Tuesday, April 16 2013

Good cutlery shops in Kyoto

If you’re in Kyoto and looking for good Japanese-style kitchen knives, pocket knives, or woodworking tools, Minamoto no Hisahide has excellent stuff and reasonable prices. They’re in the Teramachi shopping arcade off of Shijo-dori, right around the corner from Nishiki Tenmangu shrine (which, by the way, is why the food/kitchen street that runs west from here is called Nishiki Market).

Aritsugu, not far away, is a high-end shop with excellent handmade knives and hammered-copper pots and pans. I don’t like anyone enough to buy gifts there, and I really couldn’t justify filling my luggage with heavy copper that would never get used, so I only window-shopped there.

[Update: I found the receipt, and the third knife shop not only wasn’t in the Teramachi arcade, it wasn’t even in Kyoto! No wonder I never found it again. It was actually the Ichimonji outlet on the Doguyasuji kitchen street in Osaka’s Namba district. We’d stopped in there the first day we were in town, so my memories were quite blurred by the end of the trip.] There’s another knife shop on Teramachi, where I picked up a very nice (and quite affordable!) damascus nakiri for a friend, as well as some of the standard-grade Higo no Kami pocket knives, but at the moment, I can’t find the name. I’ll have to hunt through my receipts.