1928 Hotel Hokke Club Map of Kyoto, Japan

京都市街地圖 / [Street Map of Kyoto]. - Main View

1928 Hotel Hokke Club Map of Kyoto, Japan


The Birth of Japan's Business Hotels.


京都市街地圖 / [Street Map of Kyoto].
  1928 (dated)     20.25 x 14.25 in (51.435 x 36.195 cm)     1 : 20000


A scarce 1928 city map of Kyoto published by Kojima Ainosuke for the Hotel Hokke Club, a chain that pioneered the 'business hotel'. It presents the ancient capital in the midst of a modernization drive, including the expansion of its light rail and streetcar networks.
A Closer Look
Covering Kyoto and its suburbs, this map focuses on popular attractions and transportation lines (both completed and under construction). Suburban electric trains, streetcars, buses (乘合自動車), and interurban rail lines (black and white dashed) are all indicated, as are their stations in corresponding colors. Streets are labeled throughout, while neighborhoods, suburbs, and villages are also named. Though the main focus is on travel and tourism, the locations of a handful of government offices, schools, and factories are also recorded.

Important temples, shrines, and other cultural sites are noted with a darker red than the surrounding buildings and are labeled. The former imperial palace (御所) is prominent near center, while many - though not all - Buddhist temples (寺) are announced with red circles. A table at bottom-right provides suggested itineraries for touring the ancient capital depending on how many days the traveler plans to spend there. Perhaps most noticeably, a large red arrow coming from the bottom-left corner points out the location of Hotel Hokke Club near Kyoto's train station.

The verso announces a third addition or renovation to the hotel (第三回增築工事落成御披露), provides a brief guide to the hotel's rates and accommodations, and touts its location just opposite Kyoto's main train station, where it is still located today (in a more recent building). It is possible that this map was handed to business travelers en route to Kyoto from Tokyo or other major cities.
Hotel Hokke Club (法華俱樂部)
Hotel Hokke Club (nowadays as ホテル法華クラブ) was founded in Kyoto in 1920 and lays claim to being the first 'business hotel' in Japan. As the name implies, these hotels cater to businessmen and are known for their affordability and locations, generally near train stations. Unlike business class seats on airplanes or trains, they are not meant to be luxurious but rather clean and convenient, often with communal bathrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Hokke Club found great success with this model and expanded throughout Kyoto, then the Kansai region more broadly, and finally throughout Japan. The 'business hotel' has been copied by other chains and was a forerunner to more recent capsule hotels, which provide even more bare-bones accommodations to business travelers and salarymen.
Kyoto in the Early 20th Century
This map was produced in the early Showa period, sixty years after the emperor relocated from Kyoto to Tokyo (the Meiji Restoration), a move which made Tokyo the undisputed political, economic, and cultural center of Japan. Afterwards, although Kyoto lost some of its wealth and prestige, it continued to be a site for imperial ceremonies and Shinto festivals. It also remained one of the larger cities in Japan and a draw for tourists and religious pilgrims. The expansion of Japan's rail network in the late 19th and early 20th century made the prospect of a trip to Kyoto tangible for tourists. Moreover, the city saw its share of modernization projects, including railways, streetcars, a canal leading from Lake Biwa, an electrified rail line to Otsu, and Japan's first hydroelectric power facility.
Publication History and Census
This map was edited and published by Kojima Ainosuke (小島愛之助) and printed by Sugiura Hidetarō (杉浦秀太郎) for Hokke Club Hotel (法華俱樂部) in Kyoto in 1928 (Showa 3). No information is available about either Kojima or Sugiura. This map is not known to exist in institutional collections and has no known history on the market. The Nichibunken holds several maps of the same era with the same or similar titles, but none match the present map.


Very good. Light wear along original folds, with a couple areas of loss at fold intersections repaired on verso. Text on verso.