[Buddhist shop on Shomendori. Photo Ad Blankestijn]
On Shomendori one also finds Dendoin, a red-brick building designed in 1912 by famous architect Ito Chuta. It belongs to Nishi Honganji and originally housed an insurance company related to the sect. Now it is a free exhibition space of the temple. Note the mosque-like roof and the mythical animals, as well as the unusual masonry, a true mixture of Western and various Eastern elements.
On Horikawa Avenue itself, you will also find several traditional shops, such as a large tsukemono (pickles) shop - a favorite item to take home from Kyoto or give as a present - and Kungyokudo, a traditional incense shop (now in a modern building). Besides various types of incense, it sells scented sachets, candles and kunko, fragrant incense pellets.
Access: The nicest approach is through the traditional gate on Shomendori, opposite Nishi Honganji. It is also possible to walk from Higashi Honganji - in that case go around the temple complex on either the north or south side and then take the first street at the back of the temple either up or down - this is Shinmachi-dori. About halfway Shinmachi-dori you will find the T-crossing with Shomendori.