James Jay Carafano
As the most savage war in modern history headed towards its climax, the grim debate was where to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. The first choice was Kyoto. Largely untouched by bombing, the cultural, religious, and historical icon of Japan was surrounded by mountains. From a targeting perspective this made the city ideal. The surrounding high ground would focus the blast, increasing the fireball’s destructive force. A pristine cityscape, so far untouched by the war, would allow for measuring the full extent of the damage that could be done. The U.S. Secretary of War had visited Kyoto in the 1920s. He knew its status as Japan’s intellectual and cultural capital and considered its destruction to be barbaric and argued to drop Kyoto from the target list. The president agreed. As a result, today not just the Japanese, but the world, can experience one of the beautiful, moving and significant places on earth-a must stop on our world tour.
Kyoto, once the ancient capital of Japan, is famous for its classical Buddhist temples, lush gardens, imposing imperial palaces, Shinto shrines, and traditional wooden houses.
When to visit? You can visit Kyoto at any time of year. The weather is temperate. That said, the most pleasant months are October/November and April/May. There are many festivals scattered throughout the year.
May is arguably the most beautiful month when all the flowers are blooming, just avoid the first week, the Golden Week Holiday. Most Japanese workers are on vacation and the sightseeing spots are super crowded. The hotels are also most expensive.