Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Nishiki Market

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INTRODUCTION

Nishiki Market is a historical market known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” and is located in the center of Kyoto City. With a total length of approximately 400 meters, this market has a history of more than 400 years and continues to be loved by locals and tourists alike. Visitors to Nishiki Market can experience Kyoto’s culinary culture to the fullest with a wide variety of foodstuffs, including traditional Kyoto vegetables, fresh seafood, handmade Japanese sweets and delicacies, and much more.

The charm of Nishiki Market lies in its diverse products and lively atmosphere. With over 100 stores lining the narrow streets, visitors can enjoy shopping while sampling the flavors of Kyoto. Many stores offer tastings, allowing visitors to enjoy encountering new tastes. Wandering around the market and searching for Kyoto’s unique ingredients and rare products is like a treasure hunt.

In addition to foodstuffs, Nishiki Market also offers a wide variety of cooking utensils and traditional crafts, making it a great place for cooking enthusiasts and souvenir hunters. Visitors can experience the history of the market and get a taste of Kyoto’s culture by acquiring local ingredients and products.

Nishiki Market is an essential stop for visitors to Kyoto. Be sure to visit Nishiki Market to gain a deeper understanding of Kyoto’s food culture and to enjoy delicious food and souvenirs.

History and culture of the tourist attraction

Nishiki Market is a historical market founded approximately 400 years ago in the early Edo period. It started out as a fish market, but gradually developed into a market handling a wide variety of foodstuffs such as Kyoto vegetables, Japanese sweets, and seasonings. Throughout its long history, Nishiki Market has played an important role as the center of Kyoto’s food culture.

One of the characteristics of Nishiki Market is its unique atmosphere that blends tradition and modernity. The market is lined with both long-established stores that have been in business for generations and newer establishments that offer a diverse array of products to visitors. For example, visitors can enjoy tastes unique to Kyoto, such as a long-established pickle shop with a history of over 100 years, or a store selling Japanese sweets made using traditional methods.

In addition, Nishiki Market is closely tied to local culture with seasonal events and festivals. This makes the market more than just a place to shop; it also serves as a part of the local community. Especially during New Year’s and summer festivals, the market is bustling with locals and tourists alike, offering a unique experience of Kyoto’s traditions.

With its narrow streets and bustling atmosphere, Nishiki Market offers visitors a taste of Kyoto’s old-fashioned market atmosphere. Walking around the market, you will be impressed by the skill and passion of the artisans as you watch up close as they handcraft their products one by one.

Places to visit

Nishiki Market can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the best times to visit are spring and fall. Spring is the time when the cherry blossoms bloom and the whole Kyoto area is filled with beautiful scenery and the market is full of vitality. In autumn, the autumn leaves are in full bloom, and visitors can enjoy Nishiki Market along with the beautiful autumn foliage. In addition, the Gion Festival in summer and the New Year’s bustle in winter provide a special seasonal atmosphere.

Major tourist attractions and popular places to visit

Traditional Kyoto Vegetable Shops

Nishiki Market is a treasure house of Kyoto’s traditional vegetables and kyo yasai. For example, you can purchase Kamo eggplants, Kujo leeks, Shogoin daikon radish, and other special ingredients that are only available locally. These vegetables look beautiful and taste exceptional.

Wagashi Shops

There are many Japanese confectionery stores in the market, where visitors can enjoy beautiful Japanese sweets. You will find seasonal Japanese sweets and assortments that make great souvenirs. The long-established Japanese confectionery stores, which have been in business for more than 100 years, are especially worth a visit.

Seafood Specialty Shops

There are many specialty stores selling fresh seafood. There is a wide range of choices, from fish suitable for sashimi and sushi to rare seafood. There are also restaurants in the market where you can eat on the spot and enjoy fresh seafood.

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine

Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine, located at the eastern end of the market, is dedicated to Tenjin-sama, the god of learning. Visitors can visit the shrine between shopping trips to pray for academic success and prosperous business.

Points to note at tourist attractions

  • Avoid crowds: Nishiki Market is extremely crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. We recommend visiting on weekday mornings or late afternoons.
  • What to bring: It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes for walking in the market. It is also a good idea to bring the minimum amount of belongings you need, as a lot of luggage is inconvenient when the market is crowded.
  • Prepare cash: Credit cards may not be accepted at some stores. It is a good idea to have cash ready.
  • Manners: Many stores in the market allow visitors to sample food, but refrain from doing so if you do not intend to buy. Also, take your garbage with you and be mindful not to disturb others.

Nishiki Market is an attractive sightseeing spot where you can enjoy a wide variety of foods and a lively atmosphere. Enjoy the beauty of each season and Kyoto’s culinary culture to the fullest.

Access

Access to Nishiki Market is very convenient and can be easily reached from Kyoto Station. Below are the directions from Kyoto Station to Nishiki Market.

