Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Kinkakuji in Kyoto
Location Japan
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 688
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1994 (18th Session)

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) encompasses 17 locations in Japan, within the city of Kyoto and its immediate vicinity. The locations are in three cities: Kyoto and Uji in Kyoto Prefecture; and Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture; Uji and Ōtsu border Kyoto to the south and north, respectively. Of the monuments, 13 are Buddhist temples; three are Shinto shrines; and one is a castle. The properties include 38 buildings designated by the Japanese government as National Treasures, 160 properties designated as Important Cultural Properties, eight gardens designated as Special Places of Scenic Beauty, and four designated as Places of Scenic Beauty. UNESCO listed the site as World Heritage in 1994.

Selection criteria[edit]

Kyoto has a substantial number of historic buildings, unlike other Japanese cities that lost buildings to foreign invasions and war; and has the largest concentration of designated Cultural Properties in Japan. Although ravaged by wars, fires, and earthquakes during its eleven centuries as the imperial capital, Kyoto was spared from much of the destruction and danger of World War II. It was saved from the nearly universal firebombing of large cities in Japan in part to preserve it as the primary atomic bomb target. It was later removed from the atomic bomb target list, by the personal intervention of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, as Stimson wanted to save this cultural center which he knew from his honeymoon and later diplomatic visits. As a result, Nagasaki was then added as a target.[1][2]

The 17 properties of the World Heritage Site originate from a period between the 10th century and the 19th century, and each is representative of the period in which it was built. The historical importance of the Kyoto region was taken into account by the UNESCO in the selection process.[3]

List of locations[edit]

