Aritsugu, Kyoto: Hours, Address, Aritsugu Reviews: 4.5/5

Speciality & Gift Shops
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9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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The area
Neighborhood: Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Those who delight in shopping and cuisine will find themselves at home in Shinkyogoku. Lauded and visited by locals for its Nishiki Market, where baskets of fragrant spices, dried fish, and just-fried foods are piled high along the snaking streets of its enclosed outdoor shopping spaces, Shinkyogoku is not only a hub for fresh fare, but also for fast fashion fixes. Trends-in-the-making can be spotted in the tall windows of several one-of-a-kind stores featuring local labels and modish boutiques. Arcades, outdoor concert spaces, mega department stores, and small, enchanting cafes have sprung up to accommodate the increasing traffic. Whether looking for souvenirs and kitsch on Shinkyogoku Street, or scoping out the massive food court and restaurant floor at Takashimaya Department store, there's something for every wallet or purse, and a buyer for every item.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

74 reviews
Very good

Adrian N
3 contributions
Dec 2019
Aritsugu sells great product. Though they are known for their cutlery, they also sell other cooking essentials like pots. The best thing about their product, its all handmade. Their knives are very well crafted and respected around the world. They are arguably the most well known cutlery shop in Kyoto. Their showroom of knives is like walking through an art gallery, beautifully represented.

The reason why I give it 4 out of 5 is because of one minor but 'personal' detail. Their knives aren't made in their shop, nor in Kyoto. They are made in Sakai. The knives are definitely made with exquisite craftsmanship though. I don't know if they have their own workshop in Sakai, or if they contract a team of blacksmiths to do their work, but their knives definitely are some of the best. If I simply had to put review their knives alone I would give them a 5 out of 5.

If youre in Kyoto looking into purchasing a knife straight from the source and blacksmith, I recommend visiting shigeharu. They are found a block away from Nijo Castle.
Written November 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pacific NW23 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
Second oldest knife store and manufacturer in Japan. Great selection of knives, very knowledgeable staff, sharping on site, free bonus of having your name inscribed on your blade.

Downside: Nishiki market is extremely crowded and so is the store. Limited stock, I lost out on the knife I really wanted by someone buying all available knives even though he didn't know anything about what he was buying. But I got a good quality Santoku knife at a decent price.

To those that are saying they are over priced obviously didn't shop around. I went to 4 different knife shops in Kyoto and more at Kappabashi Dori in Tokyo and this was a very reasonable price. I bought mine at 18,560 yen where some were quoted up to 60,000 at other stores. Cash only and does not participate in the Tax Free scheme but that's because they don't run up the price either. A store in Kyoto that did accept credit cards and was part of the Kyoto tax free was 56,800 yen for a similar knife of similar steel.

Tip: It's on the south end of the market street. If you want to avoid being crushed by the crowds of tourists in the narrow lanes (but you will find many other interesting shops if you do go down it) then take the underground tunnel in the train station to around exit 9 or so. There is a 7-11 on the main street (Shijo Dori) that has an ATM that is only a couple of blocks away from the shop if you didn't bring enough cash first. For one knife bring at least 20,000 yen.
Written November 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wine dude
Singapore, Singapore803 contributions
Jan 2018 • Friends
The sales people are like robots. Bought from them three times, great knifes and great location. They don’t smile not friendly at all. They also want you to know what you want. Otherwise great quality but not the cheapest around but worth what they charge.
Written January 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dmitriy B
Yogyakarta, Indonesia1 contribution
Jan 2020
I am a fan of Japanese knives and now own a couple of them so I was really looking forward to going to Aritsugu. However, when I got there I realized that all the knives are pretty much the same in terms of design and there was not whole lot of variety. I ended up buying my knife at another shop called KIKUICHIMONJI and I was truly amazed by the sheer number of choices in terms of steel, handle and the price. Once I told the store keepers what I was looking for they laid out several choices in front of me to pick from. The Aritsugu seemed just very average store with not much of surprises.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gary U
Stavanger, Norway64 contributions
Apr 2017 • Family
This review is for the Nishiki market store.

My son and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we came looking for knives. We know knives, their performance, materials, finish and maintenance. Aritsugu, a name well known on the internet, is the place to get a knife in this market that is generic. There are only 2 handle types, western and Japanese. No wood type or shape variation. The blades come in standard shape and steel type in many sizes. For a standard knife, it's a fine store.

This ultimately is my big issue with this store. It has a very cookie cutter feel. A Japanese knife that is handmade by an artisan should feel like a unique piece with a story, especially at the absolutely ABSURD prices they charge.

At the end of the day, you're paying for a standard knife at an elevated price. At the same price 4 minutes walk away you can get honyaki (a higher grade of blade) at Minamoto-no-Hisahide cutlery, just past the arcade parallel to Aritsugu opposite Mizuno shoe store (open at 3pm - 9 pm, closed Wednesday's). This store specializes in acquiring unique pieces. Was an eye opener. And very special to someone wanting art plus functionality.

