Over-Tourism in Kyoto

March 23, 2020

By Aki Kawashima, Arisa Yamauchi and Haruki Ishimoto

  Kyoto is the one of the oldest cities in the world. Just ten years ago, the number of inbound visitors to Kyoto was only 930,000. In 2011, the number dropped by almost half. This is because of the Tohoku earthquake. In the period after the earthquake, the number shows a dramatic improvement. In 2013, “Washoku”, a traditional Japanese cuisine, was added to the World Heritage List for food. The following year, Kyoto was chosen as the World’s Best City for the first time by “Travel + Leisure” – one of the most influential travel magazines in the world. In 2015, Kyoto was chosen as No.1 again. Since then, the number of tourists has exploded. About 3.5 million people from overseas visited Kyoto in 2017 and the number of people from different countries continues to rise. Surprisingly, in fact, the number of tourists has increased by seven times, 5,000,000 people since 2011. In this article, we would like to introduce about the problem of transportation and the garbage problem in Kyoto city as a result of ‘Over-Tourism’.

Why Has Kyoto Become So Popular?

There are many reasons to answer this question. First, Kyoto is much safer than Europe at the moment (2019), so tourists who come here from Europe, for example, don’t have to worry about crime. Indeed, Kyoto is one of the safest international cities on the planet. Second, the cost is very reasonable. The weak yen makes Japan a cheaper holiday destination. This has also contributed to a sharp increase in tourists. Moreover, direct international flights from Europe to Japan have been increasing. Finally, the Japanese Government also has relaxed visa restrictions for visitors from Asia, particularly China. Thus, the increasing number of tourists in Kyoto is actually better for the economy. However, “too many tourists” can bring problems to a popular destination such as Kyoto. For example, manner and congestion, to name a couple.

Do You Know The Word “ Over-Tourism”?

Nishiki Market

 The word “over-tourism” is quite new, so it hasn’t formally been entered into popular dictionaries like Oxford or Collins. This means that when a place starts to become popular or fashionable to visit, problems occur: crowded buses and noise pollution to name just two. It goes without saying that having too many people in the same place also contributes to the problems of garbage. In other words, a rapid increase in the number of tourists to Kyoto is having a serious impact on local people’s daily lives.

Local People

The rapid increase in the number of tourists in Kyoto is having a serious impact on the local population and is becoming extremely frustrating about this problem. Let us outline a few of them in more detail. First, the most serious problem is public transportation. You will see many tourists waiting for the bus in long lines. This creates much longer waiting times at the bus terminal in Kyoto. And tourists often ride the bus with suitcases. It blocks local people, so they can’t find seats. It is really uncomfortable and inconvenient. Perhaps inconsiderate, too. But this is part of modern daily life in Kyoto these days. Actually, we have seen this situation many times. But we couldn’t work out why they always use buses and not the subway. We searched on the Internet, and I we found a clear answer to our question. In Kyoto, there is a travel pass for buses everyday. Tourists can take a bus as many times as they want and visit the key sightseeing spots cheaply. Indirectly, and attempt to make Kyoto more attractive place to visit, this travel way is creating problems by making the public transport system, especially buses, overcrowded. Secondly, we would like to highlight the problem of garbage. This has also become a serious problem. Actually, Kyoto has found a way to solve it. Ten years ago, in the Kamo River, there were a lot of trash cans along the banks. You could eat lunch and throw it into the trash can. You could also do fireworks and throw them into the trash can. With good manners, the riverside was always kept clean. But some tourists throw trash cans for their private-use. Also, 6 years ago, the Kyoto government decided to remove all trash cans from the Kamo River area. However, the more the number of tourists has grown, the more the amount of garbage has increased.

Nishiki Market and Gion

Gion (Hanamikoji Street)

Nishiki Market and Gion are now one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist spots in Kyoto. Tourists can easily experience eating traditional Kyoto food while walking through Nishiki Market. As a result, some tourists throw their garbage on the street on and around Nishiki Market. In addition, in Gion, for example, trash cans become full quickly, so staff have to replace garbage bags many times in a day. This behavior has a negative impact on the local people.


