Nishijin, Kyoto’s famed weaving district, in the northwest part of central Kyoto, is one of the most traditional areas – it’s a great place to see machiya (old Kyoto townhouses).
Nishijin © hslo
Nishijin Area Description:
Nishijin is located in the several blocks north and west of the Imadegawa-Horikawa intersection. The most interesting sights can be found within about 20 minutes’ walk of this intersection. In addition to some museums and galleries devoted to Kyoto’s traditional weaving industry, you’ll find some small temples. Of course, more than individual sights, one of the pleasures of Nishijin is just randomly strolling and soaking up the “Old Kyoto” atmosphere.
Sights and Activities in Nishijin
- Nishijin Textile Center
A bit of a touristy spot, but worth a visit to learn about how kimonos are made. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a kimono fashion show
The Orinasu-kan is a much better place than the Nishijin Textile Center to learn about the Nishijin district’s long history as Kyoto’s textile district
- Urasenke Chado Research Center
Kyoto has always been the heart of Japanese tea culture, and the Urasenke Chado Research Center is the equivalent of the Vatican of the Relgion of Tea
- Funaoka Onsen
Funaoka Onsen is the best sento (public bath in Kyoto), bar none. It’s got enough tubs and things to see that you can easily make it into an evening’s activity
Places to Eat in Nishijin
- Sarasa Nishijin
An old sento (public bath) decorated with tile mosaics that has been turned into a café, Sarasa Nishijin is one of Kyoto’s most interesting restaurants
- Seike Nishijin
For a yuba and tofu kaiseki that truly passes muster, visit Seike Nishijin. Their multi-course meals will reconfigure your entire understanding of tofu and soy products. Happily, they’re also willing to cater to vegetarians if notified in advance. Reservations recommended.
Kanei makes the best soba in Kyoto and soba otaku (freaks) make the pilgrimage here from all over Japan to sample these sublime noodles
Getting to Nishijin
- By bus from Kyoto Station: Take Kyoto City Bus #9 to the Horikawa-Imadegawa stop.
- By subway from Kyoto Station: Take the Karasuma Subway Line north to the Imadegawa stop and walk west along Imadegawa-dori for about 20 minutes.
- By taxi from Kyoto Station: A taxi from Kyoto Station will cost about Y1500.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)