Name Type Position Picture
Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine (賀茂別雷神社 Kamo Wake-ikazuchi Jinja?)
a.k.a. Kamigamo Shrine (上賀茂神社 Kamigamo Jinja?)
shrineShinto shrine Kyoto Kyoto Kita-kuKita-ku, Kyoto, 35°03′37″N 135°45′10″E / 35.06028°N 135.75278°E / 35.06028; 135.75278 (Kamigamo Shrine) Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja31ss4272.jpg
Kamomioya Shrine (賀茂御祖神社 Kamo Mioya Jinja?) a.k.a. Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社 Shimogamo Jinja?) shrineShinto shrine Kyoto Kyoto Sakyou-kuSakyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°02′20″N 135°46′21″E / 35.03889°N 135.77250°E / 35.03889; 135.77250 (Shimogamo Shrine) Shimogamo 01.jpg
Kyōōgokoku-ji (教王護国寺?)
a.k.a. Tō-ji (東寺?)
temple ShingonShingon Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Minami-kuMinami-ku, Kyoto, 34°58′51.48″N 135°44′48.02″E / 34.9809667°N 135.7466722°E / 34.9809667; 135.7466722 (Tō-ji) Japan 2006 - Kyoto - Toji Pagoda.JPG
Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺?) temple IndependentIndependent Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Higashiyama-kuHigashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 34°59′41.39″N 135°47′6.01″E / 34.9948306°N 135.7850028°E / 34.9948306; 135.7850028 (Kiyomizu-dera) Kiyomizudera sakra01.jpg
Enryaku-ji (延暦寺?) temple TendaiTendai Buddhist temple Shiga OotsuŌtsu, Shiga, 35°4′13.62″N 135°50′27.33″E / 35.0704500°N 135.8409250°E / 35.0704500; 135.8409250 (Enryaku-ji) Enryakuji Konponchudo04n4272.jpg
Daigo-ji (醍醐寺?) temple ShingonShingon Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Fushimi-kuFushimi-ku, Kyoto, 34°57′3.57″N 135°49′10.51″E / 34.9509917°N 135.8195861°E / 34.9509917; 135.8195861 (Daigo-ji) Daigoji Kyoto01s5s4110.jpg
Ninna-ji (仁和寺?) temple ShingonShingon Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Ukyou-kuUkyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°1′51.63″N 135°42′49.58″E / 35.0310083°N 135.7137722°E / 35.0310083; 135.7137722 (Ninna-ji) Ninnaji Kyoto07n4500.jpg
Byōdō-in (平等院?) temple Jodo shu TendaiBuddhist temple jointly held by Jōdo shū and Tendai Kyoto UjiUji, Kyoto, 34°53′21.45″N 135°48′27.69″E / 34.8892917°N 135.8076917°E / 34.8892917; 135.8076917 (Byōdō-in) Byodoin Phoenix Hall Uji 2009.jpg
Ujigami Shrine (宇治上神社 Ujigami Jinja?) shrineShinto shrine Kyoto UjiUji, Kyoto, 34°53′31″N 135°48′41″E / 34.89194°N 135.81139°E / 34.89194; 135.81139 (Ujigami Shrine) Ujigami jinja08s3s4500.jpg
Kōzan-ji (高山寺?) temple ShingonShingon Buddhist temple of the Omuro school Kyoto Kyoto Ukyou-kuUkyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°3′36.39″N 135°40′42.85″E / 35.0601083°N 135.6785694°E / 35.0601083; 135.6785694 (Kōzan-ji) Kozanji Kyoto Kyoto11s5s4592.jpg
Saihō-ji (西芳寺?) a.k.a. Moss temple (苔寺 Koke-dera?) temple RinzaiRinzai Zen Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Nishikyou-kuNishikyō-ku, Kyoto, 34°59′31.06″N 135°40′59.93″E / 34.9919611°N 135.6833139°E / 34.9919611; 135.6833139 (Saihō-ji) Saihouji-kokedera01.jpg
Tenryū-ji (天龍寺?) temple Rinzai TenryuRinzai Zen Buddhist temple of the Tenryū school Kyoto Kyoto Ukyou-kuUkyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°0′57.47″N 135°40′25.58″E / 35.0159639°N 135.6737722°E / 35.0159639; 135.6737722 (Tenryū-ji) Tenryuji Kyoto01n4500.jpg
Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺?) a.k.a. Temple of the Golden Pavilion (金閣寺 Kinkaku-ji?) temple RinzaiRinzai Zen Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Kita-kuKita-ku, Kyoto, 35°2′21.85″N 135°43′45.71″E / 35.0394028°N 135.7293639°E / 35.0394028; 135.7293639 (Kinkaku-ji) Kinkakuji 2004-09-21.jpg
Jishō-ji (慈照寺?) a.k.a. Temple of the Silver Pavilion (銀閣寺 Ginkaku-ji?) temple RinzaiRinzai Zen Buddhist temple Kyoto Kyoto Sakyou-kuSakyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°1′36.75″N 135°47′53.7″E / 35.0268750°N 135.798250°E / 35.0268750; 135.798250 (Ginkaku-ji) Ginkakuji Temple mars 2009 053.jpg
Ryōan-ji (竜安寺、龍安寺?, The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) temple Rinzai MyoushinjiRinzai Zen Buddhist temple of the Myōshinji school Kyoto Kyoto Ukyou-kuUkyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°2′4.18″N 135°43′5.71″E / 35.0344944°N 135.7182528°E / 35.0344944; 135.7182528 (Ryōan-ji) Kyoto-Ryoan-Ji MG 4512.jpg
Nishi Hongan-ji (西本願寺?) temple Jodo ShinshuJodo Shinshu Buddhist temple and world headquarters Kyoto Kyoto Shimogyou-kuShimogyō-ku, Kyoto, 34°59′31.37″N 135°45′5.81″E / 34.9920472°N 135.7516139°E / 34.9920472; 135.7516139 (Nishi Hongan-ji) Nishihonganji03n4592.jpg
Nijō Castle (二条城 Nijō-jō?) castleCastle Kyoto Kyoto Nakagyou-kuNakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 35°0′50.96″N 135°44′51.0″E / 35.0141556°N 135.747500°E / 35.0141556; 135.747500 (Nijō Castle) Nijo-jo Ninomaru-goten 2009.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Manhattan Project, Department of Energy at mbe.doe.gov
  2. ^ http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b4stimson-henrylewis.htm
  3. ^ ICOMOS (28 September 1993). "Advisory Body Evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-10. 

External links[edit]