Preservation Districts for Groups of Important Historic Buildings (重要伝統的建造物群保存地区)

The preservation districts for groups of important historic buildings refer to 'Historic Buildings Preservation Areas' ordained by local authorities under Article 144 of the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties of Japan, of which the state (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) selects those which are especially important.
They are often summarily referred to in Japanese as 'judenkenchiku,' 'judenken' or 'denken.'

Summary

The Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties defines 'a group of historic buildings' as that which forms a historic landscape in unison with its surrounding environments such as towns formed around castles, posts (shukuba), Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, ports, and/or farming or fishing villages.
This system is designed to preserve cultural property buildings in their 'aspect' (as a group) rather than as 'point' (individual entities).'
In the preservation areas it specifies not only buildings such as temples, shrines, houses, or warehouses but also 'structures' including gates, mud and stone walls, canals, and tombs, as well as 'environmental properties' such as gardens, hedges and trees. Once specified these areas are subject to preservation measures.

The local authorities determine 'preservation districts for groups of historic buildings' based on their city planning programs or ordinances. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology then 'selects' (rather than 'designates') those which are most important based on local authorities' recommendations. As of June 2008, 83 districts were selected across the country.

Issues concerning the Preservation Districts for Groups of Important Historic Buildings

In many selected preservation districts for groups of important historic buildings, roads have not been made suitable for automobile traffic. This is because most of the selected districts are located on islands or in mountainous regions which have been left out from the development of infrastructures and which have therefore remained inconvenient for traffic, resulting in the decline of local industries. Many issues therefore have arisen as to the relationship between historic buildings and city planning roads, or the handling of automobile traffic caused by increasing tourists when a district is selected for national preservation. Likewise, once a districted is selected for national preservation, buildings in the district may be subject to constraints on extension or rebuilding. Unmannerly behaviours of increasing tourists (noises, rubbish, traffic jams, etc.) may become negative factors for those who live in the areas.

In Tomonoura, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, the local authority cancelled a plan for building a bridge by reclaiming the Tono port as well as a townscape preservation plan since it considered that the bridge construction over the reclaimed port was inseparable from the preservation of the townscape.'
Inhabitants who want the area to be selected as nationally important historic buildings district urged the city to go ahead with the townscape preservation plan independently of the bridge construction plan. Cooperation between the administration and inhabitants is essential when a historic buildings area is recommended as a preservation district for a group of important historic buildings.

