Town names in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City (京都市東山区の町名)
Summary of Higashiyama Ward
Higashiyama Ward is located on the east coast of the Kamo-gawa River, which is in the east of urban area of Kyoto. Higashiyama Ward is long in north and south direction, and there is Sakyo Ward in the north, Yamashina Ward is in the east which is on the other side of the mountains of Higashiyama, Fushimi Ward is in the south, and there are Minami Ward (Kyoto City), Shimogyo Ward, and Nakagyo Ward in the west. It covers an area of 7.46 square kilometers. Its population is estimated to be about 41,000 as of March 2009. The area is slightly larger than Kamigyo Ward, Nakagyo Ward, and Shimogyo Ward, but the population is the smallest among the 11 wards in Kyoto City. From 1931 through 1976, Yamashina Ward of the present-day was included in Higashiyama Ward.
There is the Kamo-gawa River in the west end that runs to the south, and there are mountains about 200 meters high ranging in the east including Mt.Shimizu, Mt. Amidagamine and so on. There is the former Tokai-do Road running near the north end of Higashiyama Ward, as well as the JR Tokaido Main Line, Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen, National Route 1 running in the east-west direction, and there is Keihan Electric Railway Main Line (mostly underground) and Higashioji-dori Street running in the north-south direction.
There are prominent temples and sightseeing spots that attract many tourists from both inside and outside of Higashiyama Ward, including Tofuku-ji Temple, Senyu-ji Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, Chishaku-in Temple, Kyoto National Museum, Myoho-in Temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple, Kennin-ji Temple, Kodai-ji Temple, the Gion districts, Yasaka-jinja Shrine, Maruyama Park, Chion-in Temple, and Shoren-in Temple.
Higashiyama Ward was originally a part of Shimogyo Ward, and it was established in 1929 when an area east of the Kamo-gawa River split off from Shimogyo Ward. A year after in 1930, there was a change of border between Sakyo Ward which was the north neighbor of Higashiyama Ward, and the southern part of the area of former Kuritaguchi village was integrated into Higashiyama Ward from Sakyo Ward. By 1931, Yamashina town, Uji County which was in the east of Higashiyama Ward was integrated, but that very area was split off in 1976 and became Yamashina Ward.
Summary of town names
The town names of Kyoto City are categorized into those using their former village names or former Oaza (large section of village) such as 'Ohara Raikoin-cho' (in this case, 'Ohara' is the former name) and those using an independent name of a town such as 'Kameya-cho' and 'Kikuya-cho.'
For the town names in Higashiyama Ward, those towns that belonged to the former chogumi (town society) of Shimogyo in the western part of Higashiyama Ward use individual town names, while those located in the eastern and southern part of Higashiyama Ward use complex town names that are prefixed by the district names such as old village names.
According to the second volume of "Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten No. 26 Kyoto-Fu" (Kadokawa dictionary of place-names of Japan, No.26 Kyoto Prefecture), there were officially 224 declared towns as of 1980, which still exist as of 2009. Further, when 'chome' such as '1 to 22-chome, Hon-machi' is counted respectively as one town, there will be an addition of 38 towns, resulting in 262 towns.
The number of towns listed in the 'Municipal Ordinance of Jurisdiction Districts of Kyoto City' (Act No. 7 of Kyoto Municipal Ordinance, April 1, 1949) which enumerates official town names that belong to each of the wards in Kyoto City, roughly matches the number mentioned above, but within the same ordinance, 'Higashi Komonoza-cho' and 'Higashi Komonoza-cho Fuzoku' which are located in the north eastern part of the Higashiyama Ward are regarded as individual town names.
Independent town names
Town names are indicated by dividing the towns according to the former school districts ('former school districts' will be mentioned later.)
The town names of the flat lands in the western part of Higashiyama Ward are not prefixed by broader district names, but uses individual town names.
In the administrative division during the early modern era, these areas were referred to as Chionin Monzen, Kenninji Monzen, Gion Mawari, Daibutsu Mawari, and so on, but parts of the flat lands were turned into towns and became a part of urban area, and referred to as 'Rakugai Machi-tsuzuki.'
The town names and the borders in Higashiyama Ward of the present-day are mostly passed on from those during the early-modern era. However, there are some town names which had been changed during the early Meiji period, created by the merging of few towns, or given to areas where town names had not originally existed including the precincts of temples or fields, and not all the town names in the present-day derive from the town names before the early modern era.
When Kyoto Prefecture was established in 1868, these towns were organized into Shimogyo bangumi (town unit) Nos. 1 to 41along with the towns of Nakagyo Ward and Shimogyo Ward.
After going through many changes, these towns were organized into a total of 32 'school districts' in 1892. (Refer to the section 'Town names of Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto City' for the history of administrative division after the Meiji period.)
These school districts were abolished in 1941. Also, due to the streamlining and transfer of elementary schools, the attendance units of elementary schools themselves have changed from those times, but the names of the school districts are used in the present-day as 'former school districts' for the names of an area.
Furthermore, the actual indication of an address is done mostly by using street names such as 'Bishamon-cho, 4-chome, Matsubara agaru, Higashioji-dori Street, Higashiyama Ward.'
The example mentioned above means 'Bishamon town which is the forth town after going up north of an intersection between Higashioji-dori Street (street going north and south) and Matsubara-dori Street (street going east and west).'