Aug. 20, 2020 UPDATE
PASS THE BATON KYOTO GION
While the staff may not speak perfect English, they are very friendly, and will respond with gestures. They take great care everywhere so that overseas visitors can enjoy themselves, from English menus to explanations in English, so you should be able to have a worry-free good time.
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Story & Recommendation
A modern secondhand shop connecting past and present in Kyoto’s Gion District
PASS THE BATON has a remarkably special atmosphere, even for Kyoto’s Gion District. Based on the concept of a “modern select secondhand shop,” it finds old items and materials that, for whatever reason, are no longer used and lying idle, and transforms them into new products to sell. They carry a wide range of items; including secondhand goods sourced from individual owners, and remade goods created in collaboration with businesses to give them new life. In addition to the Kyoto Gion location, it also has two locations in Tokyo, each with its own unique features, and there are many items you can only buy at the Gion location. The biggest distinguishing feature of PASS THE BATON is that it sells items with a photo portrait and profile of the previous owner, as well as the story surrounding the item. They value each item along with the memories and personalities of their former owners. From person to person and from past to present, PASS THE BATON connects a diverse range of memories and stories. In addition to the secondhand and remade goods, it also has a café and bar space called Tea and Sake room, ‘Tasuki’ / 「お茶と酒 たすき」 on the first floor, where you can enjoy tea. While visiting Gion, one of the most special places in Kyoto, why not experience an even more special time at PASS THE BATON?
Enjoy the unique atmosphere and items of Kyoto’s Gion District in the Japanese-style room on the second floor
PASS THE BATON occupies a renovated two-story family home built 120 years ago, and many parts of it throughout the shop are still used in their original condition. The Japanese-style room on the second floor is one of these. This space has the most impressive ambience at PASS THE BATON. The items on display here are nearly all connected with Kyoto. For example, there are beautiful flower corsages made from scraps of Nishijin silk brocade, traditional handicrafts from the long-standing Kyoto shop “Kanaami-tsuji” remade into metal badges, and many other items that combine time-honored traditional Kyoto materials with new contemporary western culture. Enjoy PASS THE BATON KYOTO GION’s unique atmosphere and limited items to your heart’s content!
See unique products you can only get at PASS THE BATON KYOTO GION
The many lanterns that immediately catch the eye when you enter the room are actually all handmade. The patterns were painted on each one by lantern crafters, and they are also on sale (by order). The space has a western-style atmosphere overall, but the products and interior design incorporate Japanese elements, creating a pleasing balance of western and Japanese styles. PASS THE BATON carries a variety of items that are made from dead stock and other such materials that, for whatever reason, are no longer used, transforming them to produce new products. It also has many products connected with Kyoto, and carries a variety of items you can only find at PASS THE BATON, such as kimono sashes reused to make clutch bags by an English designer living in Kyoto.
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Café and Bar Space Tea and Sake room, ‘Tasuki’ /「お茶と酒 たすき」
PASS THE BATON KYOTO GION has a café and bar space on the first floor. It is called Tea and Sake room, ‘Tasuki’ 「お茶と酒 たすき」. A café by day and a bar by night, you can enjoy tea all day long. Its most unique feature is that the bar serves mainly drinks based on tea (the photo shows a Roasted Bancha Highball / 1,300(+tax)). It has alcoholic drinks like highballs, cocktails, and even shochu made with tea, so you can enjoy “evening tea.” From the interior design to the carefully selected antique tableware used to serve drinks, you can feel the exquisite care and attention paid to every detail. Tea and Sake room, ‘Tasuki’ 「お茶と酒 たすき」 is a relaxed and stylish space with a fantastic ambience. Why not stop by here to catch your breath at the end of your journey before heading back to your hotel?
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First Floor Antique Space
This space is packed with antiques and other items both sourced from individual owners and purchased from overseas. As you might expect, PASS THE BATON emphasizes not only the value of the items themselves, but also what kind of story is behind each of them as well. For example, they put inexpensive sweets made from beans into expensive ceramic curios and sell them as a set. These limited items are only available at the Kyoto Gion location, whereas in Tokyo, they sell western tableware in sets with bread rusks.
How to buy
Each of the items carried by PASS THE BATON has its own story behind how it came to be there. At PASS THE BATON, each product is a combination of the item itself and the story that goes with it, so knowing the history and people that yielded an item is also important. The people at the shop will explain all of this in detail, so do not hesitate to ask about any items that catch your interest!
- Shopping Tips -
You can try on the kimonos kept in the Japanese-style room on the second floor. If you speak to the shop staff, they will explain how to put it on in English, and will bring one out for you. The staff members are all very friendly, so feel free to try on a kimono.