Friday, March 26, 2010

Where is the Best Souvenier Shopping in Kyoto?

Although we will be going to Tokyo we will be there for the start of our trip and in Kyoto towards the end. Don%26#39;t want to cart shopping around for nearly 3 weeks.

Where are or which is the best place to get reasonably priced souveniers in Kyoto.

We are staying in the Goin district but will travel to other areas of Kyoto.



Where is the Best Souvenier Shopping in Kyoto?鈥?/a>

Where is the Best Souvenier Shopping in Kyoto?

You can find just about any souvenirs in one place at Kyoto Handicraft Center Building from pearls, wooden sake cups, swords, fans, yukata, to kimono including the wood print curving demonstration, etc.. They also have buffet restaurant at the top floor. If you go, go before the tourist bus crowds come in.

Some of the temples/shrines have shopping areas on the streets leading to the entry. Both Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkakuji both have many shops. Some are local foods, teas, spices, pickled veggies, pottery, fans, fabric items. But there are also plenty of the cheap and tacky souvenirs like key chains....etc.

At the base of Ginkakuji shopping area, walk along the canal (Philosopher%26#39;s walk) and there are many nicer souvenir shops along the way. One of them is full of little fabric bags, cell phone holder, purses, scarves, and very reasonably priced.

The Handicraft Center mentioned previously carries many cheap souvenirs, but note that much of it is made in China and/or elsewhere, and not really a Japanese craft. A couple of blocks away is the Kyoto Craft Center, which is truly local crafts and worth a visit. Frommer%26#39;s mentions it:

Other crafts can be found on the upper floors of department stores, and the small shops along the streets just outside of the department stores in the center of the city.

The Nishijin silk factory has some lovely pieces, many are expensive but you can also find reasonably priced nice items.

The Buddhist fittings shop area is just a few blocks north and east of Kyoto station. And across the street north of the station is a 100 yen store.

We bought some lovely Kyoto ceramics in a gorgeous shop leading up to Kiyomizudera and had them posted back to Oz. Apart from being convenient the postage was very reasonable.

If you do venture up to Kiyomizudera it is also worth your while to walk up/down the lane behind the main lane leading to the temple...seemed to be a little more traditional e.g. lovely sandalwood combs e.t.c.

Unless you actually saw the making, most are designed in Japan, produced in China and imported to Japan so you can afford them as souvenirs. They are generally better quality than those sold as souvenirs in other countries like US, Australia, Europe, etc. Most of what tourists buy believing made in Japan may not be. And most items will not be categorized as souvenirs as too costly if actually hand made in Japan. So it is your choice how much you want to spend on an item.

I.E. Yukata is all imported.

I would recommend the basement of Kyoto Station. Easy to locate and there are a lot to choose from to fit any budget. Otherwise, Kawaramachi and Shijo is only a stone throw away from Gion and there are a lot of shops on Shijo. Other than that, Tera machi would be fun to roam around. This used to be a redlight district but is now a covered shopping street more for locals. Nishiki market may also worth checking out if you have time. I also recommend walking in the back alleys and look for local shops. Stuff like green tea dry soba, green tea bags, green tea kit kat can be easily picked up at convenience stores like Family Mart or 7-11.

Have fun and enjoy!


How about hand made award winning Japanese mementos?鈥eature17.html

amazinga....this is a great video and an interesting craft/souvenier idea. I%26#39;m going to make a point of looking for these products.

Thank you for passing it on!


Do you think the obi a group of us bought in a Kyoto temple flea market came from China? It has no label, weighs a lot, certainly looks Japanese. Now you have me thinking. I still like it.



If you like it, enjoy showing %26amp; looking at it. Don%26#39;t think too much %26amp; spoil your day.

Most of bargain items are made in China even though the quality is better than for most other exporting countries, like US. Even very expensive items from a reputable store, MAYBE still made not in Japan except designs. You need to see the actual production anymore. But where do you draw the line?

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