Kyoto Shopping Guide: 15 Best Places to Shop in Kyoto

Shopping in Kyoto: Where Tradition Meets Trend

Shopping in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, can be a fun experience where every purchase tells a story and every alley hides a treasure. Traditional markets and modern malls come together inviting visitors to explore different sides of the city besides its most famous landmarks.

This guide uncovers 15 must-visit spots that showcase Kyoto’s unique retail landscape, promising everything from high-end fashion to local crafts and gourmet treasures. So the next time you visit the city and take a piece of Kyoto with you, you will know where to start! Here’s our list of the 15 best places to shop in Kyoto.

1. JR Kyoto Isetan


Standing tall within Kyoto Station, JR Kyoto Isetan (ジェイアール京都伊勢丹) is a landmark of luxury shopping in Kyoto. With floors dedicated to the latest in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products, it caters to the discerning shopper with a taste for elegance and quality. 

The store prides itself on a carefully curated selection of both international brands and local specialties, ensuring a shopping experience that includes both global trends and Kyoto’s cultural heritage. The food hall is also renowned for its array of gourmet delicacies making JR Kyoto Isetan a must-visit for anyone seeking the finest in shopping and dining.

2. Porta

Porta Kyoto
Photo by Hirorinmasa (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Directly accessible from Kyoto Station, Porta (京都ポルタ) is an underground shopping mall that pulsates with the energy of the city. It’s a labyrinth of over a hundred shops and restaurants, offering everything from trendy fashion to intricate handicrafts, making it a favorite among both locals and travelers. 

The mall’s layout is designed for ease of navigation, inviting visitors to meander through its wide corridors and discover hidden gems. It’s a convenient and diverse spot both for a quick meal between train rides or some leisurely shopping for unique gifts.

3. Omiyage Kaido JR Kyoto Station Chuo-guchi Store

Inside Kyoto’s transportation hub, the Omiyage Kaido JR Kyoto Station Chuo-guchi Store (おみやげ街道 JR京都駅中央口店) is the travelers’ most convenient gateway to Japanese tradition. Omiyage Kaido can be translated as Souvenir Road, so as the name indicates, this location offers a vast selection of souvenirs that capture the essence of Kyoto.

Here you can find from the best of the region’s artisanal craftsmanship like intricate Kiyomizu pottery, to delicate sweets like Yatsuhashi. All sorts of beautifully packaged gifts and snacks that can be swiftly purchased at the last minute right before departing from the station.

4. Kyoto Takashimaya

Kyoto Takashimaya
Photo by Shrr (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

As one of Japan’s oldest and most respected department stores, Kyoto Takashimaya (京都タカシマヤ) is a symbol of sophistication and style. Spread across multiple floors, each level offers all kinds of items, from high-end fashion labels and cosmetics to exquisite home goods and toys. 

The store is renowned for its selection of traditional Japanese crafts, including kimono fabrics and tea ceremony utensils, making it a cultural treasure trove for those seeking authentic Japanese items. The top floor features a gourmet food hall, where shoppers can indulge in a variety of international cuisines and Japanese delicacies.

5. Daimaru Kyoto

Daimaru Kyoto
Photo by Kirakirameister (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Located near the historic Gion district, Daimaru Kyoto (大丸京都店) brings together the best of traditional charm and contemporary luxury. This department store is famous for its wide range of merchandise, from the latest fashion trends to traditional Kyoto crafts like Kyo-yaki ceramics and Nishijin textiles. The beauty department showcases an array of global and domestic cosmetics brands, catering to every beauty need.

This department store also hosts seasonal events and exhibitions so for the culture-conscious it’s always a good option to stop by. The basement food floor is a gastronomy heave, offering an extensive selection of sweets, bento boxes, and high-quality Japanese and Western delicacies.

6. Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden

Kyoto Kawaramachi
Photo by nobu3withfoxy (Licensed under CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

In the heart of Kyoto’s bustling Kawaramachi district, Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden (京都河原町ガーデン) is a contemporary shopping center that offers a refreshing mix of fashion, lifestyle, and dining options. The mall’s modern architecture and garden-themed interior, complete with greenery and water features and inviting open spaces create a relaxed shopping atmosphere.

