Best Things to Do


Spend an afternoon in Kyoto on some serious shopping, or at least browsing. The twin streets Shinmonzen and Furumonzen are headquarters for antiques and art with sky-high prices — folding screens, ceramics, textiles and wood carvings are just the beginning, all in a romantic, old-world district by a gentle river. The Gion district lies just to its south, with all the implements a geisha needs: hair ornaments, musical instruments, delicate purses and sandals with impossibly high platform soles. Even if you don’t buy anything, a visit to these districts may rival time spent in a museum.

Less high-flying shoppers need to know just one name: Teramachi. This street in the city center has a wealth of more affordable antique and craft shopping on its north end and a cacophony of everything from the everyday to the so-next-year contemporary at a covered arcade north of the wide avenue Shijo-dori. Near the intersection of Teramachi and Shijo-dori are the giant department stores Takashimaya, Hankyu and Daimaru.

Below are a couple more options.

Kyoto Station

Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho 600-8216 Kyoto Japan

More than a transportation hub, you'll find shops and eateries here too.

Nishiki Market

Nishikikoji Teramachi-Takakura 604-8054 Kyoto Japan

Mingle with locals and take a look at a variety of food and other goods.