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Aritsugu Knife Shop
There’s a lot of annoying “Instagram browsing” clogging Kyoto’s famed Nishiki Market shops hawking cherry blossom salt, barrels of purple pickles, and takoyaki (fried octopus balls). But step off the bustling main drag and into this legendary knife shop to discover a rarefied world of chefs deliberating over blue steel boning knives with magnolia handles or 12 inch Japanese alloy with rosewood and water buffalo horn. The tiny shop is chock full of handmade blades and cutting utensils gleaming like evidence behind glass cases. But it’s principally known for its custom made knives, especially popular with lefties. The shop will also engrave your name or initials on your blade for free via the revolving whetstone behind the counter.