Special mention to Nenohi cutlery in Tsujiki fish market in Tokyo for an excellent selection and reasonable prices as well.

Also, Aritsugu do not make their own blades any longer they outsource to Sakai, the same blades can be purchased elsewhere from the same smiths for far less. Don't be lured by the crowded Aritsugu at Nishiki market.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to any of the stores mentioned. I am a westerner who simply knows knives. Proud owner of one nenohi and 3 from hisahide, one of which I don't even know who forged.
Written April 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christopher L
Sherborn, MA119 contributions
Jan 2016 • Solo
Despite what people tell you, including the Aritsugu people unless you press them, these knives are made in Sakai, a suburb of Osaka. That's the way it goes: almost nobody makes knives in Kyoto any more. But the quality is excellent regardless. You have to understand that Aritsugu orders knives from top makers in Sakai, and what they get is tested by experts. So they're effectively checking the quality and then selling to you. They will mark your knife with your name (in katakana, unless you have a name in kanji), and they will open and polish and sharpen it. They don't do anything wonderful, but they'll do a solid job. The prices are very high by Japanese standards, but you will not likely run across another place selling knives at this quality during your short trip. If on a long trip, don't waste money here unless you know exactly what you're buying: there are better options. But whether you buy or not, this a fun place to wander, and it's in Nishiki Market, which is worth the trip all by itself.

Incidentally, if you chip your knife first time out, that's because you don't know how to use it. These knives are of very high quality, but they are very hard, and sharpened in a peculiar (distinctively Japanese) fashion. Don't buy unless you're willing to learn.
Written March 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Janet T
Dubai, United Arab Emirates5 contributions
Oct 2018 • Couples
I hate to write negative reviews but I feel compelled to write this to let my fellow travelers know. It just pains me to watch you guys pay 2-3x the amount that other authentic Japanese knife shops charge in the Kyoto area. I, myself also wanted to buy a few knives to bring back with me to SF since I’m a huge cook and shuns are the closest things that I own that are Japanese knives. I went into Aritsugu and was about to drop $200-300 for 1 knife until my hubby stopped me and told me to think about it. I decided I’d do a bit more research and found several knives stores nearby and to my surprise it was significantly cheaper, with the same if not more superior craftsmanship and service. Please please save your money by doing yourself a favor and research/stop into knife shops around Kyoto first before purchasing here. I ended up buying my knife at Hayakawa, a family run knife shop in business for over 100 years a few blocks away and saved myself hundreds!
Written October 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jordan G
11 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
I bought two knives from Aritsugu and they are without a doubt the nicest and sharpest knives I have ever purchased. I was looking forward to purchasing a knife from Aritsugu when I visited Kyoto, and the knives did not disappoint! My knife cost per knife was about $150, which is a great deal for what I received. It is the perfect size and weight for a variety of uses in my kitchen.

In fact, the only thing better than the knives is the customer service that the staff of Aritsugu provided. When we purchased the knives, we had Aritsugu ship them back to our home in the United States. However, when we finally returned home, the knives had not arrived and appeared to be lost in the mail.

We called Artisugu and they kindly worked with us to provide tracking information so we could locate the shipped knives. The staff member we spoke with did everything he could to help. With the information he provided to us, we were finally able to track down the knives (it turned out that there was an issue with our local post office, not with the shipment from Aritsugu).

Then, a week later, Aritsugu shipped a personalized letter to my home address to follow-up and make sure that the package had arrived. It is such a kind and thoughtful gesture. I can't recommend the store enough!
Written October 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brisbane, Australia629 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
My friend had bought a knife here 2 years ago and it has not been sharpened that whole time and is still very sharp. I ended up getting the same knife - it costs around 12500 yen for a smaller double edged blade knife with stainless steel and a bit more for a larger multipurpose knife. You write down your name and they use the pronunciation to write your name in Japanese (I am probably getting this all wrong in terms of technicality, but you get the idea)

They teach you how to care for your knife before you leave the store

I will agree that it makes for a nice, useful souvenir from Japan. I can't comment on the quality of the knives that I bought as I haven't used them yet, but based on my friend's knife which she bought 2 years ago they seem like good quality knives.
Written April 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Giv'atayim, Israel64 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
I read all the blogs and reviews about the knife manufacturers... ( or many...) visited two or three in Tokyo and THE three in Kyoto...
ARITSUGU is one of the the top three ( there are three in all...) What I do like is the store, it is organized, well lit and the display if good.
What I do NOT like , is the fact that the store is kind of a kitchenware store for the tourists in the market AND ,it's offering for left handed knives is VERY limited...
It is still number 2 of three I would say... before spending a few hundred dollars on a piece of metal... LOOK AT ALL THE SUPPLIERS...
Written July 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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