Asakusa – Getaya

Though the business card says “Since 1912”, talk to the owner and he says Getaya has been in the business of traditional Japanese footwear for 116 years. If you want high quality, Japanese-handcrafted geta (wooden shoes) or zori (vinyl and more formal), Getaya has a huge selection. You can even choose the wooden base you…

Kokeshi

The humble kokeshi were said to be invented in the Tohoku region of Japan as souvenirs for travelers coming to enjoy the regional hot springs. The simple design of traditional kokeshi is a round “head” attached to a cylinder body, created from cherry or mizuki wood by an artisan using a lathe. If the faces…

Gion

The Gion district of Kyoto, home to most of the remaining geisha (called geiko here) in Japan, is what most tourists think of when they think of Kyoto. ¬†Though the wooden buildings have undoubtably burned down several times since the district’s birth five centuries ago, Gion emanates with history like no other place in Japan….