Formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years from the 8th century when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government. The Emperor choose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. Kyoto remained Japan’s capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration.
Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its exceptional historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.
Kyoto was a bustling metropolis and not the old traditional Japanese town that I was expecting but on closer inspection it was dotted with places of interest.