錦市場 Nishiki Market
A market where you can get many kinds of delicious foods
Getting out of the north side of Kyoto Daimaru department store, you will find Nishiki Market on your right-hand side. You are on Nishiki-koji street and many shops gather along this narrow street to make a market. This market is called the kitchen of Kyoto.
Nishiki-koji street originated as one of the streets of Heian-kyo. Kanmu emperor moved to Heian-kyo in 794 and made it the capital. The Heian period began in that year. Later in the Edo period, this area prospered as a fish market because they could use the cold water of wells there. Afterwards, in the Showa era, the market turned into present form.
The market continues 390 meters and comes across Teramachi street and then Kyogoku street those run from north to south. They are also busy streets with many shops and restaurants. At the east end of Nishiki street, there is a shrine, Nishiki-tenmangu. You will find the top parts of the Torii stick into buildings!
They sell every food from fresh vegetables to cooked dishes in the market. This market is filled with people in the days of the end and the beginning of the year. You can try Sushi, baked eel, Japanese sweets and pickles or anything else you like. You can take them out or eat at the site. This is the market to enjoy shopping and eating delicious foods.
The 400-year-old Kitchen of Kyoto!
Today, thanks to the invention of the refrigerator, we can keep perishables for some time. However in the old days, using underground water was the only method. As there was a good resource of cool ground water, people around here utilized it for keeping food longer which led to make this place a fish market.
Since getting a permission of using the title of “Fish Wholesale Store” from the Tokugawa shogun (military dictator) in 1615 this place has flourished as a fish market. In 1927 when the Kyoto Central Wholesale Market was established in another place, this place finished its role as a fish market and gradually changed its style as it is today.
Located one street on the north of Kyoto’s main downtown street Shijo Dori, the Nishiki market is a 360m (1181ft) long arcade shopping street. As its name Nishiki which means Japanese brocade, the market is filled with rich highly qualified goods and, of course, people. It has more than 100 shops including fresh vegetables, raw and dry fish, meat, tea, sweets, Japanese pickles, sushi, sake, tofu, other foods and various souvenir shops. You will be able to find anything from Kyoto here. There are some restaurants too.
Walking in this market, hearing lively voices inviting the shoppers to their shop, you will feel the energy of Kyoto.
The shops are usually opened from 9:00 to 19:00. Opening and closing hours on holidays might be changed depending on the shops.
Lots of shops offer free samples of food. Taking some food out or eating there depends on you. Let’s discover your favorite food in Kyoto!
At the eastern end of the street there is Nishiki Tenmangu shrine. It has been there since 1583 as a guardian shrine of this area. The stone Torii gate, the edges of it is stuck into buildings on both side, is worth seeing. And in front of the shrine office there is a mechanical doll which provides fortune telling paper. It starts moving when someone draws near and provides the “Omikuji fortune telling paper” when it gets a coin. Why don’t you give it a try?
There are two shopping streets running to the north from the Shijo Dori are said to be a mecca by school children who came here for school excursion.
One thing I have to tell you is about the restrooms. Unfortunately, no public toilets are available inside the market. You’d better go there after finishing it or go out of the street to find a convenience store on the other street. 10:00-20:00; you can use the ones at Daimaru Department Store at the western end of the street. Good Luck, and have a nice shopping!
*Reference: Nishiki Market home page
- * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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