LET’S TERAMACHI WALK！
Teramachi Street is a nostalgic and retro town where local people run shops and local people gather. Actually, for antique lovers, this is a wonderful place with the most fun and excitement in Kyoto.
That is because Teramachi Street is famous as the most artistic street in Kyoto where antique shops have flocked since olden days. It is even called “Teramachi Art Street.” On this short, straight street of about 700ｍ, shops of various old works of art, such as antiques, traditional crafts, and old books are concentrated, making it a street that is too much fun.
The charm of Teramachi Street goes beyond that. Not only are there antiques, there are long-established pastry shops and restaurants. These shops of foods that have long been loved by the locals must not be missed. You can do it all on this street, from shopping to shopping breaks.
Teramachi Street is an artistic street that we would like antique lovers to visit by all means when they come to Kyoto. We would like to introduce you to its charms and ideal way of visiting today.
It was given the name “Teramachi Street (Teramachi-Dori),” because Toyotomi Hideyoshi moved the temples (Tera) in the city to this street about 400 years ago. Teramachi Street stretches about 5km in total from Kuramaguchi Street to Gojyo Street, but the location that is most stimulating and exciting for antique lovers is concentrated between Marutamachi Street and Oike-dori (from Kyoto Gosho-Minami to near Kyoto City Hall). It is about 700m in distance. What exists in this short distance that doesn’t take 10 minutes when walking at a normal pace? Let us explain!
There are lots of shops, such as shops selling beautiful drinking vessels made of tin and shops with a wide range of Japanese antiques including Imari ware and Kuni ware pottery, old books, and hanging scrolls, where you can encounter “treasures.”
We will walk directly north on Teramachi Street toward Kyoto Gosho! Around lunchtime is the recommended starting time, because the shops open around 10:00 – 11:00.
Shiho cannot hide her excitement about the thrilling Teramachi walk that is about to start!
Whether they live in Kyoto or are tourists, foreigners are seen frequently as well.
Within this setting, Shiho, who has a clearly different enthusiasm, aggressively advances through Teramachi Street.
This is a shop built about 200 years ago, specializing in metal crafts using whitish silver tin. Various small items, such as drinking vessels, tea utensils, and straps, made of tin are made here.
The shop has a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. It is nice to look at the many beautiful tin ware as if you are visiting a gallery.
Because this restaurant gets packed very quickly, as it is very popular during the week and on weekends, we recommend visiting right after it opens at 11:30. You can enter relatively smoothly right after they open.
The portion, which is plenty even for a man, and the flavor are very satisfying. You should try the dessert with large portions as well.
It is only 1440 yen for this dish, salad, unlimited bread, and dessert. It seems too inexpensive!
This is a dish worth trying.
Next is Kumagai Dogusho / 熊谷道具處, an antique shop located very close to LE BOUCHON.
These shells are used for “kai-awase,” an old Japanese game similar to the concentration card game. When you think that people actually used these shells to play 200 – 300 years ago, your heart will get warm.
For souvenirs, we recommend the pastries from Murakami Kaishindo / 村上開新堂, Kyoto's oldest pastry shop! This shop is favorite for Russian cakes, loved by everybody and familiar to the people of Kyoto since olden days.
The Russian cakes here are a notch above. Although the dough is moister than an ordinary cookie, it does not feel heavy. With its mixture of crispness and moisture, it is so delicious that you will want to buy yourself a few, in addition to the souvenirs.
The wine red ribbon hanging from the ceiling is used to decorate the boxes. Watching the employee pull and cut the ribbon to decorate your purchases will make you feel excited. The back of the shop is a traditional Japanese house, and they have plans to renovate it and open it as a café next year. You can’t miss this either!
Now that we have our souvenirs for everybody, we can relax and return to our antique searching journey!
Zohiko is a shop specializing in Kyoto lacquerware, invented about 350 years ago, with beautiful gold and silver garnishments.
The lacquerware painstakingly hand created by artisans are extremely beautiful, with the gold and silver pictures overlapping the shiny Japanese lacquer. Your mind will be satisfied just looking at them.
However, at Zohiko, with the desire of having lacquerware used more frequently, they uniquely carry various lacquerware that can be used in daily life. As these items can be used for 100s of years, Zohiko continues to create lacquerware that will be close to you in everyday life.
Oh, there is a tea shop in a perfect spot!!
Ippodo Tea / 一保堂 is right across the street from Zohiko.
Here, they will serve you long established Japanese sweets along with various Japanese teas, such as Matcha, Sencha, and Gyokuro.
It is a bit difficult to brew Sencha and Gyokuro, but there is no need to worry, as the employees will carefully teach you how.
The official way of drinking Gyokuro is to allow it to cool to 60℃, but because Shiho, who is brewing Gyokuro for the first time, does not have a thermometer, she is a bit concerned about how to know the temperature has cooled to 60℃…
However, an employee comes by rapidly to provide instruction. Apparently, pouring the tea into a cup lowers the temperature by 10℃. Therefore, poring a cup of boiling tea 4 times will reduce the temperature by 40℃, lowering it to 60℃. How smart…
Warm tea and gently sweet Japanese confectioneries soothe our tired bodies… Yes, it is delicious.
The shop has a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, so it is perfect for a break.
The shops introduced today are all highly recommended.
When you visit Kyoto, we would definitely like you to take a stroll along Teramachi Street, which is lined with nostalgic old shops.
It is a wonderful town where time flows slowly and gently.