Forerunners in Kyoto's Industries/Industrial Forerunners in Kyoto

Kyoto Electric Railroad Company
The Kyoto Electric Railroad Company, founded in 1894, opened up Japan's firstelectric railroad in the following year between Shiokoji-takakuraand Fushimi-aburakakecho, a stretch of about 6.5 kilometers. This railroad ran on hydroelectric powerusing a canal from Lake Biwa, which was the firstuse of hydroelectric power in Japan. After its founding, the company steadily expanded its railroad-line rights of way as the number of passengers continued to increase, and obtained a monopoly on transport within the city. Its success stirred up excitement for the electric railroad business throughout the country, and set off a boom in new electric railroad companies set up by electric light and electric power companies. There are a number of reasons offered why a concession for a municipal electric railroad was granted in Kyoto before Tokyo and Osaka. These are that Kyoto is laid out in grid form like many European and American cities, that plenty of electric power was available from a hydroelectric source, that there would be sufficient demand for transport due to the population as well as high number of tourists in Kyoto, and the need to transport people from around the country visiting Kyoto in 1895 for national exhibitions and for the 1100th anniversary of the move from Nara to Kyoto of the Japanese capital.