Kyoto Prefecture (京都府)

Kyoto Prefecture, a prefecture in Japan, belongs to the Kinki region. Because the imperial palace has been located in Kyoto since the capital was moved to Heian-kyo in 794, some opine that the capital of Japan is still located in Kyoto, not in Tokyo. Of the provinces in the Ritsuryo system (the governance system in ancient Japan), the area that include all area of Yamashiro Province, half of Tanba Province and all areas of Tango Province corresponds to the present Kyoto Prefecture area.


Rivers: Yodo-gawa River system - Katsura-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system), Yodo-gawa River, Kizu-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture), Kamo-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system), Takano-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture)

Yura-gawa River system - Yura-gawa River


The southern part: the inland climate
Kyoto/Kameoka, Nantan/Kyotanba, central part of Yamashiro, southern part of Yamashiro
The northern part: the climate on the Japan Sea side
Maizuru/Ayabe, Fukuchiyama, Tango


511: The Emperor Keitai moved the capital to Tsutsukinomiya (presumably present Tatara, Kyotanabe City).

518: The Emperor Keitai moved the capital to Otokunimiya (presumably present Imazato, Nagaokakyo City).

603: Around this year, Koryu-ji Temple (Hachioka-dera Temple) was established.

678: Around this year, Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine was established.

713: Tango Province was established by separating from Tanba Province.

740: The Emperor Shomu moved the capital to Kuni-kyo (in present Kizugawa City).

784: The Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Nagaoka-kyo (in present Nagaoka City).

794: The capital was moved to Heian-kyo (in present Kyoto City).

866: Otenmon no hen (the Otenmon incident) occurred.

869: An epidemic was rampant, and Goryoe (an event for praying) for Gozutenno (present Yaska-jinja Shrine) was held to pray for the cessession of the epidemic.
Since 970, the Goryoe has been held yearly, becoming the Gion matsuri (Gion festival)

1156: "Hogen no ran" (Hogen Disturbance) occurred.

1159: "Heiji no ran" (Heiji Disturbance) occurred. After this, TAIRA no Kiyomori began to gain power, and before long seized power in the government.

June, 1180: The emperor visited Fukuhara-kyo. The emperor retuned to the imperial place in November of 1180.

1183: MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka entered Kyoto, making the Taira family flee from Kyoto.

1221: "Jokyu no ran" (Jokyu Disturbance) occurred, and Rokuhara Tandai (an administrative and judicial agency in Rokuhara, Kyoto) was established.

1333: "Kenmu no shinsei" (Kenmu Restoration; a new government established in the Kenmu era)

1336: Takauji ASHIKAGA entered Kyoto. The Emperor Godaigo fled to Yoshino, retaining the position of emperor, and the Nanbokucho period (the period of the Northern and Southern Courts) (Japan) began.

1338: The Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) was established.

1392: The one-emperor system was reestablished in Japan ending the era of the two-emperor system in the Nanbokucho period.

1467: "Onin no ran" (Onin War) occurred. Around this time, Higashiyama Bunka (the Higashiyama culture) led by Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA flourished.

1485: "Yamashiro no kuni ikki" (the riot in Yamashiro Province) occurred, and kokujin (influential local samurai) established their own government (until 1493).

1568: Nobunaga ODA entered Kyoto.

1573: The Muromachi bakufu fell.

1579: Mitsuhide AKECHI conquered Tanba Province. He constructed 福智山城 (Fukuchiyama-jo Castle) (later 福知山城 (Fukuchiyama-jo Castle)) in the present-day Fukuchiyama City, following the construction of Kameyama-jo Castle in the previous year.

1582: "Honnoji no hen" (the Honnoji Incident in which Nobunaga ODA died) occurred. "Yamazaki no tatakai" (the battle at Yamazaki) occurred.

1585: The investiture for assigning Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI to the position of Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) was held.

1586: Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI built Jurakudai (Hideyoshi's residence and office in Kyoto). He reformed Kyoto drastically, for example, by building Odoi (earth wall).

