【2018 Edition】4 Recommended Shops for Japanese Goods and Crafts in Kyoto
Kyoto is a place where you can get hold of various products that value Japanese style and sensibility. Below are four shops in Kyoto where you can easily purchase Japanese sundry goods and handicrafts for your personal use or as present/souvenir.
1. Coin Purse from Matsuhiro Shoten Sanjo Main Store
Matsuhiro Shoten is a shop that sells “gamaguchi” (coin purse) wallets, bags and other products. A lot of people, from locals to tourists, love this place thanks to its rich lineup of designs and patterns that run in the hundreds, the variety of sizes available, and the affordable prices of its crafts. All the products that it sells are created by hand by expert artisans. Even the fine adjustments of the mouthpiece of the purses are completely done by hand so that customers will be able to love and use them for a long time, keeping in mind the importance of user-friendly design and careful processing. Recommended at this shop is the series of 3.3-sun Marugata Gamaguchi (3.3-inch round coin purse) (850 JPY (excl. tax)). This series comes in a wide array of designs, such as stylish block check pattern and cute gourds scattered on a red background.
2. Tea Ware from Asahiyaki
Asahiyaki is a pottery shop that was founded in Uji, Kyoto, which is considered as the center of tea culture. It is known for creating products that constantly add a new sense that fits the needs of the times while keeping the traditional techniques that have been in place since the first generation of artisans built a kiln about 400 years ago. On July 2017, it opened a shop and gallery overlooking Uji River at a spot that is just a minute’s walk from the workshop in Uji. If you are looking for souvenir, you might want to check out the Kahin Seiki (blue glazed) series (※) of tea ware.
These are masterpiece products that demonstrate the skill of artisans up to the smallest details, such as the placement of more than 150 holes on the hohin (small teapot without handle) to ensure that the flavors of tea are fully extracted, the tea that is poured up to the last drop, and the use of a lid that is finished in several tenths of a millimeter unit so that it can perfectly seal the pot when closed. Another highlight of these products is their beautiful designs that will help you better enjoy the color of tea.
Set: 39,000 JPY (excl. tax)
Hohin: 25,000 JPY (excl. tax)
Yuzamashi (water cooler): 6,000 JPY (excl. tax)
Bowl: 4,000 JPY (excl. tax) × 2
3. Small Box from Ohako-ya Souka
Ohako-ya Souka is a showroom and shop of Kyoto Tokuriki Hangakan (gallery of Tokuriki woodblock prints) that strives to create woodblocks, and living tools and containers that use woodblocks. Its signature product is the ohako - a small box that bears a wide array of patterns such as the seasons in Japan that are painted on woodblocks, famous spots in Kyoto, and traditional patterns that have been passed on from ancient times. You can choose an ohako with your favorite design and turn it into a set with origami (folding paper), memo pad or candies inside. To get an idea on the prices of its products, the Kyo-meisho (famous spots in Kyoto) (box size: 70mm in width, 75mm in length and 35mm in depth/with 40g of brown sugar kompei (small sugar candies) inside) is priced at 600 JPY (excl. tax). With its adorable designs that will surely cheer you up just by looking at them, these boxes are the perfect small gift for the important people in your life.
4. Japanese Tea Caddies from Kaikado
Kaikado is a veteran shop that boasts a long history dating back to 1875. Its flagship product is the handmade chazutsu (tea caddy) with the oldest history in Japan. From the time the shop was founded, until today, these tea caddies are created with all processes done by hand. Made from copper, brass and tin, these canisters come in various sizes, such as 100g, 200g and 400g. As for the price, the Chazutsu Copper Long 100g (with a diameter of 6.5cm and height of 9.5cm), for instance, is priced at 12,960 JPY (incl. tax). The more you use these tea caddies, the more you will enjoy the unique feel of their materials, their subdued gloss and the graceful aging of their texture and appearance.
So, what do you think of Kyoto’s Japanese sundries and handicrafts are both easy to use and possess excellent design? Make sure to visit the shops featured in this article.
*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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