A savoury smell wafted in the air as I enter Nishiki market. Briefly, I closed my eyes to take in the buzz of the market. Markets and bazaars? They are always part of my itinerary every time I travel. These places hold history significant to its location. Here, you can have a glimpse how the day unfolds for some locals, and even have an opportunity to hear interesting stories from proprietors.
A food mecca in Kyoto, and a recommended stop for every gastronomy aficionado, that is Nishiki market. Locals and tourists alike dubbed the market as “Kyoto’s pantry”. The iconic market has held culinary traditions that date back centuries- here you can find most stalls are run by families, whose businesses have stood for more than five generations.
A kaleidoscope of sights, and aromas will intrigue you as you walk along the shopping arcade. Fresh produce, seafood, and variety of Japanese specialties occupy the stalls. Majority of shop owners source locally. You can also find Japanese ingredients and Kyoto specialties such as tsukemono (Japanese pickles), wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets), tea, Kyo-yasai (Kyoto vegetables), kombu (seaweed) and dried seafood.
Nishiki market is a five-minute walk from are Shijo Station. Take the Karasuma subway line or Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Line. Otherwise, you can take bus numbers #5, #205, #206, or #101 to get to the market.
Despite the crowds, I always find myself visiting this beautiful market. Not one trip goes without a visit to Nishiki market. Whether you are looking for tsukemono , green tea or ceramics, you will not run out of options here.
Author’s Note on Nishiki Market
I made a five day itinerary for Kyoto here and of course, Nishiki Market is included. The market is in a central part of Kyoto and you would be able to visit places such as Gion while you are here.
I’m not so familiar with tsukemono before, I found articles such as this by Serious Eats to be very helpful.