Tensho Zoning (天正の地割)

During the Tensho era Kyoto underwent city redevelopment ordered by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, which included the construction of new roads and subsequent changes to administrative divisions.


Both north-south and east-west roads in Heiankyo were arranged at intervals of about 120 meters, dividing Kyoto into square-shaped administrative districts. These divisions were used to denote the boundaries of nobles mansions and government officials' residences, but there was no particular advantage or disadvantage as to whether the house directly faced a street. With the development of commerce, however, an increasing number of houses were built with their front facing the street due to the inherent advantage of such construction. By the Muromachi period almost all houses were built facing a street, and thereby areas on both sides of a street began to constitute a 'machi' (Both-side town (Ryogawa machi)). Meanwhile, central parts of the squares that did not face a street became vacant lots and were rarely used.

In 1590, Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI built roads between north-south streets, making the vacant lots into new 'machi.'
This was a part of his reconstruction plan of Kyoto, along with the construction of Jurakudai residence and Odoi (earth enclosure), and the transfer of temples to the area along the Teramachi-dori Street. Through this, rectangle-shaped districts were created bordered by north-south streets at 120-meter intervals and east-west streets at 60-meter intervals, and continue to exist to this day.

The zoning covered Teramachi-dori Street in the east to Omiya-dori Street in the west. Many of the then newly built roads have their northern ends around Marutamachi-dori Street and southern ends around Gojo-dori Street. There are also many streets that were extended afterward. The new zoning did not create new streets in an area around Shijo Karasuma-dori Street (central Shimogyo), because it had been already urbanized. This is because square-shape districts of Heiankyo remain in this area.

For reference, Kenryo ASHIKAGA, a historical geographer advocated a theory that some of the north-south streets were built not by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI but by trades people from Kyoto and their northern ends were located at Oshikoji-dori Street.

Newly Built Roads

Listed in turn from the east. Roads listed in the same sentence are located in line with each other in the north-south direction.

Gokomachi-dori Street

Tominokoji-dori Street (Tominokoji-dori Street of Heiankyo corresponds to present-day Fuyamachi-dori Street.)

Sakaimachi-dori Street

Ainomachi-dori Street

Kurumayacho-dori Street -- Akezu-dori Street

Ryogaemachi-dori Street -- Suwancho-dori Street

Koromonotana-dori Street

Kamanza-dori Street -- Wakamiya-dori Street

Ogawa-dori Street -- Higashinakasuji-dori Street (Tenshinotsukinuke-dori Street)

Samegai-dori Street

Yoshiyamachi-dori Street -- Iwagami-dori Street

Kuromon-dori Street

[Original Japanese]