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Japan: Nishiki Market

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Nishiki Market | Japan | Asia

[Visited: March 2016]

Just before diving into the Nishiki Market area, we have a hearty yakitori lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area. Then, it is time to start exploring this market which runs along Nishikikoji-dori, a street in central Kyoto. The market section of the street is covered by a high ceiling with coloured glass panels. Trading went on here since the 14th century, and in the Edo period, the 17th-19th century, Nishiki was a wholesale fish market. Now, people wander around the many shops, all of which are highly specialised. One sells Japanese snacks popcorn in all kinds of tastes (green tea, brown rice tea), while others have an extensive array of tsukemono, or Japanese pickles, or Japanese candies in all sorts and colours.

Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Display with available dishes of a restaurant in Nishiki Market

Inevitably, fish is easily found in stalls here as well, all neatly packed, sometimes with all the parts of the fish inside a transparent plastic box. Invariably, the Japanese pack their products with an amazing eye for detail and presentation, and even the simplest box is presented like the most precious item. Just by looking at the way things for sale are presented, you would already be convinced to buy! There are stalls with a specially prepared pickled cucumber in sake sauce, and there are a whole lot more things that are sometimes hard to understand for a foreigner. That, of course, only makes visiting Nishiki market more interesting.

Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): People roaming around Nishiki market

There are also regular shops which specialize in items related to food. One of my favourites: the chopstick store, with a dazzling array of chopsticks, and chopstick rests in all kinds and sizes. There is a famous knife shop, which sells some state-of-the-art Japanese knives. Apart from the food stalls, there are also several restaurants, with the sample dishes on display in their windows: again, even the simplest dishes are presented in a delicate, perfect way. When we reach the end of the street, we even see unrelated shops like clothes and shoes, and we arrive at the end of the street which intersects with another, modern shopping street. Incredibly, we have managed to see all the attractiveness of Nishiki without even buying one thing.

Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Bowls with pickled vegetables on display at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Close-up of decorated vegetable for sale
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Japanese prepared cucumber for sale at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Fish for sale in a neatly packed box
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Wide variety of chopsticks rests on display in a specialized chopstick shop
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): A wide array of Japanese candy for sale at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Japanese ingredients on display at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Japanese pickled vegetables for sale
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Tea flavoured Japanese popcorn for sale at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Fish fins for sale in plastic boxes at the market
Picture of Nishiki Market (Japan): Vegetables for sale at Nishiki Market

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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