Teramachi-dori Street (寺町通)

Teramachi-dori Street is one of the major north-south streets in Kyoto City. It runs from Shimei-dori Street in the north to Gojo-dori Street in the south. It corresponds to Higashikyogoku-oji Street in Heian-kyo.

The street, which was once the main thoroughfare and bordered the east edge of Heian-kyo, runs along east side of Kyoto Gosho (Old Imperial Palace), because Kyoto Gosho was relocated to its present site after the decline of Ukyo (the western part of the capital) and perpetuated disorder. The street obtained the name "Teramachi (literally temple district)" because Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's recreation of Kyoto led many temples to move into the east side of this street. Honno-ji Temple was also relocated along this street at this time from what is now Motohonnoji-minami-cho, Nakagyo Ward. The purpose of bringing temples together in this district was to levy taxes efficiently and defend Kyoto. The arrangement of temples in line with the city's eastern Odoi Fortress is said to have been aimed at damping the morale of troops entering the city from the east.

The street was once the major north-south thoroughfare, and steetcars (which were operated by Kyoto Electric Railway and later purchased by Kyoto City Trams) ran from Imadegawa-dori Street to Nijo-dori Street. When Kawaramachi-dori Street was widened in the 1920s and the tracks of the streetcars were transferred there, Teramachi-dori Street yielded its position as a main street to Kawaramachi-dori Street.

The section from Marutamachi-dori Street to Nijo-dori Street is a shopping street filled with antique stores, galleries and antiquarian bookshops belonging to the Teramachi Shopping District Promotion. The section from the Oike-dori Street to Shijo-dori Street is an arcade of shops, and it's closed to traffic during the daytime. The section from Oike-dori Street to Sanjo-dori Street is Teramachi Shopping Street, and the section from Sanjo-dori Street to Shijo-dori Street, which parallels Shinkyogoku-dori Street, is the Teramachi-Kyogoku Shopping Street. The section between Shijo-dori Street and Takatsuji-dori Street was once Kyoto's largest electronic quarter, which was smaller than in scale but can be compared to Akihabara and Denden Town; now, however, the electric goods shops decline in number from their flourishing past, like in Nihonbashi and Osu, and are being replaced by new urban-style apartments.

The street between Oike-dori Street and Shijo-dori Street is a public nonsmoking area.

Main facilities along the street

From the north
Jozen-ji Temple (One of Kyoto Roku-jizo (Kyoto six Ksitigarbhas)), Kuramaguchi-dori Street
Kamigoryo-jinja Shrine, Kamigoryomae-dori Nishi Iru (to the west of Kamigoryomae-dori)
Hakuun-so, Ritsumeikan (the former residence of Kojuro NAKAGAWA and now facilities owned by Ritsumeikan), Imadegawa Agaru (to the north of Imadegawa)
Honman-ji Temple, Hirokoji-dori (Kyoto City) Agaru (to the north of Hirokoji-dori)
Honzen-ji Temple, Hirokoji Agaru (to the north of Hirokoji)
Shojokein Temple, Hirokoji Agaru (to the north of Hirokoji)
Rozan-tendai-koji Temple (Rozan-ji Temple), Hirokoji Agaru (to the north of Hirokoji)

Kyoto Gyoen National Park, Kyoto Gosho (Old Imperial Palace) from Imadegawa-dori Street to Marutamachi-dori Street
Nashinoki-jinja, Hirokoji Agaru (to the north of Hirokoji)
Kyoto Prefectural Oki High School, Kojinguchi-dori Street
Kyoto City Museum of Historical Materials, Kamikiri-doshi Street
Niijima-kaikan, Doshisha, Marutamachi-dori Agaru (to the north of Marutamachi-dori)
Shimogoryo-jinja Shrine, Marutamachi Sagaru (to the south of Marutamachi)
Gyogan-ji Temple, Takeyamachi-dori Street
Teramachi-kai Shopping District Promotion, from Marutamachi to Nijo
Kyo-teramachi-kai, from Nijo to Oike
Kyoto City Municipal Government, Oike-dori Kado (corner of Oike-dori Street)
Honno-ji Temple, Oike Sagaru (to the south of Oike)
Teramachi Shopping Street, from Oike to Sanjo
Teramachi-Kyogoku Shopping Street, from Sanjo to Shijo
Kyoto Nishiki Food Market
Kawaramachi Station (Kyoto Prefecture), underground of Shijo-dori Street
Fuji Daimaru, Shijo Kado (corner of Shijo)
Teramachi Electronics Quarter, from Shijo to Takatsuji-dori Street

[Original Japanese]