Dating back to 1608, Arimatsu (有松), once a town on the Tokaidō highway but now a suburb of southeastern Nagoya, is famous for shibori, an intricate and time-consuming traditional method of tie-dyeing cotton that is still practised here. One shibori kimono typically takes up to six months to complete, which accounts for the high price of shibori goods. You’ll find many shops selling them along the very picturesque street lined with prime examples of old Japanese architecture that lies just south of Meitetsu Arimatsu Station. If not for the utility poles and power lines, it could be a scene from a woodblock print – the old wooden houses with intricate tiled roofs providing the perfect backdrop to spring and autumn festivals (held on the third Sunday of March and first Sunday of October) when ornate floats are paraded down the street. Find out more about the tie-dyeing industry at the Arimatsu-Namuri Shibori Kaikan (有松鳴海絞会館).
Arimatsu can be reached directly from Meitetsu Nagoya Station (20min), but if you’re already at Atsuta-jingu you can board the train at the closer Jingu-mae Station. The ticket collector at Meitetsu Arimatsu can give you an English map of the area, although the houses are clearly visible from the station exit. One of the first of the old wooden houses you’ll pass after you turn left into the conservation area street is Kaihantei, which is also home to the delicious bakery-café Dasenka.