Get to know the real Kochi at this fantastically friendly indoor market and izakaya.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And in Kochi, they chill out at Hirome Market. This ramshackle market of 60 vendors sells food, beer and everything else you could possibly need. Forgot souvenirs? Don’t worry, Hirome’s got your back. Need some new tights? There’s a store for that.
Almost set out like a German beer hall, long tables fill up the centre of the market creating one of the friendliest atmospheres in Japan. Expats freely mingle with local farmers over a spot of gyoza and Asahi beer. If you want to practice your Japanese, sit yourself down and you’ll find a partner in no time. Similarly, finding English speakers for advice or for a chat is easy compared to elsewhere in Japan (even Tokyo).
You’ll soon realize that Hirome Market attracts people from all walks of life. The old guy next to you? He’s on a weekend surfing trip. The group of middle-aged ladies opposite? They’re doing the 88-temple pilgrimage and they’re on temple 21 (also, their fifth beer). Openness and a sense of community are the buzzwords of this place. It’s not just about making friends. Hirome Market also has a fine selection of fresh, local produce. The fish was likely caught that morning and the meat came from neighboring farms.
If you’re the kind of traveler who wants a truly authentic experience, there is no better place to get to know the essence of Kochi than the smells, sights and sounds of Hirome Market.