Kyoto has been at the center of kimono and textile production in Japan for the past 1,000 years. Visit Nishijin to learn about the history of and see demonstrations of this ancient art.
The origins of Nishijin go back to the 5th century, with textiles developed for the Imperial Court
Nishijin Textile Center is run by the Nishijin Textile Industry Association, a trade guild of around 500 textile manufacturers, weavers and others working in the kimono trade
Nishijin Textile Center is easily accessible by train or bus from JR Kyoto Station.
By train: Take the Karasuma Subway line north to Imadegawa Station. Walk west along Imadegawa-dori for approximately 20 minutes.
Alternatively, Kyoto City Bus #9 passes the Horikawa Imadegawa bus stop near the center. Factor around 30 minutes for your entire journey.
Perhaps the center's biggest draw is its kimono fashion show, which showcases truly grand kimono in various styles and forms. The show takes place on an hourly basis.
The center's second floor is a hub of learning. Watch local craftspeople weave and sew intricate creations, or observe the silkworm breeding farm and learn how threads are made.
The third floor features a gallery of the most impressive kimono from earlier times with exhibits changing throughout the year.
If you want a more hands-on experience, the center offers traditional small-loom weaving classes. Try your hand at making a place mat, scarf or crafting items out of silkworm cocoons.
Visitors can rent and wear kimono from the center for photographic purposes or stroll the streets of Kyoto in traditional garb. Fancier kimono, like those worn by maiko (geisha in training) or ladies of the court, are also available. You can even get your face painted in the traditional make up of the day.
The center's gift shop sells many items including local foodstuffs, Japanese dolls, prints, neckties, handbags, and of course an array of kimono and textiles.
Admission to the Nishijin Textile Center is free and no reservations are needed.