Mar. 13, 2019 UPDATE


- 雲母唐長 四条店 -
A specialty shop for karakami, a traditional craft loved for more than four centuries
There are brilliant, beautiful, deep blue patterns placed throughout the shop here at KIRA KARACHO. Located inside COCON KARASUMA, the north of Shijo subway station, they sell karakami, a type of traditional Japanese paper. Originally, karakami, one of Japan’s traditional crafts, has mainly been used for sliding and folding screens as well as wallpaper. The shop’s name, KIRA KARACHO (雲母唐長), is the brand name of a well-established karakami maker that has continued making this paper since the Edo era, nearly 400 years ago. The karakami made by KARACHO is used to restore Nijō Castle, a World Heritage Site, as well as Katsura Imperial Villa. KIRA KARACHO was founded with the hope that people in modern times might embrace karakami to enrich their lives. Aside from larger-size products like sliding doors and wallpaper, there are also a number of items on display which better match modern lifestyles, such as cards, coffee mugs, and handbags. There are over 600 KARACHO patterns, and each one has its very own meaning and story. If it’s for a present, you can choose a pattern that matches the image of someone you wish to send a gift like language of flowers. Or, to give yourself good luck, you can buy an item with a pattern that brings good fortune. There are so many different ways to enjoy. Traditional Japanese culture that has continued for over four centuries, brought into beautiful combination with Western culture in order to keep it alive and carry it on. KIRA KARACHO has a unique outlook on the world. Please stop by when you’re in the neighborhood of Shijo .
KARACHO Pattern Ippitsusen Stationery (30 sheets)
KARACHO Pattern Ippitsusen Stationery (30 sheets) / ¥756
Brightly-colored letter paper made with a motif of KARACHO patterns. Ippitsusen is a kind of stationery used when you want to add a short. Most standard ippitsusen has ruled lines but KIRA KARACHO also sells horizontal and non-ruled types. Beyond simply sending messages, it can be used in a variety of different ways. Another appeal of KIRA KARACHO ippitsusen is that it uses KARACHO patterns, each and every one of which has its own concept and meaning. How do you choose the color? It’s even more fun to this of who you give or season.
Postcards / ¥749
There is one of the most popular products. They are made by the store producer, Aiko Senda. They have been here since the beginning, and are such important item of KIRA KARACHO that you could almost say they started it all. Each card is carefully made by hand, and the same one cannot be found elsewhere. You’ll be content simply admiring these colorful postcards which use gorgeous KARACHO patterns. Several varieties can also be purchased for decorative use, and some people make them a part of their home decor. These are one of the must-have items from KIRA KARACHO.
Framed karakami
3Check it out!
Framed karakami / ¥16,000~¥800,000
You can enjoy karakami as traditional Japanese art. Placed inside a frame, You can enjoy karakami as part of your interior design. Each wonderful frame is carefully selected to evoke the KARACHO pattern that will call it home. The deep, beautiful blue karakami representing to KIRA KARACHO adorns a wall. No doubt about it - you might just end up making an impulse buy. Karakami can be enjoyed not only for its patterns, but as works of art with distinct, handmade flavor.
Carré de papier (縁) (10 kinds with 5 colors each; 50 sheets)
4Check it out!
Carré de papier (縁) (10 kinds with 5 colors each; 50 sheets) / ¥2,592
Carré de papier are square cards for short messages. The ways to use it vary by person. Use it freely and flexibly, just as you please. There are two kinds of patterns: those for good luck, and those for the seasons (the pattern pictured is for good luck). Good-luck motifs are used in design, clouds for example. Clouds bring the rain and therefore crops, thus representing a rise in fortunes. Use carré de papier in a variety of ways in your life, such as a thank-you note when returning something you borrowed, or as a coaster for a friend’s a drink when they come to visit your home.
How to buy

how to buy - KIRA KARACHO The 24 varieties of KARACHO patterns can be enjoyed visually, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if you knew the meaning behind each one when you made a purchase? Store staffs are ready to assist, but it might be a good idea to check out these two books sold at the register so you can choose patterns on your own. The blue book in particular uses illustrations to explain KARACHO patterns and their meanings (The author is Aiko Senda’s husband, karakami master Toto Akihito). Find your favorite patterns as you read!

- Shopping Tips -
If you ask store staff, they can show you more framed karakami in addition to what is on display. Look at design on the wall, and decide what is suitable for interior.
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Overseas Tourist-Friendly
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The shop’s Western-style interior is simply adorable, whereas the items have a long, deep history. I was really surprised by the fact they are traditional handiwork. Items like cards, coffee mugs, and smartphone cases all make a great match with modern people’s lifestyles, and since they’re relatively inexpensive, can be used in everyday life. This cute and stylish store has an unexplainable charm that makes you feel like going back again.
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KIRA KARACHO Shijo Store / 雲母唐長 四条店
Category Traditional Crafts, Zakka (miscellaneous goods)
Phone +81 75-353-5885
Address COCON KARASUMA 1F, 620, Suiginyacho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 600-8411
Directions ・A few minutes on foot from Shijo Bus Stop ・Directly connected to Exit 2 of Subway Shijo Station. ・Directly connected to Exit 23 and 25 of Hankyu Karasuma Station.
Open Hours 11am - 7pm
Closed Tuesday
Price range
Credit cards Accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Although the staff do not necessarily speak perfect English, they are very kind and will assist you with gestures.
Information Japanese only
Lanuages spoken Basic English
Shipping services Not accepted
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