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Culture

Top Rated Shopping in Kyoto

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Nishiki Market

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!

Takashimaya

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

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

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.

Ippodo Tea Company

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.

Mandarake

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.

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