Where can I buy a kiseru in the Osaka area?
August 10, 2009 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy a kiseru in the Osaka area tomorrow? (A kiseru is a traditional Japanese smoking pipe.) I have looked at all kinds of shops and haven't found any. I'd rather not order online. Some people back home want them as souvenirs. I am staying in Osaka, so I am within easy range of Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, etc.
posted by twblalock to Travel & Transportation around Osaka, Japan (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's one. I'm a non-smoker based in Tokyo, however, so I have no idea if this place is legit or if it really exists.
posted by misozaki at 5:16 AM on August 10, 2009

First, try the back alleys of the Umeda underground shopping mall, way back until you hit the Umeda Dai-ichi, ni, san, etc. buildings. There they resale shinkansen tickets, electronics, and all sorts of stuff. I bet someone back there in those little raggedy little shops would point you in the right direction of a pawn shop or antique shop that sells kiseru.

Here is a PDF FILE MAP pdf that shows the location of the "Dai" buildings . Wander around the first three floors of the Daiichi, Daini, and Daisan buildings preferably on a weekday or Saturday before shops close at 7 or 8.

Second, check the sex shop streets (fuzokugai) above ground near Cappriccoza. Do-yama-cho, the gay bar area, is right there too. Some of the gay bars are friendly and you might get an answer if you sit down and have a drink. At any rate, there's got to be pawn shops and old-time crafts shops in those neighborhoods.

If you're strapped for time, get a cab near the sex shop street, gay bar district, or the love hotel street across from the "Dai" buildings. You can find the love hotels in an alley tucked behind the the larger street that runs in front of the Dai buildings. Be careful back there, those love hotels cater to Asian streetwalkers and pimps are all around.

Ask the cabdriver to take you to a shop to buy a kiseru. 100 to 1 he'll know the pawn shop/specialty shop you're looking for. Especially cab drivers in those sketchy areas will know where to find accessories for older Japanese men.

If you're near Namba, same thing. In the alleys that connect Namba to Shinsekai are rinky-dink shopping streets that sell everything under the sun. Someone back there would certainly point you in the right direction, and if not, get a cab near a fuzokugai, in the direction South of Namba, and tell him what you want.

You could check out Tenjinbashisuji, "the longest shopping street in Japan." It might have what you need and it is not far from Umeda.

Finally, go up to the top floors of the Hankyu Department store in Umeda, to the traditional goods section, and ask where to buy kiseru. Or to a visitors center, listed on that map. Those are the easiest and the least fun ways to find your kiseru.

The Umeda underground is the largest underground shopping district in the world, or so they say. If you can print out a really good map. Good luck!
posted by vincele at 5:38 AM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Kizokukan appears to be another. Address: New Life Akasaka Building 1F, 5-34 Jonanteramachi, Tennoji-ku, Osaka. Phone: 06-6761-4614. Open every day from 10am to 7pm. On preview, vincele has taken you on a guided tour of Osaka that sounds promising!
posted by misozaki at 5:57 AM on August 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. I was walking all over Umeda and Shinsaibashi/Nanba earlier today and didn't find anything. I might have walked right by the one in the first post.

I'll try those places tomorrow. If all else fails, I know where to order them, but it would be a cooler souvenir if I picked it up myself.
posted by twblalock at 6:24 AM on August 10, 2009

twblalock, misozaki had logical suggestions...mine were more all-day projects.

But! misozaki's first suggestion looks like it has just what you're looking for. Sakuranbo's website is even in English and they have a bunch of examples of kiseru.

And! It is located in that seedy but convenient area of Umeda I thought it would be in. Just walk down Higashi Umeda shopping street, the major above-ground shopping street that juts out from East Umeda. (aka 梅田の東通商店街) The actual address is 5-19 Doyamacho, in the gay bar district. That suggests the shop is located on a little side street off of the shotengai/shopping street.

If you want to just get in and out, give the cab driver the address: 所在地:大阪市北区堂山町5-19. Keep that address with you, or maybe print out the Japanese page, so that if you're lucky someone will help you find it.
posted by vincele at 7:18 AM on August 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. The first suggestion worked out, and I have my kiseru now.
posted by twblalock at 1:30 AM on August 11, 2009

Yay for updates! Glad it worked out.
posted by misozaki at 3:16 AM on August 12, 2009

Wish I saw this when it was first asked. For future reference you can also get kiseru and kiseru tobacco at Sugimoto in Motomachi, Kobe. From the JR Motomachi station walk towards the ocean on the main street past the McDonald's. Down the street on the right you'll see a very decorated entrance to a shopping street. It's across from the Daimaru department store. Go down that street, walking away from the department store. It will be on the left.

The Fukui liquor and tobacco shop in front of Hankyu Kurakuenguchi station also sells kiseru.
posted by sleepytako at 4:51 PM on December 23, 2009

« Older How strictly is the letter of the law followed in...   |   Where to? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.