Town names in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City (京都市上京区の町名)

This section on "Town names in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City" lists official town names in Kamigyo Ward and summarizes the period and process of their establishment.

Summary of Kamigyo Ward

Kamigyo Ward is located in the northern part of Kyoto urban area. Sakyo Ward is located in the east, Kita Ward (Kyoto City) is located in the north and west, and Nakagyo Ward is located in the south. It covers an area of 7.11 square kilometers. Its population is estimated to be about 82,000 as of March 2009.

In 1879, 'Kamigyo Ward' and 'Shimogyo Ward' were created in Kyoto Prefecture, which was before the Municipal Government Act of Kyoto City came into effect. In 1888, villages which had been a part of Otagi County were integrated into Kamigyo Ward. When the Municipal Government Act of Kyoto City came into effect in 1889, Kamigyo Ward became Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City. In 1918, Otagi County and villages which had been a part of Kadono County were integrated into Kamigyo Ward. In 1929, some of the areas of the southern and eastern part of the Kamigyo Ward were split off, and were integrated into the newly created Nakagyo Ward, Sakyo Ward, and Higashiyama Ward. The present boundary of the ward was formed in 1955 when the Kita Ward was separated. Areas of the former villages in Otagi County and Kadono County which had been integrated into Kamigyo Ward since the Meiji period, now belong to Kita Ward, Sakyo Ward, and Higashiyama Ward.

The Kamo-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system) runs in the east, and the Tenjin-gawa River runs in the west, and they each serve to form borders between the Wards. In the east, there is a Kyoto Gyoen National Garden including Kyoto Imperial Palace that covers large area. Other places in Kamigyo Ward include Shokoku-ji Temple, Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, Doshisha University Campus, and Kyoto Prefectural Government.

Indication of residential address by the use of street names

Indication of residential address in Japan is usually expressed not by the street names which the building faces, but are expressed by the name of the town or aza (an administrative designation of small sections into which some of the rural districts of Japan are divided) where the building is located; however, indication of residential address with 'street names' is used exceptionally for the urban area of Kyoto. According to this method, the street name which a house or a building directly faces is being mentioned first, and then a name of an intersecting street in the nearest area is added, followed by the expressions such as 'Agaru' (to the north of), 'Sagaru' (to the south of), 'Higashiiru' (to the east of) and 'Nishiiru' (to the west of).

A-dori Street, B-nishiiru:
The building faces A-dori Street (a street going east and west) and is located in the spot which is in the west from the intersection with B-dori Street (a street going north and south).

C-dori Street, D-agaru:
The building faces C-dori Street (a street going north and south) and is located in the spot which is in the north from the intersection with D-dori Street (a street going east and west).

Some addresses are indicated only by the street names as shown above, while others are followed by town names after the indication such as 'A-dori Street, B-nishiiru.'
For example, the location of Kyoto Prefectural Government is in Yabunouchi-cho, Kamigyo Ward, but this is indicated as 'Shimotachiuri-dori Shinmachi-nishiiru Yabunouchi-cho, Kamigyo Ward.'

Number of town names, etc.

The town names of Kyoto City are categorized into those using their former village names or former Oaza (large section of village) such as 'Ohara Raikoin-cho' (in this case, 'Ohara' is the former name) and those using an independent name of a town such as 'Kameya-cho' and 'Kikuya-cho,' and all of the town names in Kamigyo Ward uses independent town names.

According to the second volume of "Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten No. 26 Kyoto-Fu" (Kadokawa dictionary of place-names of Japan, No.26 Kyoto Prefecture), there were officially 577 declared towns in 1980. ('1, 2, and 3-chome, Sasaya-cho' and '4 and 5-chome, Sasaya' are counted as one town respectively.)
The number of towns remains unchanged as of 2009.

Indication of residential address based on 'Act on Indication of Residential Address' is not implemented in Kyoto City, and the official town names within the city are based on 'Municipal Ordinance of Jurisdiction Districts of Kyoto City' (Act No. 7 of Kyoto Municipal Ordinance, April 1, 1949). 581 towns are mentioned in the 'Municipal Ordinance of Jurisdiction Districts' as those that belong to Kamigyo Ward, and there is a difference between the '577 towns' mentioned above. This is because 'chome' in '1, 2 and 3-chome, Sasaya-cho', '4 and 5-chome, Sasaya', and '1 and 2-chome, Inokuma' are being counted as one town, resulting in the difference by four towns.

History of Kamigyo Ward

In the early modern Kyoto, the area north of Nijo-dori Street was referred to as Kamigyo, and the area south of Nijo-dori Street was referred to as Shimogyo; and chogumi (town society) called 'Twelve town societies of Kamigyo' and 'Kinri Rokucho town society' were formed in Kamigyo, and 'Eight town societies of Shimogyo' were formed in Shimogyo. Chogumi was an union of neighboring towns and a self-governing organization, and although its origin is unclear, its existence can be confirmed already in the Muromachi period.

