Kyoto is famed for its traditional temples, sacred shrines, elegant gardens, and gorgeous geisha. The city itself is a delectable fusion of contemporary and ancient Japanese culture doused with a healthy measure of sensational shopping. As you walk through Gion’s cobbled streets, your sights and senses are overwhelmed with a plethora of pretty keepsakes, exceptional crafts and future heirlooms, designed to remind you of your journey to Japan’s most desirable destination. Here’s Haute Culture’s Girly Guide to Shopping in Kyoto so you can hit the ground running and not miss a beat!
1. Kyoto’s Kimonos
The Kimono is Japan’s national traditional dress, designed to impress. Available in an all inclusive, customisable, one size fits all, and comes in an eternity of colours, patterns and prints to suit any mood and season. Kyoto is the capital of the kimono, and if you love fashion as much is I do, then you will not be able to contain yourself with excitement over how beautiful everyone looks walking around wearing this ensemble. Secondhand kimono or new Yukata can be bought for as little as $50.
2. Amazing Matcha
My new addiction in life. Once you have tried a true matcha green tea in Japan no hot drink will ever compare. Jam packed with antioxidants, calorie burning and positive mood enhancing (not to mention ridiculously delicious), grab a bag to take home from $15.
3. Sweet Sweets
Feast on rainbow coloured rice crackers, sweet red bean paste and strawberry stuffed mochi. Japanese sweets have got to be the cutest confectionary on earth. They are all tiny, pastel coloured and come in nothing but adorable packaging.
4. Fancy Fans
The perfect accessory in Asia to keep you looking cool in more ways than one. These fashionable hand painted fans are a traditional must have accompaniment to complete your kimono look.
5. Handsome hair pins
For handsome hair, one has to have handsome hair pins. You can try Maiko style by wearing lots of decorative hair ornaments (known as Kanzashi) with dangling silk flowers, metal tassels and jewelled pins for around $100, or something a tad more subtle and wallet friendly like these pretty painted glass pins for around $40.
6. Superb Silks
Kimono silk by the bolt is readily available at flea markets and boutiques dotted throughout Kyoto. The biggest problem you will face is deciding which one of these adorable or distinguished designs you are going to buy first.
7. Chop sticks
The perfect cheap, cheerful and cultural take away keepsake to remind you of all that sensational Kyoto cuisine when ordering sushi back at home.
8. Gorgeous Geta Shoes
Traditionally worn with kimono, these shoes are an unlikely combo of clogs, wedges and flip flops fused into one. The best are made from wood with pretty patterned silk thongs, and come in a variety of stance challenging heights.
9. Tiny toys
Kawaii as they come, Japans tiny toys will tempt your inner child at every possible opportunity.
10. Ultimate Umbrellas
Come rain or shine no Japanese lady worth her sake is seen without a perfectly coordinated umbrella, and come to think of it, neither should you!
Have been shopping in Kyoto? What did you buy? Anything else we should add to this list? Please share your experiences, ideas and suggestions in the comments box below, we would love to hear from you.
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