Our Heritage

Former Capital

Kyoto was formerly the capital of Japan for one thousand years, because of this Kyoto is filled with traditional and classical Japanese culture, customs and architecture. With over 3,500 beautiful temples and shrines which are full of history and ritual there is also an abundance of gardens, including a bamboo forest and palaces. Kyoto is also renowned for its profusion of delicious food and cuisine. In the heart of Kyoto hidden amongst the modern buildings, traditional wooden structures can be found that although at first appear to be misplaced unquestionably add to the mystery and enchantment of the city.

Kyoto History

Kyoto is the heart of Japan’s Geisha world where young ladies train for five years to become a Geiko. During the training period they are known as Maiko. A Geisha is a prestigious, highly trained and skilled entertainer who appears at high-end dinner parties or events to add a special touch to the proceedings. Other cities in Japan have some versions of Geisha but they do not usually undergo the strict training that defines Kyoto’s Maiko or Geiko.

Kyoto has a wealth of beauty and history, these are indisputable characteristics associated with the city, but the culture and values affiliated with Kyoto should not be overlooked. These are plentiful in number and held in high regard and importance throughout Kyoto. Trust, loyalty and respect are just to name a few of the values Kyoto residents hold in high esteem. One of the most important aspects of Kyoto culture is the significance of original, first-class and authentic products. This is likely due to the fact that Kyoto was the capital for so long and the Emperor only accepted superior items. Any business that lacks true value or quality would struggle to survive in Kyoto.

Kyoto Culture

In 1945 at the first HORIBA Laboratory there was a necessity for a capacitor for nuclear physics experiments, so in true HORIBA style one was built to fulfil this requirement. Along with the capacitor that HORIBA made, a pH meter was also developed to control the pH value of the capacitor’s electrolyte. The capacitor became renowned for its functions and the quality and performance of the pH meter was also very well received. As a result, HORIBA decided to manufacture pH meters commercially and before long HORIBA became famous for its pH meters. Eight years later in 1953, HORIBA took its first steps as a manufacturer of measurement instruments.

As a result of being established in Kyoto, HORIBA has grown and developed sharing the same culture and set of values. Companies, including HORIBA, that were founded in Kyoto habitually go above and beyond for their customers ensuring that not only pride is put into all work but total customer satisfaction and high reliability is achieved. Building long term relationships with customers is central to any business in Kyoto putting trustworthiness and dependability into the core of any business transaction. As well as this, for HORIBA, there is a sense of belonging for all employees and workers are seen as vital team players with valid input and worth.

Due to Kyoto’s historic value and plethora of Japanese culture, authentic Kyoto items are highly sought after. The city is rife with tradition with old-style crafts still taking place such as tea ceremonies, old-fashioned sweet making and kimono making. There is a sense of pride in the production of these traditional methods with audiences invited to watch. Kyoto is one of the world’s top tourist destinations where people travel to see the must-see sights as well as exploring the historical treasures hidden within the narrow streets.

Kyoto Lifestyle

The residents of Kyoto are very helpful and obliging; no job is too small or too much trouble and care is taken with every detail. They are excellent hosts and welcome everyone with open arms. This is apparent when observing those in customer-facing roles, from shop-keepers, to cleaners, taxi drivers and traffic wardens; uniforms are worn with pride and the public are greeted with a smile.

Respect is also a major part of Kyoto and HORIBA culture. Respect is not only shown for each other but also for nature and ancestors. Shoes are removed when entering buildings such as restaurants and offices. The footwear is neatly lined up or tucked away at the entrances with indoor footwear worn in their place. This custom represents the transition from being outside to going inside and is recognised through-out Japan.

The 3,500 shrines and temples play a big part in Kyoto lifestyle and when visited, the smell of incense fills the air. There is a temple that represents each aspect of Kyoto life such as education, love and health. Residents will visit these shrines when seeking assistance or reassurance associated to that particular shrine. An example of this can be observed in the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine where school children can be seen praying for success in their studies. The shrines are peaceful, quiet places filled with the sense of thoughtfulness and reflection. They are a place of calm.

Contrasting to the serenity of the shrines and temples is the hustle and bustle of Nishiki Market where bartering for mysterious ingredients takes place. The market is narrow and five blocks long. It is lined with hundreds of shops and restaurants and is known as "Kyoto's Kitchen" due to the variety of culinary delights it holds that Kyoto is famous for. Like all of Kyoto the market has a deep history of several centuries, with many stores being operated by the same families for generations. Today it remains an important market for Kyoto and is often packed with locals and tourists alike. Although Nishiki Market is busy the atmosphere is pleasant and inviting for those who want to explore it.

Kyoto Values

In all places within the sights and diversity of Kyoto the polite culture and deep set values are prominent with the messages of respect, quality and value being ubiquitous. The culture and values of Kyoto are not only acknowledged and admired by HORIBA globally but are also embedded in our working practices and most importantly enable us to provide the superior value, quality products and service that is to be expected from a company that has its heart and soul in Kyoto.