Aeon Mall is a large shopping center situated 5 minutes’ walk from the Hachijo Exit on the south side of Kyoto Station. Inside are popular national and international retail stores, a number of cheap eateries, a grocery store, an amusement arcade, and a cinema. The mall consists of two buildings connected by a walkway on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The Sakura Building has 5 floors and the Kaede Building has 4 floors. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
The Sakura Building
The 1st floor of the Sakura Building is noticeable for its variety. Here you can find a supermarket, a bakery, a flower shop, a pharmacy, a furniture store, an import goods store and an accessory shop.
The 2nd floor is mainly dominated by fashion and clothing stores for men and women. There are big names here like The Gap, Muji, and Tommy Hilfiger but also a variety of smaller boutiques.
The 3rd floor is the place to go for electronics, footwear, and hiking equipment. There is also a little hobby shop here, named Master Piece that sells all kinds of jigsaw puzzles. As many of these depict the famous sites of Kyoto, you could find a nice souvenir here.
The 4th floor has Daiso, a 100 yen store (with all goods priced at 100 yen before tax) and a number of novelty gift shops, including a model train store with extremely serious looking staff. There is also a games arcade which has “UFO Catcher” prize machines, “purikura” or “print club” souvenir photo booths, and rental cosplay costumes.
On the 5th floor there is a 12 screen cinema showing all the latest Japanese and international hit movies.
The Kaede Building
The Kaede Building is connected to the main Sakura Building on the 2nd and 3rd floors by a bridge. If it is raining, take the 2nd floor bridge, as it is a covered walkway.
Inside the Kaede Building you can find a toy shop on the first floor, a pet shop, and book shop on the 2nd floor, a sports shop on the 3rd floor, and household furniture on the 4th floor.
Food & Drink
Most of the restaurants are concentrated on the 4th floor of the Sakura Building, but there are also some restaurants and cafes on the 1st floor terrace. These are situated on the eastern flank of the Sakura building. There is a green tea shop, an Italian pasta restaurant, an ice cream shop, and Tony Roma’s: an American style restaurant specializing in barbecued pork ribs.
On the 2nd floor of the Sakura Building you can also take a break in the Coffee Standard cafe.
The 4th floor of the Sakura Building has a food court. This is an open seating area surrounded by a variety of cheap fast food stores selling quick and easy dishes such as noodles, fried octopus dumplings, Indian curry, Korean bibimbap, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. There are also a variety of restaurants outside the food court, which while not exactly gourmet cuisine, are good for a cheap bite to eat.
There is a large bicycle parking area on the west side of the Sakura Building which is completely free and is open from 8:45 – 22:15. There is also a car park on the south side of the Sakura Building which has space for 1125 cars. Parking costs 200 yen for 20 minutes. However, if you spend more than 2000 yen in Aeon Mall, you get 1 hour of free parking. If you spend more than 5000 yen, you get 2 hours of free parking. And if you watch a movie at Aeon Mall, then you get 3 hours of free parking. Just remember to keep your receipts!
There are coin lockers just outside the entrance to the Sakura Building which come in three sizes and cost 200, 300 and 400 yen.
If you run short of cash, the Aeon Bank ATMs on the 1st floor of the Sakura Building accept the following international credit cards: Visa, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, JCB, and UnionPay. These ATMs are open from 9:00 – 22:00.
Tax-free Shopping & Discount Coupons
Many stores in Aeon Mall have a tax-free service for overseas visitors, so don’t forget to bring your passport! Stores with this service will have the tax-free sticker displayed in their window (see the label above). To use the service, simply ask the staff when making your purchase. Aeon Mall also frequently runs discount coupon campaigns for foreign customers.
Aeon Mall is open 365 days a year. Though the hours of some stores differ slightly, these are the general opening hours:
Aeon Mall stores: 10:00 – 21:00
Kohyo Supermarket: 9:00 – 22:00
Restaurants (Sakura Building 4th floor): 10:00 – 22:00
T-Joy Cinema: 9:00 – 24:00
Aeon Mall Kyoto Location Map
Aeon Mall is on the south side of Hachijo Street, on the opposite side from the south west exit of the Kyoto Station Building.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.