Surrounded by mountains on the east, north, and west sides, the city becomes very hot and humid during summer time, and especially cold in winter. Many temples and shrines are built in the traditional Japanese architectural styles, out of which some are registered as World Heritage sites of UNESCO. On the other hand, many buildings - such as school and offices - are constructed in European style, as citizens try to import the style to Asia.
Kyoto is one of oldest cities in Japan, often visited in spring while the cherry blossom or in autumn when leaves change color. One of the oldest novels in the world - Shikibu Murasaki's The Tale of Genji - is set in Heian Era Kyoto.
Kyoto is a major cultural and educational center in Japan, hosting Kyoto University, the second oldest national university of Japan. The city is famous for three great festivals: Gion festival, Aoi festival in the summer, and Jidai festival in the autumn.
Although the city was destroyed by many wars and fires, Kyoto was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II, therefore priceless values have survived.
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