Finally, we will suggest what we would do for the ‘over-tourism’ problem. In terms of over-tourism, things could get a lot worse before they get better. Personally, and in addition to the solutions mentioned above, we feel the Kyoto City Government could do more to teach tourists how to behave. What we mean is: manners. Japan is going through a tourist boom. As a result, we have the opportunity, more than at any time before, for cultural exchange. If we embrace this opportunity, we believe that we can make Kyoto a better place for residents and visitors alike.

Another Kyoto: Modern Buildings in the Ancient Capital

By Takumi Abe




If  you have interest in Japan, you may know that Kyoto was the ancient capital for many centureis. Many tourists come to Kyoto to see the traditional temples and shrines, or Japanese houses built from wood. However, if you spend any time in Kyoto, you will also find some contemporary architecture. For example, when you walk along Sanjo street, you will encounter many modern buildings. Furthermore, there are more modern buildings in Kyoto than you probably expect. These structures are completely different from traditional Japanese-style houses. Do you know why such structures as these exist in the old city Kyoto? On this page, you can find another Kyoto.


Sanjo Moderns

Modern Buildings on Sanjo

When you walk down on Sanjo street, you will discover several modern buildings. Many date from the Meiji and Taisho eras (1868-1926). The most famous structure is the former branch of the Bank of Japan. Now it is used as the Museum of Kyoto. This building is covered with red tiles, so you feel like you are in Europe. It was built during the Meiji period when Japan brought in many things from the Western cultures in Europe and America.


the Museum of Kyoto


Another building that resembles the museum is the central post office. This post office was built in 1902 and it has been used ever since then. The roof and the exterior walls have been preserved.

the Nakagyo post office


The SACRA building was used to be the branch of a bank. The building reflects some Renaissance-style architecture. It was built in 1916.




In this building there are beautifully designed arches that appear on the façade. This building was built in 1890 and is the oldest building that was privately built in Western-style commercial construction.



The1928 Building was built in 1928, and it was used as a branch office for the English edition of the Mainichi Daily  newspaper. Nowadays this building is home to a gallery, restaurant and free space.





At the Sanjo-Rougaemachi intersection stands another modern building that is registered as an important cultural property. This building is a wooden western-style building. It contains shops such as a kimono boutique, a restaurant and cosmetic store.

Modern building stands at the Sanjo-Ryougaemachi intersection



On temple grounds

Nanzenji temple

In the back of Nanzenji temple, you will discover an elevated aqueduct built of red bricks. You might feel strange when you see this because it looks out of place on the temple grounds. You can see the traditional temple and Roman style architecture. This aqueduct has been in use since it was built in 1888.


What you can see from modern buildings



Now the Japanese capital is Tokyo. However, before that, the capital of Japan was Kyoto. It was capital for about 1000 years. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan tried to be like Western countries. That’s why there are many modern buildings in Kyoto. Moreover, when the capital was moved, Kyoto was on the edge of a cliff. The emperor moved, the nobility moved, the artisans that made things for the Imperial family moved. Kyoto had to find new life. Therefore, Kyoto people made Kyoto great without the emperor. Kyoto city residents made a plan to become great again by embracing the new scientific innovations that were invented in the late 1800s, including gas lighting and the introduction of water- powered electricity. The aqueduct at Nanzenji was but one part of this large plan to modernize the city. You can see from these modern buildings the efforts and strength of Kyoto residents and the city government of Kyoto. From Kiyomizudera temple and Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, you can see the ancient Japanese faith. However, if you stand in front of a modern building, you may change your previous ideas about Kyoto.

The Contrast of Red and White

by Mayu Kuwahara, Karen Takeda, Yuri Nonaka

Why people are attracted to Maiko

The Gion district in Kyoto is one of the famous places where you can spot a Maiko. These places are called “Hanamachi.” On Hanamachi street, if you are lucky, you will have a chance to see maiko in the early or late evening. You would probably fall in love with their beauty. Especially, the contrast of their pure white skin and the vivid red lips; it attracts many people irrespective of their age or gender. Some girls yearn for being such a beautiful maiko, and I was one of them.
2 maico

Longing to be a Maiko

Why do Japanese girls want to be a Maiko?
​When I was 15 years old, I watched a TV documentary about how a girl became a maiko in Kyoto. The protagonist was a  15-year-old-girl who looked normal, and yet she really yearned to be a maiko, the same as me. In the program she said that she wanted to live in the hierarchy, the mysterious world which cannot be seen easily, and the world with traditional conventions. Also, she felt a special attraction for living just next to the things that have been handed down since olden times. When I heard that, I realized these she and other girls who want to be maiko were meant to live in Hanamachi.  At the same time, I was moved to tears and thought what a nice thing it would be to master the skills of a maiko!

