Tips for KYOTO

Addresses in Kyoto

In Kyoto, it often happens that one location has a few different addresses.  Why is this and which is the correct way to specify a location?  Learn how Kyoto locals use the address.

What is “agaru,” “sagaru,” “nishi-iru” and “higashi-iru”?

People who are not used to Kyoto’s address system must be confused and wonder:  “What does ‘agaru’ and ‘sagaru’ mean?”  The reason for these expressions is that in the city of Kyoto the main streets are set out in a grid pattern. When you are standing on a crossroad, going to the north direction is called “agaru (lit. going up)” and going to the south is “sagaru (lit. going down).”  In the same way, “higashi-iru” is going to the east and “nishi-iru” is going to the west.  Every location in the city has an official address, however, Kyoto locals can immediately tell where a location is by using this address system.

Written by : Shinobu Nakai Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.