Dec. 21, 2017 UPDATE

Kyoto is not only sightseeing! Top 5 shopping centers in Kyoto for the shopaholic!

There is so much more to do and shop in Kyoto than just temples and shrines, so let me take you on a shopping spree in the old capital!

There are many sightseeing spots in Kyoto such as temples and shrines, but Kyoto is also a nice place to go on a shopping spree! No matter whether you want to buy some clothes, cosmetics, or accessories, Kyoto has you covered and in this article, we are going to look at five shopping centers where you can shop till you drop. Especially the sales at department stores are something that gets the masses moving even here in Kyoto. And not to mention the famous Japanese tradition of “depachika,” where the basement floors of department stores are reserved for a kind of food market, where you can find everything from croquettes to fine wines. These five shopping centers are located close to Kyoto Station and the busy shopping area of Kawaramachi, so take your purse with you; it’s time to go shopping!

1Takashimaya Kyoto

The renowned Takashimaya, located at the intersection of Kawaramachi and Shijo streets, is maybe the department store most loved by the locals. Every weekend there is a long line of cars waiting to get a parking spot at the department store. They sell cosmetics from all around the world and also have a nice selection of necklaces, earrings, and other accessories, so this department is especially nice for the women into the latest fashion!

In the basement floor, you can find the “depachika” food area, where you can get all kinds of treats, including sweets. You can also buy some of the food items the people of Kyoto use every day, so you get to experience some of the same culinary experiences as the locals do. This is also a great place to buy food souvenirs, as they have a very nice selection of some very high-quality ones. 

2Daimaru Kyoto

You can find Daimaru on the Shijo Street, and fitting for an old and renowned department store in Kyoto, the feel of it is very traditional and even a bit stately. Some of my friends who are Kyotoites have told me that their grandparents mainly shop at Daimaru because there is something different, something gracious about the packaging of the products at Daimaru. 

If you’re looking for a present, then the scarves and gloves on the first floor are a good place to shop. The gift wrapping service here is first-class, and the receiver of your present is sure to feel extra happy about getting it. I have to just take my hat off to the gift wrapping skills of the people who work at Japanese department stores. 

3Kyoto Marui

Kyoto Marui used to have their first floor full of products like scarves and gloves, but now they have the first floor dedicated to Kyoto specialties and souvenirs, so once inside, you get to experience the spirit of Kyoto right away. 

On the second floor and up you can find bags, clothes, and shoes, but on the fifth floor, you can find the tax-free area, where you get to buy all kinds of products, tax-free! This department store is aimed at people in their 20’s and 30’s. 

4Kawaramachi OPA

Kawaramachi OPA is also a shopping center favored by the younger generations, and on its first floor you can find the bag store favored by many Japanese women called Samantha Thavasa, but there are also stores selling hair accessories, so you can get almost everything you would ever want fashion-wise here. 

The other floors of this shopping center are also full of stores selling clothes for young people, so this is the perfect place to do some shopping if you like Japanese clothes. Although OPA is not a very big shopping center, the shops here are mostly on the cheaper end of the scale. 

5Shopping Mall Kyoto Porta

This shopping center is actually under Kyoto Station, and you can probably imagine how popular it is. This shopping center is also very popular among foreign tourists. 

But the most popular shops here deal in souvenirs, and in Kyoto, most of the souvenirs are of course edible. You can find most of the famous food souvenirs here at Porta, so you don’t have to spend time going around Kyoto on the crowded buses. And it’s on the basement floor of Kyoto Station, so even if you are in Kyoto only for a day, you can still do some shopping here. 

Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ] STAFF DETAIL
Although there may not be as many shopping centers and department stores in Kyoto as in Osaka, the products they sell are still very Kyoto. Recently there are more and more foreigners also shopping at these places, so many of them have English and Chinese speaking staff, so you should have no problem having fun shopping!
Related keywords
All Shops Department Stores Fashion Buildings All Kyoto Area Downtown Kyoto Station

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