Town names in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City (京都市左京区の町名)

This section on "Town names in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City" lists official town names in Sakyo Ward and summarizes the period and process of their establishment.

Summary of Sakyo Ward

Sakyo Ward is located on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa River (spelt as 鴨川 or 賀茂川), northeast of the downtown of Kyoto City. It covers a vast area with the mountainous region in the north, including Ohara and Kurama. It is vertically elongated with the farthest north being at the top of Mt. Mikuni which is 959 meters high above sea level. Its eastern part is the border between the prefectures of Kyoto and Shiga, bordering the Cities of Otsu and Takashima, Shiga Prefecture. The western side of Mt. Hiei which is situated between the two prefectures belongs to the ward. The ward borders Higashiyama Ward and Yamashina Ward in the south, Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture (the Miyama area) in the north, Ukyo Ward (the Keihoku area) and Kita Ward (Kyoto City) in the west. It is in part adjacent to the Wards of Kamigyo and Nakagyo near the south edge. It has an area of 246.88 square kilometers. Its population is estimated to be about 166,000 as of March 2009.

In the south it has the following famous temples, shrines and historical sites: Heian-jingu Shrine, Nanzen-ji Temple, Jisho-ji Temple (Ginkaku-ji Temple), Shimogamo-jinja Shrine (Kamomioya-jinja Shrine) and Shugakuin Palace. It also has the following facilities: Okazaki-koen Park, Kyoto-kaikan Hall, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Kyoto City Zoo, Kyoto University Yoshida Campus, The Kyoto Botanical Garden, Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives and Kyoto International Conference Center.

Its middle to the northern part is a mountainous region where population density is low. In the east National Route 367 (Saba-kaido Road and Wakasa-kaido Road) runs, leading to the Wakasa area via the western entrance to Mt. Hiei in the Yase area as well as the Ohara area with Sanzen-in Temple and Jakko-in Temple. In the west the Kyoto Hirogawara Miyama Line (Kurama-kaido Road) of Kyoto Prefectural Road 38 runs, leading to Nantan City through the Kurama area, where Kurama-dera Temple is located, as well as Hanase and Hirogawara. The Kuta area which is the farthest north part of the ward used to belong to Otagi County, Kyoto Prefecture although it is geographically more akin to Shiga Prefecture in the east.

Separated from the then Kamigyo Ward, Sakyo Ward was established in 1929. Around that time the ward area was south of the neighborhoods of Shimogamo and Kitashirakawa which it also included. In 1930 when its border with Higashiyama Ward was changed, the Awataguchi area along the southern edge was partly incorporated into Higashiyama Ward. The ward incorporated the villages of Shugakuin and Matsugasaki, Atago County in 1931, and in 1949 it included the villages of Iwakura, Yase, Ohara, Shizuichino, Kurama, Hanase, and Kuta in the same county. It integrated part of Keihoku-cho, Kitakuwada County (Oaza Hirogawara) in 1957, resulting in the present area of the 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.'
The following towns in the ward have independent town names: 29 towns in the Nijokawa-higashi area along the south-western border, Eikando-cho, Eikando-nishi-machi, Ginkakuji-cho, Ginkakujimae-cho, Kurodani-cho and Nyakuoji-cho. The others have compound town names which refer to the former names of Oaza, etc.

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 569 declared towns as of 1980. In certain parts of the ward, town names and boundaries were subsequently altered due to land readjustment projects. 12 towns were newly established and 7 were abolished, amounting to 574 towns as of 2009.

There are some towns which have no letter of '町' (read as 'cho,' meaning town) as a suffix, such as 'Shugakuin Otowadani' and 'Matsugasaki Higashiyama.'
The reason is that when they were incorporated into the ward and given names in 1931, there were no houses in these towns since they were located in the mountainous regions.

Independent town names

In Sakyo Ward the independent town names which are not prefixed by broader regional names are found along the south-western border, east of Kamo-gawa River, and north and south of Nijo-dori Street. This area is called Nijogawa-higashi. Most of the towns in the area were newly formed by people whose houses were burned down at Great Fire of Kyoto in 1708 and who moved there.

Current town names and borders in the area have remained more or less unchanged since pre-modern times. However, the following towns were established in 1869 through the merger of a few adjacent towns: Shinhigashidoin-cho, Kikuhoko-cho, Shinkurumaya-cho, Okiku-cho and Shinmaruta-cho. Ishihara-cho was established in 1883 when Shogoin village, Otagi County was partly incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward.