1592: Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI constructed Fushimi-jo Castle (Shigetsu-jo Castle).

1596: The "Keicho no ojishin" (the big earthquake in the Keicho era) (in fact occurred in the Bunroku era), demolishing Fushimi-jo Castle, but the castle was rebuilt immediately (Kobatayama-jo Castle (木幡山城)).

1598: Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI died in Fushimi-jo Castle. Hideyori moved to Osaka-jo Castle.

1600: Fushimi-jo Castle was attacked and burnt down by Seigun (the western power group) in "Sekigahara no tatakai" (the Battle of Sekigahara)
The castle was re-built the next year by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA.

1601: Kyoto Shoshidai (a position in charge of maintaining security of Kyoto) was introduced.

1603: The construction of Nijo-jo Castle was completed. The emperor in Fushimi-jo Castle declared that Ieyasu TOKUGAWA become shogun.

1623: Fushimi-jo Castle was closed. After this, Fushimi Ward developed as a commercial city centered on ports and harbors.

1862: "Kyoto Shugo Shoku" (a position for keeping the order in Kyoto, placed over Kyoto Shoshidai) was introduced.

1863: Shinsengumi (a samurai group who guarded Kyoto towards the end of the Edo period) was established.

1864: "Hamagurigomon no hen" (Conspiracy of Hamaguri-gomon Gate) occurred.

1867: "Osei fukko" (restoration of Imperial rule) in Japan was achieved and the positions of "Kyoto Bugyosho" (in charge of the civil affairs in Kyoto) and of Kyoto Shugoshoku were abolished.

1868: "Toba Fushimi no tatakai" (the Battle of Toba-Fushimi) occurred. Kyoto Prefecture (until 1898) was established. The emperor visited Tokyo.

1869: The emperor visited Tokyo.

1871: Haihan-chiken (the feudal domain system was abolished and the prefectural system was introduced.)
At this time, Kyoto Prefecture merged Kuwata-gun, Funai-gun and Ikaruga-gun of Tanba Province, in addition to the entire area of Yamashiro Province.

1876: Kyoto Prefecture merged five counties of the Tango area and Amata-gun of Tanba Province. The present land area of Kyoto Prefecuture was almost established.

1877: Emperor Meiji gave orders to preserve Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace).

1889: Kyoto City (until 1898) was established. Kyoto Prefecture governor also held the position of Kyoto City mayor until 1898. The fourth major naval station (Maizuru major naval station) was established in Higashi-Maizuru.

1890: The construction of the (first stage) Lake Biwa canal was completed.

1892: Omoto-kyo (a new religion) started in Ayabe City.

1894: The 1100th anniversary of the establishment of the capital was held.

1895: Street cars (of Kyoto City Trams), first in Japan, were operated using the electric power generated in the Keage power station based on the Lake Biwa canal. Heian-jingu Shrine was constructed. The annual Jidai-matsuri festival (in which a procession of people clad in costumes in various old ages is a major attraction) started.

1897: Kyoto National Museum and Kyoto University were established.

1898: Kyoto Prefecture (until 1898) was divided, and Kyoto Prefecture started as an autonomous body covering a wider area, and Kyoto City as a basic autonomous body.

1907: The sixteenth army division (of the Japanese army) was established in Fukakusa.
(Formerly, the fourth division stationed there.)

1932: Reclamation work started on Ogura-ike Pond.

1944: The sixteenth army division fell in the battle of Leyte.

1945: General Krueger, commander of Sixth United States Army, entered Kyoto.

1950: Torazo NINAGAWA was elected governor of Kyoto Prefecture, establishing a progressive government.
(Until 1978)

1957: The Okubo military station of Ground Self-defense Force was established.

1964: Tokaido Shinkansen (the Tokaido bullet train) began operation.

1966: Kyoto International Conference Center (later National Kyoto International Conference Center) opened.

1994: Cultural assets of Kyoto, which is a city having a long history, were registered as world heritage by UNESCO.

1997: Kyotanabe City was established.

