About Northern Kansai

Chirimen Street (Yosano)
Where the vestige of a prosperous silk town lingers
Image of Chirimen Street (Yosano)
Image of Chirimen Street (Yosano) and Map
Map of Chirimen Street (Yosano)

“Kyoto by the sea” is the hometown of “Toyouke-no-okami”, the God of Food and Textiles, and can also be considered the “Birthplace of Textiles”. In the modern age, this region prospered as a major producer of “Tango Chirimen (a fabric imparted with an uneven surface by special technique)” that is the silk fabric used in high-end Japanese kimonos. A town-scape with the modern atmosphere of this period still remains at Chirimen Street, a perfect backdrop for a stroll in a rental kimono.

The Beauty and History of Tango Chirimen
Tango Chirimen
Tango Chirimen

Tango Chirimen-also known as silk crepe-is distinct from other silk for its pattern of fine, bumpy-textured grains across the surface that give the textile a soft texture. The texture is created when the silk yarn is compressed during the refinement process, which results in the untwisting of the weft. This also makes the fabric less prone to wrinkling and diffuses light, bringing out the rich colors of the dye. A variety of accessories created from silk “Tango Chirimen” fabric can be purchased at the tourist information center.

Old House of the Bito Family
Old House of the Bito Family

Built in 1863, this former residence of an old family of chirimen merchants showcases a blend of Japanese and Western designs. The family’s furniture and accessories are on display, creating a retro-style atmosphere.

Access

You can get to the Chirimen Silk Road by taking the Miyazu line on the Tantetsu Railway to Nodagawa Station. It is then a 20 minute bus ride from the station to “Kaya Shogakko-mae (Kayama Elementary School)” bus stop, then a 1 minute walk from there.