- 2 min read

A Walk through Kyoto's Kitchen

Nishiki Market

Kyoto has always been known for its traditional Japanese arts - from its tea ceremonies, to the Geisha, Kabuki and Noh performances, and has always exuded an air of elegance. It's no surprise then that it extends to a market known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen' - Nishiki Market. This long and narrow marketplace spans a few blocks that runs parallel to the main Shijo street. It is lined with shops operated by Shokunin or artisans. From making Senbei (rice crackers), to roasting tea or pickled vegetables, you can find the store owners, artisans, and craftsman all doing the one thing they know best and offering that up to us.

2015 marks the 400th anniversary of Nishiki Market. While there are new additions like ice-cream sellers, many of the stores have been passed down for generations and I would imagine that little has changed. There are speciality stores selling fresh produce such as pickles, shichimi-togarashi (7 flavoured chilli powder), seafood and kitchen products. While walking you can pick up snacks from fishcakes, egg rolls, mochi dango rice dumplings, etc, and eat them while on the go.

I found it charming that this traditional market is just behind the main shopping street filled with modern department stores like Takashimaya, Marui and Daimaru. It can be reached on foot in less than five minutes from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line. You can also take a bus that stops on Karasuma or Shijo Street and walk there.

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