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Kyoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.HistoryUntil the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto Prefecture was known as Yamashiro.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-kyo, 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.Customize your holiday with our Japan trip site to create an adventure that suits you.
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Top Kyoto Prefecture tours
Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $70
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bento Box Cooking Class BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $83
Duration: 3 hours
Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $59
Duration: 45 minutes
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