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Photo By: Audrey Foo
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Nishiki Market

Food is art in this centuries-old Kyoto market

It’s fitting that the former capital, Kyoto, houses Nishiki Market—possibly Japan’s finest, historic food street. For over 400 years, this arcade in the city center has supplied premium produce to chefs, locals and curious gourmands.

It’s a gastronomic time tunnel, with traditional shops run by the same family over generations, next to contemporary stores. Close to 130 businesses sell regional Kyoto, Japanese or international foods, or kitchenware from high-end to cheap. So, something for all tastes.

Photo by: Wally Gobetz The market runs 390 meters from Termachi-dori to Takakura-dori.

The goods at Nishiki Market are impeccably presented. This is Kyoto after all, home of elegant tea ceremonies and keiseki ryori (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner cuisine). The market is sparkling clean with artistic displays. Pure, soft artesian water flows underneath and is drawn to wash, cook or pickle foods or make tea.

Don’t let the fancy atmosphere stop you from eating while walking. Snacking and sampling is encouraged. There are also many sit-down eateries.

Kanematsu features Kyoto’s prized kyo yasai heirloom vegetables and a second floor restaurant. Kyo yasai have been cultivated since the Edo period. Takakuraya showcases seasonal vegetable pickles in wooden barrels.

Tanaka Keiran specializes in dishes with eggs from hens fed powdered black beans. Try fluffy omelette skewers or miso-flavoured quiche. For modern sweets, visit Sawara for green tea desserts or Konna Monja for soymilk ice cream and doughnuts.

Photo by: Audrey Foo Local seafood!

The scent of freshly roasted hojicha tea wafts from Yamadashiya. Sake shop Tsunoki is around 220 years old and offers brews from nearby Fushimi, Japan’s second largest sake area.

Aritsugu, since 1560, was a former sword smith to the imperial court and now handcrafts high-quality knives. Snoopy Cha-ya is a more recent 2016 addition – a Peanuts-themed shop and café. The Japanese are world leaders in cuteness overload.

The market’s lively vibe pulses through its surrounding streets, which boast more grocers and dining hotspots like famous ramen joint Ippudo.

Photo by: Audrey Foo Cute bags of food at the market.

Nishiki Market can get crowded so go early to avoid feeling pummeled like the mochi dough in the live pounding demonstrations at Mochitsukiya. After 6 p.m. the stall shutters slide down, revealing paintings befitting the beauty of Kyoto.

Things To Know


Open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. dependant on store. Some stalls close Wednesday or Sunday.

How To Get There


Tominokoji Dori, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan

By train

Downtown, between Teramachi-dori and Takakura-dori, one block north of Shijo-dori.

You can easily get there from these train stations: Shijo (Karasuma line), Karasuma or Kawaramachi (Hankyu line).

By bus

From Kyoto station take the Kyoto City Bus for 10 minutes to Shijo Karasuma stop (2 stops).


Where To Stay

Miru Kyoto Nishiki
  • 424 Izutsuyacho, Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8113 Japan
  • ¥13,200 - ¥79,200
  • 4.5/5 (40 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
The Pocket Hotel Kyoto-Shijokarasuma
  • 474 Setoyacho, Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8122 Japan
  • ¥4,275 - ¥27,000
  • 3.77/5 (265 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Rings Kyoto
  • 393 Kabutoyacho, Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8114 Japan
  • ¥12,600 - ¥60,400
  • 4.71/5 (85 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Goco Stay Kyoto Shijo-Kawaramachi
  • 410 Dainichicho, Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8044 Japan
  • ¥22,100 - ¥59,800
  • 4.8/5 (20 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Forza Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi
  • 25-1 Tachiuri Higashicho, Kyoto-shi Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8005 Japan
  • ¥13,000 - ¥50,000
  • 4.45/5 (450 reviews)
  • 0.2 km

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