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Shimogyo Shopping

Where to Shop in Shimogyo - Kyoto

Shimogyo contains the city’s busiest shopping district, Shijo Kawaramachi, plus a huge shopping mall called Isetan inside the landmark Kyoto Station complex. There are as many as 5 department stores and many smaller specialty shops in and around the Shijo Kawaramachi intersection.

Exploring Shimogyo on foot is the best way to discover some of the more obscure and unique shops that deal in exquisite traditional items such as authentic Japanese papers, distinctive Kyoto incense and accessories for kimonos.

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Kimono Shops in Central Kyoto

A popular downtown location for out-of-town visitors to get traditional goods is along Shijo Dori Street and Kawaramachi Dori Street. Here, there are many shops that specialise in kimonos and clothing accessories. Look out for unique items such as red lanterns, tea-ceremony utensils, and lacquerware. These areas are well known for lively bars, clubs, and coffee shops, too.

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Kungyoku-do

Take home the scent of Kyoto with some aromatic incense from Kungyoku-do. In Japan, kodo or ‘the way of incense’ is considered an austere art form; the smoke rising from the incense is said to show the way to heaven. Kungyoku-do imports materials from throughout Asia to craft these beautifully fragrant tokens of Kyoto. You will find this boutique store next to Nishi Hongan-ji temple. The company has been trading from the same location since its inception in 1594.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5.30pm (closed on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month)
  • Address: Horikawa-dori, Nishihonganji-mae, Shimogyo, Kyoto, 600-8349, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-371-0162
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Jusan-ya

A vital part of a geisha’s impeccable ensemble is her wooden hair comb, called kanzashi. The use of hair ornaments is deeply symbolic and offer geisha an avenue for a little individuality. For more than 60 years Jusan-ya has been crafting exquisite boxwood combs and hair accessories for Kyoto’s geiko and maiko. Although you may not have the kimono to fulfill the look, these fragile ornaments are a great gift for any woman.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm
  • Location: Shinkyogoku Higashi-Iru, Shijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 221 2008
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Morita Wagami

Paper is very important in Japan, an essential element in traditional doors, windows, fans, lamps and umbrellas. Morita Wagami’s quality handmade paper is highly sought-after in many parts of the world and its huge selection will fill a few hours of browsing. Craftspeople, calligraphers, artists, even scrap-bookers will be amazed at the number of different colours, textures, grains and especially the gorgeous chiyogami, decorated paper.

  • Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm
  • Location: Bukko-ji Agaru Higashinotoin Dori, Shimyogo, Kyoto, 600-8095, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 341 0123
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Isetan Department Store

If you need last-minute shopping before leaving town, try the huge department store called Isetan located inside JR Kyoto Station. Isetan features modern and fashionable imported and local-produced clothing, bags, cosmetics and more.

The top floor has countless beautiful kimonos in many patterns and styles. Down on the food floor in the basement, you won’t believe the variety of displays of delicious Japanese cuisine. If you have children, a cruise through the kids’ section will unearth some excellent toys and dolls. Japan is well known for ‘cute’ characters like Hello Kittie and you'll find a whole range of branded items here.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 8pm
  • Location: JR Kyoto Station, Higashi Shijokoji-cho, Karasuma Shijokoji, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-352-1111
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Daimaru Department Store

Daimaru is a large chain store with many branches in Japan and even a few overseas, but it’s first branch was actually here in Kyoto. There are currently 3 Daimaru stores in Kyoto. The biggest one is on Shijo Dori, west of Takakura, and has 9 floors with a good range of products such as men’s and women's wear, bedding, local souvenirs, electronic goods, and household goods, including Japanese kitchenware.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 8pm
  • Location: 79 Tachiurinishimachi, Shijo Takakura, Simogyo, Kyoto, 600-8511, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-211-8111
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Takashimaya Department Store

With many years of experience in retailing, Takashimaya is one of the major department store brands in Japan with 20 stores under its belt, including branches in New York, Singapore, Taiwan and Bangkok. It was actually founded in Kyoto as a kimono shop back in 1831, but Takashimaya later grew into a bigger store with more selections and moved its headquarters to Osaka where it remains to this day. You’ll find a huge selection of clothing here, including some of Japan’s most in trend fashion and brands. The Kyoto store holds regular cultural and art exhibitions. It’s easy to find Takashimaya above Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 8pm
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-221-8811
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Fujii Daimaru Department Store

Fujii Daimaru is one of Kyoto’s smaller department stores but is still packed with interesting, trendy shops selling unique fashion for young men and women. Rather than rows of restaurants, Fujii buzzes with intimate cafés and bistros – although there is a food court which serves a great variety of dishes. If you’re looking for men’s fashion, head to the excellent Beams outlet on the first floor – it stocks some limited-edition T-shirts you can only find here. It’s easy to find Fuji Daimaru as it’s just a couple of minutes’ walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 10.30am to 8pm
  • Location: 605 Teramachi-dori, Shimogyo, Kyoto, 600-8031, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-221-8181
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