Fashion

Top 7 Places To Buy [Genuine] Kyoto Streetwear In 2020

Reo Tanaka
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As a Kyoto local and fashion lover, people often ask me about Kyoto streetwear.

The growing interest has seen brands from all over the world trying to capitalise on demand.

Yet, the legitimacy of these brands is so debatable that social media is on fire right now.

Reddit, Quora, Facebook reviews, all debate genuine vs fake Kyoto streetwear brands.

In this article, I’m going to share with you how Kyoto streetwear is constructed and where to buy genuine Kyoto streetwear fashion from.

Kyoto streetwear Reddit discussions

In this article:

Kyoto Streetwear Style

Kyoto fashion

When thinking about Japanese fashion, Tokyo and the Harajuku region in particular, comes to mind.

After Tokyo, streetwear lovers find Kyoto’s ‘Samurai’ street style very trendy right now.

Kyoto streetwear

Kyoto’s ‘Samurai streetwear styles’ are inspired by:

  • Kyoto city’s ancient architecture.

  • Japan’s rich heritage in fashion making.

1. Kyoto City Influence

Kyoto city

The streets of Kyoto city.

Located in the heart of Honshu, Kyoto is regarded as Japan’s most beautiful ancient city.

With over 4,000 historical monuments, temples and shrines, Kyoto city is also the most popular tourist destination in Japan.

Kyoto temples and shrines

The Temple of the Fox – Kyoto.

The city attracts millions of visitors from both inside and outside of Japan, all year round.

Kyoto’s richness of temples, shrines, and cultural references are an abundant source of Wabi-Sabi inspiration.

Kyoto city temples

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) – Kyoto.

Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic principle centred around the idea of transience and imperfection, as vital components of beauty.

The concept has been used by some of the most famous Japanese fashion designers to date, such as Yohji Yamamoto, Issei Miyake, and Rei Kawakubo.

2. Japan Fashion Heritage

Kyoto fashion

Traditional kimono – Kyoto city.

From sophisticated designer garments to upcycled couture, trendy boutiques and department stores, Japan has it all.

It is this rare combination of tradition and modernity that makes Japanese streetwear styles so much loved and desired.

Here are the most prominent Japanese fashion-making themes, also found in streetwear styles:

  • Kimono
  • Oversized Silhouettes
  • Bright colours
  • Tabi style shoes

Contrary to Occidental fashion trends, constructed by celebrities and ‘Instaparasited’ by fast fashion giants, Japanese creations rely on the street culture:

“Here, in Japan, the most popular fashion models are just normal shoppers. They are normal people wearing their unique styles on the streets of Tokyo.” – Parco’s President Kozo Makiyama.

Parco is one of the first chains of department stores in Japan to realise the power of streetwear styles.

Parco department store Japan

The influence is so palpable that when it opened its store in Shibuya, Parco used a relevant slogan:

The people you’re passing are all so beautiful.

In other words, the streets of Japan are real catwalks and people are fashion stars.

Where To Buy Legit Kyoto Streetwear?

Sou Sou Kyoto streetwear

When it comes to Japanese fashion, trusting online sellers is a serious problem.

Based on my research and experience, most Kyoto streetwear brands selling online are copycats located in China, Bangladesh, and India.

Hence:

  • The best place to buy genuine Kyoto streetwear is directly from Kyoto city stores!

Sou Sou Kyoto tabi shoes

Buy genuine Kyoto streetwear directly from the city’s stores, while having a full Japanese experience.

This way, you’ll ‘hit two birds with one stone’.

Kyoto city is one of the most amazing historical and cultural destinations, for travellers from all over the world.

So it is worth to book a ‘city-trip / shopping spree’ at the same time.

While in Kyoto, look for the Fujii Daimaru department store.

Also, visit the small designer boutiques located around the city centre as these are the best places to find rare Japanese streetwear pieces.

Kyoto city small shops

Moreover, some of these local streetwear collections will never go online.

So, if you’re after unique Japanese streetwear pieces, physical stores in Kyoto are the best, rather than online.

However, not everybody has the luxury to travel only to buy fashion.

If that’s your case, I’m here to help and below I have compiled my favourite online Kyoto streetwear stores.

Kyoto Streetwear Online Shops

Buy legitimate premium Kyoto streetwear

I recommend you try these 7 online shops.

All are selling genuine Kyoto streetwear, and I’ve tried them myself:

  1. Sou Sou Kyoto
  2. Urban Research Online Store
  3. Japan Lover Me
  4. Whatzis
  5. Facy
  6. Monobito
  7. Ninjaya.com

Now it’s your turn…

What is your favourite Japanese fashion style?

Which Kyoto streetwear online shops do you recommend?

Is there any other Japanese street fashion style you want us to cover?

Would love to hear your thought and comments below!

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