Kyoto Handicraft Center, Kyoto
If your tour guide tries to take you to the Kyoto Handy Craft Center fight going with every bit of your being! (I'm sure our tour guide must get some sort of a kick-back).
If you are desperate to buy fake samurai swords or large-size yukata or cheap kimonos or t-shirts for large-size friends then you should go. Unless you like kind of crappy and overpriced junk or if you miss spending time with depressed-looking Americans, skip it. The weird lunch offered at the Viking buffet here is yucky as well but there is a lot of it, I guess.
I'd recommend spending a longer time at one of the more beautiful and authentic places like Kiyomizudera Temple or Ryoanji Garden.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go look at the ceramics section. There were pretty things there. I guess you could buy post cards too.
Fun Alternatives: If you'd like a truly awesome shopping experience with a little tourist schlock thrown in for fun then walk up the winding shopping street that leads to Kiyomizudera Temple. Some shops have been selling the same items for hundreds of years. It might be a little bit expensive but...really, do you want a bargain or do you want a remembrance of a beautiful, historic place?
Kyoto Handicraft Centre
Ok well if you have souvenirs that you have to buy, it might be an ok place to go, but quite pricey. I was looking forward to more handmade pieces like the name of the place says, but not to be found. Don't bother unless you have money and time to burn.