Kiyamachi-dori Street (木屋町通)

Kiyamachi-dori Street is one of the major streets running north-south in Kyoto City.

It extends from Nijo-dori Street in the north to Shichijo-dori Street in the south. Located west of Pontocho, it runs along the east side of Takase-gawa River (Kyoto prefecture).

South of Sanjo-dori Street, Nishi-kiyamachi-dori Street runs parallel to it on the west side of Takase-gawa River except for some areas.

In the Keicho era, Ryoi SUMINOKURA improved it with the excavation of the Takase-gawa River.

The district along the street, when the street opened, was initially called 'Korikimachi' but came to be called 'Kiyamachi' after it was lined with many lumber warehouses which stored lumber carried by ships called Takasebune. Names such as Kamiyacho, Nabeya-cho, and Komeya-cho, still remain, which is evidence as to how brisk business used to be in those days.

In the mid-Edo period, restaurants, inns, liquor shops targeted at travellers and merchants started to be established along the street, changing the district into a restaurant and amusement area. At the end of the Edo period, loyal supporters of the Emperor used inns for their secret meetings and monuments which act as memorials for locations where Ryoma SAKAMOTO and Kogoro KATSURA took refuge and were assassinated, can be found along the street. Martyrs include Masujiro OMURA, Seiichiro HONMA, and Shozan SAKUMA.

In 1895, trams by the Kyoto Electric Railway (later Kyoto Municipal Streetcar) started to run between Nijo-dori Street and Gojo-dori Street. In the 1920's, the rails for the trams were moved to Kawaramachi-dori Street when it was widened.

Current situation
The street has been improved by planting cherry trees along the side of the Takase-gawa River and adopting a sidewalk design that protrudes into lanes in places in order to make cars slow down.

The section between Sanjo-dori Street and Shijo-dori Street is crammed with multinational restaurants as well as bars and high-class Japanese-style restaurants.

With an increase in adult-entertainment businesses, the local community is taking security measures.

[Original Japanese]