Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, lies in a basin surrounded by mountains on three sides. Over its 1,200-year history, Kyoto has blended diverse cultures, and is called the spiritual home of the Japanese. In central Kyoto, the streets and alleys run east-west and north-south, forming a grid pattern. In addition to its 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Nijo Castle, Kyoto is home to more than 2,000 shrines and temples. Mountains and forests account for roughly three-quarters of the municipal area, which extends longitudinally. The remaining quarter of the land area comprises the urban district, centered on the Imperial Palace. Due to its basin-specific climate, Kyoto undergoes drastic temperature changes between day and night, and between the hottest and coldest periods of the year, so it is renowned for the beauty of its clearly defined seasons.
Kyoto is a historic city that attracts tourists from all over Japan and the world. Moreover, Kyoto is an academic center and boasts several universities and junior colleges. It is an environmentally advanced city that can serve as a role model for a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society. In summary, Kyoto is a city with many attractions.