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Must–buy souvenirs when you go to Kiyomizu-dera Temple!

2018.03.16

I've been to Kyoto dozens of times, but every time I go, there are always new things. This time, I took a friend to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Hopefully, I'll find some souvenirs that are unique to Kiyomizu-dara Temple.

Sannei-zaka Slope leading from Kiyomizu-dera Temple is very Kyoto-like

Sannei-zaka Slope leading from Kiyomizu-dera Temple is very Kyoto-like
Today, we reached Kiyomizu-dera Temple too early, and most of the shops were still closed. But there were few people walking, so the time of day was great for taking pictures. It's very rare to be able to see this far on this slope. Usually, you couldn't take a photo like this. After a bit time, this stone street would be full of people, leaving little space. I feel as if it was a miracle to be able to take a picture like this.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a very famous sightseeing spot in Kyoto. It is also one of the very important places to visit when you tour Japan. There are many small shops on Sannei-zaka Slope, which is located quite near the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The origin of this name of this slope comes from the name of one of the three famous wives during the civil war, “Nene.” After visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple, you will go with the flow of the people, and reach Sannei-zaka Slope and Ninei-zaka Slope. The downward slope is crowded with people. Ninei-zaka Slope was made in 807, and along with Sannei-zaka Slope, it has become Kyoto's famous strolling spots. You will find Nagaya (terraced houses) and traditional Japanese-style shops nearby.

Sannei-zaka Slope leading from Kiyomizu-dera Temple is very Kyoto-like2
The Sannei-zaka Slope is a great place to take a stroll with your girlfriends. Along the slope are souvenir and food shops, taking you back to the good old days. While walking, you may come across ladies in kimonos. You'll be able to take some nice pictures here. I highly recommend walking around town wearing a rented kimono. You won't feel out of place here, rather, you'll probably match the atmosphere.

The best four Japanese-style souvenirs I found on Sannei-zaka Slope near Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Many people are attracted to the delicate things in Japan. It's also one of the reasons I came to Japan. The items you will find in shops of Sannei-zaka Slope are Japanesque and very traditional, but they have advanced along with time. They are things you can use, food, cosmetics, and so on. I'd like to show you some Japanese-style souvenirs from my point of view.

“Konnyaku Shabon” is soap that doesn't look like soap

“Konnyaku Shabon” is soap that doesn't look like soap
This soap is made from organic components extracted from natural konjak. They look hard, but if you touch them, they're very soft. They made my concept of soap collapse. You can touch them in the shop. Do you see the Ojizo-san on the left? He is holding one of them. Isn't it cute? This bar of soap is so cute, it's too good to use. You should be careful about small children mistaking them for jelly and putting them in their mouths, though.

“Konnyaku Shabon” is soap that doesn't look like soap2
They come in a variety of colors and their aromas were all very relaxing. They also had Konnyaku Shabon that are available only in Kyoto. You can't buy them anywhere else, so you might want to check them out. If you use it in the morning and night every day, I've heard that it will last a month to a month and a half. They cost around 1,000 yen each.

“Konnyaku Shabon” is soap that doesn't look like soap3
The shop assistant washed one hand, and showed us how different her hands looked. We clearly saw the difference. The hand she washed with the Konnyaku Shabon was undoubtedly cleaner. It seemed to lather well, too.

The hottest in Japan — “Ochanokosaisai” Ichimi and Shichimi

The hottest in Japan — “Ochanokosaisai” Ichimi and Shichimi
When you go shopping for souvenirs in Kyoto, accompanying a local person is the best way to go. Many of you may not know, but Kyoto's Shichimi (blend of seven spices) has a long history. During the Edo period, people of Kyoto used Yagen (druggist's mortar) normally used for Chinese medicine to grind red pepper. Shichimi first spread to Nagano Prefecture, and then all over Japan. The name “Shichimi” was first used in Kyoto.

The hottest in Japan — “Ochanokosaisai” Ichimi and Shichimi2
This shop on top of the slope is also one of the well-established Shichimi shops in Kyoto. Not only do they have Shichimi, but they also have Rayu (chili oil) as well, and it goes well with potato chips and rice.

The hottest in Japan — “Ochanokosaisai” Ichimi and Shichimi3
I tried the Rayu on rice, and it was truly hot.

The smallest Konpeito on earth, the “Sannei-zaka Marun”

The smallest Konpeito on earth, the “Sannei-zaka Marun”
The smallest Konpeito on earth, the “Sannei-zaka Marun”2
The smallest Konpeito on earth, the “Sannei-zaka Marun”3
This shop is located opposite the shop that sells Japan's hottest Shichimi. I do sado (tea ceremony), and I know a lot about Sado. Along with tea, we eat sweets, including Konpeito (sugar candies). Kyoto's Konpeito is very famous, and this shop has an array of them, and they have the world's smallest Konpeito, too. They are very cute. Apparently, many beautiful women clad in kimonos frequently come here to buy these cute Konpeito.

“Kurochiku,” a well-established Japanese-style sundry shop

“Kurochiku,” a well-established Japanese-style sundry shop
Also on Sannei-zaka Slope, is a Japanese-style sundry shop “Kurochiku,” which is located inside Seiryuen Garden. The shop is a part of a traditional Nagaya (terraced houses), and the interior is Kyoto-style. As you shop around, you will feel the atmosphere of old-fashioned Kyoto.

“Kurochiku,” a well-established Japanese-style sundry shop2
The scent of this Japanese-style solid perfume will remind you of the charm of Kyoto. Its small size is easy to carry around.

“Kurochiku,” a well-established Japanese-style sundry shop3
This is a hand cream made from well-selected ingredients of Kyoto. They use ingredients such as Kyoto vegetables, tea, sake extracts.

How did you like the souvenirs I showed you? I think you were able to feel the goodness of Kyoto. Touring Kiyomizu-dera Temple and shopping around for souvenirs unique to Kyoto is a great experience. You must be feeling like eating Japan's hottest Shichimi, too.

“Konnyaku Shabon Kyoto Kiyomizu Main Shop”
●3-340-3, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
●0120-808-469 (Phone: Monday through Friday 10:00-17:30 *excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
●10:00-18:00
●Open year-round
●7 minute walk from bus stop “Kiyomizu-michi" using a city bus

“Ochanokosaisai Sannei-zaka Main Shop”
●3-316-4, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
●0120-831-314
●9:00~18:00
*between March 25 through April 9, open until 21:00
● Open year-round

“Sannei-zaka Marun”
●3-317-1, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (halfway up the Sannei-zaka Slope)
●075-533-2005
●10:00-18:00

“Kurochiku Seiryuen Shop”
●within Seiryuen Garden, 3-334, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
●075-532-5959

*The above information was last updated February 14, 2018. Please contact the facilities directly before visiting.

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