is a city
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

 in the central part of the island of Honshū
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan
Capital of Japan
The capital of Japan, where the seat of the Government of Japan and home of the Emperor are located, is de facto. While this is generally not in dispute, the capital de jure is unclear. There is a dispute as to exactly when Tokyo became the capital. Some state that it occurred when Tokyo...

, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.
Although archaeological
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 evidence places the first human settlement on the islands of Japan to approximately 10,000 BC, relatively little is known about human activity in the area before the 6th century AD, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine
Shimogamo Shrine
Shimogamo Shrine, called Shimogamo-jinja in Japanese, is the common name of an important Shinto sanctuary in the Shimogamo district of Kyoto city's Sakyō ward. Its formal name is Kamo-mioya-jinja...

 is believed to have been established.