The 10 Best Must-Buy Souvenirs in Kyoto, Japan

The “thousand-year capital,” Kyoto. This city has many souvenirs that convey its long history, but surprisingly, people in Kyoto favor new things. So there are lots of souvenirs that blend the old and the new. Picking a certain gift may seem puzzling, but this time, we’ll introduce keepsakes with historical backgrounds to newly arrived ones.


1. Shogoin Yatsuhashi

1. Shogoin Yatsuhashi
photo by kanaoiwa_   /   embedded from Instagram

As Kyoto’s standard souvenir, “Yatsuhashi” has been loved by many people for a long time. A while ago, the cinnamon-tasting, rice cracker style “Yatsuhashi” became popular. But now, the soft “Nama Yatsuhashi” has long exceeded the hard ones. The popular store in the birthplace of such “Yatsuhashi,” Kurodani, is “Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohonten”.

The “Yatsuhashi” made in the technique originating in the Edo Period, is superb! Even while protecting the ancient technique, they are actively new goods. It’s something that is crucial to the souvenirs in Kyoto. So when in Kyoto, please come buy these “Yatsuhashi”!

■Information
Product name: Yatsuhashi
Purchase store: Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohonten
Address: 6 Shogoin Sannou-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 8:00~18:00
Access 1: 7 minute walk from the Keihan Jingu Marutamachi station
Access 2: near Kumano Jinja-mae (Kyoto City Bus)

Website: http://www.shogoin.co.jp

2. Otabe Nama Yatsuhashi

2. Otabe Nama Yatsuhashi
photo by sakura_andy   /   embedded from Instagram

The Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohonten was introduced, but Bijuu Co., Ltd. Otabe that sell “Nama Yatsuhashi” doesn’t fall far behind. This store is known to have made the style of soft, triangular “Nama Yatsuhashi” with sweet bean paste inside. The taste with the ingredients the store has stuck to are a rarity.

It is loved by many people as the common Kyoto souvenir even now. Here, you can enjoy a range from basic mashed sweet bean paste to green tea and chocolate flavored “Nama Yatsuhashi.” Also, in Otabe, you can experience making “Nama Yatsuhashi.” Being able to buy delicious Yatsuhashi and prepare it is very satisfying. So please stop by Otabe!

■Information
Product name: Nama Yatsuhashi from Otabe
Purchase store: Bijuu Co., Ltd.
Address: 35-2 NishikujoTakahata-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 9:00~18:00
Access 1: 10 minute walk west of the Kintetsu Jujo station
Access 2: 5 minute walk west of Shimin Bosai Center-mae (Kyoto City Bus)

Website: https://otabe.dt-r.com

3. Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi

3. Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi
photo by no_ya.1991   /   embedded from Instagram

Various Yatsuhashis have been introduced, but “Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi” is recommended for those who want to buy unique flavors of Yatsuhashi. It’s surprising when you enter the shop! Dozens of flavors are lined up, for example, strawberry, Ramune soda, chocolate banana, roasted sweet potato, and so on.

It’s fun to taste test for a favorite. It’s normal for a box of Yatsuhashi to be a little expensive, but this store sells Yatsuhashi in small packets and at a reasonable price. So you can buy many different flavors. It’s fit for when you give out souvenirs to a lot of people.

■Information
Product name: Nama Yatsuhashi from Otabe
Purchase store: Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi Honten
Address: 35-2 NishikujoTakahata-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 9:00~17:00
Access 1: 7 minute walk from the Keihan Jingu-Marutamachi station
Access 2: near Kumano Jinja-mae (Kyoto City Bus)

Website: http://www.8284.co.jp

4. Nama cha no Ka

4. Nama cha no Ka
photo by hiromi_81   /   embedded from Instagram

“Nama cha no Ka” is the new standard for Kyoto’s gift with its rising popularity. Malebranche is famous for its excellent tasting cakes. They’ve recently sold a new type of sweet favored by the locals and tourists, which is the “Nama cha no Ka.” This sweet was created by a team of tea expert, assessor, and a patissiere.

