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Shopping in Kyoto: Top 16 Department Stores, Malls, and Shopping Streets

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Kyoto, a popular travel destination in Japan, is ideal for shopping due to its wide array of department stores, underground malls, shopping centers, and local shopping districts. In this article, we introduce 16 recommended shopping spots in Kyoto.

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Kyoto: The Ideal Place for Shopping

Kyoto has a strong image of being home to famous travel destinations such as Kiyomizudera Temple and Yasaka Shrine. However, Kyoto is also the perfect place for shopping!

In this article, we introduce Kyoto's best department stores, shopping centers, underground malls, and local shopping districts. These locations are concentrated along Shijo Street and Kawaramachi (Shijo Kawaramachi) and the Kyoto Station area.

Table of Contents:

Department Stores in Shijo Street and Kawaramachi
1. Kyoto Takashimaya
2. Daimaru Kyoto
3. Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden
4. Fujii Daimaru
5 Kyoto BAL
6. Kawaramachi OPA
JR Kyoto Station Area: Shopping Malls and Department Stores
7. JR Kyoto Isetan
8. Kyoto Tower Sando
9. Kyoto Porta
10. Kintetsu Mall Miyakomichi
11. Kyoto Yodobashi
12. Kyoto AVANTI
Recommended Shopping Streets
1. Nishiki Market
2. Shinkyogoku Shopping Street
3. Teramachi Senmontenkai Shopping Street
4. Furukawacho Shopping Arcade

The Shijo Street and Kawaramachi Area

Shijo Street and Kawaramachi are the busiest and most crowded shopping areas in Kyoto. This area is appealing for its array of department stores, shopping districts, and drug stores located all in one place.

It’s also a very convenient location to use as the starting point for your sightseeing adventures. This is due to the many city buses bound for sightseeing spots within the city that pass through this area.

Next, we will introduce the shopping spots that are especially popular on Shijo Street and Kawaramachi.

Kyoto Takashimaya

Kyoto shopping

Kyoto Takashimaya, situated on the intersection of Shijo Kawaramachi, comes to mind when it comes to luxury department stores in Kyoto. The establishment is home to world-famous brands and carries a selection of cosmetics, souvenirs, and more. Their Beer Garden event, synonymous with summer in Kyoto, can also be enjoyed on the rooftop.

Kyoto Takashimaya
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Shijo-dori Kawaramachi Nishiiru, Shincho 52
Official Website: https://www.takashimaya-global.com/en/stores/kyoto/

Daimaru Kyoto

kyoto shopping

Daimaru Kyoto, located along Shijo Street, is another popular choice besides Takashimaya when it comes to luxury department stores in Kyoto City. The department store carries a selection of famous brands, cosmetic products, and souvenirs. They also have a wide selection of fresh foods, side dishes, and other cuisines on their underground levels.

Food products will often be discounted once closing time nears, so it’s quite the bargain.

Daimaru Kyoto
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Shijo-dori Takakura Nishiiru Tachiurinishimachi 79
Official Website: https://www.daimaru.co.jp.e.md.hp.transer.com/kyoto/

Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of PR Times
Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden had its grand opening in 2021 in the former location of Marui Department Store. This shopping complex is operated by Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Ltd. It’s another popular department store that faces the intersection of Shijo Kawaramachi and is located right across the street from Takashimaya.

On the seventh floor is a massive food court where you can enjoy Kyoto cuisine. The department store is also known for having a large EDION store, an electronics retailer. MATCHA offers an EDION discount coupon to readers, so please feel free to use it when you visit Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden.

Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Shijo Kawaramachi Higashiiru, Shincho 68
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-kawaramachigarden.com/en/

Fujii Daimaru

kyoto shopping

Fujii Daimaru, located on Shijo Street, is a department store that is more or less marketed towards younger age groups. The first Kansai location of several brands can be found in this establishment and has gained support from Kyoto’s younger generation. HARBS, a popular cake shop, is also located inside!

By the way, Fujii Daimaru is not affiliated in any way with Daimaru Kyoto across the street, so please take note of this!

Fujii Daimaru
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Teramachi-dori, Shijosagaru, Teianmaenocho 605
Official Website: https://www.fujiidaimaru.co.jp/fg_tax_ekc/

Kyoto BAL

kyoto shopping

Kyoto BAL, located on Kawaramachi Street, is an established department store that was revitalized as a luxurious department store while still maintaining its antiquated ambience after renovations in 2015. An increasing ratio of high-end brands are being added to the brands available in the department store.

