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