Great Kyoto souvenir ideas when shopping in the Tenryu-ji Temple area
I am here in Arashiyama, an especially famous sightseeing area in Kyoto, which is a 15-minute by train from Kyoto Station. Here, other than temples such as Tenryu-ji Temple, there are beautiful natural sceneries you can enjoy, such as the Togetsu-kyo Bridge over a river and a pathway in a bamboo forest. The area is popular among both domestic and foreign tourists in Japan. I would like to show you some great shopping spots for Kyoto souvenirs in the Tenryu-ji Temple area!
Access to Tenryu-ji Temple
The Saga-Arashiyama Station that I arrived at is next to a station for trolley trains, and this day, I was lucky to be able to see the train.
After walking while looking at signs at the station and roads for 15 minutes, I arrived at the entrance of Tenryu-ji Temple. This day, there were many domestic and foreign tourists. The season was still spring, but because of the sunshine, it was quite hot. I regretted a little that I didn't bring a hat.
It is right by Tenryu-ji Temple! A shop where you can buy Japanese bamboo items
“Ishikawa Takenomise (bamboo shop)” is a specialty store of many bamboo items, and is about a five-minute walk from Tenryu-ji Temple.
Inside, overflowing with bamboo items such as bamboo baskets of different shapes and sizes, chopsticks, cups, fans, toys, and sundries are displayed. It is like you are in a bamboo world.
Among the items, ear cleaners came in many varieties. Perhaps they are popular among foreign tourists, because they had explanatory signs in English as well. Bamboo ear cleaners look like they are easy to use because of their flexibility. They had owls and flowers and other decorations on them.
This muscle-flexing guy ear cleaner caught my attention. The design is interesting, with very realistic abdomen and arm muscles carved in the bamboo. I am sure you will get a lot of laughs from your friends if you give them this as a souvenir.
Near Tenryu-ji Temple, there is a shop where you can buy Kyoto's Chirimen zaiku
Right next the bamboo shop, I found a cute store I couldn't resist going inside! This Japanese-style building is “Arashiyama Chirimen zaiku kan.”
If you go inside, you will find many cute ornaments hanging at the entrance. On the left are wallets in Japanese-style patterns, and on the right are small items depicting frogs. They are all Chirimen zaiku.
Inside the shop are many Chirimen zaiku items in vivid colors! “Chirimen” is a kind of textile fabric, where silk fabric is processed to make crimps on the surface. Nowadays, many are also made from polyester, rayon, etc. For your information, “Chirimen sansho” is a seasoning made from a mix of dried small fish and Japanese pepper, so don't confuse the two.
There are also some ornaments to hang, that you make yourself. These are flower ornaments depicting morning glory, hydrangea, sword lily, narcissus, and more.
These Maiko (apprentice geisha) dolls were especially cute. Not only did each have different kimono and hair ornaments, but each had different facial expressions, which made it difficult for me to choose. Aside from Maiko dolls, they had Samurai and Ninja dolls, too.
There were some chubby animal dolls, too. They had various kinds, such as cats wearing kimono, frogs, raccoon dogs, and birds.
The thing that surprised me was that they also had small vegetable Chirimen zaiku. There were so many, such as eggplants, onions, cabbages, carrots, lotus roots, and asparagus. I had never thought as vegetables being cute before, but after seeing these vegetable Chirimen zaiku, they were plump, and looked cute.
I found vegetable sets in a basket, too! They have this vegetable series in cell phone straps as well, so you may want to use different ones for each season. I couldn't show you the second floor where they have accessories such as Chirimen zaiku pierced earrings and hair ornaments. All the items they have here are Japanese-style patterns unique to Kyoto, and I think they are great for souvenirs from Japan.
After walking around in the Tenryu-ji Temple area and going shopping, taking a stroll on the pathways in a bamboo forest is standard touring. Even on a hot day, this area is cool. The air is delicious, and the sound of bamboo leaves rustling is comforting. The ambience is as if you have come to a different world.
If you have the chance to go to Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama for sightseeing, please try walking around the shopping spots of Kyoto!
●35, Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
●10:00-18:00 from April to November, 11:00～17:00 from December to March
●Open all year
“Arashiyama Chirimenzaiku kan”
●19-2, Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
*The above information was last updated May 19, 2018. For details and the latest information, please contact the shops directly.
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