[Local College Students Tell All!] Famous Streets of Kyoto Series - Shinkyogoku-dori
The streets of Kyoto are neatly organized according to four directions. Each of the streets have their own flavor and attract tourists on a daily basis. "I want to make maximum use of the limited time I have in Kyoto!" "I want to know what kinds of shops there are!" This is a series of articles that addresses these concerns. The first in the series is an introduction to Shinkyogoku-dori. Check out these recommended stops for women!
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Shinkyogoku-dori is one of the streets that runs in a north-south direction between Sanjo-dori and Shijo-dori. Even though it's only 500m long, it's one of the best known shopping districts in Kyoto and is frequented by many tourists. Souvenir shops, theaters, restaurants and more are gathered in this area. There are also many clothing shops and cafes that are especially popular among young women.
Check out these shops! You'll find them as you walk from the south end (Shijo-dori end) to the north end (Sanjo-dori end)!
1. Second Hand Kimono Shop - Sakura (Kyoto Shinkyogoku Store)
If you enter Shinkyogoku-dori from the Shijo-dori end, you'll very quickly spot the Secondhand Kimono Shop - Sakura (Kyoto Shinkyogoku Store) store on the right side of the street. You can buy second hand kimono here at very reasonable prices. There's a currency exchange machine at the front of the store. Take note of it and you'll never need to panic if you run out of Japanese yen during your trip.
2. Hanabira Hitotsu. (Shinkyogoku Store)
If you keep heading north after the second hand kimono store, you'll find Hanabira Hitotsu., a Japanese goods store, right before the alley. In this store, you'll find a selection of Japanese accessories, such as hair accessories, along with others like Japanese fans and scarves. These match very well with kimono, but also look really cute with any regular outfit.
3. Yojiya (Main Store)
Right in front of Hanabira Hitotsu. (Shinkyogoku Store) is Kayu-koji Shotengai, often called the shortest shopping street in Japan. This narrow street is lined with fashion shops and restaurants that are full of character. Tucked in one corner of the street is Yojiya (Main Store).
Yojiya is a beauty/cosmetics brand originating from Kyoto that is extremely popular among women, both locally and globally! Their facial blotter paper that gently absorbs the oil on your face is one of the brand's flagship products. It's a must-have item in the hot and humid Kyoto summer. You don't want your make-up to melt and ruin your look! Besides that, many of their skincare products are made with natural ingredients. Their line of cosmetic tools line the shelves of Yojiya.
4. Kimono Rental - Vasara (Kyoto Main Store)
If you return to Shinkyogoku-dori and walk a little further, you'll arrive at this store that offers kimono (they'll help you put it on) and accessories for rental. You can also get your hair done at the store. If you select additional options on top of the standard rental plan, you can opt to return the kimono at the store's other branches in Kyoto (Kyoto Gion Store, Kyoto Station (Within Nippon Travel Agency) Shop, Kyoto Shijo Shop, etc.). It's really convenient since you don't have to purposely make a trip back here to return the items.
*This place has closed down.
5. Kyoto Olympia
Head further north and you'll spot Kyoto Olympia on your left. This is a purikura (photo sticker) specialty store that you'll be able to spot by its memorable airplane signboard. The latest purikura machines are available here, so it's extremely popular with women in Kyoto. Why don't you stop by with your friends and family for a kawaii (cute) memento of your Kyoto trip?
6. Sugi Drug (Shinkyogoku Store)
Besides medical supplies, drugstores stock a host of daily necessities and snacks, making them stores that you absolutely must visit when you shop. The goods vary from chain to chain, so you'll find something different even if you visit a few different stores. Opposite to Kyoto Olympia, the bright yellow sign of the Matsumoto Kiyoshi drugstore will catch your eye. From there, just head a little further north and you'll get to the Sugi Drug store and the Sun Drug store. Among these, Sugi Drug's Shinkyogoku store is especially recommended. It occupies 2 floors and is stocked with a wide variety of goods. They also provide duty-free receipts, so it's really convenient for overseas visitors!
7. Hannari Cafe - Kyo-no-Amekobo Iwai (Shinkyogoku Store)
If you're tired from walking, you should take a break at this sweets shop run by Kyoto Uji Handmade Candy Workshop - Iwai Seika! It's located near Sugi Drug. They serve matcha (green tea) sweets that come with different teas depending on the ordered sweet. Apart from that, the Hiyashi Ame that the Kansai area is known for is also highly recommended. Hiyashi Ame is a drink made by melting rice candy in ginger juice. In Kyoto, this is a drink that is frequently consumed during the summer. Be sure to try this out if you stop by the store!
*This place has closed down.
8. Teo Kafon
Here's another great place to rest your tired feet. There's a plaza area a little further north from Sugi Drug. From here, turn right and you'll get to Teo Kafon on your right hand side after walking a little more. It's a popular cafe that specializes in matcha (green tea) sweets. Here, they combine the Japanese tea culture with international cafe culture, using both Japanese and Western ingredients to make their dishes.
The Matcha Sweets Plate is a top pick that you should try. It's a platter that includes 5 different sweets that all use matcha as an ingredient. The Kafon Set is popular as well. With this set, you can make your own tea and enjoy it with Japanese sweets.
9. tutuanna (Kyoto Sanjo Store)
Head back to Shinkyogoku-dori and keep heading north. On one side of Starbucks stands tutu-anna, a sock specialty store that's a big hit with women of all ages, from high school students to working adults. The store is well-stocked with socks, from the latest designs to the basics that never go out of style. Apart from cute socks, you can also get other items like comfortable underwear at affordable prices. You can also make duty-free purchases if your purchase meets a minimum of 5,400 JPY (incl. tax).
These recommended shops are just a small selection of what's on offer at Shinkyogoku-dori. Head down and experience the charms of Shinkyogoku-dori for yourself!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.