Access from Kyoto Station

By train

  • Subway Karasuma Line: Take the Subway Karasuma Line from Kyoto Station and get off at “Shijo” station. The trip takes about 5 minutes. From Shijo Station, it takes about 5 minutes on foot to Nishiki Market.

By bus

  • City Bus: From the Kyoto Station bus stop, board a City Bus No. 5 or 101 and disembark at the Shijo-Karasuma stop. The trip takes about 10 minutes. From the Shijo-Karasuma bus stop, it is approximately a 5-minute walk to Nishiki Market.

By Taxi

It takes about 10 minutes from Kyoto Station to Nishiki Market by cab. Cabs are convenient if you have a lot of luggage or if public transportation is crowded. Cab stands are located right outside the central exit (Karasuma Exit) of Kyoto Station.

By Walking

It is also accessible on foot, but the distance is approximately 2.5 kilometers and the journey takes about 30 minutes. From Kyoto Station, walk west on Shijo Street to the market via Shijo-Karasuma. It is also a good way to enjoy walking around.

Bicycle Rental

Bicycle rental is also widely used in Kyoto. One option is to rent a bicycle near Kyoto Station and ride it to Nishiki Market. The trip takes about 15 minutes. Bicycle transportation is recommended as it allows visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kyoto.

Hours of Operation, Admission Fees

Nishiki Market is a popular tourist spot in Kyoto that can be visited throughout the year. Below is information on Nishiki Market’s hours of operation and admission fees.

Business Hours

Opening hours of Nishiki Market vary from store to store, but are generally as follows

  • Regular business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Some stores: Some stores are open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Closed: Most stores are open 24/7, but some may be closed on Wednesdays and Sundays

Before visiting, we recommend that you check the official website or contact information of the store you wish to visit. Opening hours may change, especially on holidays and special events.

Gourmet

Nishiki Market is also known as a gourmet spot where you can enjoy Kyoto’s food culture. Within the market, there are numerous restaurants offering dishes and sweets made from local ingredients, making it a great place to enjoy a bite to eat. Below are some recommended eateries and restaurants.

Kyo no Yakiniku Restaurant Hiroshi

Kyo no Yakiniku Restaurant Hiroshi is a popular restaurant in Nishiki Market where you can enjoy grilled meat made from fresh Japanese beef. The yakiniku is made with local ingredients and served with a special sauce. Lunch sets are also available, allowing you to enjoy authentic yakiniku at a reasonable price.

Notoyo West Branch

The specialty of this restaurant is grilled eel kabayaki (eel kabayaki) over binchotan charcoal. Grilled eel kabayaki, eel liver, eel hachimanmaki, sweetfish, and more are available at the store. You can enjoy delicious eel.

Stalls at Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market is lined with many food stalls and small stores where visitors can casually enjoy eating their way through the market. Below are some of the most popular stalls:

  • Kabayaki eel: Kabayaki eel, made from fresh eel, has an exquisite aroma and the sweetness of the sauce, and is a staple of the food stalls.
  • Kushikatsu (skewered pork cutlets): Kushikatsu, characterized by their crispy batter, are available in many varieties and can be enjoyed freshly fried on the spot.
  • Yakimochi: The attractive texture of yakimochi (grilled rice cake) comes in a wide variety, including those filled with sweet red bean paste and those served with soy sauce.

Eating your way through Nishiki Market is a valuable experience that allows you to experience Kyoto’s food culture firsthand. Enjoy the variety of gourmet foods in the market and savor the unique taste of Kyoto.

Summary

Nishiki Market is a historical market known as “Kyoto’s kitchen” and was founded approximately 400 years ago in the early Edo period. The 400 meter-long market is lined with more than 100 stores, offering a wide variety of products, including traditional Kyoto vegetables, fresh seafood, handmade Japanese sweets, seasonings, and crafts. Walking through the market, visitors can encounter new tastes and enjoy local ingredients. Spring and fall are especially great times to enjoy Nishiki Market, along with the cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

While sightseeing, visitors can enjoy meals at popular restaurants such as Kyo-no-Yakiniku Restaurant Hiroshi and NONOYO Nishi Branch. There are also many food stalls and small stores where visitors can enjoy eating such delicacies as broiled eel, kushikatsu (skewered pork cutlets), and yakimochi (grilled rice cakes). You can also visit Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine at the eastern end of the market.

Nishiki Market is also a great place to buy local specialties and souvenirs. You will find a variety of products unique to Kyoto, such as Kyoto vegetables, Japanese sweets, pickles, Uji tea, traditional crafts, and seasonings. In particular, long-established Japanese confectionary stores, tea specialty stores, and artisanal crafts make great souvenirs.

A shopping and dining experience at Nishiki Market is a wonderful opportunity to experience Kyoto’s culture and traditions in depth. We hope you will visit and enjoy the charm of Nishiki Market to the fullest.