For those who visit Kyoto for the first time, Nishiki Market (錦市場) is one of the many attractions in Kyoto that should not be missed, especially if you love to experience the traditional Japanese market. I missed it on my first visit to Kyoto so I had to come back for it a few months later! This is a photo guide on Nishiki Market where I snapped some photos in and around the market for those who wish to have a feel of it before hitting the road.
Nishiki Market is a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi.
Before that, let’s learn a bit its history.
“Nishiki have a very long history. The first store (fish store) opened as early as the 1311. Then in the Edo period (16th century), Nishiki became a prosper fish market, with several wholesale fish stores operating. Later, the market shift from wholesale to retail sale, and store selling items other than seafood opened too. Now, many tourists from around the world visit Nishiki to experience the sights, the sounds and the smells of the market.” - http://www.kyoto-nishiki.or.jp/english/
Nishiki Market is located on a road one block north and parallel to Shijo Street. Nishiki is about 390 meters long and runs east-west, from Teramachi Street to Takakura Street. If you are staying in Gion, the Kyoto’s most famous geiko (geisha) district with plenty of restaurants and shopping, walk along Shijo street and across the Kamogawa river towards West to come to the downtown Kyoto. On your right is the Teramachi indoor shopping street with plenty of shopping and eating opportunities.
Through the Teramachi street, you can see the junction or the entrance to the Nishiki Street on your left.
Along both sides of the 5 meters wide road, line about 126 shops and stalls, selling traditional Japanese traditional foods,ingredients and other novel items.
Many kinds of pickles, Japanese sweets, dried food, sushi, and fresh seafood and vegetables can be found here. Unlike department stores, almost everything you will find at Nishiki is locally produced and procured.
Some of the shops freely give out samples or sell sample dishes and skewers meant to be eaten then and there. There are also a few small restaurants and food stands selling ready made food.
For ¥180 or USD2, you can taste various skewered fresh seafoods include tuna, salmon and scallops.
Steamy hot snacks are found along the street.
One of my favourite stall in Nishiki Market is this one selling roasted chestnut.
Since I love chestnuts so much, a few more photo shots were taken around that stall.
The Kyoto chestnuts are so large and yummy! They are much larger than those I tasted in China, albeit much more expensive. 1000¥ or USD10 for 350g here in Kyoto, compared with RMB15 or USD2 per 500g in Beijing’s Qiulixiang Chinese chestnut.
There are also shops selling various other local products such as Japanese hand fans and culinary tools.
We walked through the market until the junction of Takakura Street. From there, we turned around and walked back to where we started at Teramachi Street. Off course, you can also walked out to Shijo main street from Takakura street and shop along there with a few large departmental stores along the road, such as OIOI Marui and Takashimaya.
View the full size photos on my Flickr photo set.
What’s my verdict?
Environment: Great √ √ √ √
Attractions to explore: Great √ √ √ √
Photographic opportunities: Great √ √ √ √
Accessability: Great √ √ √ √
Worthiness of visit: Great √ √ √ √
Overall Travel Score : 80%
Visited and written by Travel Feeder
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