When Kyoto Prefecture was established in 1868, the towns in Kamigyo, including the above-mentioned, were divided into Kamigyo bangumi (town unit) Nos. 1 to 45. After several changes were made these town societies were reorganized into a total of 28 'school districts' in 1892.
(For the history of the administrative districts in Kyoto after the Meiji period, see the section on '{Town names in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City}.')
School districts Nos. 27 and 28 belong to Sakyo Ward. In 1929 each of the two was renamed after an elementary school, i.e. the Kinrin and the Shinto school district, respectively. The school districts were abolished in 1941. Yet the inhabitants still use the 'former school district names' as unofficial local nicknames.

History of school districts Nos. 27 and 28 as administrative units

Towns incorporated into Sakyo Ward in 1888 (Part 1)

Towns prefixed by 'Okazaki' belonged to the former Okazaki village, Otagi County. Okazaki village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Okazaki-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Okazaki-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889. Abolished in 1918, Okazaki-cho was reorganized into 13 towns prefixed by 'Okazaki' as well as Kurodani-cho (without any prefix). These 14 towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929. Later in 1958 Okazaki Higashi Tenno-cho was established, resulting in a total of 14 towns prefixed by 'Okazaki' as well as another town (Kurodani-cho).

Towns prefixed by 'Shogoin' belonged to the former Shogoin village, Otagi County. Shogoin village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Shogoin-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Shogoin-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889.
Abolished in 1918, Shogoin-cho was reorganized into eight towns prefixed by 'Shogoin.'
These eight towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929.

Towns prefixed by 'Yoshida' belonged to the former Yoshida village, Otagi County. Yoshida village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Yoshida-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Yoshida-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889.
Abolished in 1918, Yoshida-cho was reorganized into 14 towns prefixed by 'Yoshida.'
These 14 towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929.

Towns prefixed by 'Nanzenji' belonged to the former Nanzenji village, Otagi County. Nanzenji village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Nanzenji-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Nanzenji-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889. Abolished in 1918, Nanzenji-cho was reorganized into four towns prefixed by 'Nanzenji,' as well as Eikando-cho (without any prefix). The rest of the former Nanzenji-cho was named 'Nanzenji' without the 'cho' suffix. These six towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929. Eikando-nishi-machi (without any prefix) was established in 1958.

In 1965 the areas designated 'Aza XYZ,' which had still remained across Kyoto City all became '-cho,' or towns, and were renamed 'XYZ-cho' (XYZ town). Simultaneously, the area which survived as 'Nanzenji' was divided into Nanzenji Nanzenjisan-cho and Nanzenji Furoya-cho. These changes have resulted in six town names that are prefixed by 'Nanzenji' and two others (Eikando-cho and Eikando-nishi-cho).

Towns incorporated into Sakyo Ward in 1888 (Part 2)

Towns prefixed by 'Awataguchi' belonged to the former Awataguchi village, Otagi County. Awataguchi village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Awataguchi-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Awataguchi-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889. Abolished in 1918, Awataguchi-cho was reorganized into four towns prefixed by 'Awataguchi' (Awataguchi Torii-cho, Awataguchi Kacho-cho, Awataguchi Kaji-cho and Awataguchi Sanjobo-cho), together with 'Awataguchi' without the 'cho' suffix. These five towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929. A year later in 1930 the southern part of the Awataguchi area was incorporated into Higashiyama Ward, whereas a part of 'Awataguchi' without the 'cho' suffix and only Awataguchi Torii-cho belonged to Sakyo Ward.

In 1965 the areas designated 'Aza XYZ,' which had still remained across Kyoto City all became '-cho,' or towns, and were renamed 'XYZ-cho' (XYZ town). Simultaneously, the area which survived as 'Awataguchi, Sakyo Ward' was divided into the following four towns: Awataguchi Dainichiyama-cho, Awataguchi Yamashita-cho, Awataguchi Iriaiyama-cho and Awataguchi Nyoigatake-cho.
As a result, there are now five towns prefixed by 'Awataguchi.'

