Sep. 14, 2022 UPDATE
Story & Recommendation
Nishiki Market welcomes you to Kyoto with its yummy street food
Nishiki Market is a 390 meters long arcaded shopping street that runs parallel to Shijo-dori Street. At its narrowest the market is only 3.5 meters wide, and its widest 5 meters, so the market can feel a bit crowded at times. The market can easily be recognized from the colors of the arcade: green, red, and yellow. The light shining through the roof is said to make the foods and snacks sold in the market look more delicious. The shopping market has become one of the main tourist attractions of Kyoto, so you can hear Chinese, English, Spanish, and Korean all around you, but the market still retains a place in Kyoto’s heart –the market is even called the kitchen of Kyoto.
Colorful traditional Japan
Most articles about Nishiki Market all have a picture of this shop, Uchida Tsukemono, which sells tsukemono – Japanese pickles. And not only are these tsukemono pretty to look at, but you can also taste them inside the shop, and decide what type to buy back to your hotel or hostel with you.
Souvenirs with a traditional Japanese feel
There are many souvenir shops in the market too, many of them selling wares hard to find elsewhere, like these beans in boxes with traditional Japanese pictures on them. Some shops sell sake in bottles with skulls on them, some in pink bottles, and some in small barrels with a picture of geisha on them. The thing is, there is something for everyone at Nishiki Market.
Try some street food
Nishiki Ichiba is the mecca for street food in Kyoto, and for a good reason. The great variety, from crispy chicken and takoyaki to baby octopuses on a stick and grilled sparrows makes this a fun place to snack in. Get a cup of crispy chicken and look at all the different things they sell in this market, but don’t wander too far from the stall you bought it from, as there are no trash cans: you should let the stall throw your trash away, or just bring a plastic bag with you so you can take your trash with you back to the hotel.
Eat a whole baby octopus
If there is one snack more famous than the rest, it has to be the baby octopus on a stick with a quail’s egg in place of its brains. The look is part of the fun, getting to eat something that, well, is a whole octopus on a stick. The taste itself is actually rather good, and the quail’s egg goes really well with the octopus, so be sure to taste one! Your friends back home will definitely be jealous.