Kyoto, a typical sightseeing destination in Japan, is home to a lot of wonderful shops such as cute variety stores. Here are five recommended shops around Kawaramachi where you can find the perfect souvenirs from your trip.
1. Karan Colon Kyoto Main Shop
The streets of Kyoto are filled with the “karan koron" (clip-clopping) sound of geta, traditional Japanese wooden clogs. The Karan Colon brand was established in an effort to retain such Japanese atmosphere from the good old days. This shop carries quietly beautiful and cute items with a unique Japanese taste that best represent the Kyoto atmosphere. One of the staple items sold here is the gamaguchi (coin purse), available in a lot of adorable designs. This is one shop that should be visited by people who love Japanese designs.
SOU・SOU is a Kyoto brand that was established in 2002 by three people: a textile designer, an architect. and and a producer. This shop manufactures and sells the original “jikatabi" (split-toed work shoes with rubber soles)” as well as Japanese clothes and furniture under the concept of “creating a new Japanese culture.” They create new designs while keeping the tradition of Japanese culture intact. The items found in this shop are famous not only among Japanese people, but among foreign tourists, too.
SOU・SOU Tabi, which offers Japanese socks with split toes, and SOU・SOU Isemomen, which carries such items as tenugui (rectangular cotton fabrics that are widely used in various ways such as dishcloths and decorations), are some of the SOU・SOU shops that can be found within the vicinity of Kawaramachi and Nakano-cho. Tenugui are a recommended souvenir, so it might be fun to go around each shop in search for that perfect present.
3. Eirakuya Hosotsuji-Ihei Shoten Shijo Shop
Eirakuya, the oldest fabric trader in Japan, is a well-established shop in Kyoto that has been selling tenugui and furoshiki (square wrapping cloth used for carrying, wrapping and storing objects) for about 400 years. It still sells them today, but the product lineup has grown to include goods that incorporate new designs while using traditional Japanese art in pieces such as handkerchiefs, canvas bags, and fans. Of these items, the design of a dog with a monkey and pheasant at its feet and Momotaro (a character from a Japanese folk tale about a child who slew an ogre) on its back has become such a staple design that it is also depicted on the shop’s noren (curtain hanging at the shop's entrance). It will surely make anyone who receives it as a souvenir very happy!
4. Duce mix gallery+shop
Opened in April 2016, Duce mix gallery+shop is a shop where you can enjoy art and souvenir items at the same time. This shop introduces works of artists selected by its staff, regardless of genre. It is filled with a wide array of unique items that you cannot find in any other shop, from cute dolls to one-of-a-kind earrings and broaches, adorable book covers, and Duce mix original wristwatches.
How about checking out this shop to find something you like that is the only one of its kind in the world?
5. INOBUN Shijo Main Branch
INOBUN is a shop that sells tasteful miscellaneous lifestyle items under the concept “make life fun and filled with joy”. The Shijo branch is a huge miscellaneous goods store that is made up of five floors, starting from the basement. Inside this shop, you will find various simple and functional items such as watches/clocks, dishes, cooking utensils and furniture.
This shop holds various events per season, so make sure to check them out first before you go for a visit!
Kyoto is not just a place that is filled with well-established shops, but is also home to a lot of new, wonderful stores. You will surely find a shop you like!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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