Maiko Makeup Step by Step

There is one step to becoming a Maiko in Kyoto and anyone can become a maiko by following this way of make up.
1. Soften the “bintsuke abura,”* which is waxy/oily undercoat, in your hands and apply liberally all over the face, neck and top of the chest. This method is used as the foundation for the “shironuri,” the white base.  The workmanship of shironuri is different depending on the way bintsuke abura  is applied. Therefore, this part is very important.
2. Dilute the “neri oshiroi”* in a dish and dissolve it in water. Then, paint it over the same areas where you applied the bintsuke abura with a special brush called “itahake.”* Use a sponge to blend the makeup. In this part of the process, maiko apply the make-up to their own neck while using a mirror, or the maiko will help each other to apply this coat. After that, apply  the “kona oshiroi”* over your face and press by using a puff.
There are two meanings of neck make-up; one is to make the neck look slim and the other is to wish the maiko will perform well. For Japanese people, showing the nape and neck line is thought to be erotic.
3. Dust “tonoko”* onto the upper half of the face with a brush. Do the same for cheeks.
4. Draw the eyebrow with the black eyebrow pencil. Then, add red lining to the black eyebrows.*
5. Make a small diamond shape on the outer corner of the eyelid with red lining color. These are called “mebari”* in Japanese. Then, use a cotton swab to bring excess color from the diamond underneath the lash line.
6. Use black liquid eyeliner to create a fine line and apply a second or third line to create a thicker line.
7. Put red lining color on the lips. Apply slightly higher than the natural lip line. Maiko who only have one year of experience use different ways of makeup. To show their loveliness, only their lower lips are painted with red lining color.

Become a Maiko

If you were over 16 years old, it might be too late to be maiko, but what if you could turn yourself into a maiko for a single day? There are many places where you can experience becoming a maiko in Kyoto. Turning yourself into a maiko is one of the most popular activities for tourists and girls who yearned once to become a maiko in Kyoto. Unlike other activities, you can get an impressive and fun experience thorough traditional Japanese culture. If you are in Kyoto, maiko makeover experience is a must!
* bintsuke abura : Waxy/Oily undercoat
* neri oshiroi: White face paint
* kona oshiroi: White face power
* tonoko Rouge: Pink/Red power
* mebari/beni Red Lining Color: Red cream
* itahake: Wide brush







The Treasures of Japanese Taste—Dashi 

 by Shoko Ota & Yukari Kimura

Kombu (kelp, sea cabbage)

Kombu (kelp, sea cabbage)

Katsuo-Bushi (dried bonito)

Katsuo-Bushi (dried bonito)




The new Popularity of Japanese Food


Recently, the number of tourists who are visiting Japan have been on the rise. Japanese food is becoming famous worldwide as a healthy cuisine. One of the basic tastes of Japanese cuisine comes from dashi, which is stock for soup and sauces.


 What is “Dashi”?


Simply, “dashi” means Japanese soup stock. There are many different kinds of soup stocks that are used around the world. Japanese Soup stock doesn’t use any animal products, however, instead it uses products from the sea: katsuo-bushi (dried bonito) and kombu (kelp). These are important tastes in Japanese food culture. Other alternatives that are sometimes used in soup stocks are mushroom, beans, and other dried fish.


How to make “Dashi”


Althjough fairly simple, it is said that to make a real good dashi is very difficult and only very skilled cooks can make it. The way of filtering dashi is the same as making coffee. It’s very simple and easy for beginners. It takes only 1-2 minutes to make authentic dashi (first soup). You can also change the thickness of dashi as you like.


