Kyoto Shopping Guide

Intersection of Shijo and Kawaramachi

Kyoto features a unique mix of shopping, where modern, high end fashion shops can be found alongside stores with centuries of history selling traditional Kyoto crafts or specialty foods. This is well expressed in the city's largest shopping district along Shijo Street at the heart of central Kyoto.

The shopping area along Shijo Street is centered around the intersection of Shijo and Kawaramachi streets where you will find the Takashimaya and Marui department stores. A Daimaru department store, as well as high end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, stand nearby. If you continue along Shijo Street across the Kamo River toward Yasaka Shrine, the large stores give way to smaller shops selling fashion and Kyoto specialty foods and crafts.

Branching off Shijo Street around the Kawaramachi intersection are the Teramachi and Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcades. These two parallel running, covered pedestrian streets, are packed with shops and restaurants that sell day-to-day clothes and goods and draw a younger crowd than the more upscale stores along Shijo Street. Also found in the area, Nishiki Market, a colorful narrow food market street known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", runs about a block off parallel to Shijo Street.

Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcade
Nishiki Market

Kyoto's second largest shopping area is around JR Kyoto Station and includes the extensive Porta underground shopping mall, a massive Aeon shopping mall south of the station and big retailers such as a Bic Camera electronics store. The Kyoto Station building itself houses a large Isetan department store and "The Cube" shopping center with various souvenir shops, boutiques and restaurants.

For a more traditional, old Kyoto atmosphere head to the streets of the eastern Higashiyama District around Kiyomizudera where you will find a wide range of souvenirs, specialty foods and handicrafts, including the famous Kiyomizu-yaki pottery. This area's shops and restaurants have been serving travelers and pilgrims for centuries, and the district maintains its traditional feel with its narrow lanes, stone paved streets and wooden buildings.

Porta at Kyoto Station

For one stop souvenir shopping, check out the Kyoto Handicraft Center just north of Heian Shrine. The first floor of the Kyoto Handicraft Center features higher end items such as lacquerware, folding fans, damascene jewelry, armor and swords, while the upper floors have retailers selling more inexpensive souvenirs like kokeshi dolls, yukata and wood block prints.

Kyoto has also a few flea markets that are of interest to tourists. One is held every month on the 21st at Toji Temple south of Kyoto Station, while the other is held on the 25th of every month at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Both are filled with vendors selling clothes, tools, antiques, art and plants.

Handicraft Center
Flea Market at Toji Temple

Get There and Around

Hotels around Kyoto

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Ryokan Hirashin

3min walk to Shijo Karasuma Sta. Spacious Japanese-style rooms. 140 years of history. Public baths renovated in 2006.


Ryokan Motonago

A real traditional inn at Gion with 11 rooms, friendly staff. Walking distance of Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka-jinja and more.


Hotel Sanoya

3 min from north exit of JR Kyoto Sta. but in quiet area. Cozy, clean Japanese rooms with bath. Internet PC in lobby.


Ryokan Wakamiya

Inexpensive, cozy inn with helpful staff. 7 min walk from JR Kyoto Sta. Free Internet PC. Communal baths on top floor.


Gion Shinmonso

A fine ryokan in the Gion near geisha streets. Easy access to Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja. Special offers available.

Japan Guide Recommends:

Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto

One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.

Agoda Booking

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.

Agoda Booking

Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel

Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.

Agoda Booking

Khaosan Kyoto Guest House

Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.

Agoda Booking

New Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.

Agoda Booking

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.

Agoda Booking

Tours and Packages

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Page last updated: February 7, 2014