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8 Souvenirs You Must Buy At Kyoto

20 November 2008 24 Comments

From 794, was the capital of Japan for over 1000 years.
Today, Kyoto is still the center of , with its abundant traditional cultural industries.

Kyoto Dolls

Kiyomizu Ware (Kiyomizu-yaki)

Shopping Guide: Top 10 Best Souvenirs Of Kyoto

1. Kiyomizu Ware (Kiyomizu-yaki)
As a typical ware of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-yaki already has over 1,200 years history. Kiyomizu-yaki are made with special process and high grade techniques. They are glorified by the people all over the world but produced only in small quantities. You can hardly buy it outside Kyoto!

2. Nishijin Fabric
Nishijin is the area of Kyoto that produces the best kimono fabrics in Japan. Nishijin textiles is famous for its high grade fabrics throughout world. You can even study weave in traditional methods at Nishijin Textile Center. (You can visit: Kyoto Nishijin Textile Center Travel Guide to know more)

3. Tango Crepe
Since the years of the Edo era, Tango area (the northern part of Kyoto) has become famous for the Tango Crepe. A man called Kinu-ya Saheiji who knew the secret methods of Kyoto Nishijin, improved the method and used it on Tango Crepe, which are the most popular material of the beautiful Hurisode and Komon Kimonos.

4. Hand-painted Yuzen
Hand-painted Yuzen originated in the 8th century. It developed as a method of decorating kimono fabrics with seasonal and traditional patterns. All work is done by hand. Yuzen decorates is very complex, and used on kimono silks,handkerchiefs, blouses and shirts, and all manner of accessories.

5. Kurodani Japanese Paper
Japanese paper has been produced in Kurodani district for a long time. The traditional Tesuki Japanese paper technique is still preserved in Kurodani, So Kyoto is one of the few place which remaining genuine Tesuki Japanese paper produces. Paper craft objects are also manufactured here.

6. Kyoto folding fans (Kyo Sensu)
The flat fan already in use in Japan in the 7th century, the portable fold-away sensu is a homegrown traditional handcrafted item and rapidly grew in Kyoto. Today, artisans apply their creativity to devise new designs. They make the folding fan a practical device with beauty of both form and function.

7.Japanese Umbrellas
Traditional umbrellas are made from waxed paper. They are an essential accessory for geisha on a rainy day and larger versions offer cooling shade under which to take part in the tea ceremony.

8. Kyoto Dolls
Only Kyoto dolls are dressed in the finery of Nishijin kimono silk. That make Kyoto dolls is famous nationwide.

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  • SGE said:

    Hi there!

    Those first dolls are definitely a must have. I would have taken home at least a dozen of them (if alone, cause when a person I know sees those stuff it multiples by ten or more…). In fact, those dolls reminded me of a little souvenir I brought from Cuba. Must go check of his whereabouts and publish a photo of it…


    PS: I’ll warn you when I do so. I bet you’re gonna like it, but then, you tell me…


    Tiny reply on November 21st, 2008 4:46 pm:

    Thanks SGE.

    I love your Cuba photos, It’s a magic country to me.

    I can’t wait to see your cuba souvenir, it must be very cute. You must have fun there!


  • samantha ysabelle said:

    thanks for these tips on what souvenirs to buy. we are planning to visit kyoto next week and these are just good finds!


    Tiny reply on November 21st, 2008 4:53 pm:

    Enjoy your trip at Kyoto! That’s a place I want to visit again. :)


  • JH said:

    Wow ! Very nice and interesting souvenirs recommendation !

    The dolls would definitely make a very lovely gift !

    Thanks for sharing !



    Tiny reply on November 21st, 2008 5:02 pm:

    Oh, JH.

    I was very regret That I forgot to take photos for all of these souvenirs. :(


  • sean said:

    they really look funny and cute at the same time….


    Tiny reply on November 21st, 2008 9:09 pm:

    So that’s KAWAI!


  • My Bug Life said:

    I like the dolls…great as gifts :)


    Tiny reply on November 21st, 2008 9:05 pm:

    yeah, Great as gifts.

    I love these dolls too! And I found they were pretty than those Tokyo dolls.


  • Laura -Whateverebay said:

    this is a great list. I need Japanese paper too, since I have a calligraphy set from Japan. :)


    Tiny reply on November 24th, 2008 10:25 am:

    Chinese calligraphy is great too, I feel so sorry not study it.


  • Debo Hobo said:

    The Kyoto dolls are so cute, I have got to get there to buy them for myself….


    Tiny reply on November 24th, 2008 10:29 am:

    They are really allurements!

    You would buy a dozen of them as SGE’s suggestion!


  • SGE said:


    As promised, here I am to warn you about my Cuban souvenir. Please drop by my site and tell me what you think of it. Is it or isn’t it (the second photo) comparable to your lovely dolls… ;)



  • SGE said:

    Sorry… Couldn’t make the link right…

    It’s this one here



    Tiny reply on November 24th, 2008 10:21 am:

    Oh,SGE,I love your Cuba souvenirs!

    The painting remind me some old days only can see in back-white movies!

    And the clay figure are so vivid too! I would think that’s Castro himself, the two brothers are so alike!

    He carrys a havana cigar in his right hand, doesn’t he? I love this typic pose!


  • online savings said:

    I was in tokyo two months ago and found their culture. I got a lot of the gifts sets listed above,but I love the “Nishijin Fabric” and the “kyoto dolls”. My hubby is Japanese and our home is designed with a
    japanese theme.


    Tiny reply on November 25th, 2008 12:49 pm:

    You must know their culture better than I do!

    They can keep their tradition so well and develop their economy so fast at the same time, That’s what we can learn from them. :D


  • Yuni Stephenson said:

    Where you can you find those adorable dolls in Kyoto ? Can you find them in any souvenir stores ? I’m going to Kyoto next summer and would love to bring some home. Thank you.


    Tiny reply on December 23rd, 2008 12:24 pm:

    You can buy them at Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water Temple). You can find many souvenirs of Kyoto there. :)

    Tiny’s last blog post..How Can We Find Fantastic Christmas & New Year Gifts


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  • Sarah Silverman said:

    for a second time, a while a couple of. Well actually I can use this article too, I’m so glad I found this site again. I need something like this one of my school projects, lucky mine is on a similar theme as yours. Thanks, have a good one.


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