Oike-dori Street (御池通)

Oike-dori Street is one of the major east-west thoroughfares in Kyoto City.

The street, which runs through the central part of Nakagyo Ward in central Kyoto City, has the widest section in the city from Kawabata-dori Street to the Horikawa-dori Street. The Tozai Line of Kyoto Municipal Subway/Kyoto City Subway runs below it.

It corresponds to Sanjo-bomon-koji Street in Heiankyo. The 4.9-kilometer street, extending from Kawabata Street in the east to Tenjingawa-dori Street at Uzumasa in the west, is at one point bisected by Nijo Station.
Although some say the name Oike originates from a nearby pond of Shinsenen, a topography titled 'Kyo Suzume' (Kyoto sparrow) published in 1665 says, 'This Sanjo Bomondono street is called Hachimancho-dori in the east, …Oike-dori in the west, as there was Oikecho at Muromachi on this street; long ago the Imperial Palace Kamoidono (palace of ducks) was there, and it had the pond with ducks; this place is supposed to be.'

The place names of 'Oikenomachi,' 'Tatsuikecho' and 'Nijodencho' have remained around Karasuma Oike. The site of Nijodono, having this pond, was once a mansion owned by the Nijo family, which was originally the Nijo New Imperial Palace (Nijo Castle) built for Nobunaga ODA. The theory of Oike-dori named after the Shinsenen has emerged recently and may have to give way to the theory of Oike-dori as named after the Nijodono Oike. A monument of 'the site of Nijodono Oike' remains at Muromachi-dori Oike Agaru.

Kawabata-dori Street - Horikawa-dori Street

The eastern-end section between Kawabata-dori Street and Horikawa-dori Street is eight lanes wide because, during World War II, houses along the street were forced to move in order to create a fire-blocking belt. This section having side roads was lined with 212 tall, fully grown zelkova trees, which were planted along the median strip and the side divider in 1953 or later. However, between 1990 and 1991 the trees were moved to Umekoji Park before the construction work of the Tozai Subway Line.

Today in this section, the streetlights, traffic lights and signs guiding travelers to the north-south roads are of a unified design. GK Kyoto made this design. The sidewalks have been widened because the dividers were removed and the traffic lanes were laid out in the center. Two hundred and twenty-three new zelkova trees have been planted along the street between the sidewalk and the driving lane, but they are still incomparable with the previous excellent roadside trees; it will take more than 20 years for the new trees to grow as tall. There is an underground shopping center, along with a city-run underground parking area, at Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae.

The street is part of the route for Yamahoko Junko (procession of Gion Festival Floats) and, in addition, parades for a variety of events are held with the flow of traffic shut down.

There are three railway stations along the street: Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station, Karasuma Oike Station, and Nijojo-mae Station of the Subway Tozai Line.

Crossing Roads

East is upper, and west is lower. North is on the left, and south is on the right.

Roads are operated by local municipalities unless otherwise specified.

Traffic Volume
Fiscal year 2005 Average Weekday 24-Hour Traffic Volume (Statistical) (Road Traffic Census)

Kikkoyacho (Oike-dori, Takakura-higashi-iru), Nakagyo Ward: 40,143

Between Horikawa-dori Street and the east exit of Nijo Station

The street is narrower, having two lanes. Oshikoji-dori Street, which runs parallel just north, is wider with four lanes and serves as a detour; moreover, the Subway Tozai Line is also off the street northward and runs through this section under Oshikoji-dori Street.

Between Nijo Station West Exit and Sanjo-dori Street

The street was once narrow and separated from its eastern section by Nijo Station. With the construction of the continuous multi-level crossing of the Sanin Main Line as well as road widening work in the redevelopment of Nijo Station, the street has four lanes and is connected to Oshikoji-dori Street.

Underground, with the completion of construction, the Tozai Subway Line was officially extended to Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station on January 16, 2008. Nishioji-dori Oike Station was opened halfway at the crossing with Nishioji-dori Street. At the same time, construction work on the ground continued, and as a result Oike-dori Street now runs over Tenjingawa-dori Street and Uzumasa-tenjingawa-ekimae Terminal, and goes west to cross Sanjo Street. Sanjo-dori Street and Oike-dori Street run parallel east and west in the inner city, but in the west of Nishioji-dori Street, Sanjo-dori Street turns moderately northwest, causing the two streets to intersect. The crossing between Oike-dori Street and Sanjo-dori Street was called 'Sanjo-oike,' in accordance with the common practice of naming streets in Kyoto City.

Main facilities along the street

Oike-ohashi Bridge

Kyoto Hotel, Kawaramachi-dori Street kado

Kyoto City Municipal Government, Kawaramachi-dori Street kado (official address: Teramachi-dori Agaru)

Zest Oike (underground shopping center) between Kawaramachi and Teramachi

Kyoto Municipal Kyoto Oike Junior High School

Nijo Castle, Horikawa-dori Oshikoji-dori Agaru
It doesn't face Oike-dori Street.

Kingdom Hall, Omiya-dori Street Nishi Iri

Shinsenen between Omiya-dori Street and Shinsenen-dori Street

Sanjo Works, Shimadzu Corporation

The Yamanouchi Purification Plant, located between Kadonoji-dori Street and Tenjingawa-dori Street

Railway Station

Kyoto Municipal Subway/Kyoto City Subway

Tozai-Sen (Tozai Line), Kyoto City Subway

Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station - Karasuma Oike Station - Nijojo-mae Station - Nishioji-oike Station - Uzumasa-tenjingawa Station

Karasuma-Sen (Karasuma Line), Kyoto City Subway

Karasuma Oike Station

West Japan Railway Company (JR West)

San'in Main Line

Nijo Station

[Original Japanese]