1. Set up the filter and put in packs of dried bonito, dried tuna and dried kelp into the cup.


2. Pour in hot water and cover the top (about 500cc). Wait 1-2 minutes


3. Place the dripper over another cupp. Dashi will automatically filter into the cup.


Source: Dashi Atelier Soutatsu Products Catalog



 The Difference between Western Japan and Eastern Japan


Did you know Japanese people often use dashi in cooking, and the ingredients differ from place to place? Traditionally, in Eastern Japan dashi is made from katsuobushi. Once it is mixed in udon (a type of noodle dish), the color becomes dark brown and has a taste like soy sauce. Whereas in Western Japan, dashi is made from kombu. Again, when the dashi is mixed in udon, the color becomes yellow, and has a little salty taste.


How did this difference occur?


Although there are various reasons why this difference in dashi occurred, basically it comes down to the main types of fish use in the regions: western = white meat fish; and eastern = red meat fish. From the history of Eastern Japan, people ate red meat fish very frequently. For example, skipjack and sardine are types of akami (red meat). The taste is known to be very greasy. This is why people from eastern Japan like strong taste. Nevertheless in western Japan, people have been eating white meat fish all the time. For example, herring and Pacific cod are types of shiromi (white meat). The taste is light and simple. Furthermore, Western Japanese people eat it on a daily basis. This is the reason why people from western Japan do not like strong tastes.


Bonus fact

Did you know that long, long ago in Japan, the capital in Japan was Kyoto? Of course back then, the distribution of foods to Kyoto flourished. For example, since Hokkaido’s sea cucumber is known to be the most delicious in Japan, a lot of fresh, delicious sea cucumbers were delivered to Kyoto before Tokyo. Therefore, many good quality sea cucumbers were consumed by Kyoto people. Since the transportation technology was not very advanced as it is today, it was very difficult to send products across the Pacific Ocean. If products were sent by land, it would take a long time to get to Tokyo from Kyoto. As a result, the freshness will decrease enormously. This means perhaps the sea cucumber was unpleasant once it arrived.



Special Thanks:

だし工房宗達京都店 (Dashi Atelier Soutatsu Kyoto store)

 Address: 〒604-8115, 京都市中京区蛸薬師通堺町東入雁金町375-4

OPEN: 11:00~19:00

CLOSED: Tuesday, Wednesday


by Manami Otahara & Miki Sawai

Our travel dairy: Fukakusa’s loves story


We visited Fukakusa to see Fushimi-inari shrine. It is very famous shrine, so people visited to there from around the world. People visit to see many Torii. Torii separates gods and humans. Torii looks like shrine gate made of wood, the color is bright red. Fushimi-inari shrine is the main shrine of all the inari shrines in Japan. Other Famous place is Fuji-no-mori shrine, it has to with Japanese emperor Tenno.   This shrine is famous Ajisai festival and the god is known for having luck in games, so people visit this shrine. When we visited this shrine, we saw may beautiful Ajisai. Ajisai is one of the flower in summer. Next place was main the temple for this trip. This temple is Gonjo-ji temple. Gonjo-ji temple is has to with our report.

Fukakusa’s love story


The place we visited is called Fukakusa. It is called Fukakusa because a long time ago, a person named Shosho-Fukakusa lived there. He loved Onono Komachi. She was most beautiful woman in Japan in Heian period. He loved her, but she didn’t love him, so she got an idea. The idea was very simple, he met her every night for 100 days. Her house and his house were far away. The distance was about 7 km, but he would like her to be his wife, so he met her every night. First day, second day, 97th day 98th day 99th day, he met her with peanuts. On the 100th night, she waited for him. However, didn’t come. That day he died because of heavy snow. The next day she found out that he died. She was very sad, so she was planted his nuts in her village. Later the nut grew and the tree is believed to be 1,000 years old.

Gonjo-ji temple


Gonjo-ji temple is a very important place. This is where Fukakusa lived.   There is a pond and this pond is where he looked at himself. There is a big Buddha in this temple, and Fukakusa and Komachi are buried here. Her house was in Yamashina. Yamashina is a town on the border of Kyoto and Shiga, so her house and his house were far away. However when she heard that he died, she was very sad. Therefore when she died, she was buried in this temple.


