Translated by MATCHA_En
Sanjo Shotengai, Kyoto: A Sunny Shopping Street 365 Days A Year!
Stretching from Horikawa Street to Senbon Street, Sanjo Shotengai is a perpetually sunny shopping street with about 180 shops.
Written by まいまい京都
Stretching from Horikawa Street to Senbon Street in Kyoto, Sanjo Shotengai is a famous shopping arcade that covers 800m (0.49mi), making it the single longest, uninterrupted shopping arcade in Japan. It's known as the perpetually sunny shopping arcade because it is roofed, making it a great place to visit come rain or shine.
Full of Unique Specialty Stores
100 Year Old Umbrella Shop - Pichi & Chapu Nishikawa
From stores that were established long ago to shops that open mere months before, you'll find plenty of unique specialty stores lining this shopping arcade.
Entering from the east at the Senbon Sanjo, and one of the first shops you'll see is Pichi & Chapu Nishikawa, an umbrella specialty shop that was established 100 years ago.
One of the reasons this shop is so special is that, even if you've bought an umbrella from another shop, they will be repair it here.
Ohashiya - a Tempura Specialty Store
With Japanese angelica tree shouts in spring, and Japanse chestnuts and taro yams in fall, sansai, or wild edible plants, are a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. At Ohashiya, a tempura specialty store, they prepare fresh tempura made with seasonal ingredients every day. Their piping hot tempura is crisp and has a taste that can only be made by true tempura professionals. Their tempura squid is pretty amazing too, and goes great with a cold beer!
Sugiichi - a Catering Shop from the Tokugawa Era
If you are entering the shopping street from the east Omiya entrance, you'll see Sugiichi, a catering shop. This store was established in 1863, the same year that the Shinsengumi (the Edo shogunate police force located in Kyoto) was formed. As the Shinsengumi’s quarters were close by, historical figures such as Soji Okita and Toshizo Hijikata may even have eaten a Japanese-style omelette here.
Here you can enjoy recipes that haven't changed since the last days of the Tokugawa regime.
The Birthplace of the Gion Festival - Yasaka Shrine's Companion Shrine
As you stroll along, a torii (Shinto shrine gate), will suddenly appear before you. This shrine, a companion shrine related to Kyoto's Yasaka Shrine, affectionately called "Matatabi-san", by locals.
This shrine is also the birthplace of numerous events in Kyoto, and is especially well known for its connection to the Gion Matsuri. Three of the mikoshi (portable shrines) that are used in the Gion Matsuri all make a ceremonial stop here during the festivities.
One fun fact related to this shopping street is that, Mizuki Noguchi, the Japanese marathon runner who took the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was said to have trained here on rainy days, because it was the only covered track available.
Why not come and see a slightly different side of Kyoto during your journey?
Address: Kyoto, Nakagyo, Sanjodori, Shinsenen, Nishiiru, Imashinzaikenishi, 1-1
** Hours, wi-fi, credit card acceptance and languages spoken vary from shop to shop.
Nearest Station: Nijo Station, JR Sagano or Tozai Subway lines
Access: 5 minute walk from Nijo Station
Website: http://sanjokai.kyoto.jp/ (Japanese)