Kyoto Prefecture

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

Kyoto Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese京都府
 • RōmajiKyōto-fu
Flag of Kyoto Prefecture

Official logo of Kyoto Prefecture

Location of Kyoto Prefecture
Coordinates: 35°1′18″N 135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°ECoordinates: 35°1′18″N 135°45′20.2″E / 35.02167°N 135.755611°E
SubdivisionsDistricts: 6, Municipalities: 26
 • GovernorTakatoshi Nishiwaki
 • Total4,612.19 km2 (1,780.78 sq mi)
Area rank31st
 (October 1, 2015)
 • Total2,610,353
 • Rank13th
 • Density566/km2 (1,470/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-26
BirdStreaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas)
FlowerWeeping cherry blossom (Prunus spachiana)
TreeKitayama Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica)


Iwashimizu Hachimangū, a Shinto shrine in Yawata

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

For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was Japan's Imperial capital. The city's history 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 Japan's capital. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shōmu moved the capital briefly to 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 Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyō, 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 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 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 War, 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 AD, tea-jars were brought by the shōguns 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.[5] During the occupation, the U.S. Sixth Army was headquartered in Kyoto.[6]


Map of Kyoto Prefecture Ja
Map of Kyoto Prefecture      Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village
Historical population
1885 846,761—    
1890 894,928+5.7%
1900 1,022,695+14.3%
1910 1,197,473+17.1%
1920 1,287,147+7.5%
1930 1,552,832+20.6%
1940 1,729,993+11.4%
1950 1,832,934+6.0%
1960 1,993,403+8.8%
1970 2,250,087+12.9%
1980 2,527,330+12.3%
1990 2,602,460+3.0%
2000 2,644,391+1.6%
2010 2,636,092−0.3%
2015 2,610,353−1.0%
Source: [1]

Kyoto Prefecture is almost in the center of Honshu and of Japan. It covers an area of 4,612.19 square kilometres (1,780.78 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 its west is 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 15 April 2016, 21% of the prefecture's land area was designated as Natural Parks, namely Sanin Kaigan National Park; Biwako, Kyoto Tamba Kogen, Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama and Wakasa Wan Quasi-National Parks; and Hozukyō, Kasagiyama, and Rurikei Prefectural Natural Parks.[7]


Fifteen cities are located in Kyoto Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Asahiyama uji01737 05


Aso Bay view from Kasamatsu Park01s3s4592

Miyazu and Aso Bay



GDP (PPP) per capita[8][9]
Year US$
1975 4,746
1980 8,375
1985 12,799
1990 18,128
1995 21,190
2000 24,692
2005 29,256
2010 33,058
2015 38,567

Kyoto prefecture's economy is supported by industries that create value that is unique to Kyoto, such as the tourism and traditional industries supported by 1,200 years of history and culture, as well as high-technology industries that combine the technology of Kyoto's traditional industries with new ideas.[10]

Northern Kyoto on the Tango Peninsula has fishing and water transportation, and midland Kyoto has agriculture and forestry. The prefecture produces 13% of the domestic sake and green tea. Japan's largest vertical farm is located in the prefecture.[11]

The Kyoto-based manufacturing industry holds shares of Japan's high-technology product markets and others. As of 2018, six Forbes Global 2000 companies were located in Kyoto prefecture: Nidec, Kyocera, Murata Manufacturing, Nintendo, Omron, Bank of Kyoto. Takara Holdings, GS Yuasa, SCREEN Holdings, Mitsubishi Logisnext, Maxell, and Kyoto Animation are based in the prefecture.

As of October 2018, the minimum wage in the prefecture was ¥882 per hour.[12]


Kyoto has been, and still remains, Japan's cultural center.[13][14] For over 1000 years it was Japan's capital. When the capital was changed to Tokyo, Kyoto remained Japan's cultural capital. The local government proposes a plan to move the Agency for Cultural Affairs to Kyoto and to regard Tokyo as the capital of politics and economy and Kyoto as the capital of culture.[15] See Culture of Japan.

Togetsukyo (2)

Togetsu Bridge in Arashiyama

Tea Minami-yamashiro, Kyoto 01

Japanese tea plantation

Rokkaku-dou Ikenobou doujou

Rokkaku-dō, where a school of the Japanese flower arrangement originated from.



High schools

  • Kyoto Tachibana Senior High School
  • Kyoto Tachibana Junior High School


The sports teams listed below are based in Kyoto.

