If you are short on time but want to buy nice Japanese handicrafts, this is the best place in Kyoto to do it. It is really a 5 floor handicraft mall. Each floor is a different vendor. You are given a card when you enter that can be validated by each vendor you buy from. Depending on how many stamps you have on the card you get a free gift when you leave. Some of the artisans work on their crafts right there.
What to buy: Cloisnnne jewelry, pearls, fans, wood block prints, textile products.
What to pay: A large variety of items in all price ranges are available.
When you are travelling in Japan, make sure that you don't touch the item displayed. Just look at the item especially if you don't intend to buy at all. Picking the item gives a signal to the store owner that you wanted to buy the item. The store owner immediately takes the item and gift-wrap it! Since you picked up the item, you are assumed to pay for it.
My friend told me that when she was travelling in Japan, she wore sunglasses so the store owner wouldn't see what she is looking at. She learned this trick from her first visit because she was just browsing then and she was expected to buy the item!
As for me, I picked up the item and started looking at it and the owner took it from me and wrapped it! I ended up buying what I was just browsing! At the last day of my visit, I ended up buying too much gifts that I didn't even mean to buy!
What to buy: There are so many nice things to buy in Kyoto. I love the keychains they have. There are so many choices. I also brought home Kabuki dolls, place mats, potteries, hankerchiefs, curtains and key chains.
Make sure to dismantle the Kabuki stand and wrap it with bubble wrap. Make sure to pad them carefully- otherwise they will break! And, so with the potteries!
What to pay: The key chains are mostly 500 to 599 yen. The potteries price range depends on which one you are buying.
This is just a precautionary measure. When buying electronics in Japan, make sure to ask the store keeper or seller to give you a receipt for immigration purposes. You will probably needed this when you pass immigration going home!
When you buy an imitation samurai, make sure to get a declaration that what you bought is not a real samurai! There is a government policy in Japan that protects real samurai to get out of their country!
What to buy: Electronics, computers and also samurai or imitation samurai
What to pay: Depending on what you bought
Glico is a local brand and is famous for its "Pocky". In Kyoto, you will find all types of Pocky and Glico manufactures 1 particular one for Kyoto. There are many different flavours sold too. These boxes of Pocky can serve as good local souvenirs to be brought home too.
What to pay: Prices range from 95 Yen to 1050 Yen depending on which one you buy.
Usually sold at the temples, these good luck charms for different situations can be good souvenirs for your friends and relatives and even yourself. There are charms for studies, pregnancy, safe-driving, work life luck, etc.
What to pay: 400 Yen onwards depending on the size and design of the charm.
Nishiki Market is a narrow, shopping street, lined by more than one hundred shops. Some of these shops has been run by the same faimlies for centuries. Various kinds of fresh and processed foods are sold here, including many Kyoto specialties, such as pickles, Japanese sweets, dried food, sushi, and fresh seafood and vegetables
This is a wonderful shop that sells all kinds of Japanese souvenir goods: chopsticks, face paper, dolls, handkerchiefs, pottery, stationary, wallets, etc. Besides the usual goods, they also sell some very beautiful Japanese handbags.
Open daily 10am-6pm.
Yes, there are also Hello Kitty items on some of the stores at Ginkakuji Temple. The variety of items to buy from are vey limited but if you are a Hello Kitty lover, I am sure you will find some items that you like.
What to buy: Hello Kitty items
What to pay: Depend on what you ike
What to buy:
Clothes, shoes, cheap souvenirs for people at home or every day items for yourself (chopsticks, japanese crockery etc .. at the 100yen shops).
There's plenty of restaurants and cafés and a supermarket.
This is a six story building selling just about anything the general tourist might want, from inexpensive things like T-shirts, dolls etc. to fine pearls, woodblock prints and kimonos. The range of items is almost staggering. We made this the last stop on our trip, to pick up gifts to bring home. The prices were not very different from what we saw at smaller stores throughout Kyoto on the earlier days of our trip; it was just nice for us to get them at the end and not have to carry them with us earlier. So when you are traveling, you can consider postponing your purchases. The exception would be more unique craft items. While there are many at this store, there was greater variety at some small places we were at earlier.
When you enter the store they give you a small guide which tells the general type of items available on each floor. It seems there are several vendors, so there is some overlap of things on different floors. They also have a cafeteria, and some hands-on activities such as making folding fans and dolls.
What to buy: Just about anything.
What to pay: Anything you want.
After visiting many of Kyoto's temples and shrines, a great souvenir to bring back from each is their temple/shrine talisman. Each place have talisman for various reason - easy childbirth, good exam results, good health, etc. They are cute, colorful and practical, and also cheap.
What to pay: A few hundred yens or couple of US$, depending on size of the talismans.
This the food shop at the ground floor of Kyoto station departement store. After I understood that not many restaurants used toi have an english menu and anyway that prices were a bit high, I started buying food in the supermarket and I definitly enjoyed a lot.
Opening time: 10 am untill 8 pm.
What to buy: Sushi and Sashimi, the quality is great and they are cheap.
What to pay: A package with 12 tuna sushi is about 300 yen.
Take a stroll down the main street in Gion and feast your eyes to traditional gifts, mouth-watering food and perhaps a geisha or two?
The main strip of Gion is a very popular street, no matter what time of day or night it is (providing the shops are open of course!).
What to buy: Foreigners find it a great place to buy souvenirs and 'traditional' Japanese gifts. I found some beautiful fans with detailed pictures of tigers and dragons for my younger cousins - they loved them!
You've also got a great assortment of Japanese and western-style restaurants. It seems Italian food is the main craze at the moment - and it's no wonder why - the food is very very good! There are also bakeries, cake shops and funky food bars for the younger crowd.
And don't forget to keep your eyes peeled in case you catch a glimpse of a real-life geisha or maiko (geisha in-training)!!! I saw a maiko girl once near Kyoto train station but before I had time to get my camera out, she'd disappeared down a side-alley!
What to pay: Gion is about average in money-wise. Of course in the boutique stores you'll pay double the price for goods, but in most souvenir shops and restaurants you'll be paying average, for eg:
souvenir fan = 2,000 yen
japanese-style small comb = 2,000 yen
carbonara pasta = 1,000 yen
bagel = 200 yen
(and don't forget to add tax!)
The Shop is along the way going down the street from Ginkakuji Temple. The crafts store sell a lot of Japanese hanging decorations and other local craft items. There are more displays on the second floor of the museum. There are also silk purses sold there.c*
What to buy: Craft items
What to pay: Depends on what you buy
Shijo-dori is the main shopping street in Kyoto where you will find international brand names like Gucci, Prada, Bulgari and Tiffany in addition to major Japanese departmental stores like Takashimaya, Hankyu, Daimaru, Sogo and Isetan. However, if you look sideways, you will find covered shopping malls. Do explore these malls as they offer a lot.
What to buy: Typical Kyoto dolls, fans, lacquerware. You can also buy samurai swords of various shapes and sizes!
What to pay: Prices vary but small souvenirs range from Y250 - Y1000