Where to Buy Furoshiki in Kyoto: Karakusaya and Kakefuda

People abroad seem very interested in the traditional Japanese furoshiki these days, and with good reason; they are beautiful, useful and help us to me more environmentally friendly. Furoshiki make great gifts for family and friends back home because they are novel, trendy, light weight, unbreakable, and relatively inexpensive.

There are two furoshiki stores that I recommend visiting in Kyoto: Karakusaya and Kakefuda. The only other store is one that caters to Japanese junior high school students on their school excursions to Kyoto.

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Where to Buy Furoshiki in Kyoto

Furoshiki Store – Karakusaya

Karakusaya (唐草屋)
Karakusaya that is owned by Miyai, the largest furoshiki distributor in Japan. Karakusaya moved to a new and beautiful location early in the spring of 2009 in Muromachi, which is the kimono dying district of Kyoto. We did an article on KyotoFoodie last year about Karakusaya with some videos showing how to tie furoshiki. The videos have proved rather popular on YouTube, especially one showing how to tie a furoshiki to make a tote bag. The Karakusaya staff is very friendly and helpful. Lessons on how the various ways to tie furoshiki are offered, informally, free of charge.

Karakusaya has the best line-up of Furoshiki in Kyoto, from small to large and traditional to modern designs. Even a line of eco-friendly furoshiki made from fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. The quality is exceptional and prices are about average for domestically produced furoshiki (800 yen to 12,000 yen, average: 2,000 yen).

Karakusaya is located near the Sanjo-Karasuma intersection in Muromachi, among all the major kimono dying houses and retailers. Muromachi makes yuzen dyed kimono and obi and Nishijin makes woven obi and kimono. (see map below)

website: no English website
Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku, Muromachi Rokkaku-sagaru Funayama-cho 510 (京都市中京区室町六角下ル鯉山町510番地)
tel: 075-221-0390

Where to Buy Furoshiki in Kyoto

Furoshiki Store – Kakefuda

Kakefuda (掛札)
Kakefuda has a long history as a fabric dying workshop but recently reinvented its business and started producing their own furoshiki. The designs are novel and contemporary. I have dropped in their store, incognito a few times and they were moderately friendly. I called on the telephone a few times trying to arrange an interview, but we haven’t hooked up yet.

If you are in town and want to do some furoshiki shopping, I would definitely recommend stopping in at Kakefuda.

location: Kakefuda is located on a small street south-west of the Shijo-Horikawa intersection. From the intersection, on the south side of Shijo Street walk west to the first street and turn left (south). This street is called Iwagami-dori and Kakefuda is located on the east side of the street just a few doors from Shijo Street. (see map below)

website (no English): www.kakefuda.co.jp
Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Higashioji-dori, Komonzen-agaru, Takabatake-cho 609 (京都市東山区東大路通古門前上ル高畑町609)
tel: 075-821-3230

Where to Buy Furoshiki in Kyoto

Furoshiki Store – Raak Enveraak

Otutumi Ihee ENVERAAK (伊兵衛) (Not exactly sure what the name of this place is.)
This chain of stores is owned by Eirakuya Group, a large cotton wholesaler that started business in 1615. Their stores are very new and their simple patterns are a combination of traditional and modern geared toward teenagers. They have many stores around Kyoto now, too many probably, and while they do offer some low quality furoshiki, they mostly offer touristy tenugui. Tenugui are these all purpose printed cotton clothes, the problem is with tenugui is that the first time you wash them they start to unravel. Well, they are cheap. This place also sells bags and t-shirts with the same designs as their tenugui.

The parent company has a long history but it is said by some here that the company has really taken a wrong turn with the new and young owner and lost that unique Kyoto quality. I tried to interview the owner, but one of the underlings (a suit) said that they don’t really want foreign customers because they don’t want to deal with English and other foreign languages. (Hey, thanks.)

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Shop Locations

Karakusaya (唐草屋)

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Kakefuda (掛札)

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2 Responses to “Where to Buy Furoshiki in Kyoto: Karakusaya and Kakefuda”

  1. Thanks so much for the information and photos. I am visiting Japan with my family this spring and have been trying to figure out where I can learn more about furoshiki.

    I write a blog about gift wrapping (http://www.thegiftedblog.com), and with my Japanese background am of course curious to know more!

  2. Sarah says:

    I happened to pass Kakefuda today and decided to drop in – but I left immediately as the shop stank of cigarrette smoke. I didn’t want to buy a furoshiki that smells!

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