Handmade Kyoto-style accessories for the everyday
Head southeast from Nijo Castle for about ten minutes and reach Kyo-machiya shop MAYU. Kyo-yuzen is a form of textile dyeing originating in Kyoto, and this shop sells small accessories made in Kyoto using this technique. The "gamaguchi" is an unique Japanese style of frogmouth coin purse, and these feature signature images of Kyoto. There are also smartphone cases and other neat handmade items that you can use in your everyday life. While Kyo-yuzen was originally developed as a motif for kimono, it is recently enjoying new life on handkerchiefs, T-shirts, and other items. Kyo-machiya shop MAYU opened its doors in the year 2000. The shop was launched by Marumasu Nishimuraya, a company with over 100 years of history in Kyo-yuzen dyeing. They wanted more people to discover the beauty of this technique in an accessible fashion. Each item varies slightly in terms of motif and coloring, so you'll be buying a one-of-a-kind article. They feature patterns of seasonal flowers and other motifs unique to Japan. All steps in the creation of these goods take place at a dedicated studio in Kyoto, so these are genuine Kyoto items. Why not pick one up as a little accent to your outfit?
koto koto (coin purse) / ￥1,620
The "gamaguchi" is a famous style of frogmouth coin purse. The koto koto brand is Kyo-machiya shop MAYU's original line of coin purses. They are intended to represent Kyoto, filtered through the unique viewpoint of Kyo-machiya shop MAYU. You will find motifs including the vegetables grown in Kyoto, shrines and temples, and animals related to famous Kyoto sites. Foxes tie in with Fushimi Inari Shrine, while monkeys correspond to Arashiyama. The staff at the shop will be delighted to share with you what each one represents. If you spot a motif you've seen elsewhere on your travels through Kyoto, this would be a great chance to pick it up as a memorable souvenir.
Smart phone case, digital camera case / ￥1.080
This case is designed to hold smart phones, digital cameras, and other devices. The "ichimatsu" motif is a traditional Japanese patterned style. Here it's combined with cherry blossom petals for an even more Japanese feel. We like how the exterior and interior have different patterns. The case really changes appearance based on what you choose to put inside, so try it for yourself. The top contains a little hook that you can use to keep the case attached to your bag. You could also fasten it to a strap and wear around your neck so you'll never lose it.
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Tumblers / ￥1.620
These tumblers feature a traditional motif mixed with a modern design. Each of the floral patterns has a distinct meaning. The plum blossoms were beloved by Sugawara no Michizane, a historic scholar who is enshrined at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, so this design suggested for those focusing on their studies. Note that these items cannot be put in the dishwasher. Try carrying your favorite coffee or black tea in one of these. You'll be able to think back to your trip through Kyoto at any time.
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Pen Case / ￥1,944
This pen case takes the frogmouth coin purse and turns it into a rectangle. The mouth opens wide, so you can readily see where your gear is stashed. If you always struggle to get organized, this is for you! There are sample pens and stationery in the shop that you can stuff into the case to test how it works. You could even use one of these to store your cosmetics or accessories.
How to buySlip past the cobblestone corridor to enter the shop and discover a wide range of items. It's definitely worth the experience. There are seemingly endless numbers of handkerchiefs lining the shelves, and you'll find smartphone cases on the walls.
- Shopping Tips -
Pick up the products in hand to get an idea of how they might mesh with your usual gear. Think about color combinations: for example, pairing a red accessory with white makes for the celebratory red/white combination that is famous in Japan.
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Kyo-machiya shop MAYU / 京町家ショップ繭
|Category||Zakka (miscellaneous goods), Traditional Crafts|
|Address||457 Tsuboya-cho, Ogawa-dori, Oike-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 604-8276|
|Directions||7-minute walk from Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Oike Station.|
|Open Hours||9am - 6pm|
|Notes||The shop, installed in a traditional Kyoto home, draws on the charms of its architecture. If you want to take photographs, ask the staff first.|
|Credit cards||VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners, etc. / Accepted|
The staff at the shop speak English. There are also pamphlets describing the history of Kyo-yuzen in English.
|Information||Japanese, English, and Chinese|
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese, English|
|Shipping services||Not accepted|