By John Carter
The origin of Kuromon Market began in the 1820's when fish merchants gathered every morning to buy and sell their fish. Not much as changed throughout the years as fish vendors, restaurant owners and locals still come here to buy their produce for the day. Kuromon market has a lively atmosphere and such a diverse choice that people say, “If you go to Kuromon Market, you can get everything you need!”
Kuromon Market is 580 meters long, with over 190 stores. The arcade is decorated with giant sea creature sculptures mounted on the ceiling. There are all sorts of products that are sold in the market and here is a breakdown of the different sections.
Local Products & Souvenirs
Most of these souvenir stores are selling local delicacies such as Strawberry Daifuku (a Japanese confection), Tiramisu Chocolate, Cookie Sandwiches, and Jelly with whole fruits. You can buy these in Mitoya sweet shop, one of the oldest and most popular sweet shops among locals in the Osaka region. Other products you can buy as souvenirs include Dashi (Japanese cooking broth), Hana Katsuo (Shaved bonito flakes), different kinds of green tea and flavored scallops. Amongst the non-food souvenirs, one thing that caught my eye is the used Kimono shop called Recycle Kimono Sakura; here you can buy authentic Japanese Kimono for a very reasonable price. Aside from these there are many retail stores that sell clothes, kitchen utensils, and even thrift stores.
Gourmet Food & Market
What’s great about Kuromon is that when you’re tired of browsing and shopping you can always switch to what the market is for anyway, eating and buying food. Personally I think the best sushi and sashimi are sold within the market itself, and here they have lots of sushi for very affordable prices. In Kuromon Sanpei they even have a tuna cutting performance and you can purchase freshly cut tuna at the event. There are also vendors that sell Fugu (Puffer fish) sashimi for those who are up for the challenge. Aside from the Seafood there are also stores that sell and cook Japan’s famous Kobe Beef. One recommended dish I found on the flyer is the deep-fried soft shell crab burger sold in Kuromon Kushisei.
So whether you’re looking for a exotic gourmet safari or shopping for unique souvenirs, you will find it at Kuromon Market, located by exit 10 of Nipponbashi Station on the Sakaisuji line or Sennichimae line. Alternatively it is a 5-10 minute walk from Namba Station to reach Kuromon.
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