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. One historical nickname for the city is the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.NameIn 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.An obsolete spelling for the city's name is Kioto; it was formerly known to the West as Meaco Another term commonly used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "metropolis" or "capital".HistoryOriginsAlthough archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto basin as early as the Paleolithic period, relatively little is known about human activity in the area before the 6th century AD, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.Heian-kyōDuring the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, the Emperor chose to relocate the capital to a region far from the Buddhist influence. Emperor Kammu selected the village of Uda, at the time in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province, for this honour.