Shibutani Kaido (渋谷街道)

Shibutani kaido or Shibutani-dori Street, Shibutani-goe is one of the streets in Kyoto City which crosses Higashiyama (Kyoto Prefecture) and connects Kyo (Kyoto) and Yamashina Ward.

About the Name

Shibutani was called Shirutani (written 滑谷 Shirutani and 瀋谷 Shirutani), and the name originated from the street, which was always slippery from a mixture of water that splashed onto the street from a nearby swamp and fallen leaves.

A long time ago, it was called Kuzumeji (久々目路), Kuzumeji (苦集滅道).

It was also called Umamachi-dori Street.


The street has been in existence for a long time, and even today it is possible to see the letters 'Kuzumeji' from the "Tale of Hogen."

During the Kamakura period, the Rokuhara tandai (an administrative and judicial agency in Rokuhara, Kyoto) of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) established this street on the Kyoto side, making it an an important entrance from the east to the Kyo.

However, the Rokuhara tandai was overthrown, and the Hinooka-goe, located to the north, became positioned as the main raid for Tokaido, reducing it's use to that of a side street in recent times.

Kazando (tunnel) was dug during Higashiyama in the Meiji period.

Higashiyama Tunnel on National Route 1 was established on the south side of Kazando.

At present, the Kyoto and Yamashina side are both used as a bypath to avoid the congestion which occurs on National Route 1.


Kyoto Prefectural Road 116 Shibutani-Yamashina Teishajo Line which corresponds to Shibutani kaido, starts from Higashioji-dori Street (Umamachi Crossing), but the origin for Shibutani kaido in Kyoto is Honmachi-dori Street which is one street to the east.

During Rokuhara tandai's age of prospertity, horse moorings existed in order to send them to Kamakura, which many people came to see, and it became known as Umamachi (horse town).

Umamachi suffered from air raids during the Pacific War.

At present, Shibutani kaido is connected to National Route 1 at Higashiyama Tunnel, but Jindo Tunnel which is located on the north side of Higashiyama Tunnel used to be a tunnel for Shibutani kaido (Kazando).

Also, it runs east to Daigodo (Shibuya Daigodo Crossing) on the Yamashina side, but changes course to the north and combines with Tokaido at Gojo wakare.

[Original Japanese]