May. 18, 2017 UPDATE
Shopping in Teramachi and Shinkyogoku!
What are Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets?
Even after putting these two shopping streets together, many people are probably asking themselves: why? What makes these two streets so special? In Part 1, I want to tell you about the charm of Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets!
Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets
First I am going to explain what difference there is between these two shopping streets!
First, the shopping street of Teramachi, by Teramachi-dori Street, which also crosses the famous Nishiki Market, and which can easily be recognized from the big sign reading Teramachi on the entrance to the street.
This street used to be lined with antique shops, but now there are also chic cafes and modern shops, and even anime shops and drugstores, all kinds of shops, which makes it easy to understand why this street is so popular with tourists.
The second one is Shinkyogoku Shopping Street. This street is a street parallel with Teramachi, and there are many shops on this street.
Compared to Teramachi, this shopping street is for young people. The things on sale are more to the liking of teens and the prices lower, so in this street, you can see many Japanese high school and university students.
In this street, you can find a shop selling these interesting stamps! Lately, there are many restaurants and cafes offering street food so you can enjoy the shopping street while chomping down on some snacks.
Three places to see in Teramachi and Shinkyogoku
These shopping streets are not your grandmother's shopping streets, so here are my three choices for the three places to see in the shopping streets!
1There are temples in the shopping street!
One of the charms of the shopping streets is that there are temples in them! You can’t see this at other shopping streets.
The reason for this can be seen in the history of the Teramachi-dori Street. Teramachi-dori was made by the shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The idea behind the street was to reignite the economy of the war-torn Kyoto by building a new street and having the temples of Kyoto move next to it (even the name of the street means temple-street).
By the way, this is the temple where the shogun Oda Nobunaga was betrayed by a servant and where he committed seppuku, Honno-ji Temple. This kind of cityscape with historic temples in the middle of a modern city can only be seen in Kyoto. If you come to these shopping streets, I wish you will also go to see some temples.
2These shopping streets cross with two other shopping streets!
Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets cross with two other shopping streets running from west to east, and these shopping streets are the famous Nishiki Market and Sanjo Meiten-gai. Nishiki Market is, of course, famous for its street food, while Sanjo Shopping Meiten-gai is a shopping arcade where you can see shops that the locals frequent.
In the whole of Japan, it is rare for there to be this many shopping streets in one place! One of the reasons for the popularity of the shopping streets of Teramachi and Shinkyogoku has to be that there are so many shops and sightseeing spots you can visit from them.
3From old to new, there are all kinds of shops!
There are all kinds of shops on these shopping streets, some of them having been in business for two to three hundred years, while some new chic cafes have not yet been open for a year. There are also cheap shops like drugstores and 100 yen shops.
It is said that if you walk on Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets you can get everything you would ever need, and certainly the shopping streets offer a nice lineup of products for people young to old.
Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets are an incredibly fun part of Kyoto. In the next two parts you can read more about which are the best shops to visit when you go to the shopping streets, and you can also get some great tips from Sharing Kyoto’s writers.