Spring Blogging Break


Returning to Japan for an extended appreciation of Kyoto

For over a thousand years, Kyoto was the former Imperial capital of Japan. It is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba Highlands. The Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) above sea level. This interior positioning results in hot summers and cold winters. Kyoto’s rain season begins around the middle of June and lasts until the end of July, yielding a hot and sunny latter half of the summer. Along with most of the Pacific coast and central areas of Japan, Kyoto is prone to typhoons during September and October. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang’an. About 20% of Japan’s National Treasures and 14% of Important Cultural Properties exist in the city proper. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) includes 17 locations in Kyoto, Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, and Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture. The site was designated as World Heritage in 1994. Credit: Wikipedia.