Whether you’re coming to Kyoto to see tens of temples and shrines, or to taste Kyoto’s famous kaiseki cuisine, you need a bag to hold your essentials – and preferably also remind of your trip to Kyoto even after you’ve gone back.
The words “made in Japan” are famous worldwide, but these words denote an especially special kind of craftsmanship when speaking of things made in Kyoto. When you’re looking for quality bags that are made in Japan, using Japanese leather, it’s sometimes not easy to find a bag that fits all of these criteria (and preferably for a reasonable price).
Keeping this in mind, we at Sharing Kyoto love the bags by Enśe – they’re sturdy, yet light and the quality of the leather is par-none else. They’re also nice souvenirs and they’re priced rather reasonably when you take into account that every bag sold at Enśe is handmade from Japanese leather.
Enśe is a brand that just began in 2012, but it has already gotten many fans both in Japan and overseas, The quality of the stitching on their leather bags is unquestionable, and they’re also easy to use, as you don’t need to do anything special to take care of the leather, you can just enjoy the natural change in the way your bag looks.
One of the things that make Enśe different from the competition is that the staff at their stores are almost all also designers. So you can buy a bag from the person who designed it, meaning that the advice on how to use the bag is going to be as good as it can get! So here the staff really knows everything there is to know about the bags they’re selling.
While Enśe may be well known for its leather bags, they also make jewelry, shoes, clothes, and many other things. Notice also that although Enśe specializes in light natural colors, they also have some of their products in more vibrant ones too. Like their smartphone cases (fit for both Android and iPhone, including iPhone Plus).
While these iPhone cases may look nice, they’re actually also very practical: you can even take pictures while your phone is in one. As our iPhones are getting more and more expensive, the peace of mind a case like this brings is more important than ever.
In Enśe’s Kyoto store, many of the staff are jewelry designers, so if you’re looking for jewelry, this is the place to visit. The jewelry line at Enśe was actually started by a bag designer who wanted to switch to jewelry design. By working together with craftsmen, the designers at Enśe have been able to create incredibly elegant jewelry.
The Kyoto shop is in downtown, easily accessible from four train stations: Hankyu Kawaramachi and Karasuma, and subway Karasuma Oike and Shiyakusho-mae. The shop has a calm atmosphere; at it, you don’t have to feel hurried, but you can take your time and carefully note the small details in the products.
As for their store in Osaka, many of the people working there are actually responsible for designing Enśe’s leather bags. The shop is located a bit south of the subway station Higobashi, not too far from the city center of Umeda.
Enśe takes the word craftsmanship very seriously, and you can easily see this if you take a closer look at their bags. The stitch work on them is exquisite – as you’d expect from a leather bag made in Japan from Japanese leather.
If you look at the picture above from Enśe’s leather factory, a lot of painstaking work goes into making an Enśe bag. A lot of the work is done in-house. Even the leather Enśe uses is all made in Japan, and actually, made in the city of Himeji.
We actually asked the designers of Enśe about what their favorite features of their bags are. One thing that rose above all others was the stitching of the handles of some of their bags. If you look at them from afar, the handles may not look that special, but if you take a closer look, you should be able to notice that there is indeed something different about them.
The handles “stand” by themselves. They’re actually joined to the bag on their sides, not flat against the bag as is the usual style (easier to understand if you take a look at the picture above). This means that the handles don’t “collapse” and stay upright, meaning that when it’s time to leave the kaiseki restaurant behind, it’s easy for you to grab your bag and head out to the cash register.
Enśe is a leather bag maker who has brick & mortar shops in both Osaka and Kyoto. They only use Japanese leather from Himeji, all their bags are made in Kyoto, and they also have a nice line of jewelry, fittingly called Enśe Jewelry.
What separates them from the competition is their insistence on Japanese leather and the quality of their craftsmanship, which is great especially as you take into account that Enśe’s bags are also reasonably priced.
|Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|