Towns prefixed by 'Shishigatani' belonged to the former Shishigatani village, Otagi County. Shishigatani village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Shishigatani-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Shishigatani-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889. Abolished in 1918, Shishigatani-cho was reorganized into six towns prefixed by 'Shishigatani,' together with 'Nyakuoji-cho' (without any prefix). The rest of the former Shishigatani-cho was named 'Shishigatani' without the 'cho' suffix. These eight towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929. Subsequently, Honenji Nishi-machi was established in 1929, Nishi Teranomae-cho, Kami Miyanomae-cho and Shimo Miyanomae-cho were created in 1958.

In 1965 the areas designated 'Aza XYZ,' which had still remained across Kyoto City all became '-cho,' or towns, and were renamed 'XYZ-cho' (XYZ town). Simultaneously, the area which survived as 'Shishigatani, Sakyo Ward' was divided into eight towns prefixed by 'Shishigatani' (Shishigatani Daikokudani-cho, Shishigatani Shobudani-cho, Shishigatani Kurikidani-cho, Shishigatani Fudoyama-cho, Shishigatani Nyakuojiyama-cho, Shishigatani Zenkisan-cho, Shishigatani Tokuzendani-cho, Shishigatani Tachosan-cho).
As a result there are 18 towns today that are prefixed by 'Shishigatani.'

Towns prefixed by 'Jodoji' belonged to the former Jodoji village, Otagi County. Jodoji village was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward to become Jodoji-cho, Kamigyo Ward in 1888 before the Municipal Government Act came into effect. It became Jodoji-cho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City when Kyoto City was established in 1889. Abolished in 1918, Jodoji-cho was reorganized into five towns prefixed by 'Jodoji,' together with 'Ginkakuji-cho' (without any prefix). The rest of the former Jodoji-cho was named 'Jodoji' without the 'cho' suffix. These seven towns belonged to Sakyo Ward which was created in 1929.
Later in 1959 the following towns were established: Ginkakujimae-cho (without any prefix) and Higashida-cho, Kami Banba-cho, Shimo Banba-cho, Kami Minamida-cho, and Shimo Minamida-cho, which are all prefixed by 'Jodoji.'

In 1965 the areas designated 'Aza XYZ,' which had still remained across Kyoto City all became '-cho,' or towns, and were renamed 'XYZ-cho' (XYZ town). Simultaneously, the area which survived as 'Jodoji, Sakyo Ward' was divided into six towns broadly designated 'Jodoji' (Jodoji Uchikoshi-cho, Jodoji Kocho-cho, Jodoji Chochinyama-cho, Jodoji Nanamawari-cho, Jodoji Koyama-cho and Jodoji Oyama-cho). As a result there are 16 towns today prefixed by 'Jodoji' and two others (Ginkakuji-cho and Ginkakujimae-cho).

Towns incorporated into Sakyo Ward in 1918

Former villages of Tanaka and Shirakawa

Towns prefixed by 'Tanaka' and 'Takano' originally belonged to the former Tanaka village, Otagi County which was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1918. Tanaka village had Oaza (large section of village), namely Oaza Tanaka and Oaza Takanokawara, of which the former was divided into 17 towns prefixed by 'Tanaka' in 1918. The following denominational and demarcational changes were subsequently made to the towns with the prefix of 'Tanaka,' which currently amounts to 30.

(Established in 1939) Higashi Takahara-cho, Nishi Takahara-cho, Haruna-cho, Higashi Haruna-cho, Nishi Haruna-cho, Higashi Hinokuchi-cho
(Established in 1943) Kami Furukawa-cho, Kami Okubo-cho, Nishi Okubo-cho, Nishi Haruna-cho
(Established in 1960) Nishi Hinokuchi-cho, Minami Okubo-cho, Minami Nishiura-cho, Kami Genkyo-cho
(Abolished in 1960) Nishikawara-cho

In 1918 Oaza Takanokawara, Tanaka village was divided into seven towns prefixed by 'Takano.'
The following denominational and demarcational changes were subsequently made to the towns with the prefix of 'Takano,' which currently amounts to eight.