In the Order of Prefectures

Village, Town, City, Prefecture, Preservation District, Year of Selection, District Type
Moto-machi (Hakodate City) and Suehiro-cho (Hakodate City), Hakodate City, Hokkaido, 1989, port town
Naka-cho, Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture, 1978, buke-machi (former residential area of samurai)
Naka-machi (Kuroishi City), Kuroishi City, 2005, merchant town
Suwakoji, Kanegasaki-cho, Iwate Prefecture, 2001, buke-machi
Kakunodate, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, 1976, buke-machi
Ouchi-juku, Shimogo-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, 1981, post town
Akaiwa, Kuni-mura, Gunma Prefecture, 2006, mountainous sericulture town
Kawagoe, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, 1999, merchant town
Townscape of Sawara, Katori City, Chiba Prefecture, 1996, merchant town
Shukunegi, Sado City, Niigata Prefecture, 1991, port town
Yamachosuji, Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, 2000, merchant town
Ainokura (Gokayama), Nanto City, 1994, mountain village
Suganuma (Gokayama), Nanto City, 1994, mountain village
Higashiyama Higashi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, 2001, chaya-machi (traditional café town)
Kazue-machi, 2008, chaya-machi
Kaga Hashidate, Kaga City, 2005, senshu (ship-owner) village
Obama Nishigumi, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, 2008, chaya-machi
Kumagawa-juku, Wakasa-cho, 1996, post town
Akazawa, Hayakawa-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture, 1993, kochuyado (an inn for Buddhists' lecture meeting) and mountain village
Narai-juku, Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, 1978, post town
Kiso Hirasawa, 2006, shikko-machi (lacquer-artisan town)
Unno-juku, Tomi City, 1987, post and sericulture town
Tsumago-juku, Nagiso Town, 1976, post town
Aoni, Hakuba Village, 2000, mountain village
San-machi, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, 1979, merchant town
Shimonino-machi and Oshin-machi, 2004, merchant town
Mino-machi, Mino City, 1999, merchant town
Hondori, Iwamura-cho, Ena City, 1998, merchant town
Ogi-machi (Shirakawa Village) (Shirakawago), Shirakawa Village, 1976, mountain village
Seki-juku, Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture, 1984, post town
Sakamoto (Otsu City), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, 1997, temple town and 'satobogun' (monks' dwellings)
Hachiman, Omihachiman City Preservation District for a Group of Historic Buildings, Omihachiman City, 1991, merchant town
Gokashocho-kondo, Higashiomi City, 1998, agricultural village
Kamigamo, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, 1988, 'shake-machi' (town of Shinto shrine priests)
Sannei-zaka Slope, 1976, temple town
Gion-shinbashi, 1976, chaya-machi
Saga Toriimoto, 1979, temple town
Kayabuki no sato Kitamura, Nantan City, 1993, mountain village
Ineura, Ine-cho, 2005, fishing village
Kaya, Yosano-cho, 2005, weaving town
Tondabayashi Jinai-cho, Tondabayashi City, Osaka Prefecture, 1997, 'Zaigo-machi' (a village functioning as a town) and temple town
Yamamotodori, Kitano-machi, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, 1980, port town
Sasayama, Sasayama City Preservation District for a Group of Historic Buildings, Sasayama City, 2004, castle town
Izushi Toyooka City, 2007, castle town
Imai-cho, Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, 1993, temple town and autonomous city
Matsuyama (Uda City), Uda City, 2006, merchant town
Yuasa, Yuasa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture, 2006, brewery town
Utsubuki Tamagawa, Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture, 1998, merchant town
Omori-ginzan Silver Mine, Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, 1987, mining town
Yunotsu-onsen Hot Spring, 2004, port and hot spring town
Kurashiki Bikan Chiku (Scenic District), Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, 1979, merchant town
Fukiya, Takahashi City, 1977, mining town
Mitarai (Kure City), Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, 1994, port town
Takehara, Takehara City, 1982, salt industry town
Horiuchi-chiku Area, Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 1976, buke-machi
Hiyako-chiku Area, 1976, buke-machi
Hamasaki, 2001, port town
Furuichi (Yanai City) Kanaya (Yanai City), Yanai City, 1984, merchant town
Waki-machi Minami-machi, Mima City, Tokushima Prefecture, 1988, merchant town
Ochiai, Higashi-iya-son Village, Miyoshi City, 2005, mountain village
Kasajima (Marugame City), Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture, 1985, port town
Yokaichi-gogoku, Uchigo-cho, Ehime Prefecture, 1982, wax industry town
Kiragawa-cho, Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture, 1997, zaigo-machi
Yame Fukushima, Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture, 2002, merchant town
Chikugo Yoshii, Ukiha City, 1996, zaigo-machi
Akizuki, Asakura City, 1998, castle town
Hamashozu-machi and Hamakanaya-machi, Kashima City, Saga Prefecture, 2006, port town and zaigo-machi
Hachihongi-shuku, 2006, brewery town
Shiotatsu, Ureshino City, 2005, merchant town
Arita Uchiyama, Arita-cho, 1991, porcelain artisan town
Higashi-yamate, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, 1991, port town
Minami-yamate, 1991, port town
Konoura, Oshima Village, Hirado City, 2008, port town
Koujiro-kuji, Unzen City, 2005, buke-machi
Mameda-machi, Hita City, Oita Prefecture, 2004, merchant town
Obi, Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture, 1977, buke-machi
Mimitsu, Hyuga City, 1986, port town
Tonegawa, Shiiba-son Village, 1998, mountain village
Izumifumoto, Izumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 1995, buke-machi
Irikifumoto, Satsumasendai City, 2003, buke-machi
Chiran, Minami Kyushu City, 1981, buke-machi
Tonaki-jima Island, Tonaki-son Village, Okinawa Prefecture, 2000, agricultural village on the island
Taketomi-jima Island, Taketomi-cho, 1987, agricultural village