Fushimi-inari shrine

68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto

Fuji-no-mori shrine

609 Fukakusatoriizakicho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto


1038 nishimasuyacho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto

The Great Sento of Kyoto: Nishiki-yu

by Ayaka Murai, Hikari Yanai & Daichi Hatakeyama

Most people spend their bath time only to take a bath and shower themselves. How do you want to enjoy your bath time? There is one traditional public bath here in the city of Kyoto called Nishiki-yu. A number of people really like to go to the public bath.  So, I would like to introduce about this great public bath.

image1 (1)

Sento is one of the cultures of Japan. Japanese people call the public bath sento. Nishiki-yu has a long history. It opened in 1927. It is in the center of Kyoto citiy’s, Nishiki market. Nishiki market is called the kitchen of Kyoto. The place is famous for tradition and culture in Kyoto. It is near Karasuma station on the Hankyu line. It takes only 5 minutes to walk to the public bath from the station. So, I recommend you take a train and walk to go to this public bath. Nishiki-yu is usually open from 16:00 to 24:00, but every Monday, it is closed.

noren When I visited there, there were Japanese shop curtains,noren, which are hung outside the entrance and has the shop’s name written on them. It seems that they change their color to deep blue during Gion-matsuri and New Year holidays. I would like to see the special noren. In addition, the outside is very tasteful. It is a three-storied, wooden building like the traditional Kyoto-style house called Machiya. Nishiki-yu has been featured in various magazines .

image2 In side this public bath is quite tasteful too. The bathtub is very hot for the first customer. The temperature is about 43 degrees. The bath is filled right up to the brim and spills over with new bathwater every time. So the bathwater is clear every time.

Regular customers of this public bath leave their basket at the changing room. It has their name written on the it. This basket is a traditional craft, and the price is about 40,000 yen. You can use the basket in this public bath, but you have to use this basket carefully, because of its high price. In addition, not anyone can make it anymore. However, sento visitors have decreased in Japan recently. So the owner set up some events to draw more guests to this public bath. For example, comic story telling party, music party, second hand book fair, Japanese summer cotton kimono on the spot sale party, and so on. You can also listen to jazz music only in this public bath in Japan. The manager, Mr. Hasegawa, likes music very much. He especially likes jazz music. He has a lot of CDs in his watch stand. As a result of these events, more tourists came to Nishiki-yu. I became popular for young people. Everyone can become friends in this public bath. Sometimes apprentice geisha, Maiko-san, come to this public bath. Maybe if you are lucky, you can meet one.


After taking a bath please go to Nishiki market. You can feel more Kyoto style. If you want to feel Kyoto in your bones and meet people who will be your friends, please go to Nishiki-yu.

Ichijoji Nakatani

by Riko Nakanishi, Hinako Kinoshita and Daisuke Sasaki

Have you ever eaten Decchi-yokan? It is a cheap sweet jellied bean paste made in the Kinki district. There is a Japanese style confectionery store called Ichijoji Nakatani which is famous for this Japanese sweet. The store was established in 1935, 70 years ago. They originally made the ingredients for sugar and cereals, and started to make rice crackers and cookies in 1958. In addition they increased their confectionery menu to include cakes, tarts, tiramisu in 2002.

Delicious items on display at Ichijoji Nakatani

Decchi-yokan is a sweet jellied bean paste which is wrapped in a bamboo sheath. It makes you feel nostalgic feeling because the bamboo’s smell which has a Japanese old fashioned spreads to the sweet jellied bean paste. Ichijoji Nakatani’s Decchi-yokan is made from high quality sugar and Dainagon azuki bean laid in a stock directly from Tamba. Therefore we think that Ichijoji Nakatani’s Decchi-yokan is by far the most delicious in Japan.

We can have not only sweets but also meals. For example, there are thin wheat noodles, rice porridge, and light Kyoto-style home cooking with boiled vegetables and marinated food. Of course we can enjoy drinking some teas. The food costs 1,000 yen to 1,650 yen.

An example of a delicious traditional Japanese sweet with maccha tea at Ichijoji Nakatani.