(Established in 1943) Kami Takeya-cho, Higashi Biraki-cho, Nishi Biraki-cho
(Abolished in 1943) Kami Biraki-cho and Shimo Biraki-cho

Towns prefixed by 'Kitashirakawa' originally belonged to the former Shirakawa village, Otagi County which was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1918. Shirakawa village had no Oaza. In 1918 it was partly divided into 12 towns prefixed by 'Kitashirakawa' (Kitashirakawa Shibuse-cho, Kitashirakawa Kami Ikeda-cho, Kitashirakawa Shimo Ikeda-cho, Kitashirakawa Kamihate-cho, Kitashirakawa Betto-cho, Kitashirakawa Ogura-cho, Kitashirakawa Kubota-cho, Kitashirakawa Nishi-machi, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa Hirai-cho, Kitashirakawa Iori-cho, Kitashirakawa Biwa-cho). The rest of the village became Oaza Kitashirakawa.

In 1965, in Kyoto City, all the districts whose names included the terms 'Oaza' and 'Aza' ('Aza' means a small section of a village) were renamed with the suffix 'cho,' so a place called 'Oaza XX Aza YY' would have been renamed 'XXYY-cho.'
At the same time the area which survived as 'Oaza Kitashirakawa' was divided into 13 towns prefixed by 'Kitashirakawa.'
The following denominational and demarcational changes were subsequently made to the towns with the prefix of 'Kitashirakawa,' which currently amounts to 43.

(Established in 1939) Higashi Hirai-cho, Nishi Hirai-cho, Tsuta-cho, Higashi Tsuta-cho, Nishi Tsuta-cho
(Established in 1948) Higashi Iori-cho, Nishi Iori-cho, Senouchi-cho, Higashi Senouchi-cho, Nishi Senouchi-cho, Donomae-cho, Yamada-cho, Yamanomoto-cho, Kami Betto-cho, Daido-cho
(Established in 1959) Higashi Ogura-cho, Shimo Betto-cho, Higashi Kubota-cho
(Established in 1965, of the former Oaza Kitashirakawa) Kasaneishi-cho, Kogamedani-cho, Mukogadani-cho, Mukaidani-cho, Maruyama-cho, Kiyozawaguchi-cho, Jizodani-cho, Minamigahara-cho, Nakayama-cho, Yomogigadani-cho, Iwasaka-cho, Toyama-cho, Uryuzan-cho

Former villages of Shimogamo and Kamigamo

Towns prefixed by 'Shimogamo' originally belonged to Shimogamo village, Otagi County which was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1918. Shimogamo Village which had no Oaza was divided into 17 towns prefixed by 'Shimogamo' in 1918. The following denominational and demarcational changes were subsequently made to the towns with the prefix of 'Shimogamo,' which currently amounts to 46.

(Established in 1938) Tsukamoto-cho, Higashi Tsukamoto-cho, Kishimoto-cho, Higashi Kishimoto-cho, Umenoki-cho, Higashi Umenoki-cho, Nishi Umenoki-cho, Hon-machi, Higashi Hon-machi, Nishi Hon-machi, Higashi Morigamae-cho, Higashi Takagi-cho, Nishi Takagi-cho
(Established in 1939) Higashi Hangi-cho, Nishi Hangi-cho, Kibune-cho
(Transferred from Kamigamo, Kamigyo Ward in 1949) Kita Chanoki-cho*, Minami Chanoki-cho*, Minakuchi-cho*, Kita Shiba-cho*, Minami Shiba-cho*, Kita Nonogami-cho, Minami Nonogami-cho, Yanada-cho, Yako-cho, Kodono-cho, Inokoda-cho, Maehagi-cho, Hagigakakiuchi-cho
(Those marked with * were established in 1940; the rest were created in 1931).

The two towns prefixed by 'Kamo' originally belonged to the former Kamigamo village, Otagi County. Kamigamo village had two Oaza, namely Oaza Kamigamo and Oaza Koyama. Oaza Oyama was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1918 and is now part of Kita Ward. Oaza Kamigamo was partly incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1918. It was then reorganized into four towns prefixed by 'Kamo' (Kamo Imai-cho, Kamo Hangi-cho, Kamo Itakura-cho and Kamo Geni-cho). Of these Itakura-cho was abolished in 1936 and Geni-cho in 1937. These place names of 'Itakura' and 'Geni' still remain as town names in Koyama, Kita Ward.
Thus, there are two towns prefixed by 'Kamo.'
The rest of Oaza Kamigamo was incorporated into the then Kamigyo Ward in 1931. It has been divided into towns prefixed by 'Kamigamo,' which now all belong to Kita Ward.