Kyoto City Landscape Policy 2007/ Kyoto City 2011 Data Collection

京都市景観白書データ集 – 2011 Kyoto City 2011 Data Collection

[Local Government]

2011 Kyoto City 2011 Data Collection. Source: City of Kyoto

This document is a report on the progress of the 2007 Landscape Policy. This enables the City of Kyoto to make informed decisions to amend the policies if needed.

Building Height

To facilitate the building height regulation, all new constructions must be first signed by the mayor. Sometimes the City will allow exemptions to the regulation. For example the Japanese Red Cross Kyoto Number 11 Hospital was exempted because it is an important infrastructure for the city and the parts that exceeded the height limit were only the connecting staircases between the new wing and the existing wing. [1]

Japanese Red Cross Kyoto Number 11 Hospital. Source: KMCC


The City of Kyoto has adopted a ‘roller strategy’ to ensure all adverts conform to the policy. An example is the Ramen Yokozuna Shop in Shimogyo-ku, where the original sign features a huge yellow background and red text. The new version is not as brightly colored, with a more traditional font.

Before and after advert regulations applied. Source: City of Kyoto

Overall there is an increase in the number of people who agree the cityscape of kyoto has been protected and we can see from the image below that without the tall buildings and advertisement boards, the urban cityscape is much less modern [2]. But the building height limit also resulted in negative economic effects. In the areas where there are height restrictions the land prices have fallen, in particular the central business areas of Shijodori and Kawaramachi Dori [3]. Local real estate consultant Hiroshi Amano said that prices have dropped by 40%. In addition, the regulations on adverts have led to complaints from the advertisement businesses.

Before and after regulations applied. Source: City of Kyoto

Borrowed Landscape

The protected landscapes have been kept in good condition, for example Kitayama has the character 妙 written on the side of the mountain can still be seen clearly. This, however, may result in uneven urban development, where the protected areas will remain untouched and the other areas will experience increasing density. 

Before and after regulations applied. Source: City of Kyoto


[1] City of Kyoto. “京都市景観白書データ集”. 2011

[2] City of Kyoto. “京都市景観白書データ集”.

[3] Kyodo. “Kyoto enforces ad ban, building height changes”. 2007. Japan Times. Accessed 27th December 2018

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