Dining options at Kawaramachi Garden range from casual cafes to sophisticated restaurants, offering both Japanese and international cuisine. This shopping center is a popular destination for young locals and tourists alike, looking for a stylish and convenient shopping experience in the heart of Kyoto.

7. Kyoto BAL

Kyoto BAL

Kyoto BAL (京都BAL) is a symbol of contemporary lifestyle and fashion. This chic shopping mall, with its sleek, modern design, attracts a fashion-forward crowd with its selection of cutting-edge Japanese and international brands. The mall’s layout includes art galleries, and specialty stores where visitors can stroll at their own pace.

 Beyond fashion, Kyoto BAL offers an array of lifestyle and design shops, making it a hotspot for those seeking unique home décor and gifts. The rooftop terrace and its cafes provide a peaceful spot to unwind, offering panoramic views of the city — a perfect balance of shopping and relaxation in Kyoto.

8. Gion Shotengai

Gion Shotengai
© Gion Shopping Street Promotion Association

Gion Shotengai (祇園商店街), in the historic Gion district, is a shopping street that takes you back in time. This charming area, known for its preserved machiya houses and narrow lanes, offers an intimate glimpse into Kyoto’s past. The shops here range from traditional tea houses and antique dealers to boutiques selling handmade crafts and kimonos.

Strolling through Gion Shōtengai, visitors can find exquisite pieces of pottery, handcrafted fans, and local sweets, each telling a story of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage. The district’s atmosphere is particularly enchanting in the evening, when lanterns light up the streets, offering a shopping experience that feels like a scene from a bygone era.

Learn more about the Gion district in the following article!

▶Gion: Traditional Geisha District in Kyoto 

9. The CUBE

The Cube Kyoto
Photo by michaelchan (Licensed under CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

The CUBE, located in Kyoto Station, is a modern shopping complex and an ideal spot for those looking to make the most of their time in the city, offering a wide range of shops, from fashion and accessories to souvenirs and books.

Integrated with the underground shopping mall Porta in March 2023, the complex also boasts a variety of dining options, serving up everything from quick bites to gourmet meals, ensuring that visitors can enjoy a diverse culinary experience. The CUBE’s selection of specialty stores, offering traditional Kyoto crafts and contemporary goods, makes it a perfect place for a quick stop to find gifts and mementos.

10. Kawaramachi OPA

Kawaramachi OPA
Photo by Tokumeigakarinoaoshima (Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

In Kyoto’s most dynamic shopping district, Kawaramachi OPA (河原町オーパ) is a modern retail haven that pulsates with youthful energy. This shopping center is a favorite among young fashion enthusiasts, offering a wide array of trendy apparel, accessories, and beauty products. Its vibrant, eclectic atmosphere is complemented by an assortment of dining options, from casual eateries to sweet shops, catering to every palate.

The interior design of Kawaramachi OPA, with its bright, open spaces, creates an inviting environment where shopping becomes a social experience. Regular events and pop-up stores add to the excitement, making every visit to Kawaramachi OPA a new adventure.

11. Kyoto Yodobashi

Kyoto Yodobashi
Photo by Jo (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

A paradise for tech aficionados, Kyoto Yodobashi (京都ヨドバシ) is an expansive electronics megastore that covers all things digital and gadgetry. With the latest smartphones and cameras, home appliances, gaming consoles, and everything in between, this is a one-stop-shop for cutting-edge technology.

Its extensive floor space is meticulously organized by category, allowing customers to easily navigate through the vast selection of products. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to provide expert advice, ensuring that shoppers make informed decisions. Beyond electronics, Kyoto Yodobashi also offers a selection of books, music, and a food court, making it a comprehensive shopping destination that caters to a wide range of interests and needs.