2004: Kyotango City was established, and the regional development bureaus were reorganized into the wide-area development bureaus.

2005: Kyotanba-cho was established. Kyoto Geihinkan (the guest house of Kyoto Prefecture) opened.

2006: Nantan City and Yosano-cho were established.

2007: Kizugawa City was established.

The domains placed in the Edo period

Yamashiro Province comprised Yodo Domain in addition to Nijo-jo Castle, which was placed under direct control of the bakufu (the Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), Tanba Province comprised Kameoka Domain, Fukuchiyama Domain, Sonobe Domain, Yamaga Domain, and Tango Province comprised Tanabe Domain, Mineyama Domain and Miyazu Domain.


Financial capability index: 0.48 (as of the fiscal year 2005)

The wide-area development bureaus

In Kyoto Prefecture that covers a wide area in the north-south direction, a regional development bureau placed at each of the twelve regions of the prefecture, except Kyoto City, compiled its own development plan, but corresponding to changes in social situations, they were reorganized in May of 2004 into four wide-area development bureaus, each placed in the four core cities of Uji, Kameoka, Maizuru and Kyotango. In addition to retaining the former administrative power, the new bureaus had their functions strengthened: for example the right to certify non-profit organizations (NPO corporations) and those to check large-scale retail stores were transferred from the prefectural government to these bureaus.

The wide-area development bureau for the Yamashiro area of Kyoto Prefecture (the bureau office: located in Uji City)

The wide-area development bureau for the Nantan area of Kyoto Prefecture (the bureau office: located in Kameoka City)

The wide-area development bureau for the Chutan area of Kyoto Prefecture (the bureau office: located in Maizuru City)

The wide-area development bureau for the Tango area of Kyoto Prefecture (the bureau office: located in Kyotango City)


* For the politicians who come from Kyoto Prefecture, refer to 'The category of politicians from Kyoto Prefecture.'

It sometimes happens that national parliament 'proxy wars' occur in the Kyoto Prefecture parliament. Therefore, when 'Kyoto' is said in the field of politics, it often refers to Kyoto Prefecture, not Kyoto City. Torazo NINAGAWA's so-called 'progressive autonomous body' is also for Kyoto Prefecture, not for Kyoto City.

Recently, Hiromu NONAKA (from former Sonobe-cho) and Seiji MAEHARA (from Kyoto City) are influential diet members from Kyoto Prefecture, politically with NONAKA being a politician of 'the conventional local boss type' using profits-distributing policies and MAEHARA being a politician of 'the new young neo-conservatism type' using policies based on neoliberalism. However, Hiromu NONAKA has retired from the national political arena, lessening his influence.


* For the companies whose headquarters are located in Kyoto Prefecture, refer to 'The category of companies in Kyoto Prefecture.'


The southern area (former Yamashiro Province): tourism industry

The central area (Chutan): agricultural industry, forest industry

The northern area (former Tango Province): fishing industry, water transportation industry

Tourist business

In particular, the southern area (former Yamashiro Province) has a strong tourist industry, due to its inclusion of sight-seeing cities, such as Kyoto City and Uji City.

Agricultural industry and forest industry

Kuromame (black soy bean) is widely cultivated and processed in the central area, as in Sasayama City, Hyogo Prefecture, which is located across this area and where the bean originated. An example of the forest industry in this area is Kitayamasugi (Kitayama cedar trees).

Fishing industry and water transportation industry

With Maizuru-ko Port designated as an important port/harbor, many ships from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) used this port before economic sanctions were enforced. Shin Nihonkai Ferry provides a ferrying service to Otaru-ko Port, Hokkaido.

Features of the areas

The urban areas
The history of urban employment areas (where ten percent of the population commute to city center areas)

Features of each area

Kyoto Prefecture comprises fifteen cities, six counties (gun), ten towns (cho) and a village (mura). All of 町 (town) is pronounced as "cho." Kyoto Prefecture is divided into seven areas by the prefectural government. All population data is from October 1, 2006.

