Kiryu Shinmachi Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings
The nostalgic townscape of Kiryu, which flourished with the textile Industry
The Old Townscape
The nostalgic scenery of Kiryu makes for a popular tourist spot that preserves the memory of the area's once-flourishing textile industry. Even today, around Honmachi Street in the centre of Kiryu, there are historical buildings and remnants of the area as it was. These include buildings from the textiles industry such as warehouses, merchant houses, and the saw-tooth roofed factories.
The town’s origins date back 400 years to when the town fell into the control of Ono Hachiemon, a minor official under Okubo Nagayasu who was a retainer of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The town was planned and built systematically around Kiryu Tenmangu Shrine and expanded into the suburbs with the development of the silk industry.
Kiryu’s silk industry expanded to become one of Japan’s key industries between 1872 and 1937 and made a great contribution to Japan’s acquisition of foreign currency. In those days, the streets of Kiryu Shinmachi were lined with shops selling textile-related goods such as wholesalers, yarn shops, shops selling kimono fabrics, and shops selling dyed goods. In 2012, it was selected as the fifth 'Important Traditional Buildings Preservation District' and became known as “Kiryu Shinmachi Important Traditional Buildings Preservation District”.
The best way to see Kiryu, the textile town with streets imbued with the spirit of Japan, is in a kimono. We recommend The Kiryu Orihime Club, who hire out and fit kimonos for the reasonable price of 3,500 yen!
Furthermore, the '“Shokuto Kiryu” Guide Association', managed by Kiryu Tourist Association, provides trained, experienced guides to show you around Kiryu upon your request. This incredibly convenient service offers guides in a range of languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German. If you want an even more profound and interesting experience in Kiryu, we recommend seeing the town with a guide.
* It is necessary to book in advance. Please visit the Shokuto Kiryu Guide Associaton webpage.
Kiryu is known all over Japan for its textile production. It is often said that Kiryu is to textiles in east Japan what the famous Nishijin is to textiles in west Japan, so a trip around Kiryu is definitely a worthwhile experience!
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- All of 1 chome and 2 chome Honmachi, and part of 1 chome Tenjin-cho, Kiryu City, Gunma.
- Telephone number
- 0277-46-1111 (Kiryu Tourism Association)
- 15 minute walk or 5 minute drive from Kiryu Station on the JR Ryomo line. 10 minute drive from Shin-kiryu Station on the Tobu Kiryu Line.
- Official website
- Official website(English)