Kyoto is said to be the place of origin of Japanese dolls. Japanese dolls became popular among the aristocracy during the Heian Period. Even in the imperial court, the aristocracy played with dolls in the same way children did, dressing them up and acting out court life. What is now known as the Kyoto Doll evolved from these dolls. The Nakayama Doll Shop, established in the 3rd year of the Meireki period, has a history of over 300 years and is a well established vendor of Japanese and Kyoto dolls. The Kyoto Handicraft Center prides itself in showcasing and selling Japanese dolls of a high artistic quality, handcrafted using traditional techniques.