The population of the Tango area: 110,126
Miyazu City, Kyotango City, Yosa-gun (Ine-cho and Yosano-cho)
The population of the Chutan area: 210,129
Fukuchiyama City, Maizuru City and Ayabe City
The population of the Chubu (central) area: 146,980
Kameoka City, Nantan City and Funai-gun (Kyotanba-cho)
The population of the Kyoto City area: 1,472,511
Kyoto City (Kita Ward (Kyoto City), Kamigyo Ward, Sakyo Ward, Nakagyo Ward, Higashiyama Ward, Shimogyo Ward, Minami Ward (Kyoto City), Ukyo Ward, Fushimi Ward, Yamashina Ward and Nishikyo Ward) (where the prefectural government office is located)
The population of the Otokuni area: 148,718
Muko City, Nagaokakyo City, Otokuni-gun (Oyamazaki-cho)
The population of the central Yamashiro area: 445,508
Uji City, Joyo City, Yawata City, Kyotanabe City, Kuse-gun (Kumiyama-cho) and Tsuzuki-gun (Ide-cho and Ujitawara-cho)
The population of the Soraku area: 110,103
Kizugawa City and Soraku-gun (Kasagi-cho, Wazuka-cho, Seika-cho and Minami Yamashiro-mura)

The cities, towns and village that have been in negotiation for merging with each other

Uji City, Joyo City, Uji tawara-cho and ide-cho: The negotiation to merge them did not reach an agreement, and the conference for the negotiation was abolished in August 2007.

North-south problems

Approx. 55% of the population of Kyoto Prefecture reside in Kyoto City where the prefectural government office is located, the highest of all prefectures in Japan except Tokyo-to (formerly Tokyo-fu Prefecture) (* when Tokyo-to is included, it becomes the highest, with two thirds of the population of Tokyo-to residing in its special wards [formerly Tokyo City]).

With Kyoto Prefecture's land shape being long in the north-south direction, the southern inland area (former Yamashiro Province), which is sometimes called a 'mountain ridge' area, and the northern area (former Tanba Province and former Tango Province), which is located facing Japan Sea and was once called Ni Province, are markedly different in their characteristics, causing a pronounced difference between the two regions in various aspects.

The southern area (former Yamashiro Province;
The central area: Kyoto City) is within the Kinai region, and is closely related to Otsu City, former Settsu Province (the Hanshin area) and the northern part of Nara City. On the other hand, the northern area (including Fukuchiyama City, Maizuru City and Miyazu City), which is sometimes called the Kita Kinki region, is closely related to former Tajima Province (the present northern area of Hyogo Prefecture) and former Wakasa Province (the present Reinan area of Fukui Prefecture), but is not so closely related to Kyoto City, compared with the areas of the two former provinces described above.

In the era after WWII when the Japanese economy grew rapidly, the area of former Yamashiro Province, occupying part of the Kinai region, developed quickly, but the northern area, connecting the Hokuriku region and the Sanin region, tended to be ignored, though the area is located in an important position on the Japan Sea side. In recent years, the disparity between the northen and southern areas has been corrected gradually, for examples, through the construction of industrial parks in the former Tanba Province area and that of Maizuru Wakasa Expressway, which connects the Hokuriku region (Tsuruga City) to the Kinai region (Osaka) via Tango (Maizuru City). In addition, the Nantan area of former Tanba Province, such as Kameoka City, has become closely related to Kyoto City since around 1965, and now it is customary that, when the term of "the south area" is used, Funai-gun and its southern areas are included in it.

