Shopping is fun in Kyoto. Because of its rich cultural heritage, Kyoto is the best place to buy traditional Japanese handicrafts and goods, including lacquerware, kimono, woodblock prints, swords, ceramics, incense, and green tea. But just because Kyoto is old, it’s not a boring and musty town. It also has its fair share of modern shopping malls and department stores where you can buy electronics and luxury items boasting of French- or Italian-sounding brands. Here are our five recommendations for top shopping destinations to satisfy your Kyoto holiday.
Kyoto itself is a well-preserved city, but the Higashiyama District is where you will truly feel how ancient the city really is. The Higashiyama District is where you will find the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Maruyama-koen Park. Around these locations are quaint shops selling traditional Kyoto goods, including the famous Kiyomizu-yaki pottery.
Kyoto Handicraft Center
If you don’t have a lot of time to shop for souvenirs, just head to the Kyoto Handicraft Center. Unlike handicraft centres found in other touristy destinations where the items are more on the trashy or kitschy side, this one is full of high-quality goods you’d be proud to display or use. Items for sale here include kimono and yukata, woodblock prints, ceramics, lacquerware, and fine jewellery.
Kyoto Station is your best proof that Kyoto is not entirely old and traditional. This ultramodern building is the central transport hub for trains, subways and buses serving the city. Inside the Kyoto Station building itself are Isetan Department Store, The Cube Shopping Mall, and Porta Underground Shopping Mall. These malls contain a vast collection of fashion boutiques selling both local and imported clothes and accessories, souvenir shops, food stores, and restaurants.
It is Kyoto’s oldest market, with its first stall established in 1310. Thus, this is why it is considered as top shopping destinations in Kyoto. It’s typical to find a shop in this market that’s been run by the same family for generations. Nishiki Market exemplifies Japan’s traditional food street, and its stores run a wide gamut of food used in Kyoto cuisine – pickles, fresh vegetables, seafood, produce, sweets, and many others. Some stalls also offer ready-to-eat street food such as dango and mochi, and some serve as sit-down eateries.
Shijo Street in Downtown Kyoto is the place to go if you’re in the mood to shop for anything trendy and non-traditional in a highly traditional place like Kyoto, including runway fashion items, cosmetics, electronics and other goods. Here you’ll find shopping malls like Daimaru Department Store, Koto +, and Takashimaya Department Store. You’ll also find a sprinkling of high-end boutiques like Armani and Louis Vuitton.
It’s easy to scratch a shopaholic itch in Kyoto, and you’ll have so many choices available. Also, check out the best time to visit Kyoto. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Kyoto right now.