Football (soccer)






City Tram




National highways


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 Tokyo, Kyoto is a favorite location for the graduation trip of Junior High and 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

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.[16]


The current governor of Kyoto is Takatoshi Nishiwaki, a former vice minister of the Reconstruction Agency. He has been elected in April 2018.[17]

The previous 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.[18][19][20]

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.[21]

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

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

Kyoto Prefecture has sister relationships with these places:[22]

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


  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. ^ Manansala, Paul Kekai (5 September 2006). "Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan: Luzon Jars (Glossary)".
  5. ^ Oi, Mariko (2015-08-09). "The city saved from the atomic bomb". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  6. ^ Chronology of the Occupation
  7. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  8. ^ 県民経済計算 (in Japanese). Cabinet Office (Japan). Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  9. ^ "Purchasing power parities (PPP)". OECD. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  10. ^ "Kyoto Prefecture Financial Profile and Fiscal Reforms" (PDF). October 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  11. ^ "The only way is up: Vertical farming in Kyoto". CNN. 19 September 2016.
  12. ^ 地域別最低賃金の全国一覧 [List of minimum wages by region] (in Japanese). Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  13. ^ Kyoto | History, Geography, & Points of Interest |
  14. ^ Shinzō Abe (18 November 2018). Committee on Budget. The 190th ordinary session of the Diet (in Japanese). 8. House of Representatives. 京都というのは文化的な中心
  15. ^ Shigefumi Matsuzawa (7 June 2018). Committee on Education, Culture and Science. The 196th ordinary session of the Diet (in Japanese). 14. House of Councillors. 政治経済の首都東京に対して文化の首都京都をつくっていく、そういう双眼構造、二元構造にする
  16. ^ U.S. to deploy mobile radar in Kyoto Prefecture to detect missile launches The Asahi Shimbun, August 2nd, 2013
  17. ^ "Nishiwaki triumphs in Kyoto gubernatorial race, vows to continue policies of predecessor". The Japan Times. April 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Asahi Shimbun, April 6, 2014: 京都知事に山田氏、4選 新顔の尾崎氏破る
  19. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun, April 6, 2014: 京都府知事選、現職の山田啓二氏が4選
  20. ^ The Japan Times, April 7, 2014: Kyoto re-elects Yamada to top post
  21. ^ Kyoto Prefectural Assembly: caucuses (in Japanese)
  22. ^ International Exchange: Regions with Friendly Ties to Kyoto Prefecture Retrieved November 29, 2015
  23. ^ "Peringatan 25 Tahun Sister City Kyoto-Yogya, Kedua Kota Mendapat Manfaat" (in Indonesian). Koran Tempo. October 6, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "Twin and Partner Cities". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  26. ^ "Communiqué du 26 mai 2016 – Signature d'une première entente de collaboration entre le Québec et la préfecture de Kyoto".


External links

Ayabe, Kyoto

Ayabe (綾部市, Ayabe-shi) is a city located in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on August 1, 1950. As of 2015, the city has an estimated population of 33,821 and a population density of 97.5 persons per km². The total area is 347.1 km².

Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

Fukuchiyama (福知山市, Fukuchiyama-shi) is a city in northern Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, on the Yura River. It is about 25 km inland from the Sea of Japan at the Fukuchiyama Valley's southern end, and is surrounded by mountains to the south, west, and east. The city was founded on April 1, 1937.

As of 2015, the city has an estimated population of 78,935 and a population density of 142.9 persons per km2. The total area is 552.54 km2.

On January 1, 2006, the towns of Miwa and Yakuno (both from Amata District), and the town of Ōe (from Kasa District) were merged into Fukuchiyama.

Fukuchiyama Station

Fukuchiyama Station (福知山駅, Fukuchiyama-eki) is a railway station in the city of Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Japan National Route 423

National Route 423 is a national highway of Japan connecting Kita-ku, Osaka and Kameoka, Kyoto in the Kansai region of Japan.

Jōyō, Kyoto

Jōyō (城陽市, Jōyō-shi) is a city located in Kyoto Prefecture, Kansai, Japan. It is halfway between Kyoto and Nara. It contains historical sites including the Shibagahara Tomb and Mito shrine. The city was founded on May 3, 1972.

As of 2015, the city has an estimated population of 76,869 and a population density of 2350.5 persons per km². The total area is 32.71 km².

Kamo River

The Kamo River (鴨川, Kamo-gawa, duck river – see onomastics) is located in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The riverbanks are popular walking spots for residents and tourists. In summer, restaurants open balconies looking out to the river. There are pathways running alongside the river on which one can walk along the river, and some stepping stones that cross the river. The water level of the river is usually relatively low; less than one meter in most places. During the rainy season, however, the pathways sometimes flood in their lower stretches.

Kyoto Gakuen University

Kyoto Gakuen University (京都学園大学, Kyoto gakuen daigaku) is a private university in Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan. The school's predecessor was founded in 1925, and it was chartered as a university in 1969. Its campuses are located in Kameoka and Ukyō-ku, Kyoto.