What also want to recommend ”Kinugoshi ryokucha tiramisu”. This is the most popular item in the store. If you order this sweet on the internet, you will have to wait at least two months. This sweet has a sponge cake which is soaked in a lot of Japanese tea syrup, mousse made of soybean milk, white bean jam, cheese and powdered green tea. In addition, they have fresh cream which has a semi-sweet flavor and also boiled azuki bean, a black soybean, and hiyoko bean. I was surprised at this very tasty sweet because it looked so beautiful, just like a jewel box, to say nothing of the good taste.

Kinugoshi ryokucha tiramisu

This sweet like a tiramisu is both of Japanese and Western style. It was created when the young owner got married to a woman who the proprietress now. Since then, they have tried to make many kinds Japanese and Western style sweets. However it is not as easy as they thought. They had to learn from the young owner’s father and mother. They have made modern sweets, preserving the tradition of the store. For this reason, they can make such wonderful sweets.

Decchi-yokan with green tea.

In Ichijoji, there are lots nature such as the cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh green leaves in the summer, colored leaves in the autumn, and a snowy landscape in the winter. What is Hachidai jinja shrine which is known as the Battle for Musashi Miyamoto, Shisendou temple, Konpukuji temple, and Enkouji temple which Ieyasu Tokugawa built and printed many books there are all in the aren. Tourists never decrease to see these place all year. Why don’t you dropp in on Ichijouji Nakatani while taking in the sights of Ichijoji.


5, Ichijoji Hananokicho, Sakyouku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-8151, Japan

Home page


Open from 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. (6:00 L.O) Wed is closed.


Kyoto city bus No.5, 65. A 2minute walk from Ichijoji Sagarimatu bus stop.

Eizan Electric Railway Ichijoji sta. A 5minute walk.

Yōkai Street

by Kanako Murakami and Ayane Yoshikura

Kyoto and Ghosts

The old capital, Kyoto has been connecting with a lot of ghosts since ancient days. On Ichijyo-street at Jyokyo-ku in the north part of Heian-kyo and it is said there is a border line between the daily life and not so. Ichijyo-street is the place where people meet ghosts. Now, this street is famous as Yōkai Street.

Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street is located in Jyokyo-ku, Kyoto and its official name is “Taishōgun shopping street”. These are many ways to set here. The nearest stations are Kitanohakubai-cho on the Keihuku Electric Railway and Kitanotenmangu by Kyoto city bus. You can go by the easily walk from either station. It is easy to find this street because there are some flags at the beginning. This project started in 2005 by Mr. Jyunichi Kono, a ghost’s culture researcher. The first function was a costume parade of ghosts in 15 October 2005. They reenacted HyakkiYagyō by marching down the Ichijyo-street dresse as ghosts. HyakkiYagyō is a parade with lots ghosts in midnight. It is said these are found mainly age of Heian in Kyoto. Ghost events are not only at Yōkai Street. Randen- Yōkai Train held at Arashiyama Electric Railway is another event. Usually the rate for adults is 200 yen and child is 100yen but if you dress as a ghosts, your rate will only be 50yen. Anyone adults and children participate in this event. There is also a costume contest.

Ghosts in Yōkai Street

Ghosts in Yōkai Street have great originality and they are very mysterious. There are some ghosts who are designed in the motif of goods are sold at stores in Taishōgun shopping street and some ghosts who are famous in Japan. For example, a ghost which is designed like a loaf of bread in a bakery, at a fish shop, it is designed like a fish, in a drugstore, it is designed like a bandage. There are also Nurarihyon (the ghost who looks like an old man with big head and he is sometimes said to be leader of ghosts), Rokuro-kubi (the ghost who wears a kimono and most people think that this ghost has the ability to stretch its neck to great length) and neko-mata (a monster cat) which is famous in Japan. The most popular ghost is white bread-ojisan who lives in a bakery.

white bread-ojisan

white bread-ojisan

Taishōgun shopping street has a mascot character, Yagyōdōji. It is not designed like a product though. Yagyōdōji is a child who has three eyes. He is considered to be a messenger of the god, Henge Daimyojin. This god can change old tool to ghosts. Yagyōdōji is active in some events, not only in Yōkai Street, but also in Kyoto. For example, in Yōkai Street, Yōkai art flea market, an event where the general public sells their original goods of the ghosts and Ichijo Street HyakkiYagyō, an event where the people disguised as a ghost parades around the Ichijo street take place several times a year. The ghost of old tools is called Tsukumogami. It’s said that the idea appeared from the ancient people’s mind to save old tools. In Taishōgun shopping street, they hand down the importance of recycling through Tsukumogami.

