Kyoto Handicraft Center
The Kyoto Handicraft Center is an easy one-stop-shop for browsing and purchasing local handicrafts, ranging from kimonos and decorative fans to pottery and dolls, and much more. Spanning three floors, a huge variety of traditional arts and handicrafts are available here, and the center also runs classes and rents kimono.
More than simply a shop, the Kyoto Handicraft Center is somewhere to learn more about traditional Japanese handicrafts—whether you want to purchase them or not—including some that are specific to the Kyoto region. Craft classes are offered, so you can try printing your own woodblock print, paper fan, clay doll, and more. Kimono rental is offered, if you want to take memorable travel photos of yourself dressed in Japan’s traditional clothing. Plus, there’s a restaurant that serves Kyoto bento boxes and refreshments. While many travelers visit the center independently, many Kyoto city tours also make a stop here, along with other top Kyoto attractions like Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple, and the Gion district.
Things to know before you go
- A quiet room is available for a variety of uses, such as prayer or nursing. Islamic prayer mats are available, and there’s a facility for Muslim customers to wash their limbs before prayer.
- Overseas shipping of your purchases can be arranged.
- Several major international currencies are accepted at the center, and currency exchange is available at the cashier.
- Purchases of ¥5000 (approx. US$50) or more are tax-free for non-residents of Japan. You’ll need to show your passport.
- There’s a Tourist Information Counter within the center, which can give advice for visiting other attractions in Kyoto.
How to get there
The closest railway stations to the center are Jingu Marutamachi Station on the Keihan Main Line, and Higashiyama Station on the underground Tozai Line. These are a 10–15 minute walk away. To get there by bus, take bus #206 from Kyoto Station, or numbers #31, #201, or #203 from Shijo Kawaramachi Station. These buses should take you within a couple of minutes’ walk from the center.
When to get there
The center is usually open throughout the week, but it’s a good idea to check opening hours before you visit. Make a stop at the center around lunchtime so you can try a bento box—a traditional Japanese lunch.
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