Kyoto is an inland city sitting in fertile basin protected by rivers and mountains which made it the ideal location for the ancient capital of Japan for 600 years. The Kyoto Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama, all less than 1000m above sea level. It is bisected by three rivers - to the east flows the Kamogawa River (which The Ritz-Carlton sits on), to the west, the Katsuragawa, and to the south, the Ujigawa River.
The former capital of Japan contains more cultural assets than any other part of Japan. The concentration of assets stretching back 600 years from the Heian Period to the Edo Period can be viewed through the city and its environs. 2000 temples and shrines (including 17 World Cultural Heritage Sites) from the Heian period (794 to 1185 A.D) to the Edo period (1603 and 1867) have shaped the city’s development. The city also has world-famous samurai movie sets, private residences and gardens recording ownership through tens of generations, and exclusive by-introduction-only restaurants frequented by geisha. Approximately 20% of the national treasures of Japan and about 14% of the important cultural properties are stored or located in the city of Kyoto.