Store Closing Announcement

Kyoto Design House will permanently close its doors on February 27th, 2018 (Tues.) to allow for construction and office expansion within the NIWAKA building. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our customers and fans for helping us support Kyoto’s craft community for thirteen years. Your support has helped ensure that many artisans can continue their amazing work well into the future while preserving Kyoto’s history and traditions.

Modern Japanese Gifts


Serving as Japan's capital for more than a millennium, Kyoto has a long history of craftsmanship inspired by a uniquely Japanese sense of beauty. The modern artisans whose works are displayed at Kyoto Design House draw from this rich artistic tradition while simultaneously incorporating more contemporary styles. The result is a fusion of traditional and modern Kyoto in a large variety of elegant gifts and fashionable accessories. With a dedicated staff of native English and Japanese speakers, Kyoto Design House is the perfect place to find carefully-selected items and enrich your experience in Kyoto.


Kyoto Design House was established in 2005 as a place for Kyoto craftspeople to showcase their work. In 2009, the shop moved to its current location in the Niwaka building, newly completed by the architectural firm of world renowned architect Tadao Ando.

The Niwaka building houses the flagship store of the NIWAKA jewlery brand and the modern Japanese gift store Kyoto Design House.

Kyoto Design House is located on the ground floor of the Niwaka building, the flagship store of the NIWAKA jewelry brand. Completed in 2009, the Niwaka building was designed by the architectural firm of world-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The building features ground-breaking design that preserves the scenery of the neighborhood and showcases traditional wisdom for future generations. As Ando explains: "Kyoto is a city which has over one thousand years of history. This kind of history is not something you can see with your eyes but something that speaks to your heart. We have the responsibility to protect and preserve this scenery and feeling for the next generation."

Kyoto Design House Team

International Staff

Native English and Japanese speakers aim to make your visit informative, convenient, and interesting.

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The works available at Kyoto Design House have been selected
by a team of local veteran artists and designers with the assistance of foreign team members.

This process results in authentic, creative, and beautiful Japanese items
aimed to showcase a wide range of Japanese design and delight everyone,
from Kyoto locals to foreign visitors.

Currently, two native English speakers serve as team members at Kyoto Design House.
They share an interest in Kyoto’s culture, history, and aesthetics,
which they studied while attending Japanese universities.

With over a decade of experience living and working in Kyoto between them,
they work together with Japanese staff as cultural intermediaries
who aim to enhance your understanding and appreciation of Japanese design,
craftsmanship, and tradition through the works on display.

Artistic Directors

All of our products have been carefully screened by our artistic directors.

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Toshikazu Aoki


  • Niwaka Co., Ltd. President
  • Niwaka USA, Inc. President
  • Niwaka Korea, Inc. President
Masaki Hisatani

Graphic Designer

  • Kyoto University of Art and Design, Professor Emeritus
  • Kyoto Design Association, Special Member
  • Japan Arts Foundation, Trustee
  • Japan Graphic Designers Association, Member
Yoshikazu Oishi


  • Kyoto University of Art and Design, Professor Emeritus
  • ARCHIT-LINE Design Office, Director
  • Kyoto Design Association, Vice-Chairperson
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