The new building of JR Kyoto Station began business in 09/11/97. The fifteen-story building is large and modern and is like a Crystal Palace. It consists of a hotel, a theater, a department store, a small museum and a station office. The department store is called JR Kyoto Isetan.
Many visitors will find it without a book store. In Tokyo, sophisticated people order books from Maruzen at Nihonbashi. There are also several large-scale bookstores in Tokyo, for example, Kinokuni-ya at Shinjuku, Junku-dou at Ikebukuro, Sansei-dou at Jinbou-chou, Shosen-grande at Jinbou-chou and Yaesu Book Center at Kyoubashi. However many department stores in Tokyo do not have a large-scale book shop. (Most of Parco branches have foreign book stores called Libro.)
Isetan is originated from Shinjuku by late Tanji Iseya. Isetan is good at young women's fashion and always have a large assortment of major brand new goods in stock. (Isetan had got two great copy writer in 1960's - 1980's. They are Mr. Kouichi Tsuchiya and Mr. Jun Maki. They produced a lot of advertisements on young women's fashion for Isetan. Almost all of those advertisements were beautiful. It is well known in Japan.) The head office at Shinjuku is the next door neighbor of Kinokuni-ya book store.
By the way, many department stores in Osaka and Kyoto have a large-scale book shop. Many department stores have an outside merchant department. A clerk there gets an order from regular customers and will reduce the price by several percent. Regular customers order books from the clerk.
There are several large-scale bookstores in Kyoto, for example, Maruzen at Kawara-machi, Junku-dou at Shijou, Shinshin-dou (Kyou-hou branch, it has the official homepage and Japanese people can buy foreign comic books there) at Sanjou, Comic Land Kawaramachi for comic books and Avanti Book Center at Hachijou-guchi. On the other hand, Kyoto has Kyoto University. Scholars there order books from some regular suppliers.
Some Kyoto people say Shinshin-dou Kyou-hou branch is the most traditional book store in Kyoto. However I usually buy foreign comic books here via internet.
As for traditional Kyoto, we Japanese remember Shinsengumi Company. As I wrote here formerly, I will go to Mibu-dera Temple. So I went there in 09/13/97. Shinsengumi Company was established there in 1863. Eating "Tonsho-Mochi" cakes, I went into the building. Ten or more Kenshin-fans illustrated Kenshin and Shishio there. But I was disappointed.
If you go to Tsuruya Confectionery, the shop has an automatic entrance. If you buy the Tonsho-Mochi there, you will find it sealed up in transparent vinyl. (The cake was soft and raw. It was close to habutae-mochi rice cake with Tanba-Dainagon sweet bean paste and small pieces of greens called Mibu-na.) It tasted good but did not seem traditional but seemed modern.
Mibu-dera has a large-scale basement. The building of the temple is a large modern ferro-concrete building since 1970.
Kyoto is modern at present. Do not seek for traditional Kyoto.