Jun. 02, 2017 UPDATE
The Best Ways to Find Antiques in Kyoto
Part 3


If you take a slight turn from Oike-dori, which is located right in front of Kyoto City Hall and is lively and crowded, there is a place with a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that will make the hustle and bustle of Oike-dori hustle and bustle feel like a fabrication. That is “Teramachi Street,” which we introduce today.
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.
Teramachi is a place like this!
Teramachi Street
“Teramachi Street” is a street running north-south in the city of Kyoto.
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!
Teramachi Street
To explain Teramachi Street in 1 phrase, it is a “traditional town of the locals.” All of the stores lining the street are long-established shops with 10s of 100s of years of history. The townscape has the atmosphere of “good old Japan from 10s of years ago,” rather than a modern feel, making it a street that gives you a somehow nostalgic feeling.
The charms of Teramachi Street, which has never changed since olden days, can be enjoyed plentifully just by walking along it, but the various shops that line it are worthy of even more attention. There are many shops that have long been loved by local people and shops that sell attractive antiques with unique taste. This is what is interesting.
Since some time or another, fine art shops began to flock, and shops of truly varying genres, such as Japanese and Western antiques, traditional crafts, old clothes, and old books, started to stand side by side. Thus, the nickname “Teramachi Art Street” was born.
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.”
Le Bouchon
When you start to feel tired from shopping and walking around, enjoy some delicious food. Teramachi Street has an abundance of delicious restaurants, from small, cozy cafes to restaurants where you can casually enjoy French cuisine.
Teramachi Street is a totally interesting street, which is fun just to walk and satisfying to eat on. This is a location worth seeing that cannot be missed if you are an antique lover!
SHIHO, a writer for Share-K actually walked on Teramachi Street.
Although Teramachi Street is very appealing, it might feel difficult to navigate because all of the shops are so charming… Well, there is good news! We will share with you our recommended Teramachi Street walking path that Shiho, a writer for Share-K, came up with while actually walking there! If you follow her path, there is no doubt that you will fully enjoy Teramachi Street. Now let’s walk on Teramachi Street together!
 Teramachi Street
11:00  Start from Kyoto City Hall!
Today’s starting point is at the intersection of Oike-dori and Teramachi Street, near Kyoto City Hall!
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!
 Teramachi Street
This town with a quiet and relaxed atmosphere is usually inhabited by local people. Time flows gently here.

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.
11:15  Arrive at Seikado!
We have now arrived at Seikado / 清課堂, the 1st check point!

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.
tin ware
The tin ware, individually made by hand, feel like pieces of fine art, as they beautifully sparkle luminously. The sake poured in a tin drinking vessel somehow looks more delicious. How strange.
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.
11:45  Lunch at LE BOUCHON!
After taking our time to enjoy the beautiful crafts made with painstaking care, we have arrived at LE BOUCHON, a famous and very popular French restaurant in the neighborhood! I am hungry…
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.
beef shoulder steak
The famous lunch at LE BOUCHON is a beef shoulder steak with French fries. It is a large portion of a simple steak with butter on top. The steak, served with a mound of fries, is the best.
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!
It is worth noting that they have a different menu at night. Because they are all delicious, we cannot pick one dish to recommend. However, the pictured chicken, pork, and foie gras wrapped in pie pastry and baked is exquisite. The pie pastry wrapping the juicy meat and foie gras is extremely crisp. Shiho has never eaten such a delicious pie pastry wrap!
This is a dish worth trying.
Kumagai Dogusho
12:45  Get familiar with antiques at Kumagai Dogusho!
Once our bodies and minds have been satisfied, let’s regroup and resume our antique journey!
Next is Kumagai Dogusho / 熊谷道具處, an antique shop located very close to LE BOUCHON.
Kumagai Dogusho has been selling medium tools here at Teramachi for nearly 100 years. Medium tools refer to everyday goods used at home. They carry various antique household goods, from dishes and steel kettles to wall clocks, futons, and indulgences, such as go and shogi boards.
You can even find rare clam shells with beautiful pictures drown on the back!
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.
Murakami Kaishindo
13:15  Let’s buy souvenirs for everybody at Murakami Kaishindo!
Maybe you are starting to think that you should buy souvenirs for everybody. There is no need to worry. Teramachi Street, the totally satisfying town, offers plenty of souvenirs, of course.
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.
Russian cakes
Russian cakes are cookies with a dough that is moister than ordinary cookies. It is a famous confection that has been created since Murakami Kaishindo was founded. This baked item boasts its gentle and simple flavor that has not changed 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 back of the shop
The shop, which was built in the early Showa period, feels like it has a rich history carved into its counters and floor tiles.
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!
Shiho has quickly purchased her souvenirs (10 Russian cakes) for everybody! Feeling the happiness of being able to share delicious cookies with everybody, she can’t stop smiling.

Now that we have our souvenirs for everybody, we can relax and return to our antique searching journey!
13:45  Find dishes for daily use at Zohiko!
Next, we continue to Zohiko / 象彦, a lacquerware specialty shop right across from Murakami Kaishindo.

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.
In Japan these days, lacquerware has a strong impression of “celebratory occasions,” such as celebrating a new year.
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.
Ippodo Tea
14:30  Take a break at Ippodo Tea. Tea and sweets soothe your exhaustion from shopping!
As we have started to get tired, don’t you feel like relaxing with a cup of tea?
Oh, there is a tea shop in a perfect spot!!
Ippodo Tea / 一保堂 is right across the street from Zohiko.
Ippodo, which is a long established Japanese tea specialty shop, has a café space called The Kaboku Tearoom behind the tea sales area.
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.
Shiho tries to brew Gyokuro right away!
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.
15:00  FINISH!
Carrying our delicious souvenirs, our antique searching trip ends here.
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.

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