Isetan is a major department store occupying thirteen floors on Kyoto Station’s north west side. The bulk of the store is dedicated to fashion, clothing and brand goods, but you can also find interior goods (8th floor), sportswear, jewelry and kimonos (9th floor), and stationery and souvenirs (10th floor). On the 11th floor is the Eat Paradise restaurant section and the two basement floors hold bustling food markets.
Here are some shopping highlights for you to look out for.
Ladieswear (1st to 5th Floors)
Floors 1 to 5 are dedicated to ladies clothing, fashion and accessories. On the 1st floor you can find all the famous brand name boutiques: Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Celine, Dior, Fendi and Gucci. The 2nd floor is devoted to shoes, accessories, cosmetics and perfume. There is also a shoe and bag repair shop here. On the 3rd floor you will find office wear for ladies, large sized ladieswear and handbags. The 4th floor has a small sized ladieswear section, formal ladies wear, and a “Mrs” section with clothing for ladies aged 40 and upward. There is also a clothes repair boutique on this floor. The 5th floor has young ladies’ fashions and lingerie.
Menswear (6th Floor)
Men’s clothing and accessories including casual, business and formal attire can all be located on the 6th floor.
Museum Eki Kyoto (7th Floor)
If you are tired of shopping, then escape to the Museum Eki Kyoto on the 7th floor. This gallery hosts an impressive variety of exhibitions such as traditional Japanese art, European old masters, photography and manga illustrations. Check the official website for the current show.
Homeware, tableware, ceramics, sportswear, jewelry and kimonos (8th and 9th Floors)
Souvenir hunters may be interested in some of the unique local products on the upper floors. Among the interior goods on the 8th floor are some traditional Japanese tableware, ceramics and kitchen utensils. On the next floor up you can view (although you must not photograph) beautiful silken kimonos with graceful patterns in both traditional and contemporary designs.
Arts, crafts and stationary (10th floor)
The 10th floor has arts, crafts and stationary. Many typical Japanese souvenirs are on offer and local Kyoto craft shops are also well represented.
Food Hall (B1 and B2 Floors)
Both basement floors, B1 and B2, play host to lively food markets. Fresh food, daily dishes, a bakery and traditional boxed lunch bentos can be found on B2. On B1 you can find Japanese sweets and western style confectionery, cakes, tea, traditional pickles and a large liquor store that has a fine selection of nihonshu, or sake, as well as beers, wines and spirits. There are usually a few bottles of sake that are open for sampling, so you can try a tipple before you invest in a larger purchase. Look out also for the craft beers here which have been gaining popularity across Japan in recent years. Several local brews are available.
The 11th and top floor is given over to Isetan’s gourmet food hall: Eat Paradise. You can read a full guide to all 15 dining venues here in our Eat Paradise article. For café and dining options on other floors check our article: Cafes and Restaurants in Isetan Department Store.
A number of helpful services for foreign customers are available on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Isetan.
Automatic foreign currency exchange machines are located on the 2nd floor on the south side of the store. ATMs for Japanese banks are also on this floor.
Foreign visitors are entitled to claim back tax they have paid on their purchases at the Tax-free counter on the 3rd floor. To claim your cash back, you will need to have spent a minimum of 10,001 yen (excluding tax) on the same day you make your claim. You will also need your passport and receipts. You can download a full PDF guide to the tax exemption procedure from the Isetan website.
Wi-Fi is available near the Tax-free counter on the 3rd floor.
Temporary Luggage Storage
So that you can enjoy a relaxed shopping experience whilst exploring the store’s many departments, you can leave your luggage at the 3rd floor Cloak Room. The charge per item is 500 yen and items must be claimed back before 8:00 pm the same day. However, valuables and items that require refrigeration cannot be left at the Cloak Room.
Lost & Found Counter – Lost items can be retrieved on the 3rd floor.
Hotel Delivery Service – Purchases can be delivered to your hotel. Ask at any sales point for details.
For parents with small children Isetan has a number of useful services, particularly on the 7th floor, which is dedicated to selling toys and clothing for babies and children. You can borrow a pushchair from the 1st and 2nd floor information desks, or from any 7th floor counter. Child friendly restaurants are on the 7th and 10th floors, and the restaurant Wansa Kansa on the 7th floor also has baby food available until 3pm. There is also a play area, a nursery, and parent & child restrooms on the 7th floor. Restrooms with baby changing tables are available on both basement levels and all floors between the 3rd and 11th floors. A priority elevator for pushchairs and wheelchairs is available on the north side of the store.
You can download a PDF with a complete floor guide from the Isetan website. The store is open from 10:00 – 20:00.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.