Top 7 foods that you should eat at Nishiki market
Are you looking for a delicious and local food at Nishiki market? Since Kyoto was the former capital of Japan, local people have formed unique food culture, which is internationally awarded. However, many foreign visitors struggle with how to find excellent food at Nishiki market because of a language barrier, so I believe that this article helps you to decide which one to try, and find them with the map.
- 1 What is Nishiki market?
- 2 How to go to Nishiki market
- 3 ①Sawawa/茶和々 (Green tea sweets)
- 4 ②Konnnamonja/こんなもんじゃ (Soy milk ice cream and donuts)
- 5 ③Nishiki Hirano/錦平野 (Japanese pancake)
- 6 ④Inoue/井上 (Chocolate croquette)
- 7 ⑤Kimura/木村 (Fresh Sashimi sticks)
- 8 ⑥Mochitsukiya/もちつき屋 (Rice dumplings covered with sweet soy sauce)
- 9 ⑦Karikari Hakase/カリカリ博士 (Kyoto-style Takoyaki)
- 10 Even foreigners can now have access to Geisha and Maiko
What is Nishiki market?
Nishiki market (Nishiki Ichiba/錦市場) is one of the most popular spots, particularly if are interested in locally produced food. Commonly known as Kyoto’s central kitchen, by local residents, Nishiki market attracts many restauranteurs and wealthy people as well as tourists. It is said that there were stores as early as the 14th century, and this area initially prospered as a wholesale fish market in the Edo period. (1603-1868) After Edo period, Japan started modernization, and eventually Nishiki market became a retail market, which it remains today.
How to go to Nishiki market
Nishiki market is located in the downtown of Kyoto city, the best way to get there is to go to Hankyu Karasuma station or Subway Shijo station. Of course, you can get to the downtown by bus as well. Then, please walk for 3-5 minutes by following the Google Maps below. The Nishiki Market street runs parallel to Shijo Avenue, one block north of Shijo Avenue.
In this article, I would like to introduce Top 7 foods that you should eat at Nishiki market. Just for your information, 2000JPY would be enough budget to enjoy local food at Nishiki market.
①Sawawa/茶和々 (Green tea sweets)
Japanese Green tea, which widely known as “Maccha” constitutes massive amount in the Japanese tourism industry. Seemingly, green tea is just tea, so you may expect that you drink the tea, but you can enjoy green tea many ways such as ice cream, chocolate, and even soap! This shop offers various green tea sweets so you will not be able to which one try so that I would recommend “Green tea-Daifuku”. Basically, Daifuku is traditional sweets that you found it sticky and sweet, and the combination of Daifuku and Green tea allows you to experience something new. (Green-tea Daifuku)
Green-tea Daifuku, 250JPY≒2.2USD
Operating Hours: 10:00-18:00
Honestly, I’m not sure about the meaning of “Konnnamonja, ” but anyway I strongly encourage you to try their ice cream and doughnuts made from soy milk. Here is a trivia saying that this stall is the first one started offering some take-out snacks in the Nishiki market. Caution! Walking and eating ice cream is very enjoyable, but please be careful not to attack and get someone’s cloth dirty in such a crowded market.
Soy milk and green tea ice cream: 350JPY≒3.1USD
③Nishiki Hirano/錦平野 (Japanese pancake)
Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza) is one of the most popular foods not only among locals but also and foreign tourists. In Japanese, Okonomiyaki literally means “whatever you like”. Moreover, the different region has a different style of cooking hence it is fun to compare the different types of Okonomiyaki every prefecture.
The good smell from this stall will attract you, and you will be absorbed into observing how the chef is cooking Okonomiyaki for you.
Japanese pancake, 200JPY≒1.8USD
Operating Hours: 10:00-18:30
Open all-year-round except for 1st and 2nd of January
④Inoue/井上 (Chocolate croquette)
This shop offers a variety of side dishes, and many local housewives come and buy them. Therefore here is the best place for you to see what local people eat.
However, What I would like you to try is their unique chocolate croquette!!
According to Oxford English dictionary, croquette is a small ball or roll of vegetables, minced meat, or fish, fried in breadcrumbs. It was so hard to even for me to imagine how chocolate croquette tastes, but once I ate it, I was so impressed and addicted to its taste.
Chocolate croquette, 120JPY≒1USD
Operating Hours: 9:00-18:00
Closed: Every Wednesday, First and third week of Sunday
⑤Kimura/木村 (Fresh Sashimi sticks)
In the past, it was only Japanese that ate raw fish in the world. However, more and more foreign people come to love sushi and sashimi, and sushi is globally recognized as the symbol of Japanese soul food. Thanks to international reputation, nowadays you can find sushi restaurants everywhere in major cities, but you came to Japan all the way from your home country to try authentic sushi don’t you? Please enjoy Suchi as much as you want, but there is something new way of eating raw fish for you. This fish store is well known for its fresh fish, and they invented must try sashimi sticks such as the marinated fatty salmon stick. I hope you will be accustomed to eating raw fish!
Marinated fatty salmon stick, 250JPY≒2.3USD
Operating Hours: 8:30-18:00
Closed: Every Sunday and public holidays
Location: Click here
⑥Mochitsukiya/もちつき屋 (Rice dumplings covered with sweet soy sauce)
Similar to ③Nishiki Hirano/錦平野 (Japanese pancake), you will be fascinated by savory smelling of rice dumplings and soy source. In addition to sweet soy sauce, you can choose miso sauce (fermented soybean paste), so it is worth trying both tastes.
Mitarashi dango, 170JPY≒1.5USD
Operating hours:11:00-17:30 (Weekdays)
11:00-18:00 (Weekends and public holidays)
Location: Click here
⑦Karikari Hakase/カリカリ博士 (Kyoto-style Takoyaki)
Sushi, Okonomiyaki, and Takoyaki! Finally, I have finished introducing top 3 must-try foods in Nishiki market. As you may know, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki are often regarded as the symbolic food of Osaka, but Kyoto also developed their own taste. Particularly, this shop uses “Kujonegi” (local spring onion from Kyoto), so hopefully, you could find a slight difference between Kyoto-style Takoyaki and Osaka-style Takoyaki.
You will be amazed by the technique of cooking Takoyaki.
If you would like to try “Kujonegi” (local spring onion from Kyoto), please order ② that cost 260JPY≒2.4USD. You can buy a ticket with a vending machine, and just pass it to staffs.
Operating hours:11:00-20:00 (Weekdays)
10:30-20:00 (Weekends and public holidays)
Days off are not fixed
Location: Click here
Now you are so hungry, aren’t you?
Besides shops that I introduce here, there are more than 120 stalls at Nishiki market, so I hope you try and embrace diverse food at Nishiki market!
Even foreigners can now have access to Geisha and Maiko
We are proud to offer an excellent opportunity for foreign visitors to Kyoto to meet and interact directly with Geisha, at an exceptional price, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 6 pm to 8 pm. This tour includes dinner, an English guide, watching a traditional dance performance, and be able to play a unique game with the Geisha.
Are you curious about this tour? Check the detailed information, and make an online reservation now to meet an authentic Japanese Geisha in Kyoto!
- Born and raised in Kyoto. I love traveling. The more I was exposed to foreign culture, the more I realized how fascinating Kyoto is. This is why I am writing this English article for you to make your trip in Kyoto much more enjoyable!