BAL Kyoto

Friends – we’re in trouble. Or, more like our wallets are.

The road to Heaven is paved with temptation
The road to Heaven is paved with temptation

BAL is another upmarket department store on Kawaramachi Street, akin to Takashimaya and Daimaru but on a much smaller scale. They have stores in Kobe and Osaka. I didn’t really know they stocked designer brands until they opened – I was more interested in the book store with the giant English novels selection.

Dem beans bro
Dem beans bro


When I first arrived in Kyoto, the area the department store stands on what used to be a giant hole in the ground, and it’s turned out beautifully. Everything is so fresh and clean!


“Covet” is definitely the word that applies most here. Tomorrowland stocks Dries van Noten, Acne, See by Chloe and much more for the fashion conscious. There is also Diane von Faustenburg, Theory, Muji and American Rag Cie.

For this post, I wanted to speak specifically about the book store – Maruzen. Their English range is HUGE, taking up one half of the second basement floor. The first time I arrived I literally stopped dead in my tracks at the bottom of the escalator, struck dumb by something I didn’t realise I had missed so much. After I managed to pick up my jaw from the floor, I perused properly and felt right at home.

What got me the most excited was the magazine section – I practically lost it (on the inside, of course) at the sight of PORTER, Australian Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Donna Hay was a welcome sight. While a little bit on the pricey side, I think a good book is worth the dollars. Or yen.

Yes, these are real
Yes, these are real

I wanted to get more shots of the clothing section (for the ladies, if you want one, they sell the Mansur Gavriel bucket bags at Tomorrowland for 70,000 yen), but the attendant stopped me just as I took a shot of the Golden Goose sneakers below. I was rightfully peeved, but in the best interests of wanting to show my face there again I put my camera back into Theo’s bag. Sorry folks.

What's got your goose?
What’s got your goose?

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