80121-0010 - Shops and theaters at Shinkyogoku in Kyoto, May 1934

Kyoto 1934
Shinkyogoku Entertainment Street

Artist Unknown
Publisher New York State Education Department
Medium Glass Slide
Period Showa
Location Kyoto
Image No. 80121-0010
Purchase Digital File

People passing by shops and theaters in Kyoto’s Shinkyogoku (新京極) entertainment street, May 1934.

A large number of Buddhist temples were built in the area between 1573 and 1592, which attracted entertainment businesses. This was a common occurrence in old Japan. To take advantage of the large crowds, many prostitution districts were located right next to a large temple and temple grounds were generally filled with acrobats, entertainers and the stalls of vendors.

After the Japanese capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1868 (Meiji 1), business in Kyoto declined considerably. As part of a plan to reenergize the city, Shinkyogoku Street was built in 1872 (Meiji 5) to develop it as an entertainment district. Many shops, restaurants, bars and theaters moved here and by the end of the 19th century, Shinkyogoku had became one of the three largest entertainment districts of Japan.

Today, the street is a famous shopping arcade that attracts many foreign visitors. Many of them visit to experience traditional Kyoto, but compared with the rest of Kyoto’s center, the street is fairly new as it was built only in 1872.


Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). Kyoto 1934: Shinkyogoku Entertainment Street, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on January 17, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/439/shinkyogoku-entertainment-street

I have a small favor to ask

Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage to increase our understanding of Japanese culture and society.

Finding, acquiring, scanning, restoring, researching and conserving these vintage images, and making the imagery and research freely available online, takes serious time, money and effort.

We do this without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.

Your support helps to make this possible, and ensures that this important visual heritage of Japan will not be lost and forgotten.

If you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan with a regular amount each month. Or become a volunteer.

Thank you,
Kjeld Duits

save our heritage

Explore More


Yokohama 1910s
Isezaki-cho 2-chome

A large crowd strolls through Yokohama’s lively Isezaki-cho on a hot summer afternoon. Many people can be seen holding umbrellas. Perhaps to ward off the stinging rays of the sun.


Kobe 1910s
Motomachi Itchome

Shops and rickshaws at Motomachi Itchome in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture Japan.


Fruit Store

Two men and several children in a Japanese fruit store.

Add Comment

There are currently no comments on this article.