Cultural assets

World heritage
Cultural assets of Kyoto, which is a city having a long history

National treasure art/craft works (the number of items is second to that of Tokyo, among those of the prefectures)
207 items

National treasure buildings (the number of items is second to that of Nara, among those of the prefectures: forty-eight items and sixty buildings)
Ujigami-jinja Shrine: Haiden (a hall for prayer) and Honden (a main hall)
Kamomioya-jinja Shrine (Higashi-Honden (an east main hall) and Nishi-Honden (a west main hall)): two buildings
kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine (Honden (a main hall) and Gonden (the shrine used temporarily in repairing the main hall)): two buildings
Kaijusen-ji Temple: "Goju no to" (a five-story pagoda)
Kanchi-in Temple: the reception hall
To-ji Temple: Kondo (a main hall), "Goju no to" (a five-story pagoda), Taishi-do Temple and Renge-mon Gate
Komyo-ji Temple (Ayabe City): Nio-mon Gate
Koryu-ji Temple: Keikyuin-hondo Main Hall
Kozan-ji Temple: Sekisui-in (Gosho-do)
Sanbo-in Temple: Karamon (Chinese gate) and Omote Shoin (a main drawing room)
Jisho-ji Temple: Ginkaku (Silver Pavilion), Togudo Hall
Joruri-ji Temple: "Sanju no to" (a three-story pagoda), Hondo (a main hall)
Ninna-ji Temple: Kondo (the main hall)
Kiyomizu-dera Temple: Hondo (a main hall)
Daisen-in Temple: Hondo (a main hall)
Daitoku-ji Temple: Karamon (Chinese gate), Hojo (the residence for a head priest) and its entrance (two buildings)
Daihoon-ji Temple: Hondo (a main hall) (so-called Senbonshaka-do)
Daigo-ji Temple: Kondo (a main hall), "Goju no to" (a five-story pagoda), Seiryuguhaiden Hall and Yakushido Hall
Chion-in Temple: Sanmon (three gates) and Hondo (a main hall) (Miei-do)
Tofuku-ji Temple: Sanmon (three gates)
Nanzen-ji Temple: Hojo (the residence for a head priest)
Nijo-jo Castle: Ninomaru-goten (six buildings)
Byodo-in Temple: Hoo-do (the phoenix hall) (four buildings including the side towers and the back tower)
Hokai-ji Temple: Amida-do Hall
Toyokuni-jinja Shrine: Karamon (Chinese gate)
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine: Honden (a main hall), Ishinoma (a stone hall), Haiden (a hall for prayer) and Gakunoma (a music room) (a composite building)
Nishi Hongwan-ji Temple (Nishi Hongwan-ji): Kuro-shoin and Denro (two buildings), Shoin (Taimensho (a reception hall) and Shiro-shoin), Karamon (Chinese gate), Hiunkaku Pavilion and Kita Noh-butai Stage
Myoki-an Temple: Chashitsu (tea house) (Taian)
Myoho-in Temple: Kuri (a hall) and Renge Oin Hondo (the Sanju Sangendo hall)
Ryogin-an Temple: Hojo (the residence for a head priest)
Ryoko-in Temple: Shoin

Special historical sites (three sites)
Jisho-ji Temple
Rokuon-ji Temple
Daigoji Sanpoin-teien Garden

Special beauty spots (fourteen spots: the largest number among those of the prefectures)
Jisho-ji Temple
Rokuon-ji Temple
Daigoji Sanpoin-teien Garden
The garden of Konchi-in Temple
The garden of Joruri-ji Temple
The garden of Saiho-ji Temple
The garden of Daisenin-shoin House
The garden of Hojo in Daitoku-ji Temple
The garden of Tenryu-ji Temple
The garden of Ninomaru in Nijo-jo Castle
Hokongoin Seijonotaki-tsuketari, Goisan (Goisan attached to the blue female fall in Hokongo-in Temple)
The garden of Daishoin (big shoin house) in Nishi Hongwan-ji Temple
The Garden of Hojo in Ryoan-ji Temple

Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings (seven areas: the largest number among those of the prefectures)
Kamigamo (in Kita Ward of Kyoto City)
Sannei-zaka Slope (in Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto City)
Gion Kobu (in Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto City)
Saga Toriimoto (in Ukyo Ward of Kyoto City)
Kayabuki no sato Kitamura (Kitamura thatched village) (in Nantan City)
Ineura (in Ine-cho)
Kaya (in Yosano-cho)

Specialty products

Nishijinori (Nishijin brocade)

Kyo yaki (Kyoto-style ceramics)

Kyo yuzen dyeing

Kyo yasai (Kyoto vegetables)

Uji cha (Uji tea)

Tango chirimen (silk crepes)

Tanba kurodaizu (black soybeans)

Tanba guri (Tanba chestnuts)

Kurotani washi (Japanese paper)

Kyogashi (Kyoto confectionery)

Kyoto-style Japanese fans


The Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper (published by The Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper Co., Ltd): published daily.

