Feb. 15, 2019 UPDATE

Sharing Kyoto style lunch at Nishiki Market and some divine sashimi

Sharing Kyoto’s writer Sampo went to Nishiki Market and had only street food for his lunch, from the weird to the great it was all interesting, all something you can have only in Kyoto!
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

The weather was nice so I decided to have lunch at Nishiki Market. Unfortunately everyone at the office was busy so I had to go alone… but I had some great street food and got to experience Nishiki Market in a way I had not before experienced it, since when I was alone no one spoke to me in Japanese. Of course as Nishiki Market is a popular tourist destination it’s not surprising that almost everyone spoke English, though some of the shops have their signs only in Japanese.

Nishiki Market


corn dog

First I had to try the Kyoto-style corn dog at Konnamonja that is topped with tofu tartar sauce. The tofu sauce tastes well, somewhat creamy tofu tartar-esque thing, but it’s not half bad, it’s actually quite good, if not exceptional. When I was eating my corn dog I had an Italian guy ask me what it was, so other people seemed interested at this tofu dog too.

Though frankly speaking, Konnamonja’s tofu doughnuts taste a bit better than their corn dog.

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squid on a stick

looks quite menacing

Next it was time for some squid, a squid on a stick! For only ¥200 you get a whole squid on a stick, only a rather small one. This squid looks quite menacing; like it means business. This squid like most of the squid and octopus dishes excluding takoyaki are served cold, which at least for me makes the taste a bit bland. Definitely a nice one for social media though!


rice drink

Amazake is a fermented rice drink, and I decided to have some as after having the corn dog and squid I was getting quite thirsty. You can choose whether you want ginger with your amazake or not, but as the amazake is really sweet I recommend you get some. The amazake at Nishiki Market’s Genzo is really, really thick so it might not be the best thing for thirst, but it does taste really good.

Torisei’s Crispy chicken

really good

Next I recommend having some of Torisei’s Crispy chicken that is already becoming a kind of a Nishiki Market classic for us. The Crispy chicken tastes really good, and there is a lot, so after eating this you are not going to be left hungry. Torisei is Kyoto’s answer to KFC.


sashimi was incredibly good

After this it was time for something more traditional, sashimi! There is a sashimi place in Nishiki Market where you can buy sashimi and eat it right by the shop, they even have a table and some stools, and give you soy sauce and wasabi to go with your sashimi. And here I have to say, this sashimi was incredibly good. I had some Hamachi, young Japanese amberjack, but it was almost sweet, fatty, creamy, and delicious. One pack of sashimi cost me ¥700 yen, but they also sell three packs for ¥1800.


mild taste

At the same stall, after eating my sashimi, I noticed something interesting that they also had on sale. Pufferfish! I had never had pufferfish before because I’m afraid of eating poisonous creatures. The pufferfish has a mild taste, but leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue. Not bad, not bad, though I preferred the sashimi.


I was still a bit hungry so I decided to have some takoyaki. Takoyaki at Nishiki Market’s Karikari Hakase is really cheap, ¥200 for six big takoyaki balls. There is not much octopus inside but they taste good, are filling and cheap, so nothing to complain here. They also have some other interesting types of takoyaki you can choose, like matcha salt takoyaki, for the adventurous traveler.

This ends today’s report on Nishiki Market, I had fun eating the street food and the people at the market were really friendly, and even spoke English. If you only have time for one thing I definitely recommend the sashimi, it was divine.

A comment from the staff
To put this all into words, Nishiki Market is fun. All in all I spent around 2200 yen for my lunch, but if I hadn’t had the sashimi that would have gone down considerably. Though not having sashimi would be a shame, as it was definitely the best part of the experience.

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