難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Mapping Japanese City Spaces: Kyoto

Kyoto, city close to my heart!  Ancient capital, city of culture!  Despite its image as a tranquil, traditional place time has forgotten, Kyoto is pretty damn big, holding steadily onto fourth place by urban area.  A lot of ancient sites remain as they were, but the city sure has transformed around them.

 


 

You can click on any map to enlarge it.

Kyoto Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

Kyoto Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

 


 

Kyoto Metro Area, 1960

Kyoto Metro Area, 1960

Urban Kyoto was still rather contained in 1960, consisting of the city proper, Uji to the south, and Otsu in Shiga Prefecture.  The city itself still bore traces of its ancient history in its shape.  The densely populated core of the city still evoked the rectangular extent of the ancient Heian capital.  Fushimi-ku to the south still suggested the proportions of the former city of Fushimi and the old road that connected it to Kyoto.

Kyoto Metro Area     1,281,016     4th
Kusatsu     8,025

Kyoto City     1,167,957     4th
91.2% of metro area

 


 

Kyoto Metro Area, 1970

Kyoto Metro Area, 1970

Suburbanization and decentralization.  Kyoto’s suburbs quickly emerged as two north-south belts south of the city: the eastern one a rapidly developing Uji, the western one the newly urbanizing Muko and Nagaoka.  Otsu dropped dramatically in density as it sprawled out.  In Kyoto City, the central wards lost population to the rapidly expanding outskirts: Ukyo to the west and Yamashina to the east.

Kyoto Metro Area     1,624,572     4th     + 26.8%
Moriyama     5,495     [new DID]

Kyoto City     1,301,277     5th     + 11.4%     – 1 rank
80.1% of metro area     – 11.1% of metro area

 


 

Kyoto Metro Area, 1980

Kyoto Metro Area, 1980

As Metropolitan Kyoto grew and suburbanized, the two north-south population belts filled in and became connected to Kyoto City.  Otsu expanded significantly inland and up the western shore of Lake Biwa.  Kyoto City’s growth slowed down as the old east side joined the center city in depopulation.  The south of the city continued to grow, however.  Minami-ku grew into a low-density industrial zone, while Fushimi-ku and Yamashina-ku extended together into one dense residential area.

Kyoto Metro Area     1,989,490     4th     + 22.5%
Moriyama Micro Area     13,630     + 148.0%

Kyoto City     1,373,395     5th     + 5.5%
69.0% of metro area     – 11.1% of metro area

 


 

 

Kyoto Metro Area, 1990

Kyoto Metro Area, 1990

As with many cities in the 1980s, Metropolitan Kyoto’s sprawl slowed down, with small developments on the edges and some areas growing together.  Kyoto City had begun losing population, with most wards now slowly lowering in density.  Central Kyoto had depopulated to the point the “Heian rectangle” was no longer distinct, while most new development happened to the west of the city, in Nishikyo-ku and the city of Kameoka.

Kyoto Metro Area     2,108,438     4th     + 6.0%
Moriyama Micro Area     24,404     + 79.0%
Yasu Micro Area     13,415     [split from Kyoto]

Kyoto City     1,360,640     6th     – 0.9%     – 1 rank
64.5% of metro area     – 4.5% of metro area

 


 

Kyoto Metro Area, 2000

Kyoto Metro Area, 2000

While many cities in Metropolitan Kyoto slowed further in the 1990s, Otsu and Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture developed notably, as did Fushimi-ku on the south side of the city.  Urban population loss in Kyoto had slowed as well, with the city growing on balance once again.

Kyoto Metro Area     2,260,307     4th     + 7.2%
Moriyama Micro Area     33,169     + 35.9%
Yasu Micro Area     17,081     + 27.3%

Kyoto City     1,388,842     6th     + 2.1%
61.4% of metro area     – 3.1% of metro area

 


 

 

Kyoto Metro Area, 2010

Kyoto Metro Area, 2010

The Kyoto urban area has slowed down, with most growth and expansion occurring in Shiga Prefecture.  Kyoto City’s growth rate continues to fluctuate, but as with many major cities, recentralization is happening as the innermost wards of the old capital fill back in with people.

Kyoto Metro Area     2,333,092     4th     + 3.2%
Yasu Micro Area     23,313     + 36.5%

Kyoto City     1,403,631     9th     + 1.1%     – 3 ranks
60.2% of metro area     – 1.2% of metro area

 

If there’s any city or region of Japan you’d like to see, just ask me in the comments!  Really, I do requests!

 

National land numerical information (densely inhabited district data)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
1960: A16-60_25_DID.shp, A16-60_26_DID.shp
1965: A16-65_25_DID.shp, A16-65_26_DID.shp
1970:
A16-70_25_DID.shp, A16-70_26_DID.shp
1975: A16-75_25_DID.shp, A16-75_26_DID.shp
1980: A16-80_25_DID.shp, A16-80_26_DID.shp
1985: A16-85_25_DID.shp, A16-85_26_DID.shp
1990: A16-90_25_DID.shp, A16-90_26_DID.shp
1995: A16-95_25_DID.shp, A16-95_26_DID.shp
2000: A16-00_25_DID.shp, A16-00_26_DID.shp
2005: A16-05_25_DID.shp, A16-05_26_DID.shp
2010: A16-10_25_DID.shp, A16-10_26_DID.shp
Processed and edited in ArcGIS Explorer
Microsoft Bing Maps used as basemap

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Is Kyoto becoming a suburb of Osaka?!

    April 28, 2014 at 5:40 AM

    • Perhaps. Working Kyoto-ites commute to Osaka just below the 10% threshold for joining Greater Osaka; same with Kobe. I tentatively predict that Kobe will go first, and its influence will bring Kyoto along, so that by the 2015 census Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe will be one tri-city employment area.

      Thing is, it’s practically impossible for cities so populous to become true suburbs. Their economies are simply too large. There will always be a greater labor inflow than outflow in the central business districts, meaning Kyoto would not be a suburb of Osaka, so much as a secondary center of a larger area.

      You can see this in Greater Tokyo, where Yokohama and Kawasaki are commuter subordinates to the Tokyo Ward Zone, but still core cities of the area. In fact, Greater Tokyo has a total of eight core cities, from major cities to small ones whose significance I don’t understand.

      April 28, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s