Kyoto, where the traditional meets the modern, is one of the best cities to shop in Japan. It’s the place where you can buy traditional snacks at the market and also at department stores; where you can get kimonos from thrift shops and also bespoke kimonos fitted specially for you; you’ll be able to shop to your heart’s content no matter what you’re looking for.

Main image: PIXTA

Tips to make your shopping trip the most enjoyable one yet

Kyoto is a city perfect for walking. Most of the major shopping areas in the city are within walking distance away from one another, so make a day just for shopping, and enjoy all that Kyoto has to offer in one go. Don’t forget to also be green and bring your own shopping bag, as most places charge for bags

Must-Buy Souvenirs in Kyoto

Kyoto is a great place to shop for traditional sweets and souvenirs (Photo: PIXTA)

Since Kyoto is considered to be Japan’s cultural capital, you can find plenty of shops selling a range of traditional items and foods.

Tax-Free Shopping in Kyoto

In general, Tax Free in Japan is offered when the goods total above 5,000 yen, and at shops with a “Japan Tax-Free” sticker. At these shops, all non-residents, or foreigners who do not live in Japan or have an active Japan address, will be able to enjoy tax-free shopping. Don’t forget to bring your passport.

All You Need to Know About Tax-Free Shopping in Japan

Best areas for shopping in Kyoto

1. Shijo-dori, Kyoto’s street for all-in-one shopping and entertainment

(Photo: PIXTA)

Right in the middle of Kyoto running from East with Yasaka Shrine, and Matsuno Shrine to the West, Shijo-dori’s name derived from its status as the fourth street of ancient Japan. Busy all day every day with locals and tourists alike, Shijo-dori, with its easy access and proximity to tourist sites, is a place not to be missed.

What to buy here: From major brands to Japanese fashion brands, you’ll be able to buy everything you’ll want from head to toe. Shijo-dori has all the major stores on one street. From the west, near Shijo Station, you’ll find lifestyle goods shop Tokyu Hands, while on the eastern side toward Kawaramachi, you’ll find department stores like Takashimaya and Marui, plus fashion buildings like Kawaramachi OPA. And if you prefer street shopping, watch lovers need to check out Seiko Boutique, where you can find watches limited to Japan and also rare models, while vintage lovers cannot miss Decouverte Kyoto. There are also a variety of used and antique kimono shops in this area, too.

Tip: Shijo-dori gets really crowded on the weekends. Go on a weekday to shop comfortably. A portion of Shoji-dori is also near the Kamogawa River, as well as Gion, Kyoto’s Geisha district. Put in some time for sightseeing as well.

Nearest Metro: Connected directly to Karasuma Station and Shijo Station

Shijo-dori
Naginatabokocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8008

Gion Shopping Street Guide: 3 Cute Traditional Japanese Souvenir Shops in Gion

2. Kawaramachi Shopping Street: From department stores to Don Quijote

(Photo: PIXTA)

Kawaramachi Shopping Street…

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