Kyoto has flourished by Nishijin textile and kimono. Although the number of people wearing kimono got less than 20 years ago and many company in Nisjijin Kyoto went bankrupt, the traditional skill to weave textiles has been still succeeded.
Now, kimono rental service and the show of kimono for tourists are very popular in Kyoto. We can see Kimono show in Nishijin textile center for free!
Kimono Show in Nishijin textile center
Kimono shows are held 7 times a day for free. It’s about 15 minutes for one show.
Beautiful women wearing varieties of kimono and obi(sash) appear on the stage with Japanese music.
You can find which style you would like to try. Which do you prefer bright color kimono with pretty patterns or modest kimono which looks mature? Small patterns or large patterns?
We have many ways to tie sash such as just a simple square, flowers and ribbons. It’s fun to see them.
If you have reservation, you can try wearing kimono and Junihitoe, special kimono for loyal family here.
The old loom with scarcity value
Not only kimono show or wearing kimono, but also we can learn how they had been weaved.
There is an old rare loom here. It was used before the loom Jacquard (1752-1834) had invented was imported from France around 1800. Before Jacquard’s loom, one person had to be on the machine to regulate yarns.
I can’t imagine how it took special skills and times to weave beautiful textiles in those days.
I think it’s worth to visit Gion festival in July in Kyoto, when we can see large traditional textiles decorated around floats.
By the way, a waiting room in Tea Ceremony Koto also has “Mongami”, the pattern of Nishijin textile. It decides the pattern of warps. Although we can weave kimono and obi without Mongami because of the computers now, it is still necessary when we make handmade textile by Jacquard’s loom.
Nishijin Textile Center
〒602-8216 414 Tatemonzen-cyo, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-city
Business hour：AM9:00 ～ PM5:00 Admission free
Souvenirs of Nishijin textile
Nishijin textile center has large souvenir shop on the 2nd floor. We can buy coin case, tie for business man, bag and tapestries, which we can use for daily life.
I’ve found pretty poaches and typical bag for tea ceremony in the wholesaler “Bando Kinran” next to Nishijin textile center. Kinran or gold brocade, is a technique that was brought over from China in the sixteenth century. The gold leaf and gold thread are used.
Band’s Kinran is used for the costume of Japanese historical drama created by NHK and modern costume for young Japanese pop idol also.
If you would like to make your original poach, we can buy kinran cloth here.
West side Imadegawa Minami iru Horikawa-dori Kamigyo-ku Kyoto
Business hour: 9:00～17:30
Regular holiday: Sunday, 2nd and 3rd Saturday