This paper focuses on the revision of the City Planning Law in 1933, which extended the law's application to small towns, focusing primarily on towns with hot springs (Onsen), beaches, historical sites and sightseeing places.
In the 1920s, scenic areas started to be developed, but the disorganized and uneven nature of this development caused some problems. In the face of this, city planners realized the importance of planning in scenic areas. Research by the Toshi-Kenkyukai (都市研究会) in 1930 clarified that many city planners could utilize city planning in scenic towns to protect the environments from damage by the private companies, to conserve the scenery, to improve the space for tourists, and to combine existing industry with new markets for tourism. At that point in time, the City Planning Law did not apply to small towns. In 1933, the law was revised and small towns with hot springs (Onsen), beaches, historical sites and sightseeing places were included. Kazumi Iinuma, the chief officer of the city planning department, aimed for conserving the natural scenery of these towns, in addition to developing the district close to the natural scenery properly.
Through the application of the City Planning Law, the layouts of small towns were decided not only by the town's will but also the prefectures. 576 towns in total applied the revised City Planning Law by the end of the WW2. 224 of them had planned streets, scenic districts or parks. In this paper, 56 towns are identified as scenic towns in light of official statements made and reasons given for the plan. These scenic towns, compared with the others, made a greater number of planning decisions regarding scenic districts and parks.