Story offer: words & pictures
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Subject: city of temples and gardens, supreme repository of Japanese tradition
Title: Kyoto, Soul of Japan
Kyoto is where you will find the Japan of your imagination: golden temples reflected in tranquil ponds, raked gravel gardens of Zen monks, poets’ huts hidden amid bamboo groves, arcades of vermilion shrine gates, exquisite gardens, kimono-clad geisha disappearing into the doorways of traditional restaurants. Although it is now the country's seventh largest city with 1.4 million people and a modern face, Kyoto hosts the most magnificent collection of historic temples and traditional gardens in all Japan.
The heartland of Japan’s traditional culture, guardian of its age-old soul, Kyoto served as the capital and emperor's residence from 794 till 1868. Spared from World War II air raids, the city retains more than 1600 temples, 400 shrines and other priceless structures. One of the world’s most culturally rich cities, Kyoto’s wealth of traditional culture is such that it possesses no fewer than 17 World Cultural Heritage Sites.