Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, it is now the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture located in the Kansai region, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. Kyoto is also known as the thousand-year capital.
In Japanese, the city has been called Kyō (京), Miyako (都), or Kyō no Miyako (京の都). In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto (“capital city”), after the Chinese word for capital city, jingdu (京都). After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo (東京, meaning “Eastern Capital”) in 1868, and the seat of the Emperor was transferred there, Kyoto was known for a short time as Saikyō (西京, meaning “Western Capital”).
Obsolete spellings for the city’s name include Kioto, Miaco and Meaco. Another term commonly used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi (京師), meaning “metropolis” or “capital”.