Panda America is proud to be an official distributor of the Japan Mint for an exclusive program featuring Japan's numerous regions. This program focuses on the Japanese Prefectures. In Japan, the Prefectures are our version of States - here in America we have 50 states, in Japan, they have 47 prefectures, which have a similar type of governing authority as our states. Legal Tender, 1000-Yen color silver proof coins for 47 prefectures will be issued from 2008 until 2016. Each coin is 1 oz. of 99.9% silver, and comes housed in an attractive and colorful holder with pictures and information about the prefecture. The program began last year with coins from Hokkaido, the largest prefecture of Japan, and continues in 2009 with the newest prefecture coin, KYOTO! Kyoto is located in the middle of Japan, as shown on the map above. For most of its history Kyoto was known as the Imperial Capitol of Japan, and although the capitol of Japan has been changed to Tokyo, Kyoto remains Japan's cultural capitol. In addition, one of Japan's most famous exports, Nintendo, is head quartered in Kyoto.
The coins of the prefectures will feature designs and images that are specific to that prefecture. As such, the Kyoto coin features Scene 3 of Yadorigi, Chapter 49 of "The PictureScroll of the Tale of Genji (National Treasure of Japan)". The coins are colorized and have a strict mintage limit of only 100,000 pieces per prefecture. The reverse design features snow crystals, moon and cherry blossoms. The color of the coin is white, black, blue, red, brown and green, and the diameter is 40 mm. The edge of the coin features helical ridges. These beautiful coins come directly from the Japan Mint, and are now available from official distributor Panda America.