錦市場 Nishiki Market – Kyoto

One of the most famous markets in Japan, everyone says you must go to the Nishiki Market.  What an experience, and so many interesting sites to see. A little quiet in the morning, but as 9:30-10:00am approaches, it gets a little busier.

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Let’s talk about some stalls.

When we walked in around 9:30am, most stalls were just setting up.  The first one that interested us was this pickle store,  打田漬物 (Uchida).

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Everything is laid out in barrels and the smells are amazing, and samples of everything.  You can try them all.

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They are also easily packaged for easy takeaway and they will ship them to you too!

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There is a tasting table set up also, with all different kinds.

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Next up was a rice stall, 中央米穀 (Chuo Beikoku), where they sell varieties from around the country and you can pack to go home.

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We decided to pack 1kg of this rice to go.  It is supposed to be nice and soft and great to eat.  We also picked up 1kg of Japanese Brown Rice, to try it out.  We have to be health conscious, right?

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Then stuff on a stick at 丸亀 (Marukame).

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A big selection of fishcakes and other things out front on display.  On the left, they fry everything right there and then put it out for sale.

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No english, so you just guess at what looks good.

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We wanted to try a lot more, but we decided on three to begin with since there was more market to walk.  No need to blow your stomach capacity right away.  The one on the right is a prawn wrapped in fishcake.  The center one turned out to be a potato croquette style with corn, cheese and edamame.  The one on the left?  We thought it was a nice fishball.  But…

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It wasn’t just a fishball!  It was a fishball with a small tomato inside!  Quite surprising to find that inside!

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Then there was this place that had items being fermented or pickled with a sand, miso, etc.  I believe the place was called 桝俉.  But the top left is long radish, the top middle is small watermelon, the top right is cucumber, and below is regular radish.

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Then something smelled good!  やまだしや (Yamadashiya) is a tea stall that roasts their own tea leaves!

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Here is the roaster, you see the tea leaves spitting out at the bottom.

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Here are their selections.

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The special roasted tea! 630 Yen for 100 grams!

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We went with 100 grams of this, the genmaicha, the tea with popped rice. 525 Yen per 100 grams!

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You know what else smells great?  Roasting chestnuts.  At 京丹波 (Kyotanba) you can smell them.

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They have some different types, big and small.

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Some more interesting things.  Here is fish paste, dried into shapes.  You put them back into water and then they rehydrate!  So pretty.

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Here is sashimi on a stick!

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Time for donuts!  In particular the soy donuts from こんなもんじゃ (Konnamonja).

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Yes, I am coming your way!

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Fried fresh from soy flour and paste mixture, they are best when hot.

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And here we are!  Hot and ready to be eaten!  Cold, they’re not so nice, but hot, man.  I just wish I had kohi.

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Here are all types of marinated small fishes at 京佃煮 野村 野村佃煮 (Nomura Tsukudani).

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What else? How about 櫂 (Kai)?

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They have a bunch of things for sale, but what catches your eye are these tiny red octopi.

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Nice and small and looking pretty good.  But what’s so special about them?  The head has a quail egg inside!

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See!

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The poster outside the shop.

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Oh yum!

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A little rubbery on the octopus, and the egg is well cooked, so it’s for a novelty than really anything great to eat.

We perused a lot of other stores, a lot of simple seafood stalls selling fish, raw and just cooked for you to eat, and vegetables, and cookies, etc.  But this one was what Lena really wanted, the Tamago at 三木鶏卵 (Miki Keiran).

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You see the nice Japanese omelets in the display case and you know that they taste great.  But then you see the staff cooking them right in front of you and your mouth waters even more.

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Hard at work.  They are not easy to make!  You have to layer and layer to get it right.

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Hear are the choices.  You have regular plain omelets in three different sizes.  Then you have some with dashi inside, and then some others.

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A plain small one, that’s what Lena wanted. Fresh from the pan!

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Here it is!

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Now, this wasn’t cut with a knife, only with chopsticks, but you see the layering.  It is so good.

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Yes, it is!

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So there was our walk through Nishiki market on a Saturday morning.  So many things to see and eat, definitely a place to stop if you’re a foodie or just interested in seeing things.

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