Monday, March 12, 2012

Shopping and Omiyage

Generally, I’m not much for shopping.  While on vacation, I’ll visit museum shops and buy post cards to bring home for the scrapbook.  I like to travel light and not have to carry much. On this trip we did a lot of “window” shopping and we did make a few purchases.

Nara is known for a range of local crafts, including calligraphy brushes, tea whisks, and bleached hemp cloth.  Here are some of the things we saw while out shopping.


Kyoto is famous for a number of traditional arts and crafts. Due to the economy, the number of kimono and obi shops have decreased to about 600, compared to more than 1200 in 1980. Weaving and textiles, pottery, lacquer work, paper fans and candies are all from Kyoto.

Yokohama had some interesting shops.

This was something so you could see the back of your head. Ted took this photograph of the screen showing him from the back.

A whole shop devoted to my favorite - the panda!
Ginza is Tokyo’s most stylish shopping street, with the greatest concentration of exclusive shops. We visited several kimono shops. With the price tags for these garments being what we plan to spend on a car in the spring, we did not to make any kimono purchases.  We did buy some art postcards at a wonderful paper shop and visited a chopstick store that had every kind of chopstick and chopstick holder imaginable . We also visited the Japan Traditional Craft Center in Tokyo where Ted purchased a cast iron trivet.

Omiyage is the Japanese word for gift and I’ve heard it used mostly for a travel gift or souvenir. It is the custom to bring people back something from your trip. Ted received some M&M's when one of his co-workers came back from New York and Okuda San brought me a box of beautiful candies when she returned from her family home in Kyoto. We brought back some food items as omiyage.  I think food is a better omiyage because people don't have space for knick knacks or things that are considered souvenirs in the US. 

Here are some things we did purchase on our trip.

Aikido dogi, hakima, and other aikido stuff


Museum purchase

Tomorrow I'll tell about some of the temples and shrines we visited.

These slippers were in our hotel in Kyoto. I didn’t wear them in the hotel, but brought them home and added some sequins and beads. It was a quick fun project.

1 comment:

Julia said...

I would have a very hard time resisting all the shopping!

The Temple photos are wonderful.