Minami-ku, Kyoto

Minami-ku, Kyoto

Location of Minami-ku in Kyoto
This stone marks the location of the former Rashōmon, the gate immortalized in the Akira Kurosawa film.

Minami (南区 Minami-ku) is one of the eleven wards in the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Its name means "South Ward." It was established in 1955 when it was separated from Shimogyo-ku. As of April, 2008 the ward has an estimated population of 98,320 people. The Kamo River and the Katsura River flow through the district. It is home to several historical places and temples.

Minami-ku is roughly bound on the east by the Kamo River, on the west by the Katsura River (although it extends over the Katsura River in some places), on the north by Hachijō Street and the JR Kyoto line (leading into Kyoto station), and on the south by the Meishin Expressway (although it extends over the expressway in some places).

The southern portion of Kyoto city (including Minami-ku) is sometimes referred to as Rakunan. This area is the only side of Kyoto not lined with mountains, a feature that historically made Rakunan important as a gateway into Kyoto.

Minami-ku is more working-class than some other Kyoto districts, and includes a large population of Korean nationals[1][2] known as Zainichi Koreans. Instead of restaurants and clubs, portions of the land near the Kamo River are lined with factories and industrial buildings. Residential areas include both standard houses and apartments, and occasional government-subsidized housing projects.

The area around Kujo Street from around Toji station to the Kamo River is known as Higashi (east) Kujo. This area is particularly working-class, and home to a relatively large number of Korean nationals and other working class members of Japanese society. As such, it has been called "Kyoto's only international town".[1]

Minami-ku has few notable areas of tourist interest compared to other parts of Kyoto. A notable exception is the To-ji Temple.

The Minami-ku ward office is located on Route 1, near its intersection with Kujō Street. The Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center is also in Minami-ku, near the intersection of Route 1 and Jujō Street.

To the east of Minami-ku is Higashiyama-ku, and to the southeast is Fushimi-ku.

The 50th anniversary celebration of Minami-ku on the To-ji temple grounds


  • Temples and Landmarks 1
  • Economy 2
  • Education 3
  • External links 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Temples and Landmarks

  • Former site of the Rashomon Gate, the old Southern entrance to the city
  • Tō-ji a famous Buddhist temple with strong associations to the Buddhist priest Kūkai


The following companies have their headquarters in Minami:

  • the home office of international company Nintendo is near the aforementioned intersection.[3]
  • Horiba, a global manufacturer of precision instruments for measurement and analysis[4]
  • Nidec, a global electric motor and electronic and optical components company[5]


The community previously had a North Korean school, Kyoto Korean No. 1 Elementary School (京都朝鮮第一初級学校).[6]

External links

  • The Minami-ku official website (Japanese)


  1. ^ a b Bruce Caron (January 1, 2009). Junana. New Media Studio, Incorporated.  
  2. ^ Yumi Lee. "Kyoto's Luminous "Other" People". Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Company Profile". Nintendo. Retrieved on September 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Company Outline". Horiba. Retrieved on September 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "Company Profile". Nidec. Retrieved on February 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "ウリハッキョ一覧" (Archive). Chongryon. November 6, 2005. Retrieved on October 15, 2015.

Further reading

  • Durston, Diane. "Old Kyoto: A Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants, and Inns". Pg 203. Kodansha International Ltd. 1986 and 2005. ISBN 978-4-7700-2994-2. ISBN 4-7700-2994-2
  • Rowthorn, Chris. "Lonely Planet Kyoto". Lonely Planet Publications. July 1, 2012. ISBN 978-1-74220-851-0
  • Minami-ku Town Guide. September 2006