Kyoto BAL
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Kawaramachi-dori Sanjosagaru, Yamazakicho 251
Official Website: https://www.bal-bldg.com/kyoto/ (Japanese)

Kawaramachi OPA

kyoto shopping

Kawaramachi OPA is a department store targeted towards the younger generation ranging from their teens to their 30s. There are over one hundred stores available with a focus on fashion products. BOOK OFF, a retailer that sells secondhand books and other secondhand goods, has a large location on the eighth floor that is always bustling with people in search of a real bargain.

Our writer’s personal recommendation is to go check the store’s transparent elevator. The scenery visible from the elevator is wonderful no matter what time of day it is.

Kawaramachi OPA
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Kawaramachi-dori Shijoagaru
Official Website: https://www.opa-club.com/kawaramachi (Japanese)

JR Kyoto Station Area

The Kyoto Station area, otherwise known as the gate to Kyoto, is considered another downtown area of Kyoto. Here, we will introduce department stores and underground malls in the area.

JR Kyoto Isetan

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

JR Kyoto Isetan, connected to JR Kyoto Station and the station premises, is an immensely popular department store. Isetan made its name as a department store in Tokyo, but the Isetan in Kyoto Station is the chain’s very first location in Kansai.

The department store has a wide selection of products from luxury brands and is well-stocked with shops selling souvenirs for a location like Kyoto Station. Most of Kyoto’s most famous souvenirs can be purchased here.

JR Kyoto Isetan
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Karasuma-dori Shiokojisagaru, Higashishiokojicho
Official Website: https://www.mistore.jp/store/kyoto.html (Japanese)

Kyoto Tower Sando

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of PR Times

Kyoto Tower Sando is located at the bottom of Kyoto Tower directly opposite from Kyoto Station. It has convenient access and has been enjoying immense popularity since its opening.

Starbucks Coffee is located on the first floor. The department store is also incredibly popular for its souvenir shops and underground food court.

Kyoto Tower Sando
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Higashishiokojicho 721-1
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-tower-sando.jp/en/

Kyoto Porta

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

Kyoto Porta in front of Kyoto Station is an underground mall often visited by people arriving from Kyoto Station. The mall is directly connected to the station from the Kyoto Municipal Subway ticket gates and is a conveniently located space where fashion, cafes, and souvenir shops are gathered in one place.

We especially recommend the restaurant area. You can find famous Kyoto shops along with restaurants where you can enjoy specialty dishes from all over Japan here and accommodate a variety of dietary needs.

Kyoto Porta
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Karasuma-dori, Shiokojisagaru, Higashishiokojicho 902
Official Website: https://www.porta.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Kintetsu Mall Miyakomichi

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

Kintetsu Mall Miyakomichi is located on the bottom floor of the Kyoto Station Hachijo Entrance. The mall is lined with rows of fast food restaurants like McDonalds, several Western-style restaurants, and souvenir shops. This is the most suitable shopping spot for those traveling on the shinkansen (bullet train) to buy gifts and souvenirs.

Kintetsu Mall Miyakomichi
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho 31-1
Official Website: https://www.gnavi.co.jp/kinmei/english_site/index.html

Kyoto Yodobashi

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

If you want to buy electrical appliances near Kyoto Station, then your best bet would be Kyoto Yodobashi. This retail chain practically carries every type of appliance and electronic goods on the market. The retailer also has an ample selection of other stores including a toy shop and restaurants, so it’s worth visiting even if you’re someone with no interest in appliances.

Kyoto Yodobashi
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Shimogyo, Karasuma-dori, Shichijosagaru, Higashishiokojicho 590-2
Official Website: http://www.yodobashi-kyoto.com/ (Japanese)

Kyoto AVANTI

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta
Kyoto AVANTI, located across from the Kyoto Station Hachijo Entrance and directly connected to the underground passage, is a commercial complex with unique characteristics. It houses several general and fashion stores like Don Quijote, Shimamura, and GU. ANIMATE, a store carrying anime-related merchandise, also has a branch inside.

Kyoto AVANTI
Address: Kyoto, Minami, Higashikujo, Nishisannocho 31
Official Website: https://kyoto-avanti.com/language/

Recommended Shopping Streets

If you’ll be sightseeing in Japan, then you can’t skip the local shopping districts and streets frequented by residents! Kyoto is also home to a number of shopping streets. Here, we introduce four out of that list.

Nishiki Market

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of pixta

Nishiki Market is a place you can’t leave out when visiting Kyoto. Long ago, it was called Kyoto’s Kitchen and is a popular food spot visited by many international visitors even today.

This is an area where you can not only enjoy Kyoto’s diverse food and cuisine, but also have fun just by watching the hustle and bustle at the market stalls.

Nishiki Market
Address: Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Nishidaimonjicho 609
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-nishiki.or.jp/ (Japanese)

Shinkyogoku Shopping Street

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of pixta

Shinkyogoku Shopping Street is near the exit of Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Railway. It is the liveliest shopping district in Kyoto while also being an established shopping street with a long history.

