BLOGTsubuno’s inside stories of Kyoto!?2019.06.28

Do you know that the street addresses in Kyoto include up and down, and even enter!

ByTsubuno

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■ Tsubuno

Tsubuno, a Kyoto's female character who calls herself a lifetime resident of a geisha district, will tweet local news, which might be only known to local people, from a different point of view.

Hi, I'm Tsubuno. The rainy season has started. People are usually lazy to go out when it rains. However, the town sceneries in Kyoto look very nice even on rainy days. Since there are fewer people here, the cityscape becomes quiet and calm. Strolling around Kyoto in the rain is my recommendation.
You may sometime travel around Kyoto by car, not just walking around. You might experience that you look up the address of your destination in Kyoto and try to set the destination in a car navigation system, but the address is not found in the system, because there are unique rules for the addresses in Kyoto.

Pay attention to the street address signs that you can see everywhere in Kyoto!

In Japan, addresses usually start with ◯◯市(city), ◯◯町(subarea), and◯◯ (block and house numbers). However, as some people may already know, addresses in Kyoto are different. They start with ◯◯市(city), ◯◯区(ward), but then follow like this: ◯◯下ル (down) ◯◯西入 (enter west) ◯◯ (street).

Is there someone who saw such address for the first time? 「下ル」is not read as "Kudaru", which is commonly used, but "Sagaru". ◯◯上ル (up) also exists in the addresses. However,「上ル」is read as "Agaru" that is commonly used. Some people may think "In that case, conjugational endings after the kanji 下 and 上 should beガルinstead of ル?". I believe that they must have the best grade in Japanese language. Actually, for the addresses in Kyoto, the conjugational ending ル as上ル is correct.

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You can see quite old signs that are still used in Kyoto too. You can see the old kanji character of区 on this sign. I even don't know how to read the first large character on the sign. Could you please teach me how to read it?

Kyoto people find the location by the street name rather than by the subarea name.

Then, when you enter the address of your destination in your car navigation system, you work hard to enter such a long address but the address isn't found in the system. Don't you have experiences like that? In Kyoto, addresses start with the name of the city, the ward, and then the street.

As the streets in Kyoto are laid out in a grid pattern, the street names are popular among Kyoto people. They can find most locations by the street name rather than by the subarea name. This street name is mentioned in a song. "♪Maru Take Ebisu Ni Oshi Oike, Ane San Rokaku Tako Nishiki, Shi Aya Butsu Taka Matsu Man Gojyo". This song isn't a spell. This song part includes the first kanji characters of the 18 street names. If you see someone who are from Kyoto around you, please ask them about the song. They will surely sing it for you.

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This sign must be a new version because it was made from plastic. Many signs that exists for a long time are rusty.

Skip the street name when entering the address in a car navigation system.

Since Kyoto people can find the location by the street name rather than by the subarea name, the addresses in Kyoto have included the street name since a long time ago. 「上ル」"Agaru" and 「下ル」"Sagaru" that I mentioned before mean "to the north" and "to the south" respectively. When looking at a map, the north is up so that "Agaru (up)" means "going north". And 「西入」"Nishi-iru" or 「東入」"Higashi-iru" means "enter the street from the west or from the east".
That means if you follow the address; going north or south and then going west or east, you will arrive your destination in the end. However, when entering the address in the car navigation system, omitting the street name will work better. Skip the part after the ward until ル. I think that the car navigation system can smoothly recognize the destination by just entering ◯◯区(ward) ◯◯町 (subarea) ◯◯ (block and house numbers).

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I guess that the same address is written on these two signs placed side by side, but I can read neither one because they are too old. Do you think that these signs are useful, even though you can't read them?

Things that only Kyoto people know No.3

Kyoto people are attached to the street names. However, omit the street names when entering the address in a car navigation system. For example, the address of this sign is Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Tanaka-cho. You don't need to enter the part after the ward until ル.

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Tsubuno

Tsubuno, a Kyoto’s female character who calls herself a lifetime resident of a geisha district, will tweet local news, which might be only known to local people, from a different point of view.