Mapping Japanese City Spaces: Kumamoto
This was another request, from an old Kyoto classmate who lives there. Kumamoto, a major city in central Kyushu. It makes for a nice contrast with Niigata, a city of similar size but different geography and growth history. Kumamoto has become very popular as of late, with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen and a ubiquitous PR campaign featuring this guy:
You can click on any map to enlarge it.
Kumamoto in 1960 still retained some shape of the old Edo castle town, though to a lesser degree than some cities. Notice the city stood on its own, with no satellites or near neighbors.
Kumamoto Metro Area 275,304 11th
Kumamoto City 275,304 13th
100% of metro area
Kumamoto began to spread out, especially southwards along the railway.
Kumamoto Metro Area 352,936 11th + 28.2%
Kikuchi 8,434 + 0.9%
Kumamoto City 346,885 19th + 26.0% – 6 ranks
98.3% of metro area – 1.7% of metro area
Urban expansion continued at a steady pace through the 1970s. Metropolitan Kumamoto had fallen notably in ranking, not due to decline but because it was outpaced by cities that suburbanized more rapidly in the same period.
Kumamoto Metro Area 446,793 13th + 26.6% – 2 ranks
Kikuchi 7,319 – 13.2%
Kumamoto City 425,558 18th + 22.7% + 1 rank
95.2% of metro area – 3.1% of metro area
Kumamoto’s growth continued apace in the 1980s. New suburbs were beginning to emerge, not as a ring of satellite towns but as contiguous extensions of the city space.
Kumamoto Metro Area 531,298 13th + 18.9%
Kikuchi 7,736 + 5.7%
Kumamoto City 496,564 19th + 16.7% – 1 rank
93.5% of metro area – 1.7% of metro area
More steady development on the periphery of the city. Kumamoto continued to grow outwards at a time when many cities’ expansion had stalled.
Kumamoto Metro Area 613,999 14th + 15.6% – 1 rank
Kikuchi 7,853 + 1.5%
Kumamoto City 548,054 16th + 10.4% + 3 ranks
89.3% of metro area – 4.2% of metro area
Kumamoto’s commuter towns are continuing to develop, especially to the north. With its steady growth, Metropolitan Kumamoto is beginning to outpace the cities that rapidly suburbanized in the past but are stagnating now.
Kumamoto Metro Area 690,334 13th + 12.4% + 1 rank
Kumamoto City 579,318 20th + 5.7% – 4 ranks
83.9% of metro area – 5.4% of metro area
If there’s any city or region of Japan you’d like to see, just ask me in the comments!
National land numerical information (densely inhabited district data)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Processed and edited in ArcGIS Explorer
Microsoft Bing Maps used as basemap