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Various elements of the Japanese traditional culture and performing arts were born, developed and brought to perfection in Kyoto : Kabuki, Noh, Kyogen, Nihon Buyo, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, waka poetry, etc.

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From a thousand-year-old picture scroll to the modern manga and pop-culture, the precious cultural heritage continues to be passed down in Kyoto. Kyo-tsukemono Kyoto pickles , nishin-soba buckwheat noodles in hot soup topped with herring , Kinugasa-don rice bowl with fried tofu, green onion and lightly beaten egg. Kamogawa is the representative river of Kyoto.

Kyoto: A Cultural History

First mentioned in the 9th century, it frequently appeared on the historical and literary scene. In summer, the restaurants on the west bank of Kamogawa erect yuka, large wooden platforms overlooking the river. Nijo Castle was constructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in and completed by the third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. It is known as a place where the restoration of imperial rule took place under the rule of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th and last shogun. Therefore, the castle is a witness of the rise and fall of the Tokugawa shogunate.

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With its famous paintings by the Kano school, wooden carvings and decorative metal fittings, Nijo-jo is the highlight of refined Momoyama art. The district is famous for its gorgeous sakura blossoms in spring, as well as for autumn colours, and has appeared in many poems.

Kyoto cuisine was developed as a synthesis of five traditional Japanese cuisines : Taikyo-ryori, Shojin-ryori, Honzen-ryori, Kaiseki-ryori and Obanzai. The delicate art of Kyoto cooking is based on the use of dashi soup stock , and skilled local chefs never fail to bring out a sense of the seasons in every dish.

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Obanzai is a traditional home style cooking of Kyoto, characterized by the use of simple ingredients. This Kyoto-style cuisine is richly flavoured with dashi soup stock and associated with the seasons, annual events and a variety of local specialities. The art of Japanese sweets was brought to perfection in this city rich in traditional events and tea ceremonies.

Japanese sense of the seasons is perfectly expressed in splendid colours and shapes of small Kyoto sweets. Kyoto City Introduction. Population Surface area Industries Kyoto has a strong image of being a historical and cultural city, but in fact, it is also a manufacturing city, in which traditional crafts coexist with cutting-edge technologies.

Kyoto: A Cultural History by John Dougill

Transportation Kyoto Station is the front door to the city and a hub for Tokaido Shinkansen Line, JR Line, subway and numerous private railways, which connect the city center with the neighbouring towns. History From ancient times, Kyoto has been a holy city with the innumerable Shinto shrines and the finest examples of Buddhist architecture, arts, statues and Zen gardens. Natural features Surrounded on three sides by mountains and crossed by two rivers, Kamogawa and Katsuragawa, Kyoto city is blessed with beautiful natural environment.

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Local specialities Kyoto is renowned for its traditional crafts developed and perfected through its long history. Kyoto, the ancient former capital of Japan, breathes history and mystery. Its temples, gardens and palaces are testimony to many centuries of aristocratic and religious grandeur. Under the veneer of modernity, the city remains filled with countless reminders of a proud past.

History Of Kyoto – The Heart Of Japan

John Dougillexplores this most venerable of Japanese cities, revealing the spirit of place and the individuals that have shaped its often dramatic history. Courtiers and courtesans, poets and priests, samurai and geisha people the pages of his account. Covering twelve centuries in all, the book not onlyprovides a historical overview but also brings to life the cultural magnificence of the city of "Purple Hills and Crystal Streams.

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