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Satoshi Satoshi

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Why McDonald’s Has a Brown Sign in Kyoto?


Brown Signs for McDonald’s?


Most of people coming to Kyoto for the first time shout out like this, “Why brown for McDonald’s!”.

Yes, all McDonald’s stores have a brown sign in Kyoto, not a red one as in the most of other cities. Why? Why you cannot see a red McdDonald’s?

That is because of the act of Kyoto Prefecture Government.

I will show you how unique signs Kyoto has in this article.

Everything for the Cityscape!

In 2007, the Government of Kyoto enacted the law which regulates a bright store’s sign in order to retain the beautiful cityscape. Because of this law, all stores in the city had to give up their signs having a bright color or put up at a high position.

Since before the law was enacted, McDonald’s has had a brown signboard harmonizing with the surrounding cityscape in Kyoto.

As Kyoto used be the capital of Japan for 1,000 years, it has a really unique and valuable cityscape. There are the old imperial palace, lot of temples and shrines, and historic buildings called “Machiya”. The city is surrounded by beautiful hills on three sides. Kyoto has preserved the precious Japanese tradition and still shows us its beautiful cityscape.

All those stores which used have a bright and high signboard now cooperate with retaining the unique scene of Kyoto.

A Variety of Kyoto’s Unique Signboards

I will show you other examples of signs in Kyoto



This store near Yasaka Shrine has a white sign instead of green one.


Seven Eleven

This Seven Eleven has a sign which has more white than usual one.



This store does not have an usual green sign. It harmonizes with the cityscape.

You can also see other efforts of preserving the cityscape.


If you have a chance to visit Kyoto, why not check these signs out?

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