This famous Kyoto shop, located in the Nishiki Market, sells a fine selection of knives, each of which has a different purpose. Originally started by a master sword maker, Aritsugu has been creating quality knives and utensils for 18 generations.
Arts & Science
A pretty little store that looks like it could be right at home in New York City's West Village, Arts & Science sells high-quality, beautifully made clothing and accessories. The clothes are all natural colors – army green, heather grey, white, cream and light.
This confectionary established in 1885 sells possibly ever variation of Japanese cracker as well as some of Kyoto’s sweetest delicacies (don't miss the go-shiki-mame, five-colored-beans, a popular Kyoto treat). Funahashi-ya is a must for tourists looking for a delicious souvenir.
Located across the street from its inspiration, Gallery Yukei is a small shop from the Tawaraya Ryokan family. You can purchase the famous ryokan’s slippers, bath amenities, sheets and bedding along with a range of artisan gifts like ceramic tea cups. True Tawaraya devotees can ensure a future of sleeping futon-style by purchasing one to bring home.
Unsurprisingly, given Japan’s detailed-oriented culture, Hakuhodo makeup brushes deliver close to perfection in their quality and precision. Utilizing 14 types of animal hair to hand craft each brush, the company headquarters are located in Kumano, which has been the brush production capital of Japan for centuries. Their flagship store in Kyoto fuses minimalism with modern Japanese Zen, and has earned a host of design awards.
Ippodo Tea Co.
Visit this authentic teashop to sample varieties of matcha—powdered green tea—served by expert tea masters (plus, pick up some teas to bring home). The high-quality tea leaves are grown locally in Kyoto and have a distinct, delicate taste.
Established in 1875, the artistans of Kaikado hand-make chazutsu (Japanese tealeaf caddies) out of tin, brass and copper. The airtight containers are used to keep primarily green tea leaves safe from moisture and humidity. While functional, the cylinder shaped tea caddies this sixth-generation, family-run company construct are true objects of art. Located a bit out of Kyoto’s ‘downtown’, this beautiful workshop and store is worth the trip.
For the paper-obsessed among us (you know who you are) this boutique will delight with hand-painted note cards, handmade paper for origami, decorative design tape, and Japanese stationary. Watching the shop girls wrap your purchases is an experience in itself.
Come to this beautiful little shop to peruse an authentic selection of tatami mats and antique woodblock prints. The shopkeeper will provide a selection to choose from, all of which come with an English translation.
Pass the Baton
Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery
American-born Robert Yellin has lived in Japan for decades, and has settled in a haven for artists and expatriots alike. His gallery located in a residential neighborhood of Kyoto is part of his home; the building itself a carriage house to a larger estate. Robert specializes in ceramics, and collects from living Japanese artisans. He’s warm, personal, and conveys a palpable passion for the stories behind each piece of his dynamic collection. By appointment only. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team to organize special experiences with Robert Yellin.
Sou Sou Kyoto
Culinary fiends unite at this petite white laboratory dedicated to the art of dashi, the most important ingredient in Japanese cooking. Begin with a dashi tasting, where three varieties of seasonings (blends of kelp and shavings of fermented bonito) are expertly blended with imported Norwegian water (they are not joking around). Your first taste is pure dashi broth, and the second round is spruced up with soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Achieve umami, and purchase another international spice for your home collection.
A retail shop and workshop, Tezomeya sells T-shirts and other cotton garments that have been dyed using only natural resources such as dried plants, bayberry tree bark and palm tree nuts. Almost all come from kampo, Chinese medicine. In turn, the clothes have a very natural, organic look and feel to them.