Nishiki Ichiba (Nishiki Market) offers five blocks of narrow lanes flanked by traditional food stalls, shops and eateries. A wholesale market has existed here since the year 1310 and it has slowly morphed into a retail food market with strong cultural linkages. One of the oldest markets in Kyoto, it showcases every culinary wonder the city has to offer, be it whale meat, shellfish, pickles or sashimi. Some vendors have set up small shops here while other stores span two levels. Some even have attached bars or takeaway joints, which allow patrons to sample the foodstuffs before making bulk purchases. Stalls selling Japanese meat, sushi, cooked seafood and desserts are just some examples that add color to the market. Whether you are looking for grains and vegetables or a specialty sauce, you will find it here. Indeed, food culture cannot get more traditional than this!
This opulent, nine-story department store, located right in the center of the town, has all the features one would expect of a top-notch emporium. As one enters from the street, the elegant jewelry departments, including Tiffany's, attract the shopper. The store has a very good range of men's, women's and children's wear, the tie department having a particularly wide range. On the sixth floor, the art gallery is well worth a look for traditional ikebana(Japanese flower arranging) or Western art exhibitions.
Shijo-Dori can be found in the heart of the Japanese city of Kyoto. Shijo means fourth street, as it used to be in the ancient capital of Heian-kyō. The street runs from the Yasaka Shrine to the Matsunoo Shrine form east to the west. The area is extremely commercialized now, with several departmental stores, shopping areas and international fashion outlets like Louis Vuitton. If you know where to go, Shijo-Dori also has an area where one can find traditional wares.
Teramachi Street can be found in the Japanese metropolitan city, Kyoto. It is one of the busiest streets in the city and is also one of the best places to shop at. The sidewalk leads to a variety of small but classy stores that sell all kinds of things. Here you can find Buddhist goods, interesting books and several places to buy clothes. Teramachi can literally be translated to temple town and so a lot of what you find there will have religious connotations.
The Japanese tea ceremony is world famous, but if you have no chance to be involved in one of these, a visit to Ippodo is definitely worthwhile. Ippodo have been in business since 1846 and stepping into the shop gives one a good idea how the Japanese did their shopping back in the Edo Period. Japanese tea makes a great gift, too, considering its healthy qualities and portability.
With stores in most major cities across Japan, Mandarake has established itself as the leading comic-book and magazine warehouse in the country. This branch—Osaka's main branch— is like most others in major cities: enormous. There are literally dozens and dozens of rows of comic books—for men, women and children—magazines, posters and artwork. Serious collectors can also find some valuable pre-war items here as well, including antique toys. The staff are well informed and ready to help.
At this storefront, not only can you buy some cool throwing stars or an authentic Katana (sword), but you can also learn Ninja techniques from knowledgeable instructors. Ninja Dojo functions as both an ancient weapons shop and a place where visitors can learn about the history, techniques and methods from these silent, stealth warriors. It's perfect for the entire family, the lessons are in English and rates vary from individual to group instruction.
This shop specializes in ancient and traditional art repackaged as contemporary and new. LISN sells delicate Japanese incense in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and fragrances as well as modern-style incense holders. Prices range from around JPY20 to JPY400 per stick. Incense can relax, freshen up a room or waft you back to Kyoto long after you have left.
Incense probably originated in India and traveled to Japan along the Silk road, where its use and manufacture have developed into an art form, kodo (the Way of Incense). The rising smoke points the way to heaven and also symbolizes the transience of life. Using materials imported from Southeast Asia Kungyoku-do makes fragrant, subtle incense in a variety of forms, which will remind you of Kyoto every time you burn it. Incense sticks or cones are light, relatively inexpensive and make great gifts and souvenirs.
This is a large, famous and popular discount store, which offers a great range of goods, particularly electrical. Personal stereos (tape, CD and MD), watches and clocks, headphones, massagers and personal hygiene products are found on the first floor. Upstairs, there are the latest computers, fans, radios, digital and analog cameras, stereos, toilets with heated seats, and air-conditioning equipment. Flashlights, pre-recorded videos, lamps, sunglasses and good deals on batteries are up on the third floor, while the top floor has men's leisurewear and suits. Everything you might wish to shop for is under one roof.
Established in 1823, this fantastic incredibly well-preserved and cared-for shop sells that essential fashion accessory of bygone days--the folding fan. Often painted or made of scented wood, such as sandal or cypress, these classic items in paper or silk make great gifts or come in very handy in Kyoto's hot and humid summer. A Chinese character is often delicately brushed on the fine rice paper, which is then folded and attached to the wooden handle. Unlike many artifacts that originally began in China, folding fans are believed to have been developed in Japan and several exquisite fans decorated by famous artists line the ceiling of the shop.