Kyoto once prospered as the capital of Japan and there are many historical cultural assets that remain in the city today. Among these is Kyu-Butokuden, Japan’s oldest martial arts competition hall, which, along with the Heian-Jingu Shrine, was built in 1899 as part of a project to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the establishment of Heiankyo (present-day Kyoto). The hall was designed by Matsumaro Shigemitsu, who is also responsible for the architecture of the former main building of Kyoto Prefectural Government Offices (an Important National Cultural Property). The Martial Arts School was later founded beside Kyu-Butokuden. These facilities became the home of traditional Japanese martial arts, and produced many noted martial artists and educators. Following World War II, however, U.S. military forces took over the facilities and the Martial Arts School was closed down. Even after American troops pulled out, Butokuden stood unused for an extended period of time. However, as calls for preservation and rehabilitation of this historic hall grew, its restoration was completed in 1987 with support from many martial arts enthusiasts. Being an important venue in the long history of Japanese martial arts, Kyu-Butokuden was designated as an Important National Cultural Asset in 1996. Surviving for more than one hundred years, it still remains a stately architectural structure. This martial arts hall of fame is now also used as a venue for international martial arts competitions, presenting visitors with a feel of the precious essence of Japanese martial arts.