Teramachi-dori   寺町通

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Inside the Teramachi-dori gallery.

Frequently Japanese

Teramachi street is full of perfect souvenirs to remember your stay in Japan long after you've returned.

Once the bustling main artery of the city of Kyoto, Teramachi still today extends from north to south of the Shijo district, west of the Kamo River. The stalls, however, have changed somewhat. While some vendors still sell quality tea, like Ippodo , most will try you sell you high-tech products.

Once past the trendy cafes and old bookstores, the street turns into a covered arcade, a real tourist trap. Between pachinko and clothing stores, however, the souvenir shops are the spotlight. No need to stop here; if you continue through to the other end of the covered arcade, it opens onto Kyoto's electronic district, an Akihabara miniature, where technology lovers will find their happy place.

Despite the overwhelming, unescapable consumer madness, don't miss the few temples and shrines, which is how "street of temples" originally got its name. These last vestiges of its ancient history are smack in the middle of this unbridled modernity. It would also be a shame to miss the burial site of the great ODA Nobunaga, the first unifier of Japan, who died in 1582 in Honnonji. He continues today to undo many bloodthirsty armies, reincarnated in video games that flood the screens of this lively alley.

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