How to read addresses in Kyoto?   京都住所

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One entrance to the Teramachi-dori shopping street (Kyoto).

One entrance to the Teramachi-dori shopping street (Kyoto).

Decoding!

Kyoto City addresses are among the most complex of Japan and often confuse even Google Maps! Here are a few tips to get your head around them. 

Kyoto addresses follow the usual pattern of Japanese addresses, but has the added bonus of the nearest access road and direction (north, south, east, west)! Each address is composed of the following eight elements:

  1. The postal code (〒)
  2. The city "shi" (市)
  3. The borough "ku" (区)
  4. The name of the access road "dori" (通)
  5. The orientation "iri"  (入)
  6. The area "cho" (町)
  7. The name of the residence "biru" (ビ ル)
  8. The number of the apartment or house "banchi" (番地)

Eg Kyoto Central Post address

〒604-8799 京 都市 中 京 区 三条 通 東 洞 院 東 入 菱 屋 町 30 番地

604-8799 Kyoto-shi, Nakagyo-ku, Sanjo-dori, Higashi-nishinotoin Higashi-iri, Hishiya-cho 30

Search for Kyoto address with Google Maps

This address system is unique to the city of Kyoto; it corresponds to an ancient custom that continues today, but proves incompatible with Google Maps!

When copying and pasting the address, even in Japanese, Google Maps will more than often come back with an error message.

Fortunately, there is a trick!

Just delete the part of the address that is purely informative, which are that is the access roads and directions. That means removing everything between the "ku" (区) and "iri" (入).

Eg simplified address of the Central Post Office Kyoto

〒604-8799 京 都市 中 京 区 菱 屋 町 30 番地

604-8799 Kyoto-shi, Nakagyo-ku, Hishiya-cho 30

And now your turn!

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