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souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

memphis, tn
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souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

we're visiting Japan in april and will be visiting both Tokyo and Kyoto. I'm looking for some nice quality souvenirs for myself and some nice but cheap gifts for friends. Where should I get my souvenirs from, Tokyo or Kyoto? Which city has better quality for better price? I hate to visit Kyoto thinking that I'll get everything from Tokyo later only to realize that things were better in Kyoto. Thanks.

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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

A fun spot for shopping - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyu_Hands

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2. Re: souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

If you see something nice in Kyoto, buy it for yourself--you may never see it again. The street leading up to Kiyomizudera has some nice shops, as I recall.

The last time I needed to pick up things for my friends, I found a couple of nice stores in Asakusa. Not in Nakamise, the row of souvenier stores on the way to the temple, but turning right onto the shopping street that intersects Nakamise on my way back. Theres a store that sells ceramics and a bit of lacquerware and another that has traditional fans and the like. I don't remember the names but just look in the windows. Narita airport also has souvenier stores selling the whole range from tacky to rather nice.

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3. Re: souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

Good Morning :-)

Just to add to Kiyomizudera- as Roger has mentioned there are sovenir shops leading all the way up to Kiyomizudera. Kyoto is apparently known for its crafts, Kimono fabrics and ceramics.

There is a fantastic ceramics shop (come cafe/restaurant) about half way up the alley on right hand side. Georgeous products and assistants may be able to help organize safe shipment for you. Highly recommend the restaurant too.

On our last trip we ventured down the alley/street parallel to the main alley and stummbled upon a shop where the gentleman makes sandalwood combs, wigs for the Maiko and adornments. These seemed unique to Kyoto.

At the time we were rushed and regret not getting more products. On our next trip we will be making sure we visit again.

The airports are also good for emergency gifts.

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4. Re: souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

In Tokyo, for traditional handicrafts from Japan: Bingoya. A pretty wide variety and a range of prices to choose from. There are ceramics, tableware, woven and dyed fabrics, calligraphy, toys and on. Not the usual "Japanese" things we see in the U.S. Just perusing the store is an experience. We purchased place mats and some other things as gifts. Next time, I'm going back for sake cups.

It's located just across the street from the Oedo Line's Wakamatsu-Kawada subway station. Here is their website:


Just click on the links even if in Japanese. They lead to photos of the store and the things they carry.

5. Re: souvenir shopping in Tokyo or Kyoto

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