Kyoto's Landscape

A close look at the Meirin District

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Sanjo Street, the old road to Tokyo, is a lively street in the middle of Meirin District in the heart of Kyoto. People live, work, shop and stroll there. The street, like all others in the district, is made up of houses and shops, restaurants, workshops and kinds of activity. The neighbourhood is well known for the many kimono fabrics, but there is even a bike shop – a familiar phenomenon for the Dutch [FIG. 1]. Building types vary. Where Sanjo Street connects up with the large avenues surrounding the urban block, there are large, tall buildings, with the occasional higher block of flats at the centre. However, low-build prevails. Meirin
District is part of what is called the historical urban area, and contains buildings from various periods, from the 17th through to the 20th century, including many machiya.