The Ryotan Shinbun (published by Ryotan Shinbun): published daily (in Fukuchiyama City).

The Kyoto Minpo (published by Kyoto Minpo-Sha): published weekly
The nation-wide newspapers cover this area as well.

TV stations

Of the services of the private TV stations, those of the four major key network stations cover the wide Kinki area.

Programs of the following two prefecture-based TV stations are transmitted from the top of Mt. Hiei which is higher than Mt. Ikoma, which causes its coverage area to be relatively wide compared to its limited output transmission power, allowing a wider reception area outside of Kyoto Prefecture.
(The radio-wave power that is transmitted by the KBS Kyoto broadcasting station is spilt-over to Shiga Prefecture, which is permitted, as well as terrestrial digital broadcasting.)

The NHK Kyoto broadcasting station (broadcasts local information about Kyoto Prefecture (NHK general TV from the NHK Osaka station is for Osaka Prefecture, and NHK educational TV is for covering the entire nation).

Kyoto Broadcasting System Company Limited (a member station of Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations that comprise the TV stations not belonging to the networks of any key stations)

TV Osaka programs, which is for the Osaka Prefecture area (whose Kyoto branch office is located at Karasuma-Takeya-cho-kado, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City), can in fact be received directly in the southeast area of Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, in the almost entire area of former Yamashiro Province, and in some areas of former Tanba Province and former Tango Province (however, the original broadcasting area is limited to the Osaka Prefecture area). The programs must be received, with the remote controller key ID number seven, from the radiowave broadcasted by the parent Osaka parent station (which is for analog channel 19 and digital channel 18 and is located in the middle of the western slope of Mt. Ikoma) or from that by the Hirakata City station (for analog channel 21 and digital channel 27) (the receiving area of the digital wave is limited compared with that of the analog wave, because of its directivity characteristics). Therefore, some areas of Yamanashi Prefecture (such as Otsuki City) and all areas of Tochigi Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture receive different programs from those shown on TV TOKYO, the key television station for the receiving area. However, TV TOKYO announced that it would expand its broadcasting area of TV Osaka to Kyoto Prefecture and Hyogo Prefecture, attracting attention about future development.

Radio stations

The broadcasting areas cover the Kinki region.

Am radio stations

The NHK Kyoto broadcasting station

The Kyoto broadcasting (KBS Kyoto) (belonging to a national radio-broadcasting network; its broadcasting area covers Shiga Prefecture as well).

In the southern part of the prefecture, a relay station for three private broadcasting stations based in Osaka is placed in Imagumano, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, but with its output power being small, 300 W, their programs cannot be received comfortably in various places of even the central Kyoto City area. The relay stations in the northern part of the prefecture (placed in Fukuchiyama, Maizuru and Miyazu) support only NHK and KBS Kyoto (the one at Miyazu supports only the first channel of NHK-transmitted radiowave), and therefore, in many places of this area, it is difficult to receive the programs of the three private stations based in Osaka.

FM radio stations

NHK Kyoto broadcasting station

FM-KYOTO (α-STATION) (operated independently)

Kansai Inter-media (FM CO・CO・LO:
officially covers only Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture.)

Broadcasting stations in communities (all of them use FM transmission)

Kyoto Community Broadcasting (located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City/NPO Kyoto Community Broadcasting)

Kyoto Living FM (located in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City/Kyoto Living FM)

FM Uji (located in Uji City/FM Uji)

FM Ayabe (located in Ayabe City/FM Ayabe)

[Original Japanese]