In the Ascending Order of Selection Year

Year of Selection, Preservation District, Village, Town, City, Prefecture, District Type
1976, Kakunodate, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, buke-machi
Tsumago-juku, Nagiso Town, Nagano Prefecture, post town
Ogi-machi (Shirakawa Village), Shirakawa Village, Gifu Prefecture, mountain village
Sannei-zaka Slope, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, temple town
Gion-shinbashi, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, chaya-machi
Horiuchi-chiku Area, Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, buke-machi
Hiyako-chiku Area, Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, buke-machi
1977, Fukiya, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture, mining town
Obi, Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture, buke-machi
1978, Naka-cho, Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture, buke-machi
Narai-juku, Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, post town
1979, San-machi, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, merchant town
Saga Toriimoto, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, temple town
Kurashiki Bikan Chiku (Scenic District), Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, merchant town
1980, Yamamotodori, Kitano-machi, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, port town
1981, Ouchi-juku, Shimogo-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, post town
Chiran, Minami Kyushu City, Kagoshima Prefecture, buke-machi
1982, Takehara, Takehara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, salt industry town
Yokaichi-gogoku, Uchigo-cho, Ehime Prefecture, wax industry town
1984, Seki-juku, Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture, post town
Furuichi (Yanai City) Kanaya (Yanai City), Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, merchant town
1985, Kasajima (Marugame City), Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture, port town
1986, Mimitsu, Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, port town
1987, Unno-juku, Tomi City, Nagano Prefecture, post and sericulture town
Omori-ginzan Silver Mine, Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, mining town
Taketomi-jima Island, Taketomi-cho, Okinawa Prefecture, agricultural village
1988, Kamigamo, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, shake-machi
Waki-machi Minami-machi, Mima City, Tokushima Prefecture, merchant town
1989, Moto-machi (Hakodate City) and Suehiro-cho (Hakodate City), Hakodate City, Hokkaido, port town
1991, Shukunegi, Sado City, Niigata Prefecture, port town
Hachiman Omihachiman City Preservation District for a Group of Historic Buildings, Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture, merchant town
Arita Uchiyama, Arita-cho, Saga Prefecture, porcelain artisan town
Higashi-yamate, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, port town
Minami-yamate, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, port town
1993, Akazawa, Hayakawa-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture, kochuyado and mountain village
Kayabuki no sato Kitamura, Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture, mountain village
Imai-cho, Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, temple town and autonomous city
1994, Ainokura, Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, mountain village
Suganuma (Nanto City), Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, mountain village
Mitarai (Kure City), Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, port town
1995, Izumifumoto, Izumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture, buke-machi
1996,Townscape of Sawara, Katori City, Chiba Prefecture, merchant town
Kumagawa-juku, Wakasa-cho, Fukui Prefecture, post town
Chikugo Yoshii, Ukiha City, Fukuoka Prefecture, zaigo-machi
1997, Sakamoto (Otsu City), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, temple town and satobogun
Tondabayashi Jinai-cho, Tondabayashi City, Osaka Prefecture, zaigo-machi and temple town
Kiragawa-cho, Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture, zaigo-machi
1998, Hondori, Iwamura-cho, Ena City, Gifu Prefecture, merchant town
Gokashocho-kondo, Higashiomi City, Shiga Prefecture, agricultural village
Utsubuki Tamagawa, Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture, merchant town
Akizuki, Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture, castle town
Tonegawa, Shiiba-son Village, Miyazaki Prefecture, mountain village
1999, Kawagoe, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, merchant town
Mino-machi, Mino City, Gifu Prefecture, merchant town
2000, Yamachosuji, Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, merchant town
Aoni, Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture, mountain village
Tonaki-jima Island, Tonaki-son Village, Okinawa Prefecture, agricultural Village on the island
2001, Suwakoji, Kanegasaki-cho, Iwate Prefecture, buke-machi
2001, Higashiyama Higashi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, chaya-machi
Hamasaki, Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, port town
2002, Yame Fukushima, Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture, merchant town
2003, Irikifumoto, Satsumasendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture, buke-machi
2004, Shimonino-machi and Oshin-machi, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, merchant town
Sasayama, Sasayama City Preservation District for a Group of Historic Buildings, Sasayama City, Hyogo Prefecture, castle town
Yunotsu-onsen Hot Spring, Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, port and hot spring town
Mameda-machi, Hita City, Oita Prefecture, merchant town
2005, Naka-machi (Kuroishi City), Kuroishi City, Aomori Prefecture, merchant town
Kaga Hashidate, Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, senshu village
Ineura, Ine-cho, Kyoto Prefecture, fishing village
Kaya, Yosano-cho, Kyoto Prefecture, weaving town
Ochiai, Higashi-iya-son Village, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, mountain village
Shiotatsu, Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture, merchant town
Koujiro-kuji, Unzen City, Nagasaki Prefecture, buke-machi
2006, Akaiwa, Kuni-mura, Gunma Prefecture, mountainous sericulture town
Kiso Hirasawa, Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, shikko-machi
Matsuyama (Uda City), Uda City, Nara Prefecture, merchant town
Yuasa, Yuasa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture, brewery town
Hamashozu-machi and Hamakanaya-machi, Kashima City, Saga Prefecture, port town and zaigo-machi
Hachihongi-shuku, Kashima City, Saga Prefecture, brewery town
2007, Izushi, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, castle town
2008, Kazue-machi, Kanawaza City, Ishikawa Prefecture, chaya-machi
Obama Nishigumi, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, chaya-machi
Konoura, Oshima Village, Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture, port town

Supplementary Notes

The lists were created in June 2008.

The preservation districts which have been changed due to the merger of local governments are all listed under their new names.

The district types are based on the National Cultural Properties Database (see the section on the External Links).

Other district types than listed on the database are taken from the System of "Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings" (see the section on the External Links).