Kyoto's Nishijin area is the city's traditional weaving section.
It has seen its fortunes wane because of the strength of the yen and lifestyle changes. Even in Kyoto, most women rarely wear kimono though yukata robes are making a bit of a comeback.
Much of the area - roughly north of Imadegawa, west of Horikawa - is defined by traditional buildings. And many weaving companies remain.
The alley pictured above right is one of the few remaining "roji" - a narrow cul-de-sac lined with wooden homes and shops.
Because of building codes, such alleys once they disappear will be gone for good. The primary reason is safety: fire trucks and equipment cannot get into the narrow alleys.
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Friday, November 12, 2010