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Best Shopping in Kyoto

What to buy in Kyoto Personalized Chopsticks

When visiting Kyoto, you’re likely wondering what the best shopping is in Kyoto. You’ll find a variety of unique and locally made products that you will not find anywhere else. While there is great shopping all over Japan, in Kyoto we found the best shopping, filled with traditional gifts, like engraved chopsticks and matcha tea. There is also a lot of great shopping in Tokyo, Osaka and Hakone. Pack light and bring an extra suitcase because you’ll want to buy a lot when you’re exploring Kyoto! Here is a list of what to buy in Kyoto.

Kyoto Quick Links

What to Buy in Kyoto

There are many things unique to Kyoto that you should consider buying while you’re traveling to Kyoto.

Kimono or Kimono Robe

Kimonos are a popular item to rent when exploring Kyoto. You can rent near Kiyomizu-dera, Gion and Kasaka Shrine and spend the day strolling in a Kimono. Kimonos are expensive to buy, but if you’re looking for a cheaper option to buy you can buy a kimono robe which costs under $100. Wondering where to buy a Kimono in Kyoto? You can find Kimonos to buy in Fuuka Kimono Shop, near the main shopping area in downton Kyoto, Creme de la Creme, Ochicochiya Kyoto, in flea markets and many more places.

Noren

Noren is traditional Japanese curtains that are hung in the entrance of shops and windows. Shopping for ready made Noren in Kyoto? You can find ready made Noren in department stores and at Isetan above Kyoto station.

Lululun Green Tea Mask

The Lululun Green Tea Mask is very popular according to our tour guide and is only found in Kyoto. I ended up buying a large pack of these and giving a few out to friends as gifts. The masks are very soothing and make my skin feel very smooth.

Yojiya Skincare

Yojiya is a nice traditional looking brand that is mostly in Kyoto but found in Osaka and Kyoto too. People really like their blotting papers and lovely Japanese style makeup brushes.

Engraved Chopsticks

A store in Nishiki Market in Kyoto sells a variety of chopsticks and chopstick holders, and you can actually have the chopsticks engraved there. Engraved chopsticks make for great gifts and they don’t take up too much room in the suitcase either.

Umbrellas

Umbrellas are a popular item to buy in Japan because they have many fun designs. Some form a Sakura pattern when it rains. Several stores in Nishiki Market in Kyoto had some beautiful umbrella designs.

Green tea / Matcha Tea

The famous place to get the best green tea and matcha tea is from Ippodo in Kyoto. They also have a sit down area to order tea in house which is incredible. The green tea and matcha tea make for great gifts, know that the expiration dates are usually 6 months later.

Perfume

If you like a unique scent for every place you visit, Kyoto does have a limited edition perfume. It’s called Maiko Yume eau de Cologne.

Yatsuhashi

Yatsuhashi is a traditional Japanese confectionery made rice flour, sugar and cinnamon, and the original one is baked. The popular Yatsuhashi in Kyoto is raw (unbaked) with mochi-texture and triangle shape, and it’s filled with red bean paste. It has many flavours such as Matcha, chocolate and cherry blossoms.

Ceramic Pieces

Kyoto is known for it’s ceramic pieces. A good place to buy ceramic pieces is near Kiyomizu (a temple in Kyoto)

Ichizawa Shinzaburo Canvas Bags

Ichizawa Shinzaburo canvas bags are not sold anywhere else except their flagship store in Kyoto. They are quite pricey but excellent quality, minimal bags with many styles. They have tax exemption too over a certain amount.

Kit Kats

Candy is one of the most popular gifts to give from Japan. Kit Kats are one of the most talked about candies from Japan because they have so many unique flavors available only in Japan.

Skincare Available Around Japan

There is a bunch of incredible Asian skincare you can buy when you’re in Japan. There is so much, it’s a bit overwhelming especially since most of the descriptions are only in Japanese but researching what to buy ahead of time will help you figure out what to get. I bought a few things from Etude House, and this is what I found during my planning research.

Etude House

Etude House was a clear favorite for Korean brand skincare. They have a store in Osaka I went to, but department stores also carry this brand and you can get good samples and freebies when you purchase.

Skincare in Drug Stores/Chemists

Going to a drug store / chemist will have an impressive range of skincare. Some favorites mentioned online included Kose Speedy Cleansing Oil, Hada Labo Premium Lotion, Rosette Ceramide Gel, Pure Smile Sheet Masks and Lip masks.

Makeup Brushes

Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo are iconic Japanese makeup brush shops and they both have stores dotted around Japan.

Yodobashi Camera/LOFT

Both Yodobashi Camera/LOFT have excellent makeup and skincare sections with lower-end brands. This includes CANMAKE, Majolica Majorca, Creer Beaute, Hada Labo, Kose, Pure Smile, Lululun, K-Palette, Diamond Lash, Dollywink, Rohto and Biore Sunscreens.

Whiskey

Smaller Whiskey distillers like Ichiro are easier to find here. Suntory and Nikka have a ton of offerings available for Japan only. If you like whiskey but are unfamiliar with Japanese whiskey here is a Japanese whiskey buying guide.

Jeans

Japanese denim jeans are famous for their quality. Some famous brands in Japan are blue, samurai jeans, Oni, Pure Blue and Iron Heart.

Sneakers

Japan is also famous for it’s wide variety of sneakers. Onitsuka Tigers is one brand that you don’t see often outside of Japan. Other famous brands are Adidas and Nike.

As you leave Kyoto, the things you bought in Kyoto will serve as tangible mementos, each carrying the great memories you made during your trip to Kyoto. Friends and family will love all the gifts you bought them in Kyoto as you truly cannot buy many of these gifts anywhere else. The tea and engraved chopsticks were especially enjoyed by friends and family. Many of these gifts are the best gifts for the people that have everything and need nothing. They will truly appreciate you thinking of them while on your trip to Kyoto.

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