Nishijin Kimono

Nishijin is much more than a building, the whole district in the centre of Kyoto was once the district of Nishijin where the craftsmen and workshops producing the kimonos of the Kyoto nobility and court were located. 

Traditions have not been lost and the district still has discreet addresses and specialized shops, but it is the Textile Centre that offers visitors the best way to access the world of Japanese kimono.

The Centre is not a museum as such, even if it contains exhibitions of equipment, it is rather a centre for information, demonstration and of course the sale of kimonos for visitors. The building that houses it is resolutely modern and very sober, it only slightly evokes the beauty of its main object.

The elements on display are certainly interesting, but if you go to the Textile Centre it will be mainly to attend its kimono parades of different styles and periods. These parades take place at fixed times, plan to arrive in advance so as not to miss the kyototic beauties illuminated by the golden patterns of cranes or flowers. These parades are free and the kimonos are similar to those sold next door.

The curious also have the opportunity to become kimono models themselves. From the 12-layer kimono of the Heian period to the contemporary kimono and the maiko kimono, which is totally different from the previous ones, each one represents an experience. An experience that takes time, allow a good hour to get to the end, the kimono was never supposed to be practical to put on.

Weaving workshops on looms or videos explaining how to make the designs are also available, but once you have admired the sumptuous kimonos of the show, you will most of all have to wander happily between the shelves of the shop to detail here and there the patterns and colours of the silk works on offer. 

People who really want to buy a kimono will have to put the price on it even if more sober or synthetic creations are also available at prices that are more affordable for everyone

The Nishijin Textile Center is one of the must-see tour stops in Kyoto and one of the only places to see the beauty made in Kyoto.