Muko City (向日市)

Muko City is a city in Kyoto Prefecture.

Geography
Muko City is located on the southwestern edge of the Kyoto Basin; to the west lies the Nishiyama Mountain Range including Mt. Oshio, and to the east outside the city flows the Katsura-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system). As a result, the city consists overall of flat terrain with a plateau on its northwest part and a lowland on its southwest part. The Tokaido Main Line and the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line run across the city.

Muko City as well as Nagaokakyo City and Oyamazaki-cho are famous for producing bamboo shoots. Traditional Kyoto vegetables such as potherb mustard and senryo eggplant as well as flowers such as poinsettia are widely grown.

Saigoku Kaido Road
Fukada-gawa River: an irrigation canal built by HATA no Kawakatsu (also called Nishino-oka Yosui canal or Terado Yosui canal)
Mountain: there are no mountains but bamboo groves are found on the hillside on the west of the city.
River: Terado-gawa River and Obata-gawa River

History
The area of the present-day Muko City belonged to Otokuni-no-kori (Otokuni-gun), Yamashiro Province, and once housed Nagaoka-kyo (imperial capital). The Daigoku-den (imperial palace) site has been unearthed in the city. After the capital was transferred from Nagaoka-kyo to Heian-kyo, agriculture became the main industry in the area as a backland for the new capital. The area has been the center of Otokuni-gun since old times; currently, the Kyoto Prefectural general office of Otokuni-gun, a remnant of the district office, and the Mukomachi Police Station are located in Muko City.

Additionally, even after the shisei (grant of city status) was implemented, some facilities such as the JR Mukomachi Station have used the old town name 'Muko-machi' for their names as if it were still a name of the place; there are cases such as Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture and Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture that included even the part 'machi' (cho, or town) in their city names when towns were given city status. When the chosei (grant of township) was implemented, the town was named 'Muko-cho;' however, the old town name Muko-cho is now generally read as 'Muko-machi' when it is used for the name of a facility.

Muko City is one of the rare municipalities in Japan that never merged with any other municipality since the enactment of the chosonsei (Town and Village System Law) on April 1, 1889, including the Great Mergers of the Showa and Heisei periods.

1889: Muko-cho merged with its neighboring five villages of Mozume, Terado, Morimoto, Kaide and Kamiueno.

October 1, 1972: The shisei (grant of city status) was implemented.

Population

Politics and government

Mayor: Tsutomu KUSHIMA (as of 2003)

Economy

International

Saratoga, California, the United States of America:

Muko City established a sister-city relationship with Saratoga on November 16, 1984.

Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China:

Muko City established a friendship city relationship with Hangzhou City on September 27, 1985.

District

Adjacent municipalities
Kyoto City and Nagaokakyo City: Muko City is adjoined to Kyoto city on the east, west and north, and to Nagaokakyo City on the south. Incidentally, the city used to be adjoined with the former Kuse-mura, Otokuni-gun on the east and Oharano-mura Otokuni-gun on the west, but since Kyoto City absorbed the two villages, formerly Muko-cho has remained as if it jutted out into Kyoto City from Otokuni-gun. The downtown areas of Kyoto City and Muko City are connected, making it difficult to easily determine the border.

Transportation
Railroads
Main stations
Hankyu Kyoto Main Line: Higashimuko Station and Nishimuko Station (note that for the area on the northern edge of the city near the border, Rakusaiguchi Station in Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City is a station located nearby.)

JR Kyoto Line: Mukomachi Station

Others
There is a railroad yard called Kyoto Sogo Untensho (or Kyo-kito in the abbreviation of 'Kyoto branch' and 'Kyoto Sogo Untensho'), between the Mukomachi and Nagaokakyo Stations. The yard accommodates trains such as limited express trains.

Roads
Expressway
There are no interchanges in the city even though the Meishin Expressway runs through it, and thus, people usually take the Kyoto Minami Interchange towards Nagoya and the Oyamazaki Interchange towards Osaka and Kobe.

National route
National route running through the municipality: National Route 171
Major prefectural route
Nishikyo Takatsuki Line of the Kyoto and Osaka Prefectural Route 67 (Mozume Kaido Road)
Access to neighboring municipalities
The National Route 171 up north by way of the former Saigoku Kaido Road along the way leads to the downtown area of Kyoto City. People usually take the Mozume Kaido Road up north or the Sanin Kaido Road west to Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City.

To get to Nagaokakyo City, it is common to take the Saigoku Kaido Road down south and cross the Ichimon-bashi Bridge.

Buses
Buses: Hankyu Bus and Yasaka Bus in addition to bus stops of the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau

Access to the Kyoto Prefectural Office
Via the Hankyu Kyoto Line
Take the Hankyu Kyoto Line at Higashimuko Station or Nishimuko Station (or Rakusaiguchi Station from the northern edge of the city), transfer to the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line at Karasuma Station (or Shijo Station (Kyoto Municipal Subway)), get off at Marutamachi Station (Kyoto Municipal Subway), and walk northwest for 10 minutes.

Via the JR Kyoto Line
Take the JR Kyoto Line at Mukomachi Station, transfer to the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line at Kyoto Station, and get off at Marutamachi Station as mentioned above.

By car or motorcycle
Take the National Route 171 via the Kujo-dori Street in Kyoto City and the Horikawa-dori Street up north, and turn right at the Shimotachiuri-dori Street eastward; this is the common route, which takes about 40 minutes.

Scenic sites, historic sites, tourist spots, festivals and events
There is no accommodation in Muko City even though the city has tourist spots, for it is small in area and adjacent to Kyoto City.

Muko-jinja Shrine: it was built in 718 and its main shrine was built in the sangensha nagare-zukuri (architecture of three-bay wide structure with a gable roof).
Remains of Nagaoka-kyo: Muko City Culture Museum
Saigoku Kaido Road: Ichimon-bashi Bridge
Mausoleum of Empress Kanmu
Muko City Astronomical Observatory
Kyoto Mukomachi Keirin Velodrome

ZIP code

Mukomachi Branch of Japan Post Service Co., Ltd. (attached to Mukomachi Post Office): 617-00xx
Adjacent Nagaokakyo City: 617-08xx (the Mukomachi Branch is also in charge of collection and delivery in the area.)