Used Clothing in Kyoto
May 10, 2011 12:29 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find places in Kyoto to shop for used/vintage clothing? In Tokyo, I love going to Harajuku and wandering around their used/vintage clothing shops with random old items, like Kinji for really cheap and unique clothing. Is there a similar like place in Kyoto? I've spent 3 days in Kyoto in the past and all I recall for shopping were department stores and other Big Generic Imposing Chain Shops that you can find anywhere else in the world.

However, those 3 days during the last trip were also more of a whirlwind tour of the temples and sites. This return trip is more to just enjoy the experience of eating, wandering around, shopping, and just seeing what stumbles along for a period of 6 days so more time to soak it all in. Any other great finds to check out would be appreciated as well.
posted by peachtree to Travel & Transportation around Kyoto, Japan (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a Kyoto resident, so this is just me listing the results of The Japanese Google, but...

The terms you're looking for are 京都 (Kyoto) and 古着 (furugi, meaning used or vintage clothes) and/or 古着屋 (furugiya, meaning used clothes store).

So 京都 古着屋 bring up:

A map of furugiya in Kyoto (in Japanese). They seem to be gathered in the area north of Kawaramachi Station.

Perori, or "B" in that map.

Cambio, or "G" in that map.

Also, this shop called boro seems to be oft-Googled. They don't have a website, but from the address, it appears they're located in the general vicinity of the above map, too. The sidebar on this blog has links to the blogs of other used clothing stores, but of course they're all in Japanese.

I wish I could spend 6 days wandering around Kyoto... Happy shopping!
posted by misozaki at 1:26 AM on May 10, 2011

I've only been shopping there a handful of times, but I usually end up in the area that misozaki linked in that map above. The long yellow highlighted street on that map looks like teramachi-dori ( 寺町通 ), which is a covered shopping arcade with tons of boutique sized shops (map of some of the arcade shops). It's a popular shopping area for younger folks, so not surprising that vintage clothing retailers would be opening up shops in the same general area.
posted by p3t3 at 2:54 AM on May 10, 2011

Try Teramachi (寺町) between Oike (御池) and Marutamachi (丸太町). There are a bunch of interesting shops there, at least a couple of which I think sell used clothes. You could also try southern part of Teramachi, between Oike and Shijo (四条). Just to the East of this and parallel to Teramachi lies Shinkyogoku (新京極), which also has lots of shops you might like, but these tend to be junkier than what you find on Teramachi.
posted by zachawry at 3:35 AM on May 10, 2011

At the intersection of Maruta-machi and Higashi-oji there's a shop called "INPERIAL USED CLOTHING". I bought a pair of jeans there in fall 2008 and I still use them today. Elsewhere in that shopping complex is a well-reviewed Mexican restaurant, which is only open for dinner as far as I could tell. For other stuff in Kyoto check out the Deep Kyoto blog.

On a related note, the Internet is amazing.
posted by shii at 4:42 AM on May 10, 2011

Yeah, Teramachi is the place, along with its parallel twin Shinkyogoku arcade. On Misozaki's map I remember a few near the east side of Vivre (ビブレ on the map, but Loft is no longer located there, it moved to Kawaramachi Street proper, a new shopping spot called Mina Kyoto). But really my advice would be to go to Osaka, American Mura and Minami-semba and Shinsaibashi-dori.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:40 AM on May 10, 2011

You might also want to check out the monthly markets, if you're there when one is on. Not so much used/vintage clothes (unless you are shopping for kimono!) but lots of other cool used goods and craft goods.

Details here and if you pick up a bus map, both Toji and Kitano Tenmangu are very easy to find. (I've never been to the Tezukuri-ichi.)
posted by equivocator at 5:52 PM on May 10, 2011

This isn't an answer to your question per se, but the closest Harajuku-like place to Kyoto is Amerikamura (アメリカ村) in Osaka. Kawaramachi in Kyoto does have several youth-oriented used-clothing stores, but you'll get a much larger selection in Osaka.
posted by armage at 8:17 PM on May 10, 2011

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