Shijo Dori, Kyoto: A foodie’s paradise

Shijo Dori in Kyoto is a major shopping street that connects Yasaka Shrine in the east to Matsuo-Taisha Shrine in the west. It practically crosses the whole of Kyoto city. The eastern side of Shijo-Dori is an important point of attraction thanks to its mix of traditional and modern shops.

Shijo Dori also intersects with Kawaramachi Street, another key shopping area. Just off Shijo Dori, you’ll find Hanamikoji Street in the Gion District, a must-visit for anyone exploring Kyoto for the first time.

People walking and exploring Shijo Dori in Kyoto Japan
People walking and exploring Shijo Dori in Kyoto Japan

About

Shijo Dori has been a commercial center since the Heian Period (794-1185), serving as a marketplace and meeting spot over the centuries.

From 1912 to 1972, the Shijo Line tram ran on Shijo-dori, but it was replaced by trolleybuses until they stopped running in 1969.

Today, Shijo-dori is a key bus route in the city. Below it, you’ll find Hankyu Kyoto Line’s tracks, with stations at key points like Kawaramachi and Karasuma. Other rail lines like the Keihan Main Line and the Karasuma subway also cross Shijo-dori.

Approach to Yasaka Shrine seen from Shijo Dori
Approach to Yasaka Shrine seen from Shijo Dori

Shopping along Shijo-dori

Shijo Street is a busy shopping area, especially from the Gion district to Karasuma Street, where the sidewalks are mostly covered and lined with big stores like Takashimaya and Daimaru. The heart of the shopping scene is at Shijo and Kawaramachi Streets. Beyond the Kamo River, the shops switch to smaller ones offering local foods and crafts.

Shijo-dori is an excellent place to purchase unique souvenirs. You’ll find many small shops selling sweets, matcha desserts and tea from Uji.

Key landmarks near Shijo Dori include Yasaka Shrine, the Kamo River, and the Gion district.

In July, the street buzzes with the Gion Matsuri parade, featuring traditional floats.

People walking in front of shops lined on Shijo Dori
People walking in front of shops lined on Shijo Dori

Notable Shops

  • Daimaru Department Store
  • Takashimaya Department Store
  • Pokemon Center Kyoto
  • Yojiya
  • Nishiki Market
  • Shijo Takakura Pharmacy
  • Isetan Department Store
  • Compasso Teramachi Kyogoku
A sweet shop on Shijo Dori in Kyoto
A sweet shop on Shijo Dori in Kyoto

What to eat

Shijo-dori might be lined with tons of shops, but it also has lots of eateries, including stalls serving street food.

If you like tea, you’ll find plenty of shops selling all kinds of Japanese teas, from the popular matcha to more unusual blends like ume tea (plum). Try traditional Japanese sweets like mochi (a soft, rice cake) and dorayaki (a type of pancake filled with sweet red bean paste), or go for unique matcha cakes that look as good as they taste. No trip to Shijo-dori is complete without sitting down in one of the dessert shops and trying warabi mochi with a side of matcha tea.

Shijo Dori has many options for traditional meals like tempura, sushi, ramen, and katsu curry.

Shijo-dori

Shijo-dori, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

🚉 Closest Station (Directions)

Uzumasa Tenjingawa Sta.

🕥 Opening Hours

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory Varga is a licensed travel agent and published travel writer. Her main expertise is writing about Japan, where she happily lives with her husband.
Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan and wants to share more about the local customs with the rest of the world.
While Cory has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries, Japan remains her favorite place to live and write about. Cory is multilingual.

Comments

3 responses to “Shijo Dori, Kyoto: A foodie’s paradise”

  1. Maria Avatar
    Maria

    Fantastic!
    Just 2 months ago, I was in Japan for a month. This was my 5th trip to that amazing land!
    I must mention that the first thing I love about Japan is the people; they are VERY friendly, helpful and extremely honest.
    Second the historic beauty; the magnificent temples and GARDENS!
    Last, but not least Japanese FOOD!
    Some out of this world delights:
    Match ice cream served in a delicious, but very light “roll”
    Same “roll-bread” filled with a unique cream, which comes in different flavors, but is very, very light.
    Vegetable “pastries”, jut beautiful looking and amazinky delicious. You will never know is a vegetable unless you ask.
    If you love yourself, go to Japan. Kyoto in particular.

    1. Cory Avatar
      Cory

      Dear Maria, I’m really happy you loved Japan and had time in Kyoto.
      You are right, food in Japan is from another dimension: delicious, amazing and so so good!
      We could live in Japan just for the food to be fair. And Shijo Dori in Kyoto is such an amazing place to experience it.

  2. Josie Avatar
    Josie

    Taking our first trip Japan, we’ll be going to Kyoto for a week look forward to going the places you mentioned

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