Nishiki Market: The Kitchen of Kyoto

While I was still growing up in my early teens, Japan to me was little more than cool electronic gadgets and anime.  Much of it remained a foreign mystery.  But after several trips, I discovered a lot more, leaving in me some unique and relaxing experience I still recall today.

After self-rediscovery for my love of markets (see my earlier post), it is almost certain that I include a market in all of my travel plans, whether it is a simple weekend getaway in Canada or a backpacking trip through Cambodia.  Being a notoriously clean and efficient country, however, I never expected Japan to boast such great wet markets for leisurely strolls: The Tsukiji in Tokyo, Hakodate’s Asaichi, and Kuromon Market in the heart of Osaka.

Located in the heart of the ancient capital and known as the “Kitchen of Kyoto”, the most memorable market must be Nishiki Market.  You can find nearly everything you need for a Japanese kitchen: fresh seafoods, pickled veggies, take-away delicacies, cookware, textiles and more.  The linear layout of the sheltered market along a narrow lane makes it almost impossible to resist what’s displayed.  Gleaming with vibrant colours the shops are inviting as the shopfronts are pushed right up next to your skin (literally).

Yet, in this society where courtesy and good manners are so important, travellers from even countries where space is overly abundant would find the experience here pleasurable.  Believe me, even if you are not a foodie like I am, you would have a handful of snacks and would be going through for a second round before you even realize.  Bon appetite!  Oops, I mean, Itadakimasu!

For practical information on Nishiki Market, do visit their official website.

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