Nishiki Market, Kyoto

A 400 year old market fondly named as the “Kitchen of Kyoto”, the Nishiki Market in Kyoto is sure to appeal to all 5 human senses, namely sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The market has about 125 shops and stalls all packed onto a strip of road 390 meters long and only 5 meters wide. You could imagine the kind of crowded atmosphere that is often created at this market during peak hours. For someone who is not from Kyoto (or for that matter Japan), this intoxicating atmosphere presents an amazing opportunity to explore some of the authentic and traditional delicacies that are found on the dinner tables of Japanese homes and restaurants. If you want to understand another culture and people of another country, then understanding their food is a good place to start, and the Nishiki market lets you do that.

You can find everything from seasonings, Japanese pickles and snacks to cooking ware, high quality knives, seafood, meats, vegetables and seasonal foods at this establishment. Almost everything sold at the market is locally produced or sourced. Some stores will offer free samples to be eaten then and there, while some shops have cleverly used the limited amount of space to throw in a couple of stools for a sit-down-and-eat experience. If you come from parts of India or south-east Asia, this will feel similar to eating street food in a very vibrant atmosphere.

The pictures below offer a glimpse of the market and the foods that are sold there:

nishiki market 10

      (This is what wasabi is made from, each of these roots are very expensive)

nishiki market 4

                     (Sea horses in the middle among other items)

nishiki market 1

                          (Japanese food flavoring ingredients)

nishiki market 2

                                        (Nishiki market street)

nishiki market 3

                                   (Traditional Japanese Mochi)

                         

nishiki market 5

                                  (some sort of green vegetable)

nishiki market 6

                                  (beautifully decorated mochi)

nishiki market 7

nishiki market 8

  (I kid you not, these bottles had the tinniest sugar pill like balls I have ever seen)

nishiki market 9

                (Hello Kitty has a cult-like status in Japan and Taiwan)

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Items: Nishiki Food Market (official site link is here)

Price: Admission is free, rest depends on what you buy, there are many things of various price ranges

Location: Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.  Timings are normally 9 am to 6 pm.  Telephone: 81 75-211-3882

Type: Food Market/Retail

How to get there: Take the Karasuma line to Shijo station. Then walk 5 mins north east. Nishiki market is just north of Shijo Dori (shijo dori runs east-west)

Language: mostly Japanese speaking shop employees

Also visit: Udon Noodles place (see blog post here) behind Nishiki Market towards the end of the market street.

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