I will miss the Kyoto shotengai, or shopping streets. I think you would be amazed at how many tiny shops this city has. Most of them seem to be run by octogenarians, and in Kyoto at least, they seem rather unconcerned about making a profit.
Here is a sample of what I see on the walk up to my boys' school.
Books/magazines/comics. Home of Koro-Koro Komiku, to which my boys are addicted.Senbei shop...
(home of soba boru, our favorite cookies:)
Funky bag/homeware shop.
Hana ya san....Laundry clips, bath mats, bits of rope, trash bags, bento supplies, ant traps....
Toys (and a decidedly surly toyseller).
Obaachan pants. Some would be short on Max.
My favorite coffee shop, staffed by developmentally disabled adults.
Shisheido cosmetics store, home of these bags.
Kimono shop, and stuff made from extra bits of silk.
Jammies, pillows, and futons.
Fish shop. I wouldn't want to pass this while pregnant.
Fruits and veggies.
And stuff to serve it on.
Or grow your own.
New little vegetarian cafe. It smells great in here! And they have taco rice. The best.
Recycle shop with various second hand appliances...
Target, Ann Taylor, and Gap seem especially homogenizing compared to this, ne?