Shopping Guide to Kyoto

kyoto at night

Kyoto at night © neepster/Flickr

Kyoto, one of Japan’s largest and most significant cities is famous not only for its touristic sights (amazing temples, Geisha districts, parks, museums, restaurants etc), but for its shopping areas as well. The unique style of Kyoto combines the aspects of a modern city with the traditional characteristics of an old Japanese city.

In connection with the shopping places, you will find here hundreds of modern shops, malls, supermarkets etc, but on the other hand several shops, celebrating the historical values of Kyoto are selling traditional crafts, foods, or gifts. This article gives may serve as a guide for shopping in Kyoto and also presents some of the best shopping places in Kyoto.


Shijo Street and Kawaramachi


Kawaramachi Street © matsuyuki/Flickr

Shijo Street (meaning Fourth Street) is one of the most crowded shopping areas in Kyoto. It is located in downtown Kyoto and it gives home to department stores such as Marui, Daimaru or Takashimaya.

Kawaramachi, a street branching from Shijo is a large pedestrian street. At the intersection with Shijo street there are Shin Kyogoku and Teramachi shopping arcades. As you walk down the street, you will see dozens of brand stores, bars, pubs and restaurants. Nishiki, a quite narrow market street is located in this part of the city as well.


Higashiyama District


Higashiyama: narrow streets and wooden buildings everywhere © Sberlazza/Flickr

If you want to buy something less modern and more traditional, this district is the best shopping place for you! This area is close to Kiyomizudera, and it has been a significant souvenir shopping place for long centuries. Goods such as souvenir gifts, traditional food, and handicrafts are mostly sold here.

The majority of the buildings in Higashiyama preserve the traditional value of Japan: as you walk here, you may think that you have traveled back in time! The streets are very narrow and stone paved. The buildings which give home to these shops and restaurants are traditional as well:all of them are built from wood!


Flea Markets


Flea market in Kyoto © dichohecho/Flickr

If you’re visiting a new city, we can say that flea markets are one of the must-see spots of every new place. In such places you can discover dozens of antique, valuable, artistic, funny, useful, etc things  for very low prices. On every 21st day of a month there is a flea market held at Toji Temple, and another one is on the 25th day of every month, at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Flea markets are probably as significant shopping places as malls. In the large variety of goods offered by the sellers you can find vendor selling clothes, antique objects, different tools and even plants, flowers and sometimes pets!


kyoto at night

Many shops are open at night in Kyoto © neepster/Flickr

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