Kyoto Hannaryz

The Kyoto Hannaryz (京都ハンナリーズ Kyōto Hannarīzu) are a Japanese basketball team playing in Kyoto Prefecture; they are part of the Western Conference of the B.League. The Hannaryz are coached by Honoo Hamaguchi.

Kyoto Racecourse

Kyoto Racecourse (京都競馬場, Kyōto-keibajō) is located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It is used for horse racing. It has a capacity of 120,000. It was built in 1999.


Maizuru (舞鶴市, Maizuru-shi) is a city in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, on an inlet of the Sea of Japan. The city was founded on May 27, 1943.

As of 2015, the city has an estimated population of 83,990 and a population density of 245 persons per km². The total area is 342 km².

Maizuru is a city rich in nature, located on the scenic Maizuru Bay. Maizuru Harbor is located in Maizuru Bay, from which travel to Hokkaidō is possible via the Sea of Japan.

Maizuru Line

The Maizuru Line (舞鶴線, Maizuru-sen) is a 26.4 km (16.4 mi) railway line in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). It connects Ayabe and Higashi-Maizuru, the line beyond there being called the Obama Line connecting to Tsuruga.

Miyazu, Kyoto

Miyazu (宮津市, Miyazu-shi) is a city located in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on June 1, 1954.

As of October 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 17,633, with 7,638 households and a population density of 100 persons per km². The total area is 172.74 km².

Riho Miyaki

Riho Kotani (小谷 里歩, Kotani Riho, born 24 August 1994 in Jōyō City, Kyoto Prefecture), better known by her stage name Riho Miaki (三秋 里歩, Miaki Riho) is a member of the Japanese idol group Yoshimotozaka46 and a former member of the idol girl group NMB48. She is a former member of NMB48's Team N, and a former member of AKB48.

Takebishi Stadium Kyoto

Takebishi Stadium Kyoto (たけびしスタジアム京都) is a multi-purpose stadium in Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. It was formerly known as Kyoto Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium. Since August 2019 it has been called Takebishi Stadium Kyoto until July 2029 for the naming rights by Takebishi (たけびし).It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of J.League club Kyoto Sanga FC

The stadium holds 20,588 people and was built in 1942. It hosted the football match between Romania and Ghana during the 1964 Summer Olympics.


Uji (宇治市, Uji-shi) is a city on the southern outskirts of the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Founded on March 1, 1951, Uji is between the two ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. The city sits on the Uji River, which has its source in Lake Biwa.

As of October 1, 2015, Uji has an estimated population of 184,726 and is the second largest city in Kyoto Prefecture. It has an area of 67.54 km2, giving it a population density of 2,735 persons per km2.


Yawata (八幡市, Yawata-shi) is a city located in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

As of October 1, 2015, the city has an estimated population of 72,664, with 29,259 households and a population density of 2,984.1 persons per km². The total area is 24.35 km².

The city was founded on November 1, 1977 and currently has a sister city in Milan, Ohio.

As the bamboo filaments Thomas Alva Edison used for his early light bulb tests came from Kyoto, Yawata has an Edison Memorial and Edison Celebration.

The Iwashimizu Hachimangu is located in Yawata.

Yodo River

The Yodo River (淀川, Yodo-gawa), also called the Seta River (瀬田川 Seta-gawa) and the Uji River (宇治川 Uji-gawa) at portions of its route, is the principal river in Osaka Prefecture on Honshū, Japan. The source of the river is Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture to the north.

The Yodo River, usually called the Seta River in Shiga Prefecture, begins at the southern outlet of the lake in Ōtsu. There is a dam there to regulate the lake level. Further downstream, the Seta flows into Kyoto Prefecture and changes its name to the Uji River, and then merges with two other rivers, namely the Katsura River and the Kizu River in Kyoto Prefecture. The Katsura has its headwaters in the mountains of Kyoto Prefecture, while the Kizu comes from Mie Prefecture. From the three-river confluence, the river is called the Yodo River, which flows south, through Osaka, and on into Osaka Bay. In Osaka, part of the river has been diverted into an artificial channel; the old course in the heart of Osaka is called the Kyū-Yodo River (literally, 'Former Yodo River').

It serves as a source of water for irrigation and also powers hydroelectric generators.

Yuko Nakazawa

Yuko Nakazawa (中澤 裕子, Nakazawa Yūko, born June 19, 1973 in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese pop and enka singer, and actress, best known as one of the original members of the all-female J-pop group Morning Musume. She is also a member of Japanese pop group Dream Morning Musume.

Yura River (Japan)

The Yura River (由良川) is a river in Kyoto Prefecture and Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

Shadow picture of Kyoto prefecture.png Kyoto Prefecture
Wards of Kyoto
47 Prefectures


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