The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto were inscribed
on the World Heritage List in 1994. It is comprised of 17
components located in the Kyoto, Uji, and Otsu cities.
When Kyoto was founded in 794, the city played as the
imperial capital and center of Japanese culture for over
1,000 years. Its cultural importance is so great that its
historical sites were even spared during the bombings of
World War II. The 17 components are listed as The
Kiyomizudera Temple, Toji Temple, Enryakuji Temple,
Daigoji Temple, Ninnaji Temple, Byodoin Temple, Kozanji
Temple, Kokedera Temple, Tenryuji Temple, Kinkakuji
Temple, Ginkakuji Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Honganji
Temple, Kamigamo Shrine, Shimogamo Shrine, Ujigami
Shrine and Nijo Castle. Each property is a religious
establishment all except Nijo Castle.
The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto served as the hub of wooden architecture development with religious influences, as well as the cultivation of Japanese gardens between the 8th and 17th centuries. This level of garden design then flourished worldwide following the 19th century. Kyoto’s authenticity established a significant role in the creation of Japanese traditions and culture. In the aspect of wooden architecture and garden design, the monuments of Kyoto express the highest level of Japanese material culture of the pre-modern period. Its 17 components together hold 198 buildings and twelve gardens. Each component individually exhibits a high authenticity and intactness, providing a clear understanding of its importance in Japan’s ancient history.