Porta is an underground shopping mall which occupies the space directly beneath Kyoto Bus Station and connects with Kyoto Subway Station. Here you can find stores selling men’s and ladies fashions, accessories, cosmetics, stationery, souvenirs, and books. There are also bakeries, cafes and a variety of dining choices.
Porta has two main sections: a west area and an east area. The east area is largely given over to souvenir and food shops.
In the west area, fashion boutiques predominate, but you can find a variety of other shops and services too.
Porta Dining is also on the west side of the mall and this is where the bulk of the restaurants are located. In this article we will cover some of the main shopping highlights in Porta. For restaurant options please refer to our article Porta Dining.
Souvenirs and Food
In the south east corner of Porta, you will find a large area rather like a marketplace, which is given over to souvenirs of all kinds. Here you can find a variety of famous Kyoto confectionery, pickles, handicrafts, knick-knacks and trinkets of all kinds. Here are some items to look out for.
Fukujuen has been selling green tea from the tea fields of Uji since 1790, so when you drink their tea you are tasting a real piece of local heritage! Green tea is a light, refreshing drink and well known for its health giving properties, and so makes an excellent souvenir. You can sample a cup at the counter before choosing your preferred variety.
Chopsticks are considered a lucky gift in Japan, but of course they have practical uses too. A wide variety of lacquered chopsticks are on sale here, all made from high quality wood, and elegantly decorated. Do you prefer simple and unadorned wood, or something more colorful? You are bound to find something to suit your own taste here.
Kyosendo has been producing high quality folding fans since 1832. Made by hand from the best materials by highly skilled craftsmen, these fans are beautifully decorated works of art. And in the summer, they keep you cool too!
Among the many fine handicrafts and cloth accessories on sale in the Kanoya Kitakishi shop are these beautifully made masks and dolls depicting typical characters from Japanese tradition.
Pickles, along with rice and soup are a fundamental part of the typical Japanese meal. With low calories, plenty of fibre and vitamins they are good for you too. Nishiri is a famous Kyoto brand of pickles and here at their stall you can see all kinds of colorful pickled vegetables. Before choosing, feel free to sample each variety from the little bowls that are set out before them. And if you aren’t so keen on Nishiri pickles, their chief rivals Daiyasu Pickles (number 18) also have a stall on the other side of the room.
A little further to the north of this area are some food shops.
Shinshindo is a well-known and long-standing chain of bakery shops in Kyoto, and this particular shop is very handy if you want to buy a sandwich before jumping on a train.
Kyoto Murasakino Fukunaga
This a baked sweets specialty shop selling cakes, cookies and other high quality confections. When you want to spoil yourself (or others), this is where you come. Only local ingredients are used for this store’s products and the selection changes according to the seasons.
On the opposite corner to the Shinshindo bakery is the traditional Japanese alternative to sandwiches: a shop selling rice balls and sushi. All the food here is freshly prepared by hand and renowned for its tastiness. Various seafood, vegetable and mushroom toppings and fillings are on offer if you want to buy something for your trip or outing.
Jupiter is an import store, very popular with the local expat community, selling all kinds of imported wines, beers, coffees, teas, culinary supplies and confectionery. Watch out for the weekly bargains.
Most of the general shopping is located in the west side of the mall. Here you can find fashion, shoes, bags, cosmetics, accessories, and general household goods.
Urban Research Rosso
Stylish casual ladieswear that combines comfort with simple elegance for those who wish to make a visually appealing but subtle impression.
A popular fashion boutique for ladies selling smart, chic and sensible clothes to suit individual tastes.
Diesel is the premium casual fashion brand from Italy selling ladies and menswear, bags, shoes, watches and other items
Whether your taste runs to “cute” or “elegant”, Flag blu-verde sells a range of chic and feminine shoes for ladies who want to express their own individual sense of style in their everyday footwear.
This “health and beauty station” is a convenient shop for both medicine and cosmetics.
ete sells a range of ladies watches, jewelry and accessories that express a classic simplicity of design.
Aimer sells ladies formal wear that maintains a classic elegance while keeping up with current trends. Not only party dresses, but shoes, bags and other accessories are all available to complete each outfit. In an Aimer dress anyone can become a princess!
Sense of Place by Urban Research
Part of the Urban Research group of clothing shops, Sense of Place sells comfortable, casual, fashionable clothes for both ladies and men at an accessible price.
Guided by a French sense of style Charlotte has selected trend setting pop items from around the world. This shop stocks mainly shoes, pumps, boots, sneakers and bags aimed at young ladies in their twenties.
All items at the 3 Coins cost just 300 yen (before tax), hence the name. This general goods store has constantly changing stock, so you never know what bargains you might find!
Orbis sells skincare products that are 100% oil free and have no coloring or perfume. All the cosmetics on sale here are guaranteed to be high quality and safe for your skin.
Plaza is an gift shop selling imported miscellaneous products from around the world such as toys, stationery, cosmetics, sweets and everyday items from the home. Have a look around and see what you can find!
Muji is a Japanese brand of worldwide fame selling everyday household and consumer goods of practical use and simple minimalist design.
At Herb Gallery you can buy all kinds of all natural healthy herbal drinks, additive-free foods, and essential oils.
In the far north east corner of Porta, just next to Inoda Coffee is the Yamamoto stationary shop.
The following services are available in the west side of Porta close by the B14 and B15 exits.
Onaoshi Concierge Big Mama
Big Mama is the place to get your clothes mended or your shoes repaired. They can also fix bags and other accessories. A dry cleaning service is also available.
Pure Nail & Lash Doll
Two salons side by side offering eyelash extensions and decorative nail art.
Natural garden is a relaxation salon for body or foot massages.
The following services are available in the north east corner of Porta close by exits A5 and A6.
Another relaxation salon that offers Thai style massages fit for royalty!
A ladies’ hair removal specialist for removing unwanted facial hair.
Queensway offers reflexology therapy and Hawaiian style massages. They also have quick treatments on their menu that you can fit in quickly while waiting for your next train.
Porta’s stores are open: 10:00 – 21:00.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.