Nishiki Market (錦市場 Nishiki Ichiba) is a marketplace located in the middle of Kyoto city where you can find all kinds of food, hand craft goods, and kitchen related items. The market place is 390 meters long which runs across six blocks from Teramachi Street (寺町通 Teramachi-dori) to Takakura Street (高倉通 Takakura-dori).
At this market that is full of 1300 years of history and tradition, it is fun to just walk down the street and look around, but it is also a great place to find some souvenirs for yourself or for your friends back home. There are also a lot of foods sold on this street which you can taste for free or buy and enjoy them while walking around the market.
This marketplace is parallel to Shijo Street (四条通 Shijo-dori), which is one of the main streets in Kyoto city, so you can stop by the market place in between your sightseeing plans as well.
I would recommend visiting the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine (錦天満宮 Nishiki Tenmangu) before or after visiting the Nishiki Market since it is on the East end of the market. The small Shrine is built in 1003 and it is famous of giving good luck for business and studies. For more information, please click the name of the shrine above.
This is the entrance of Nishiki Market from Teramachi Street.
The variety of food sold in Nishiki Market goes from traditional Japanese food to modern Japanese food. To name some of the food sold in the market including Japanese pickles, soft cream, rice balls, tea, and much more. There are also some places where you could have lunch, but if you would like to try different kind of food, I would recommend walking and eating around the market at the same time.
This is one of the famous Japanese pickles place. Japanese pickles are very different from the pickles know in the western countries, so it really depends on each person’s personal taste. Some people may like it but some people may not, but there are a lot of tastings at these shops, so you are more than welcome to try some before buying them. It is never bad to try something new!
Japanese pickles could include radish, eggplants, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, and much more.
This tea shop were steaming loose leaf teas at that time and had a really nice green tea smell which you can smell from quite far away.
Besides food, there are lots of shops selling dining wares and traditional Japanese souvenirs.
Souvenir could include folding fan, chopsticks, ornaments, and all kinds of things you could think of.
A lot of the shops also offer folding fan drawing experineces and name engraving services for chopsticks.
Not only traditional things are sold at Nishiki Market, but also things that young people may be interested could be found at the stores. Examples could be some cute hand creams and lip balms that are shown in the photo. Alot of things in Japan are only sold locally so things you see in Kyoto may not be sold in other cities, so it would be a specail suvonier for people who visited the area.
Especially in Kyoto, since it is a city famous for its tradition and culture, a lot of the things sold there are made by traditional materials or things related to the Japanese culture or history.
The last store I want to introduce is called Aritsugu (有次), it is a shop famous for its handcrafted knives and cooking utensils.
This famous store was opened in 1560 and the knives are now crafted by the 18th generation of the craftsmen. The knife crafting skills were specillay used for The Kyoto Imperal Palace in the past and are passed on until now for making amazing cooking utensils now a days.
Besides the knives, the sissors and other cooking utensils are also hand made. These products are highly popular among Japanese people and are now famous among foreign visitors as well.
They also offer name engraving services when you shop at their store, you could bring a personal knife back home!
Some people could spend a long time wondering around this market street. Even though you are not going to buy anything, it is deffinetly worth a visit while you visit Kyoto!
- Address: Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Nishikikoji Street; between Teramachi Street and Takakura Street
- Access: Kyoto Municipal Subway, Karasuma Line, Shijo Station (烏丸線、四条駅), 7 min on foot
- Opening hours: Every store is slightly different but most of them opens from 09:00 – 17:00; some also have certain days that are closed, please double check before visiting
- Website: Nishiki Market (錦市場 Nishiki Ichiba) (Japanese Only)