Approximately 180 shops and stalls including general stores, gift shops, and more stand side by side along this 800-meter-long street. Multiple temples are also scattered along this shopping stretch and adds to the refined elegance of the street.

Shinkyogoku Shopping Street
Official Website: https://www.shinkyogoku.or.jp/foreign/english.html

Teramachi Senmontenkai Shopping Street

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

Teramachi Senmontenkai Shopping Street is located along Teramachi Street and stretches from Oike Street to Sanjo Street. It extends parallel to Shinkyogoku Shopping Street.

Compared to the busy Nishiki Market and Shinkyogoku Shopping Street, this street is characterized by its somewhat strong local color. The main gate to Honnoji Temple, an important setting in Japanese history, is also located within this shopping street.

Teramachi Senmontenkai Shopping Street
Official Website: https://www.teramachi-senmontenkai.jp (Japanese)

Furukawacho Shopping Arcade

kyoto shopping

Picture courtesy of Pixta

Furukawacho Shopping Arcade, located in the Kyoto Higashiyama area near Higashiyama Station and Heian Shrine, is a relatively short shopping arcade that stretches for only 220 meters.

There are about 40 shops in the arcade, which is charming for its retro atmosphere that keeps the nostalgia of the Showa period alive. Lately, many younger customers have begun to visit this shopping arcade inspired by TV shows and films.

Due to the colorful lanterns dangling from the shopping arcade’s ceiling, this place has become a popular Instagram photo spot. Many activities are held in this shopping arcade to revitalize an area that once lost its vibrancy.

Furukawacho Shopping Arcade
Official Website: https://www.furukawacho.com/ (Japanese)

FAQ

What is the best thing to shop for in Kyoto?

In Kyoto, traditional Japanese crafts and goods are among the best items to shop for, reflecting the city's cultural heritage. Look for Kyoto Ceramics (Kyoyaki), Yuzen Silk Kimonos, Matcha Tea and Wagashi, Traditional Fans (Sensu), Furoshiki Wrapping Cloths, and Local Sake as popular souvenirs. Areas like Gion, Higashiyama, and Arashiyama are prime locations to find authentic and high-quality traditional items like these, making your shopping experience in Kyoto both culturally enriching and memorable.

What is the most famous market in Kyoto?

The most famous market in Kyoto is the Nishiki Market, also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen". This historic market has been around for centuries and is a bustling covered market street lined with over a hundred shops and stalls selling a diverse array of fresh seafood, local produce, traditional snacks, cookware, and Kyoto specialty foods. Nishiki Market is a great place to explore and sample a wide variety of Kyoto's culinary delights and unique food products in one vibrant and lively location. It's a must-visit destination for food lovers and those looking to experience the flavors of Kyoto.

What is worth buying in Kyoto?

In Kyoto, worthwhile purchases include yukata or kimono for a traditional keepsake, high-quality matcha tea, Kyoto's exquisite wagashi sweets, locally crafted pottery and ceramics, decorative fans (sensu), furoshiki wrapping cloths with intricate designs, and locally brewed sake. These items reflect Kyoto's cultural richness and craftsmanship, offering unique and authentic souvenirs to cherish.

What is the best item to buy in Japan?

In Japan, the best items to buy as souvenirs include high-quality Japanese Green Tea, traditional Kimono or Yukata, exquisite Japanese Tableware, local Sake or Whisky, renowned Japanese Stationery, diverse Food and Snacks like wagashi, and authentic Traditional Crafts such as ceramics and lacquerware. These souvenirs encapsulate Japan's rich cultural heritage, craftsmanship, and unique offerings, making them cherished mementos or gifts from your time in the country.

Do you need cash in Kyoto?

While many places in Kyoto, like popular tourist attractions and larger stores, do accept credit cards, it is advisable to carry some cash when visiting Kyoto, especially if you plan to explore more traditional or local establishments, smaller shops, markets, or certain restaurants. Additionally, some transportation options, like buses or smaller eateries, may prefer cash payments. Having a combination of cash and cards can ensure you have payment options that suit various situations during your time in Kyoto.

Kyoto is the Perfect Place for Shopping!

The first place that comes to mind might be Osaka when it comes to shopping in Kansai. However, Kyoto’s shopping malls and department stores won’t be defeated by this!

Make the proper preparations beforehand and you can guarantee that you get everything off of your wishlist in Kyoto!

Written by

Born in Taipei, Taiwan. I worked in the inbound tourism industry in Kyoto, writing a blog about travel in Japan. I joined MATCHA in October 2019. Hobbies: travel, watching trains, visiting stylish cafes, sweets, collecting seal stamps, watching musicals, taking photos, and others - so many, in fact, that I find it weird myself.
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