It’s a langue de chat made by the finest tea with white chocolate filling. A richer confectionery, “Strong Tea Fondant au Chocolat Nama cha no Ka,” is a smooth bite-size cake similar to a chocolate ganache cake. It’s perfect as a reward for yourself or a savory present.

■Information
Product name: Nama cha no Ka / Strong Tea Fondant au Chocolat Nama cha no Ka
Purchase store: Kyoto Kitayama Malebranche
*Also in famous department stores like Daimaru, Takashimaya, Isetan
Address: Kitayama Botanical Garden North door, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours (shop): 9:00~20:00
Business hours (salon): 10:00~20:00
Price: 1050 yen (5 pieces)
Access: near the Kyoto City Subway Kitayama station

Website: http://www.malebranche.co.jp

5. Ajari Mochi

5. Ajari Mochi
photo by hiromi_81   /   embedded from Instagram

It’ll be interesting to look for not only the common souvenirs, but the ones loved by the local people. “Ajari Mochi” is popular as refreshments by the locals living in Kyoto. It’s a fluffy sweet baked with a sweet bean paste filling. The combination of a firm outer layer with a simple rice cake adds an interesting texture.

The quality can be preserved for 5 days at room temperature, and baking it with a toaster is very delicious, so it’s perfect for a gift. They are also sold separately, so it’ll be convenient when choosing. Also, you could buy them at big department stores and train stations in Kyoto, so you wouldn’t have to visit the shop itself. How about buying one while you’re shopping?

■Information
Product name: Ajari Mochi
Purchase store: Ajari Mochi Honpo Mangetsu
*Also in department stores around Kyoto like Daimaru, Takashimaya, Isetan.
Shops in department stores around Kyoto station too.
Address: Marikoji-dori Imadegawa North, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 9:00~18:00
Regular holidays: irregular holidays on Wednesdays
Price: 108 yen each
Access: 7 minute walk from the Keihan Demachiyanagi station

Website: http://www.ajyarimochi.com

 
You May Also Like:
→The Best 12 Shopping Malls You Must Visit in Kyoto, Japan

→The Best 20 Must-Buy Souvenirs in Osaka

6. Abura tori gami

6. Abura tori gami
photo by saki_1516   /   embedded from Instagram

“Abura tori gami” is as famous as Yatsuhashi when it comes to Kyoto’s traditional gifts. The handmade Japanese paper was originally used when pasting gold leaves. But since it could absorb oil well, it came to be used to fix make-up by the geisha. This is said to be the origin of “Abura tori gami”.

You would know when you use it, but the “Abura tori gami” from Yojiya is remarkable in absorbing the oil. It’s cut into small booklets, so it’s a very compact souvenir. Depending on the season, there are limited-time editions like yuzu, so it’s tempting to buy some for yourself.

■Information
Product name: Abura tori gami
Purchase store: Yojiya Honten
*Also, there are stores in all parts of Kyoto city
Address: Shinkyogoku Kayukouji, Chukyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 11:00~19:00
Regular holidays: none
Price: 1760 yen (5-booklet set)
Access: 5 minute walk from the Hankyu Kawaramachi station

Website: http://www.yojiya.co.jp

7. Hoji-cha

7. Hoji-cha
photo by marinka_1207   /   embedded from Instagram

When it comes to Japanese culture’s symbol city, Kyoto, tea is very famous. Ippodo is recommended for those who want to buy various Japanese teas like Gyokuro, Sencha, and Matcha. This well-known store was established in 1717, in the Edo Period. In addition to expensive tea like Matcha and Gyokuro, the everyday tea for Kyoto locals, Hojicha, is strongly recommended.

Hoji-cha is a blend of roasted Sen-cha and Ban-cha. By roasting the leaves, it cuts down on the caffeine, so it’s suitable for all times and all generations. There are also convenient tea bags too, so please try it once.