12. Kyoto AVANTI

Kyoto Avanti
Photo by John Seb Barber (Licensed under CC BY 2.0) via Creative Commons

Just a stone’s throw from Kyoto Station, Kyoto AVANTI (京都AVANTI) is a large shopping and entertainment complex. It attracts a diverse crowd with its mix of fashion stores, lifestyle brands, and cultural shops. The mall’s contemporary design and relaxed atmosphere make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists to shop, dine, and unwind.

Kyoto AVANTI is particularly known for its selection of unique, independent boutiques that offer everything from trendy apparel to traditional crafts, providing a platform for emerging designers and artisans. The basement food court and various restaurants throughout the mall offer a taste of Kyoto’s culinary delights, rounding out the shopping experience with flavors that cater to every appetite.

13. Shijo-dori

Shijo DoriShijo-dori (四条通) is a lively avenue that stretches from Yasaka Shrine in the east to Matsuo-taisha in the west. This commercial street offers everything from traditional shops to contemporary department stores for those looking for high-end fashion and luxury goods or local crafts and souvenirs.

The area around Kawaramachi and Gion-Shijo stations, in particular, is a hotspot for retail enthusiasts, with pedestrian-friendly streets and alleyways that invite leisurely exploration. Shijo-dori’s vibrant atmosphere is further enhanced by street performers and seasonal decorations, making it a lively and engaging shopping experience at any time of the year.

14. Shinkyogoku Shopping Street

Shinkyogoku Shopping streetGoing parallel to Teramachi Street, Shinkyogoku Shopping Street (新京極商店街) is a lively and youthful shopping arcade that offers a more casual and affordable shopping experience compared to its more traditional counterpart, Teramachi. This covered street is lined with a diverse array of shops selling trendy clothing, accessories, pop culture merchandise, and souvenirs, making it particularly popular among teenagers and young adults.

The bustling atmosphere is complemented by numerous snack stands and small eateries, offering quick bites and refreshments to energize shoppers. Shinkyogoku’s vibrant and eclectic mix of stores provides a fun and accessible shopping environment, perfect for those looking to explore the lighter, more playful side of Kyoto’s retail landscape.

15. Nishiki Market

Nishiki MarketKnown affectionately as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” Nishiki Market (錦市場) is a narrow, five-block-long shopping street renowned for its extensive selection of fresh food, produce, and specialty items unique to Kyoto. This lively market is a feast for the senses, with over one hundred stalls and shops offering everything from fresh seafood and seasonal produce to local pickles, sweets, and gourmet delicacies.

The market’s rich history and tradition are evident in its energetic atmosphere and the array of traditional and family-owned businesses that have operated there for generations. 

Check out our experience at the Nishiki Market with a food tour!

▶Nishiki Market Tour: Food and Shopping Guide

+ Traditional souvenirs at Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka

These two charming streets, Ninenzaka (二年坂) and Sannenzaka (三年坂) are a step back in time, offering a picturesque stroll through Kyoto’s historic Higashiyama district. Lined with traditional wooden houses and stone-paved paths, the area is renowned for its quaint tea houses, artisan shops, and specialty stores selling a wide range of traditional Japanese souvenirs, from handcrafted ceramics and lacquerware to delicate incense and yukata.

The nostalgic atmosphere, enhanced by the occasional geisha sighting, makes shopping here a unique cultural experience. These streets are the perfect place to find authentic and high-quality mementos that capture the spirit and beauty of old Kyoto.

Check out more about these places in the following article!

▶Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka: Unspoiled Historical Alleys in Kyoto

Exploring Kyoto’s shopping districts is a fun retail therapy that immerses us in the city’s culture and traditions. It’s a way to learn about the local lifestyle, so shopping in Kyoto is also a good way to experience Japan’s old imperial city. 

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Written by

Photographer, journalist, and avid urban cyclist, making sense of Japan since 2017. I was born in Caracas and lived for over 10 years in Barcelona before moving to Tokyo. Currently working towards my goal of visiting every prefecture in Japan, I hope to share with readers the everlasting joy of discovery and the neverending urge to keep exploring.