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Kyoto City, Japan
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    (September 1, 1956- )
    Name means Capital City
    Laid out in a grid pattern
    Changed hands numerous times when shogunates and emperors fell
    Population reached 500,000 (1598)
    Capital of Japan until 1868
    Lost most of its political importance
    By 1900, Kyoto had hydroelectric power, running water and was the most important intellectual center of the country
    Unscathed by World War II
    Became a major center of commerce after the war
    Suffered greatly during the economic downturn of the 90s but is making a recovery
    Third largest Japanese city after Tokyo and Osaka
    1200th anniversary was celebrated (1994)
    The Kyoto Protocol was signed there.
    The city's early design was an imitation of the Chinese city of Chang'an.
    Citizens have a slightly different dialect than the rest of Japan.
    It is often overshadowed commercially by nearby Tokyo.
    The old imperial palace is located there.
    A bike can be rented for a whole day at about $8.
    It is full of shrines, gardens, temples, skyscrapers and other attractions.
    Many Nobel Prize-winning scientists graduated from Kyoto University.
    It is one of the oldest cities in the world.
    Recognizing its cultural significance, US Defense Secretary Henry Stimson ordered that Kyoto not be the target of air strikes or nuclear weapons.
    Its air pollution levels are not nearly as bad as Tokyo's.

Credit: Wang

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