What would be the Karyukai without the historical urban areas, the famous 5 kagais?
I propose a topic concerning the preservation of the historical districts of Kyoto, because for me it is a very important issue of Karyukai's continuity.
There is no elegance, no beauty of the seasons, without an historical architectural and urban framework. What would be the outfits of maiko and geiko without the very fine architecture of the okiyas and ochayas in the background?
A rather attentive visit of Kyoto city shows that the city was not spared by a wave of modernism going very close to the doors of the kagais. I was surprised during my trip last year, not disapointed, but i found that there was a lack of architectural coherence near the kagais..(except Kamishichiken maybe...)
Not a problem of diversity...but there are many buildings too high (often due to urban densification policies because of the lack of space), with banal architecture, alongside the traditional districts and especially Gion.
Also many very interesting machiyas (traditional Kyoto house) have been demolished, all over Kyoto.
It is clear that a city must evolve. Nevertheless, architecture and landscape are a common heritage, factor of identity and touristical attraction.
Truth is, local authorities have become aware of the problem since the 70ies. But it took so many time for them to find appropriate responses.
The removal of overhead power lines and the rehabilitation of pedestrian walkways in the kagai has already been a success, though
I found in Kyoto City Hall website this very interesting document
. It explains all the choices of policies...i hope it will interest you
I think that the effects of the policies aren't all yet seen. The landscape changes little by little with each building permit on these constructions that Kyoto City Council authorizes, by applying the new rules