Nishiki Market

You have your own kitchen  at home. You go to a restaurant or a hotel and there is also a kitchen. But if you visit Kyoto, do you believe there is a kitchen for all the city? Located in the North of Shijjo street, near Karasuma station, Nishiki Market is called Kyoto-no-Daidokoro meaning the Kitchen of Kyoto. It is one of the oldest markets in Japan and the capital of traditional Japanese food.
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Nishiki Market
Nishiki used to be the market for only the upper class in Kyoto, but like other popular shopping destinations such as Gion or Ponchocho, now the market has been open to all customers of all classes. Many years ago, when refrigerator had not appeared in Kyoto, people used the abundant source of groundwater around Nishiki Market to store fishes. In Heian Period, traders obtaining fresh fishes in Kyotogosho gathered in this region and the first store opening in 1310 started a period of seafood wholesale trade. It turned to a fish market in Edo period with a large area. In 1927, Kyoto Chuo Oroshiuri market opened and led to the left of  many fresh fish shops and the arrival of new stores selling Kyoto special vegetables, fruit, tsukemono (salted vegetables), candy... Nowadays, many stores in Nishiki have the long history remaining and developing through generations.
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Traditional stores through generations at Nishiki Market
The Market with 7 floors houses more than 120 stores lying one after one in two sides of Nishiki koji-dori street with the length of 400 metres making a narrow alley under a long dome. This dome is created from many bright red tiles that protects the market from both rain and sunshine.
There are different stores in Nishiki market, from small to large with many kiosks. However, these stores have one characteristic in common that each store specializes in one type of food. Almost all food and goods sold at Nishiki market are local specialities. They are fresh ingredients planted and made by clever hands of local farmers. Although the prices may be slightly more expensive compared to supermarkets or neighborhood stores, no one can deny that there is the difference in freshness and quality of goods. 
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Fresh vegetables planted by local people
At Nishiki market, you can buy some textile items or kimonos at Gallery Kei shop. To weave these products, they use materials such as elm roots, hemp and linden trees.
Kaiseki is a well-known cuisine type of Kyoto. This is a light meal including many dishes carefully prepared and served in turn. 500 years ago, kaiseki used to be served before starting the tea ceremony. If you want to eat kaiseki with reasonable price, visit Giro Giro Hitoshina restaurant. This is one of the most famous restaurants of Kyoto kaiseki with art space and very beautiful view.
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The most populous product at Nishiki market is food from common to high- grade. You can find almost all the ingredients you need for a traditional or lavish meal of the Japanese. There is a common saying in Kyoto that there is no kind of food that you can not find in Nishiki." To know how they can beat their chests while boasting so, let's take walk around Nishiki Market. There are thousands kinds of food, some you know, some you don’t know. Tsukemoto is one of specialities here. It is salted vegetables with various kind of fruits and vegetables and different vinegar degree such as cabbage with miso. Yuba Shinise is famous for tofu and food made by tofu. Kombu- dried seaweed can be used to cook soup. Daiyau seashell is one kind of seafood here, Aya is a high-grade fish and Matsubagai crab is also very expensive. If you are much of sweet-eater, you should visit A Wagashiya-san to take some sweet candies or cakes, or Yaki senbei with many kinds of muffins. Morning seems to be the best time to visit Nishiki market because you can see how they cook for all day in traditional restaurants. Just walking around and enjoy their cooking techniques, it is enough to make you happy.
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Aritsugu is a family company with the tradition of 450-year-age. Historically, they produced swords for the Royal Palace. Currently, Aritsugu became a kitchen knife manufacturer which provides for a lot of famous chefs. Their products are made from steel and forged by hand with high techniques and sophistication. Producing like swords, Aritsugu’s knives are surely sharp. In Aritsugu Knife Store, customers can order to have their name engraved on the blade, by English or Japanese. The price for each knife is not cheap, about 100$ or more.
Open time: 

Open time varies by stores, typically from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The Market can be closed on Wednesday and Sunday.


You can enter the Market freely

How to access: 

Take a 5-minute walk from Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Railway Line

Take a 5-minute walk from City Bus Stops Shijokawaramachi or Shijotakakura

Take 7-minute walk from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line