Revitalization of a town by ghosts

In 2005, Ichijo Street was renamed Yōkai Street. The street started revitalization of a town by ghosts. Some goods of ghosts are sold in the shopping street. For example, Yōkai korokke which is a green croquette, Yōkai ramen which is a black ramen and so on. These entertained the people who visit the street. And Yōkai camera which is application for smart phone has been provided. You can take a picture which includes a ghost when people take a picture in Yōkai Street with this application. Things like these have been an opportunity to visit increase to Yōkai Street.

A big influence of Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street is a landmark event that connected old tradition and shopping street having necessaries of life. But now many shopping streets are out of vogue in Japan. The biggest reason is the appearance of large commercial complexes. Many shopping streets are decreasingly. But if you come here, you may feel something warm all its own. There are many not chain stores, only family run shops. The shop assistants and customer are very close. Yōkai Street is a big chance to take back former Taishōgun shopping street. I hope that everyone will visit here not only on event days but every day to buy something and enjoy talking to the local people.

Japanese Traditional Cloth (Kimono)

by Erina Okamoto and Arisa Hirano


Have you ever seen Japanese traditional clothes? Most countries have their own clothes, For example, people wear chima jeogori in Korea, China dress in China and deel in Mongolia. In Japan, we have our own traditional clothes called Kimono. Kimono has a long history and it is a tradition which we are proud of.



About Kimono



These days, although Japanese people usually wear Western clothes, kimono is still loved by many people. The reason why kimono is loved by many people is not only the beauty, but also the fact that Kimono can adapt to the Japanese culture. It is said that kimono fits the person who has no waist and sloping shoulder. Moreover, we can use the word kimono as an international word all over the world. Originally, kimono is “kirumono” which means the cloth we wear. After that, it became “kimono” for short. Kimono exist for long time, however, it is around Heian era that kimono became the present form.




< charm of Kimono >


image8 Kimono has four charms. First, everyone fits the kimono. Kimono fits all bodies. Kimono is a straight stich, wrap tied with an obi is a self. In many cases, kimono is passed on from mother to child, to grandchild. Also, the feeling is passed on, too. Second, we can recycle kimono if we stop wearing it. The first cotton is about 13meters. Kimono is made of eight cotton clothes which are cut. We can change kimono into gadgets such as obi, bag, and nagazuban. Nagazuban is underwear when we wear under kimono. Third, we can fold it up small. When you hang dresses, you need plenty of space because then it wrinkle so easily. However, kimono is very compact, so we can hang many kimono. Fourth, the design is only one. Originally, kimono don’t often make same design. They looked the same, but the color scheme was little different. Then, we choose some items like the color of obi, the form of obi and kakeeri. Kakeeri is a protective collar sewn on a kimono. Therefore, perhaps even if you wear the same kimono, the image changes using some items.



Kimono has these good points. Kimono is made of silk so that it make us feel cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition, when we wear kimono, our movement becomes slowly and politely. It make us feminine and elegant. It’s the best point for women.

When you go to a party, what clothes do you wear? You may not wear a T-shirt but a dress. People choose the clothes depending on where they go. We‘ll introduce rule of kimono and compare western clothes with kimono.

When people go to a celebration such a wedding ceremony, a celebration, or a coming-of-age celebration, they wear morning dress, evening dress or long dress. With kimono, people wear kurotomesode, irotomesode, and furisode. Married women wear Kurotomesode or irotomesode and unmarried women wear furisode. At the party, people wear cocktail dresses, but for kimono, they wear a kimono which called houmongi. It shows the high status. When we go to a ceremony, we wear formal suit, but with kimono, we wear tsukesage. The design is few and it’s more simple than the houmonngi. Like these, kimono has various kinds and choices in the situation. If you remember this, it’ll be useful.


