A Meander Through Kyoto’s Nishiki Market

Like our fascinating walk through Takayama’s Miyagawa Morning Market, Nishiki in Kyoto is full of wonder.

Stall after stall of fresh and processed produce, kitchen cookware and tableware line a long and narrow glass-covered arcade that runs parallel to Shijō Street, a main commercial artery running east to west through the city. With Teramachi and Shin-kyogoku Streets and the department stores on Shijō nearby, this is a great destination for browsing or shopping.

Some of the produce is familiar but much is not, and without a guide or translation tool, it’s hard to identify. Some stall holders are clearly not very interested in tourists, and that’s fair enough – I doubt they get many sales from us. But others are happy to share a smile or try and help explain their products.

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Passing through Teramachi and into Nishiki; Vegetables that seem to be preserved in sand; fish


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Dried fish; Chestnut salesman


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This strange decorative fruit is known as Fox Face in Japan, and as Nipplefruit, Titty Fruit and Cow’s Udder elsewhere!


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Persimmon; dried snacks; a dried tofu specialist


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Preserved vegetable; fresh mushrooms; apples; beautiful fresh seafood


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Eggs; seafood; fried snacks to takeaway; unidentified preserved produce


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Browsing; pumpkins; ceramics


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Singing pickle salesmen; live clams; sweets


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Buying vegetable; Pete checking out the chop sticks shop; restaurant front on Teramachi Street


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After exploring the market, delicious cakes and iced coffee in a tiny cafe in a nearby side street


Catch up on previous posts about our trip to Japan.

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5 Comments to "A Meander Through Kyoto’s Nishiki Market"

  1. Chris

    Very interesting walkthrough of the market. Yes, shopping must be very difficult, if you don’t know what you are buying.


    We still picked up a few things — I bought a snack from one stall, some pickles from another and chatted with a few about their products… I nearly bought some tea but the one I wanted from their list they’d run out of!

  2. Urvashi

    Lovely simple post Kavey. Yet again your photos have made me long to be back in Japan. My favourite market was always the one in Shiinamachi where I lived for a while. I remember the first time I was so cautious walking round and got a lot of scares but each week I got a different smile and a little beckon every now and then to sit and have tea or try something. Ceramics were my downfall. I had so many I simply couldn’t bring the whole collection home. Now when I do my food photos I long for those little bowls and cups. Another favourite was Akihabara because it was the only place I found spices. I got followed home once by this Indian man and was really afraid but he had been asked my his mother to invite me to dinner as she thought I looked so lost and homesick. It was true. The spices made me tearful for home!


    Oh how lovely. I think being a regular visitor must be wonderful in terms of building up those little relationships and how adorable that you were invited to the spice seller’s home! That’s a lovely story!

  3. NickyB

    Love it! Your pictures are great, very evocative. I’d love some of those pretty ceramics too – my downfall. Nipple fruit, not so much 😉 Delighted to read that you’ve booked your flights back (and not too surprised!). Enjoy …


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