Kochi's Historic Sunday Market

The longest open air market in Japan

By Chiara Terzuolo    - 2 min read

One of the city's most beloved (and fun!) institutions, Kochi's Sunday Market has been held for over 300 years! It is also the longest in Japan, stretching over 1.3km down the palm tree-lined road that leads to Kochi Castle.

Every Sunday hundreds of stalls line both sides of the road from early morning until mid-afternoon, ranging from grandmother's coming in from the countryside to sell their homegrown wares to street food vendors and craftspeople showing off their creations. Antique sellers, bakeries and so much more abound. While the offerings change weekly, for the foodie contingent there are a few stops to keep an eye out for with a number of tempting treats for Sunday breakfast.

For this katsuo no tataki loving prefecture, another one of their specialties is inaka sushi, a 'countryside' version of Japan's most iconic dish. Made with preserved and pickled vegetables as well as fried tofu pockets, the rice is flavored with yuzu juice, instead of vinegar, which gives the sushi a pleasingly citrusy kick. There are plenty of meat snacks too but another veggie-based one is imo-ten, freshly fried bites of sweet potato tempura. Follow your nose (or spot the line of people) to find the stall selling this popular treat. Another healthy treat are the locally-grown 'fruit tomatoes' that are often sold chilled on ice as cheap snacks. They are so flavorful and sweet that you will instantly be reminded that tomatoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable.

During the summer looks for aisukurin stands, which sell a dairy-based sorbet/ice cream that is unique to Kochi. Or try the stalls with yuzu or ginger flavored drinks, both famous local products. At the same time, if you are looking to buy a Japanese knife to add to your kitchen, be sure to check out the quality hand-forged Tosa kitchen knives, a craft that has been the pride of Kochi for over 400 years.

If you can't make it to the Sunday Market, there are a number of smaller markets dotted around the city from Tuesday to Saturday as well.

Getting there

The market takes over one of the main roads in town, starting from the foot of Kochi Castle. It's a 15-minute walk from Kochi Station.

More info

Find out more about Kochi Castle.

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Chiara Terzuolo

Chiara Terzuolo @terzuolo.chiara

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Elena Lisina 3 months ago
The line of palms looks quite exotic for me! I miss Japanese food a lot. :(
Kim 3 months ago
A foodie's paradise!
Sleiman Azizi 3 months ago
Love those kinds of places! Tokyo has a couple of centuries-old markets but Kochi's looks awesome.