< casual Kimono >


Aimage9s we wrote, Japan has many kinds of Kimono. If you would like to wear a Japanese Kimono, we have casual kimono. It’s called “Yukata”. Yukata has some good points. It is thinner than Kimono, cheaper and easier to wear. We can buy it for about 10,000 yen. However, Japanese don’t have the opportunity to wear it so much. Therefore we often wear Yukata at summer festival. If we see people who are wearing Yukata, we feel like summer is here. A woman who is wearing Yukata is considered very beautiful by man because it is different than usual. Young Japanese girls long to go to a summer festival with a boyfriend.

< trend of Kimono >


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Of course Kimono has trendy designs. In the past, many people prefer to wear Kimono with small flower and butterfly. These Kimonos are cool. But now we prefer  pop design like this.(left picture) These Kimonos are cute. This design is called “Kotengara”. Design is a bit bigger than before, and the color is more bright.


Kimono and the culture of kimono are very deep and wonderful. We are glad if you have interest in kimono. If you have a chance to wear kimono, please enjoy feeling Japanese culture.

Karancolon Kyoto – a souvenir shop

by Maiko Hotehama and Sae Nagata

When you visit Kyoto, what kinds of souvenir will you buy? In Kyoto, there are a lot of souvenirs, for example, Japanese-style confectionery, Japanese green tea, and Japanese pickles. I strongly recommend the cute Japanese-designed goods at Karancolon Kyoto. Of course, for woman it will be fine as present for yourself or your friends, and also for man. If they buy it for your girlfriend, she will be definitely delighted.


What is Karancolon Kyoto ?

Karancolon Kyoto is a shop that has many kinds of goods that are cute Japanese-patterns, for example, bags, purses, pouches, pencil cases and towels. Karancolon Kyoto was established in May, 2005 by itochu as a new project, and was started in Sanjo, Kyoto. Itochu is a company that has been producing and selling footwear, bags and merchandise since March, 1895.


History of Karancolon Kyoto

Since opening the main store in Shijo-dori street in July 2007, the number of Karancolon Kyoto shops in Kyoto has been increasing, and now there are 4 shops, in Shijo-dori street, near Kiyomizudera temple, at Kyoto station and in Arashiyama. In addition, Karancoln Kyoto has shops not only in Kyoto, but also in other areas in Japan, for example, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Fukuoka. This year, Karancolon Kyoto had its tenth anniversary.


Here is introduction of things at Karancolon Kyoto. First, original products of Karancolon Kyoto.

Original goods of Karancolon Kyoto

This series are printed on cloth made of cotton or hemp clothe. There are many variations, from the bags in picture above to small articles such as commuter pass holders and change purses. The bag on the left is a gamaguchi, and the one on the right is oblong bag.


Next, original products that you can only buy at the shops in Kyoto. There are three kinds of products, which are each different patterns and designs.

Kyoto original products

The first ones are design is based on houses and architecture in Kyoto. The cloth of this series is made carefully by dying patterns in fabric at dye house in Kyoto. Both pouches in the picture are pouch with Gamaguchi design.


The second ones are designed with ornamental hairpins of maiko, the apprentice geisha, walking in entertainment district in Kyoto. The cloth of this series is crepe, and dyed carefully at dye house in Kyoto. The oblong case is for glasses, and the others are pouch with Gamaguchi design.


Last ones are goods designed with scenery of Kyoto. They are made by using glossy cloth a long time to weave. Both pouches in the picture are Gamaguchi, but the right ones is with a handle made of leather.


Lastly, seasonal products. You can enjoy and feel the four seasons in Japan by these products which remind us of the season.

Seasonal products

Karancolon Kyoto sells not only goods that you can buy all year, but also seasonal products that you can buy in particular period. For example, a round fan in summer, and a rabbit and moon in autumn because autumn is the season of moon viewing in Japan.


What did you think about a Japanese souvenir shop, Karancolon Kyoto ? I would like you to visit there ,feel japanese culture, and find a favorite item if you come to Kyoto or another city in Japan, and also please check official site.


*Official site


*Main shop

Address : 〒600-8001, 83-1, nishiirushincho, shijo-dori, shimogyoku, kyoto

TEL : 075-253-5535