Translated by Shannon McNaught
Kyoto: Japanese Clothing For Modern-Day Japan (Accessories Edition)
Written by Anna Namikawa
SOU・SOU is a textile brand that strives to create a new culture by fusing elements of Japanese traditional wear into modern-day clothing. IN this article we introduce the unique SOU・SOU accessories.
There is a special kind of place about a 3 minute walk northwest of Shijō-Kawaramachi Crossing. It's the home of SOU・SOU, a textile brand that strives to create a new culture.
They specialize in stylish clothing and accessories that even those intimidated by the idea of wearing Japanese-style clothes can feel at ease in.
In our previous article, we introduced some of the clothing items that SOU・SOU has to offer. This time we'll tell you about the smaller items they carry in stock, such as hand cloths and tabi socks.
By the way, have you ever overheard Japanese people saying "Sou, sou" during conversation? It's a way of confirming or agreeing with what the other person said.
SOU・SOU, pronounced the same way, also has the same meaning.
SOU・SOU's fashionable accessories will surely make the perfect Kyoto souvenirs. All you have to do is make your way to the street we're about to introduce, Shinkyōgoku-dōri Street.
1. SOU・SOU Ise Momen
When you pass through the noren shop curtains, you will be greeted with a vast array of "tenugui," or traditional Japanese hand cloths. You may feel the urge to blink against the brilliant colors displayed on the shop walls.
As towels started to become more widespread in Japan, tenugui cloths became a thing of the past. Many people may shy away from buying them because they are unsure of how to use them. Fear not! There are diagrams in the shop showing you the right way to do it.
They are a great wall decoration, but you can also make them into tissue box covers, PET bottle covers, and more. Get creative! This one square piece of cloth's many uses will help you realize the depth of Japanese wisdom and creativity.
SOU・SOU creates one new tenugui cloth design every month. These monthly additions can help you get into the spirit of any season.
2. SOU・SOU Hotei
SOU・SOU Hotei sells fabrics and accessories. Their accessories pair well with SOU・SOU's clothes and Western-style clothes as well.
Our must-buy item is a furoshiki. It's a piece of cloth you can wrap around objects like a bag to carry them, but it can be used for many other things as well.
This staff member specializes in tying furoshiki. In the blink of an eye, she transformed the square of cloth into a shoulder bag! All you need to make one of these stylish bags is a furoshiki and special part called a hiiki.
SOU・SOU's Japanese-style accessories will add some spice into your wardrobe.
3. SOU・SOU Someori
Right up the stairs from SOU・SOU Hotei is a shop full of SOU・SOU original textiles. You can purchase cloth starting from 10 cm, so you don't have to buy any more than you need!
SOU・SOU's textiles will inspire your inner artist to create something just as unique.
Like the tenugui cloths, one new fabric pattern is created every month. Along with the patterns, we want you to pay special attention to each painstakingly thought-out pattern name. It could help with your Japanese studies, too!
4. SOU・SOU Tabi
This store specializes in footwear. What jumps out at most people first are the jikatabi shoes, rubber-soled shoes that are separated at the big toe.
There are both split-toe and non-split-toe types.
These jikatabi are easy to wear like sneakers and can easily accent your wardrobe.
As you can see, the store also carries tabi socks, phone cases, collaboration goods and more.
What to Buy?
Between all of the colorful, simple and gorgeous patterns, it's hard to decide which one to buy. That's where SOU・SOU's staff can help you.
Many of SOU・SOU's staff started out as mere SOU・SOU fans. When we asked each staff to show us their favorite item, they were all well prepared to answer.
Maybe they are so passionate about their work because they are around it every day. Everyone working there was more than happy to talk about the store's products.
SOU・SOU is chock full of products that will steal your heart. There's bound to be something you will fall in love with.
There is also a SOU・SOU store located in Tokyo's Aoyama, so make sure you check out both stores!
SOU・SOU Ise Momen
Address: Kyoto-shi, Chūkyō-ku, Shinkyōgoku-dōri, Shijo-noboru Nakano-chō 579-8
SOU・SOU Hotei / SOU・SOU Someori
Address: Kyoto-shi, Chūkyō-ku, Shinkyōgoku-dōri, Shijo-noboru Nakano-chō 569-10
Phone: +81-075-212-9595 (SOU・SOU Hotei)
Phone: +81-075-212-1210 (SOU・SOU Someori)
Address: Kyoto-shi, Chūkyō-ku, Shinkyōgoku-dōri, Shijō-noboru Nakano-chō 583-3
Credit cards accepted?: Yes
Other languages offered: N/A
Nearest station: Hankyū Kawaramachi Station (阪急河原町駅)
Access: 3 minutes from Exit 9
Official website: SOU・SOU