Kyoto was formerly the Imperial capital of Japan. It is located in the central part of the Honshu island. It is the subject of several wars, because whoever it is who has control over the Imperial Capital has control over all of Japan itself.
Kyoto was Japan’s Imperial capital from 794, which was the beginning of the Heian period in Japan, until the seat of government was transferred to Edo in 1868. Because it was the Imperial capital, several battles over control over the city were fought—this includes the Genpei war.
The city suffered destructions during the Onin war which aimed to take control of the same, thus the city was destroyed and has not fully recovered until the 1500s. However, Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities which still has traditional pre-war buildings, such as the machiya.
Nowadays, Kyoto is made more prominent because of the Kyoto protocol, as it was Kyoto which hosted the convention on Greenhouse gas.
The Kyoto protocol is an environmental treaty which legally binds and commits its signatories to promote and make moves against the production of greenhouse gases. This move is to help the environment, as called for by the United Nations.