Nishijin refers to the area covering Kamigyo and Kita Wards in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. To be precise, it refers to the area between the Horikawa-dori Street in the east and the Shichihonmatsu-dori Street in the west and between the Kuramaguchi-dori Street in the north and the Nakadachiuri-dori Street in the south of Kamigyo Ward; however, the exact location of Nishijin is not officially specified because Nishijin is not a real address.
More generally, Nishijin means the area where the textile industry including Nishijin-ori (Nishijin weaving) is concentrated.
Additionally, Nishijin is the place where the first movie theater in Japan was built.
As for the textile industry mentioned above, twill weavers were known to have already settled in Nishijin during the first half of the Kamakura period.
The word 'nishijin' (literally meaning 'a camp in the west') originated from the Onin no Ran (Onin War) in which Sozen YAMANA, the Commander in Chief of the Western Army, set up a camp to the west of Horikawa.
There are historic sites of Nishijin on the Imadegawa-dori Street between the Omiya-dori and Horikawa-dori Streets.
The kimono industry has been one of the leading industries in Kyoto, and Nishijin prospered as the center of the industry; due to the declining demand for kimono, however, Nishijin has also started to decline slightly.