Going Up to the Miyako

I’m in Tokyo now, so just a quick post. I’ve always thought that 上京(じょうきょう) is one of the coolest two character compounds. Can you figure out what it means? I’ll give you a few blank lines to figure it out.





Get it yet?





Still no luck?




Okay, it means “go to Tokyo” or “go to Kyoto.” Literally it means “go up to the capital (implied: from our measly little backwater swamp town).” Back in the day said capital was Kyoto. Now it’s Tokyo, so if you use it now, it means go to Tokyo. Ta da.

(Funny that you 上がる to the Kanto Plain.)

0 thoughts on “Going Up to the Miyako

  1. i agree its a cool word.

    hey does that mean just go to tokyo like on a weekend or does it also/rather mean move to tokyo, as in get the hell out of the inaka and live as an ant in t-town for the rest of your life??

  2. Hey man, sorry I haven’t replied yet. I had my settings wrong and didn’t notice that you had commented.

    As far as I can tell, it can mean all of the things that you mentioned. The specific meaning would be context-based. ALC brings up examples of both: