Nestled in the mountains of Western Honshu, Kyoto has earned a worldwide reputation as Japan's most beautiful city. Kyoto is known as "the city of a thousand temples," but it actually has more - an astonishing 1,600 Buddhist temples, plus 400 Shinto shrines, a trio of palaces, and dozens of gardens and museums! Kyoto boasts more World Heritage Sites per square inch than any other city.
Kyoto was the capital of Japan and the residence of the emperor from 794 to 1868, when the capital was moved to Tokyo. Kyoto thus spent a millennium as the center of Japanese power, culture, tradition, and religion. During this time Kyoto accumulated an unparalleled collection of palaces, temples and shrines, built for emperors, shoguns, geishas and monks. And Kyoto was one of the very few Japanese cities to escape Allied bombings during World War II. There is much to see in Kyoto - start your virtual explorations of its temples and shrines below.