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Kyoto is a city of Japan in the homonymous province in the south center of the country. Founded in the 1st century, it was the capital of Imperial Japan, being replaced by Tokyo in 1868.

Kyoto forms, along with the cities of Osaka and Kobe, a metropolitan region known as Keihanshin and is the second most populous metropolitan region of the country, just behind Greater Tokyo. It was once known in the West by Meaco (Japanese: 都; miyako), which literally means "capital." Kyoto is occasionally dubbed "Old Capital" and "City of Samurais".
If Tokyo is the center of Japanese political and economic power, Kyoto is the soul and essence of Japanese culture. From Zen meditation to the tea ceremony, from refined architecture to finely dressed geisha in silk kimonos, the ancient capital is the bastion of the traditions most dear to the Japanese people. Dozens of wonderful Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines scatter the city, some scenic like the Kyomizudera, others simple as the golden Pavilion Kinkakuji and a few Spartans like the Ryoanji stone garden. This impressive ensemble has earned the city its inclusion in Unesco's list of mankind.

Japan's capital for centuries, Kyoto houses not only one of Japan's imperial palaces (the other is in Tokyo), but also architectural gems such as the bucolic imperial town of Katsura Rikyu and Nijo Castle, where the shoguns - the generals who held the power-in fact-sent orders to their vassals throughout the archipelago. The city also hosts three of the country's most lively and colorful festivals, the 'matsuris' Aoi (May), Gion (July) and Jidai (October) when thousands of people dress in traditional costumes and parade through the streets and temples of the city .

One of the key experiences for the visitor to Kyoto is to stay in traditional ryokans, sleeping on futons on tatami mats. They are the quintessence of Japanese hospitality and here you will find some of the best in the whole country. The vast majority of them serve the kaiseki, a banquet with an elaborate sequence of dishes that are distinguished by their flavor, ingredients, forms of preparation and presentation. The menus are seasonal, with sometimes delicate tastes, sometimes booming.
As the ancient capital of Japan and seat of the imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto offers a rich culinary tradition. The local food culture is diverse and ranges from aristocratic kareki ryori dinners to the vegetarian shojin ryori of monks and the simple house style in obanzai ryori style.

While some restaurants seek inspiration in the past, others experience new flavors. Fusion restaurants, which combine ingredients and techniques of Kyoto cuisine with culinary styles from other parts of the world, can also be found in the city. The nightlife district of Pontocho is one of the best places to find good restaurants alongside traditional establishments. Not far away, the Gion district also offers a wide variety of interesting dining options, as well as the Kyoto Station area.

Regular Japanese food that is not necessarily associated with Kyoto in particular, such as ramen, sushi and udon, is also available throughout the city. Food fans should not miss a visit to Nishiki Market, in the center of Kyoto, which served the city for many centuries.
Japan has four distinct seasons and Kyoto is one of a few places that have clearer differences than other places of the archipelago. Generally, it is very hot in summer and cold in winter. It is also humid in summer. They say that they have less wind in summer and feel hotter than the current temperature, which can get close to 40 degrees C (the maximum temperature recorded in August, 2008 was 37.5 degrees C, or 99.5 degrees F). In winter, the temperature often goes below freezing and snow flies occasionally.

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