Aesthetic Areas (美観地区)
An aesthetic area is an 'Area Designated for Conservation of Scenic Beauty of Cities' (City Planning Act Article 9).
It is one of local areas which can be designated by local governments and is an area where building restrictions can be imposed on the layouts and structures, etc. of buildings in order to conserve the beauty in the places maintaining harmonious, well-balanced architectural beauty. Specifically, it can be an area where the colors of buildings, and outdoor advertisements are restricted.
Once an aesthetic area is designated, the structures and facilities of buildings in the area can be restricted by regulations of the local government. However, there are many cases where an aesthetic area is designated, but regulations have not been established yet.
In Kyoto City where an aesthetic area is best maintained, a total of approximately 1800 hectares is designated as an aesthetic area, and architectural structures are regulated by an ordinance on urban area landscape improvement. Other than this, Kurashiki Bikan Chiku (Kurashiki beautiful sight area) is famous, and in many cases 'aesthetic area' means Kurashiki Bikan Chiku.
The first designated aesthetic area consists of the nearby spots surrounding the Imperial Palace located in the center of Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, and the designation was received in 1933.