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The Splendor of ARIMATSU:

Step into the Edo period;
Authentic traditional tie-dying
-Arimatsu: Elegant tie-dyes
flowing in the wind.-

Below the endless sky bathed in deep indigo lies a timeless treasure. Arimatsu; a town steeped in the traditional arts of tie-dying. Here, historic buildings presided by prominent merchant families that have stood the test of time complete the picturesque scenery reminiscent to what one may see in an Edo Period
Ukiyo-e work of art.
In this place of tranquility, where meticulously crafted noren curtains waving in the wind adorn the streets, Yaji, the protagonist in the classic Japanese novel 'Tokaidochu Hizakurige' ('Shank's Mare'), overtaken by the sheer beauty of the tie-dyed crafts resolves to possess his own tie-dyed tenugui hand towel. You too can have your very own world-renowned tie-dyed souvenir. Edo culture has been preserved in this town for over 400 years and has been captivating visitors to this very day.

Japan Heritages

Japanese tangible and intangible cultural properties/assets, i.e. regional histories, traditions and customs, are passed down for generations through narratives. These stories, telling of the legacy of our culture and histories, have been designated as "Japan Heritage" by the Agency of Cultural Affairs.
In May 2019, the story of the district of Arimatsu received such a designation.

Japan Heritage Japan Heritage

Arimatsu's allure

Learn about the charming characteristics of Arimatsu.

Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing

Experience Arimatsu's
everlasting tie-dyeing culture

Tie-dyeing is a dyeing technique which remains since antiquity. Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing is even designated as a national traditional craft, and Arimatsu is known as holder of the greatest number of tie-dyeing techniques the world over.
You are sure to run into a variety of tie-dyes from traditional to contemporary styles after walking around town from the historic Tokaido Road.
Learn about tie-dyeing at the Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum, where items are both on display and available for purchase, and see actual traditional tie-dyeing craftsmen as they work. You can even tie-dye a handkerchief, scarf, or other such accessory at various tie-dye studios around town.


Arimatsu's townscape as depicted
in woodblock prints

Arimatsu's townscape is built along the Tokaido Road and is highly valued as a national important preservation district for groups of traditional buildings. It is the ideal place to take a stroll with sights like monuments engraved with lines of Japanese poetry placed as an accent to the area's ambiance.
Most wonderous of all may be that the townscape is left virtually unchanged from that illustrated in woodblock prints from the Edo period and depicted in the Shank's Mare just as the story's characters, Yaji and Kita, saw it.
Arimatsu's tie-dye shops have more spacious frontages compared to those of other regions, and the buildings' heights are lower as a means of keeping their indigo tie-dye products from fading in the sun—two very characteristic traits. These spectacles are something you need to see for yourself.


Immerse yourself in the traditional culture
of Arimatsu's festivals

Watch the tie-dyed fabrics created through meticulous work dance wildly in the wind throughout the town during Arimatsu's Tie-Dye Festival in June, or be swept away with the sound of flutes and drums as mechanized karakuri dolls dance atop three parade floats at the Grand Autumn Festival at Arimatsu Temman Shrine (Arimatsu Float Festival) in October. Flocks of people come to view these popular and lively events every year, and when night comes during the Grand Autumn Festival, the floats light their paper lanterns for an especially magical scene.
The Grand Autumn Festival's floats became part of the festival as symbols of this community's prosperity from the tie-dyeing industry, and all three of them feature karakuri dolls—a characteristic of parade floats in Nagoya and the surrounding area.

Shopping and cuisine

Enjoy shopping in Arimatsu just like Yaji and Kita

The two main characters, Yaji and Kita, of the classic Japanese novel Shank's Mare, visited the town of Arimatsu on their pilgrimage to Ise Grand Shrine as they came from the east, walking along the Tokaido Road. And although people now use trains, you can still get to the same location after a walk south from Arimatsu Station. There, you can do just as Yaji did by purchasing a tie-dye hand towel—a famous souvenir of the Tokaido Road.
This area also pours its tie-dying ingenuity into creating winter and summer kimonos as well as western clothing, accessories, decorations, and other products available for sale at numerous shops. Step into Yaji's shoes and look for your own special souvenir.
You can also find vintage shops which have been renovated into cafes and restaurants. There are also old shops which have been changed into guest houses should you choose to stay the night.

Find out about Arimatsu's cuisine from the page below.


Walking Arimatsu with a Tour Guide

Arimatsu has been designated a Japan Heritage site for its traditional tie-dyeing techniques and its historic and atmosphere-laden historical townscape, where numerous old houses from the Edo period have been preserved with architectural features that include Japanese tiled roofs adorned with udatsu (fire prevention walls) and nurigome-zukuri plastered walls, and its value is attracting new attention as a result. As a town whose traditions are proudly protected and cherished by its residents, Arimatsu has incredible appeal for tourists and is the ideal place for a leisurely visit. Two tour guides who work for the Arimatsu Tour Guide Association are going to show us around.

Videos of Arimatsu's allure

Short videos introducing the charm of Arimatsu

  • Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing

  • Townscape

  • Festivals

  • Shopping and cuisine

Cultural properties shaping stories

Learn about the stories that make up the cultural property of Arimatsu, designated a Japan Heritage.

Nagoya City Arimatsu Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings

House of Oka

Parade float events
of the Arimatsu Festival

Arimatsu Dashi Float Museum

Takeda Shoukuro Monument, Suzuki Kinzo Monument

Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum and its tie-dye exhibits

Gionji Temple, the Stone of Buddha's Footprints, Empress Komyo's Buddhist Poetry Monument, 33 statues of Kannon Bodhisattva, and statues
of the 16 Arhats

Arimatsu Temmansha Shrine

All cultural properties

Getting to Arimatsu

By train

About 20 min. to Arimatsu Station from Nagoya Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line

By car

About 1 min. east from the Arimatsu Interchange on the Mei-Nikan Expressway.

By air

About 30 min. to Kanayama Station from Chubu Centrair International Airport on a Meitetsu limited express train, followed by about 40 min. to Arimatsu Station from Kanayama Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line

By bullet train

■ From Tokyo
About 1 hour and 40 min. to Nagoya Station from Shinagawa Station on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines, followed by about 20 min. to Arimatsu Station from Nagoya Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line

■ From Osaka
About 50 min. to Nagoya Station from Shin-Osaka Station on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines, followed by about 20 min. to Arimatsu Station from Nagoya Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line