Kyoto Shimbun was founded in 1879 as the Kyoto Shoji Jimpo. As the voice of the local community, deeply rooted in local traditions,the Kyoto Shimbun has devoted itself, for upwards of a century, to the development of the Kyoto and Shiga communities. Company policy, to uphold “justice, freedom and truth” has sustained the Kyoto Shimbun throughout many years of reporting and lively discussion. According to a survey carried out in 1999, the morning edition of the newspaper runs to 507,000 copies and the evening edition to 321,000. In the newspaper's home town of Kyoto, the circulation rate is over 50%.

While the Kyoto Shimbun focuses closely on what is happening in the local community, it aims also to offer a more global point of view. In addition to a section on news of particular relevance to Kyoto citizens, the newspaper also includes no fewer than nine supplementary local news sections so that it can offer readers accurate and detailed coverage of the most up-to-date news on matters of local interest. For international news and news about the rest of Japan apart from Kyoto and Shiga, the Kyoto Shimbun's readers depend upon the newspaper's sharp and to-the-point reports which make use of the first rate reporting facilities and communication network of the Kyodo News Service.

Kyoto, which became Japan's capital in 794, a position which she did not relinquish for over 1000 years, is an area rich in Japan's splendid heritage of culture and tradition. In addition, the location of famous universities and high technology industries in the region is symbolic of Kyoto's place in giving birth to new fields of academic endeavor and frontier technology.

The Kyoto Shimbun, which has its head office in this treasure store of traditional culture, organizes a wide range of cultural events including art exhibitions, lectures and seminars. The Kyoto Shimbun also helps to encourage local sport by organizing school baseball competitions and Inter-prefectural Women's Ekiden, which have led to a nationwide boom in such events.