chapter  10
19 Pages

Wider skies over Kyoto

Five years shouldn’t mean much in a city of Kyoto’s age and historical significance, but, when I returned in 2007 after such an interval, I did find the city changed. In fact, both of the above-mentioned booms – the kyô-machiya fad and the manshon rush – were continuing in full swing, having expanded in ways that exceeded my expectations. On the verge of implementation, however, was a political move that challenged everyone’s wildest dreams: by adopting the ‘new townscape ordinance’ (shin-keikan jôrei) a few weeks prior to my arrival, Kyoto City was about to impose a regulatory framework of momentous, even revolutionary, import, for which even the local government’s sharpest critics have only praise.