October 2022: Please note this branch of Takamura has now permanently closed, but there is another at 2 Chome-15-15 Tenjin, Nagaokakyo, 617-0824. Please see our Southern Higashiyama page for other places to shop in the region.
Takamura is an exquisite little shop in Gion where you will find some truly remarkable bamboo creations. It’s a great place to buy a very special souvenir or gift.
Takamura bamboo tea ceremony goods – image © Chris Rowthorn
I happened upon Takamura on a random walk through Gion a few months ago. Glimpses of treasures behind the wooden slats of the façade beckoned me inside. I’m damn glad I entered. I was greeted warmly in English and then allowed to browse the small but brilliant selection of goods on display. Takamura is the retail outlet of a bamboo specialist in Nagaokakyo City, a southwestern suburb of Kyoto known for its excellent bamboo.
Takamura lacquered bamboo – image © Chris Rowthorn
Here, you will find what happens when top-quality bamboo meets the highest Japanese craftsmanship. My favorite item is an impossibly thin cup made from bamboo that seems so light that it feels that it might float away. Other offerings include tea ceremony goods made entirely of bamboo and sake decanters made of lacquered bamboo. Every single item is perfect for a memorable gift for a special friend.
Takamura is easy to spot. Look for the slatted wood over the glass windows.
Takamura exterior – image © Chris Rowthorn
Name in English:
Name in Japanese:
1-A Higashiyama Gion bldg., 238-1 Nakano-cho, Higashiyama-ku
Moderate to expensive
5min walk from Gion-shijo Station Exit 9, Keihan line
Official Website (English)
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world