N 135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°E / 35.02167; 135.755611
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Island Honshu
Capital Kyoto (city)
Government
 • Governor Keiji Yamada
Area
 • Total 4,612.71 km2 (1,780.98 sq mi)
Area rank 31st
Population (March 1, 2011)
 • Total 2,633,428
 • Rank 13th
 • Density 570.91/km2 (1,478.7/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-26
Districts 6
Municipalities 26
Flower Weeping cherry blossom (Prunus spachiana)
Tree Kitayama Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica)
Bird Streaked Shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas)
Website www.pref.kyoto.jp/
index_e.html
The Iwashimizu Hachimangu, a Shinto shrine in Yawata

Kyoto Prefecture (京都府 Kyōto-fu?) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu.[1] The capital is the city of Kyoto.[2]

History[edit]

Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto Prefecture was known as Yamashiro.[3]

For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan. The history of the city itself can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.

Kyoto did not start out as the capital of Japan. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shōmu moved the capital briefly to a place called Kuni-kyo, between the cities of Nara and Kyoto, in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaokakyō, also in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 794, Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in the city of Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.

Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto still remained the imperial capital as the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.

In 1467, a great civil war, the Ōnin no Ran, took place inside Kyoto, and most of the town was burned down. Japan plunged into the age of warring feudal lords. A new strong man, Tokugawa Ieyasu, established the shogunate at Edo (today's Tokyo) in 1603.

In the 15th century A.D., tea-jars were brought by the shoguns to Uji in Kyoto from the Philippines which was used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony.[4]

The Meiji Restoration returned Japan to imperial rule in 1868. Emperor Meiji, who was now the absolute sovereign, went to stay in Tokyo during the next year. The imperial court has not returned to Kyoto since then. During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu. The subsequent reorganization of the old provincial system merged the former Tango Province, Yamashiro Province and the eastern part of Tanba Province into today's Kyoto Prefecture.

Although many Japanese major cities were heavily bombed by U.S. bombers during World War II, the old capital escaped such devastating bombing.[citation needed] During the occupation, the U.S. Sixth Army was headquartered in Kyoto.

Geography[edit]

Map of Kyoto Prefecture
City of Kyoto

Kyoto Prefecture is located almost in the center of Honshu and of Japan. It covers an area of 4,612.71 square kilometres (1,780.98 sq mi), which is 1.2% of Japan. Kyoto is 31st by size. To the north, it faces the Sea of Japan and Fukui Prefecture. To the south, it faces Osaka and Nara Prefectures. To the east, it faces Mie and Shiga Prefectures. To the west, it faces Hyōgo Prefecture. The prefecture is separated in the middle by the Tanba Mountains. This makes its climate very different in the north and south.

As of March 31, 2008, 6% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Sanin Kaigan National Park; Biwako, Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama and Wakasa Wan Quasi-National Parks; and Hozukyō, Kasagiyama, and Rurikei Prefectural Natural Parks.[5]

Cities[edit]

Fifteen cities are located in Kyoto Prefecture:

Towns and villages[edit]

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Mergers[edit]

Economy[edit]

The city of Kyoto is largely dependent on tourism. Northern Kyoto on the Tango Peninsula has fishing and water transportation, and midland Kyoto has agriculture and forestry. Nintendo is headquartered in the city of Kyoto.

Culture[edit]

Kyoto has been, and still remains to this day, the cultural center of Japan.[citation needed] For over 1000 years it was Japan's capital. When the capital was changed to Tokyo, Kyoto remained Japan's cultural capital. See Culture of Japan.

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

Sports[edit]

The sports teams listed below are based in Kyoto.

Football (soccer)

Basketball

Woman's Baseball

  • Kyoto Astrodreams

Transportation[edit]

Rail[edit]

City Tram[edit]

Ports[edit]

  • Maizuru Port - Mainly international container terminal and ferry route to Otaru

Road[edit]

Expressways[edit]

National highways[edit]

Tourism[edit]

The city of Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist spots in Japan, and many people from far and wide visit there. Along with Nara, Kyoto is a favorite location for the graduation trip of Elementary and Junior High schools.

Some of the festivals held in Kyoto are Aoi Matsuri from 544, Gion Matsuri from 869, Ine Matsuri from the Edo-era, Daimonji Gozan Okuribi from 1662, and Jidai Matsuri from 1895. Every shrine and temple holds some sort of event, and many of them are open for public viewing.

Defense facilities[edit]

On August 1, 2013, prefectural and municipal authorities gave consent for a USFJ missile monitoring station to be set up in the city of Kyōtango. It will be co-located with a JASDF facility already based in the city. At least initially, its primary sensor will be a mobile X-band radar used to gather data on ballistic missile launches which will then be relayed by the station to warships equipped with Aegis air defense systems and to ground-based interceptor missile sites. A hundred and sixty personnel will be based at the station.[6]

Politics[edit]

The current governor of Kyoto is former Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat Keiji Yamada. He has been reelected to a fourth term in April 2014 with support from the major non-Communist parties against only one JCP-supported challenger.[7][8][9]

The prefectural assembly has 60 members from 25 electoral districts and is still elected in unified local elections (last round: 2011). As of September 2013, it was composed as follows: Liberal Democratic Party 25, Democratic Party 14, Japanese Communist Party 11, Kōmeitō 5, Kyōto sōsei forum 1, Japan Restoration Party 1.[10]

Kyoto's delegation to the National Diet consists of six members of the House of Representatives and four members (two per election) of the House of Councillors. After the national elections of 2010, 2012 and 2013, the prefecture is represented by four Liberal Democrats and two Democrats in the lower house, and two Liberal Democrats, one Democrat and one Communist in the upper house.

Prefectural symbols[edit]

The prefectural flower of Kyoto is the weeping cherry. The Kitayama Sugi is the official tree, and the streaked shearwater the bird that symbolizes the prefecture.

Sister areas[edit]

Kyoto Prefecture has sister relationships with these places:[11]

These relationships are distinct from those of cities in Kyoto Prefecture with other cities.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kyoto-fu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 587, p. 587, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kyoto" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 565-587, p. 585, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture". Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  6. ^ U.S. to deploy mobile radar in Kyoto Prefecture to detect missile launches The Asahi Shimbun, August 2nd, 2013
  7. ^ Asahi Shimbun, April 6, 2014: 京都知事に山田氏、4選 新顔の尾崎氏破る
  8. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun, April 6, 2014: 京都府知事選、現職の山田啓二氏が4選
  9. ^ The Japan Times, April 7, 2014: Kyoto re-elects Yamada to top post
  10. ^ Kyoto Prefectural Assembly: caucuses (Japanese)
  11. ^ International Exchange: Regions with Friendly Ties to Kyoto Prefecture Retrieved August 16, 2008
  12. ^ "Edinburgh – Twin and Partner Cities". 2008 The City of Edinburgh Council, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ Scotland. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Twin and Partner Cities". City of Edinburgh Council. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]