■Information
Product name: Hoji-cha
Purchase store: Ippodo Chaho
*Also stores in department stores around Kyoto City like Daimaru and Takashimaya
Address: Teramachi-dori Nijo North, Chukyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 9:00~18:00
Regular holidays: none except for New Years
Price: 540 yen (12 tea bags)
Access 1: 5 minute walk from the Kyoto City Subway Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae station
Access 2: 5 minute walk from the Kyoto City Bus Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae station

Website: http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/

8. Kuro Shichimi

8. Kuro Shichimi
photo by lovekakochan   /   embedded from Instagram

This store, since established 300 years ago, specializes in Kozen and has served as a purveyor to the Imperial Household Agency. This store is famous for its “Kuro Shichimi” which is a blend of white sesame seeds, red pepper, green laver, poppy, black sesame seeds, and hemp. This “Kuro Shichimi” will get you wanting to test it on various dishes.

It’s sharp and aromatic flavor passes through your nose. There are also other spices like powdered sansho, which is made with the finest sansho. How about “Kuro Shichimi” or powdered sansho for an eccentric gift?

■Information
Product name: Kuro Shichimi
Purchase store: Gion Hararyokaku
Address: 267 Gion-cho North, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Business hours: 10:00~18:00
Regular holidays: none except for January 1st and 2nd
Price: 972 yen (wood barrel 6g)
Access 1: 5 minute walk from the Kyoto City Subway Gion station

Website: http://www.hararyoukaku.co.jp

9. Chirimen Sansho (Ojako)

9. Chirimen Sansho (Ojako)
photo by yayoi_ojako   /   embedded from Instagram

Yayoi is near the south gate of Yasaka Shrine and is famous for its Tsukudani. The top selling product, “Ojako,” is made by drying the small fish after boiling them in salt water, adding sansho and finally finishing it by hand. It’s a very time-consuming process.

Kyoto was originally not used to eating fish raw, so they had a custom to prepare the fish with salt, miso, and soy sauce. Other than “Ojako,” there are other Tsukudanis with kelp, shiitake mushrooms, and beans. It’s perfect for pasta toppings and rice companion. The Yayoi packages are stylish, so they are also popular among the young people. Bringing back Kyoto’s traditional food culture may be lovely.

■Information
Product name: Chirimen Sansho (Ojako)
Purchase store: Chirimen Sansho Kyo-tsukudani Yayoi
*Also stores in department stores around Kyoto City like Isetan and Takashimaya
Address: 481 Gion Shimogawara Kiyoi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 10:00~18:00
Regular holidays: none
Price: 1080 yen (100g)
Access: near the Kyoto City Subway Gion station

Website: http://www.yayoi-ojako.co.jp

10. Kyo Baum

10. Kyo Baum
photo by yukari.t.t   /   embedded from Instagram

Otabe, which is famous for its Yatsuhashi, selling a popular gift, “Kyo Baum.” The two layers of the Baumkuchen are soy milk and Uji green tea from the established Morihan. Please have a taste of the interesting texture of the outer Matcha Fondant and inner fluffy dough.

The Kyo Baum Premium, sold only in Gion Hanamikoji, has increased the Matcha ratio and has a richer Matcha flavor. The package is also beautifully designed, so it’s a perfect souvenir for your superiors. Please take this rare chance to enjoy this luxurious sweet.

■Information
Product name: Kyo Baum
Purchase store: Otabe Honkan
*Also in souvenir shops around Kyoto city
Address: 35-2 NishikujoTakahata-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Business hours: 9:00~18:00
Regular holidays: none
Price: 1166 yen
Access 1: 10 minute walk west of the Kintetsu Jujo station
Access 2: 5 minute walk west of Shimin Bosai Center-mae (Kyoto City Bus)

Website: http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/

Let’s buy the best souvenirs in Kyoto!

How was the list? Inheriting the traditional ways and shaping it into a new product, Kyoto’s souvenirs are evolving daily. There are many that could not be introduced, but you can find them in the Kyoto station and department stores. Please try tasting them, and actually take them in your hand. There will sure be something to fit you perfectly.




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