Kyoto is a city 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 of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. With temples, parks, bustling business districts, markets, from regal estates to the tightly-packed neighborhoods, Kyoto is one of the oldest and most famous Asian metropolises.
In Japanese, the city has been called Kyō , Miyako or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto ("capital city"), after the Chinese word for capital city, jingdu. After Edo was renamed Tokyo (meaning "Eastern Capital") in 1868, Kyoto was known for a short time as Saikyō ( meaning "Western Capital").
An obsolete spelling for the city's name is Kioto; it was formerly known to the West as Meaco Japanese: ; miyako, meaning "the seat of Imperial palace" or "capital".) Another term commonly used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi , meaning "metropolis" or "capital".