With the establishment of Kyoto Prefecture in 1868, the chogumi of Kamigyo was organized into bangumi (town unit) Nos. 1 to 45, but in the following year in 1869, they were reorganized into Kamigyo bangumi Nos. 1 to 33. In 1872, Kamigyo bangumi Nos. 1 to 33 were reorganized into to Kamigyo ward Nos. 1 to 33, and although it remains unchanged in terms of dividing the ward into 33, the order in which the wards are being numbered are changed, such as the former bangumi No.1 being numbered to ward No. 3. When Kamigyo Ward and Shimogyo Ward were created inside Kyoto Prefecture in 1879, the above-mentioned 'wards' were renamed as 'kumi' without making changes to their numbers, and became Kamigyo kumi Nos. 1 to 33. With the enforcement of Municipal Government Act of Kyoto City in 1889, Kamigyo Ward and Shimogyo Ward became the wards of Kyoto City. Unlike the early-modern times in Kyoto, instead of Nijo-dori Street, Sanjo-dori Street became the border between Kamigyo Ward and Shimogyo Ward. In the meantime, by 1882, Kamigyo kumi No.12 of was integrated into Kamigyo kumi No.11. In 1888, Kamigyo kumi No. 34 was created in the area of the former Otagi County which had been integrated into the Kamigyo Ward in the same year.

In 1892, 'kumi' was reorganized into 'school district.'
The former Kamigyo kumi Nos. 1 to 33 were reorganized into Kamigyo school district Nos. 1 to 28. The total decreased from 33 to 28, for there were cases where two or three kumi were combined to form one school district. Of the 28 school districts, district Nos. 1 to 17 were nearly equivalent to the present-day Kamigyo Ward; district Nos. 18 to 26 equal to a part of Nakagyo Ward while district Nos. 27 and 28 equal to a part of Sakyo Ward.

In 1929, a part of Kamigyo Ward was split into the newly created Nakagyo Ward, Higashiyama Ward, and Sakyo Ward. In the same year, the names of elementary schools were added to the names of the school districts to be referred to as 'Seiitsu school district,' 'Muromachi school district,' and so on. With the proclamation of Kokumin gakko rei (Act of elementary schools) in 1941, school district system was abolished.
Therefore, these school districts are not official administrative district todady, but they are still used as aliases of areas in the form of 'former school districts.'
Meanwhile, due to the integration and abolition of schools, there is no consistency between the old school districts and the present-day attendance units.

The table below is the summary of the changes described above.

The changes of former school districts in Kamigyo Ward

Town names in Kamigyo Ward have succeeded most of the borders and names of the towns since the early-modern times. However, there are quite a few towns that were established by merger of several towns in the early Meiji period and given a new name, or towns that were newly established in areas that didn't have traditional town names such as the estate of Kitano Tenjin Shrine.
The area of Kyoto Imperial Garden is given a town name, 'Kyoto Gyoen.'
This 'Kyoto Gyoen' as a town of Kamigyo Ward was established in 1960. Other towns in Kamigyo Ward had been established by the early Meiji period at the latest.

Most of the area of the former Shoran school district in the northwestern part of Kamigyo Ward is the estate of Kitano Tenjin Shrine which was integrated into Kamigyo in 1868. However, most of the town names in this area have been passed on since the early-modern times. Most of the area of Ninna school district in the southwest part of Kamigyo Ward is a part of the former Juraku village, Nishinokyo village and Taishogun village of Kadono County, and the areas in these villages which had developed into towns from earlier times were integrated into Kamigyo in 1868. Most of the town names in this area have been also derived since the early-modern times.

List of official town names

For the town names listed in the order of fifty Japanese syllables, refer to the external link with the postal code list.

Same town names in the ward

There are 33 pairs mentioned below which are examples of the same town names that exist in different places within Kamigyo Ward. For example, a town called 'Imadegawa-cho,' other than in 'Imadegawa-dori Karasuma-nishiiru,' which is located in the northeast of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, exists in 'Motoseiganji-dori Jofukuji-nishiiru' which is few hundred meters to the west. These are not the so-called detached towns, but individual towns with different origins. These two 'Imadegawa-cho' have different postal codes (the same is true for other towns that have the same name).

Towns in Kamigyo Ward that have more than one town with the same name
1-chome (three locations), Imadegawa-cho, Ebisu-cho, Ogi-cho, Oinokuma-cho, Omiya-cho, Kashira-cho, Kameya-cho (four locations), Kikuya-cho, Kita-machi, Kojin-cho, Kodo-cho, Konoe-cho, Komeya-cho, Sakae-cho, 3-chome, Shinmei-cho, Daikobu-cho, Takatsukasa-cho, Tamaya-cho, Tsukinuke-cho (three locations), Nakano-cho, Nakano-cho (four locations), Nishioji-cho, Nishikitakoji-cho, Nishi-cho (three locations), 2-chome, Higashihashizume-cho, Higashi-cho (three locations), Hishiya-cho, Bishamon-cho (three locations), Masuya-cho (three locations), 4-chome (three locations)
There are two locations each for towns without notations.

Towns with zero population

The following towns have zero population on Basic Resident Register as of April 1, 2009.

Genbu-cho (Muromachi school district)

Tsuchida-cho (Nishijin school district)

Hashizume-cho, Horikawashimono-cho (Toen school district):

In the present-day, whole area of both towns is the road on Horikawa-dori Street.

Tokiwaidono-cho (Kyogoku school district)

Horikawashimono-cho (Juraku school district)

Ogi-machi (Churitsu school district):

Only the ground of the Junior High School

Higashi Hinodono-cho (Churitsu school district)

Ryogoryo-cho (Shigeno school district)


The '4-chome' of Taiken school district and '4-chome' of Shigeno school district are next to each other with Horikawa-dori Street running in between.

Konoe-cho, Takatsukasa-cho:
Both towns include two towns with the same town name within the Shigeno school district.

5-chome, 5-chome-cho:
Both towns belong to Shigeno school district

The town is a part of the campus site of Doshisha University.

[Original Japanese]