Jan. 10, 2019 UPDATE

Leather bags from Kyoto: the Italian Maestro and Japanese attention to detail

L’Elisir and Caede combine the autumn leaves of Kyoto and Italian design into leather bags that can only be said to be “bellissimo!”

The beauty of Kyoto joined with Italian design. It sounds rather incredible, but there is actually something in Kyoto that combines the great sense of design of an Italian Maestro and the four seasons of this old capital city of the land of the rising sun.

Gabriele Candelori

Gabriele CandeloriMany impressionist artists like Mone and Van Gogh took inspiration from the Japanese art of ukiyo-e, but with L’Eliser and its Caede line in Kyoto, we actually have a contemporary Italian design guru, Gabriele Candelori, who has received the honorary title of Maestro in Italy, combines the traditions of Kyoto with Italian design, who was infatuated by the beauty of Kyoto. 

Grande Maestro

Grande MaestroThe Grande Maestro of Caede is Italian, and this Italian sense can be felt in the leather bags. But there is something more to them, something that surpasses the distance that separates Japan and Italy, something timeless.

Sennyu-ji TempleThe Grande Maestro seems to like Kyoto so much, that he often comes here to find inspirtations for new works. Here you can see him together with a monk of Sennyu-ji Temple.

CaedeThis all started because Gabriele Candelori paid a visit to Kyoto, and fell in love with the autumn colors of this ancient city. So the four seasons of this city were what originally inspired the Maestro to start this line of products called Caede, and the vivid colors of autumn are what keeps everyone coming to get more. While autumn only comes once a year, the autumn-leave themed bags of Caede are available every season. 

leather bagsHere at Sharing Kyoto we often use the word “Kyoto-like,” but it really is hard to think of a word more fitting of L’Elisir and Caede. You can see the Kyoto-inspiration in every bag and even in the small details, but it’s interesting how much the leather bags take their inspiration from the traditional architecture of Kyoto. The creativity behind the Zima line (pictured above) of leather bags is not only born from the autumn leaves of Kyoto, but also from the wooden lattices of the machiya townhouses known as koshi.


CraftmanshipThe bags are Italo-Japanese, in that they’re designed in Italy, and made using the finest Italian leather available but sold only in Japan. The bags also use leather of such quality it’s unheard of; the bags in the Zima line are made using vegetable tanned leather, a type of leather usually reserved for only the handles of a leather bag. 

Italian designBy uncompromisingly fitting together the Italian design and leather with the Japanese craftsmanship, L’Elisir and the Maestro have created something of such quality that you won’t have to worry about needing another bag for a very long time. 

The only one

Tominokoji Dori flagship store There is only one place in the whole world where you can buy Caede’s leather bags. That place is of course here in Kyoto, located in the middle of the city, a short walk from the Hankyu Railway station of Kawaramachi. This is the Tominokoji Dori flagship store of Caede

flag-ship storeThe store is truly one-of-a-kind in Kyoto – it’s the only true fashion flag-ship store in Kyoto. The store-windows are incredibly big for Kyoto, and a lot of natural light gets in, making the store feel very comfortable. 

MaestroBut the only store in the world selling Caede’s bags is not only that; it’s only the Kyoto-atelier of the Maestro himself. Whenever he gets the inspiration to design bags in the Caede series, he comes to Kyoto to do that. There is something about the store that makes you feel the immense inspiration and dedication behind this brand, you can feel it in the air that there is something special about it. 


KYOTO X ITALIAFor many centuries, Kyoto was the capital of Japan. And in the times of the Roman Empire, Rome in Italy was the capital of Europe. This long history behind both cities may be behind the incredible combination that is L’Elisir and Caede – even though not an old brand in itself, but the history behind the concepts inspiring it are time-tested. 

new productThis is a new product at Caede, Cerberus 3 face tote, that shows the traditional and new part of the brand beautifully, and it also mixes the Italian design with Japanese high-tech. The interesting-looking high-tech part of the canvas bag is actually made from a kind of plastic, and it’s flexible. These bags are also not as pricey as the other bags, so they’re also nice as souvenirs to give out to your friends.

Click here to access Caede’s official website: 


Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
There is something about the feeling in these bags that I can’t quite put my finger on; they’re both traditional and modern at the same time, and I feel like I just want to get one and start walking toward one of the thousands of temples and shrines in Kyoto with it. Oh, just thinking of the Instalicious pictures I could take with it makes me so excited!
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