If you love food and design, Kyoto has some of the best shopping in the world. The Japanese attention to detail imbues everyday objects with irresistible personality, and you will find yourself fawning over utilitarian items such as kitchen utensils and stationery.
Nishiki Market and Teramachi Street Area
This covered outdoor mall in central Kyoto is in every guidebook, but it is a good place to start your Kyoto shopping spree. Nishiki Market sells a cornucopia of traditional Japanese snacks, and Teramachi Street is home to a number of designer stores. We particularly liked the large selection of traditional Japanese knives at Aritsugu. For denim-based fashion, check out 45R. Its Kyoto store offers more Japanese styles than you would see at the New York or London locations.
Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu
If L.L. Bean had been raised in Japan and gone to design school there, he would have invented Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu. This Kyoto outlet makes canvas bags, backpacks and hats. It does not currently have an online store, so Japanese families and tourists overwhelm the place at peak times.