With more than 100 shops, stalls, and vendors selling everything from fresh-off-the-boat fish and seafood, to tasty sweets and sushi takeaway, Nishiki Food Market is a wonderland of culinary delights. Kyoto’s biggest and most popular food market is a local institution and a popular attraction for traveling foodies.
Although you can explore the market on your own, opting for a guided walking tour is a great way to bridge the language barrier, learn more about the vast array of foods on offer, and pick up tips on what to buy and from where. Sample local delicacies including sushi and sake during a food tasting tour; capture the colorful produce and bustling atmosphere on camera on a photography tour; or get hands-on and take part in a traditional Japanese cooking class, using ingredients purchased from the market.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no entrance fee to the market.
- Opening times vary, but most shops and stalls are open from 9am to 5pm.
- Make sure you bring local currency—many stalls won’t accept credit cards or foreign currency.
- The market is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
- How to Get to There
- Nishiki Market is located in downtown Kyoto, near the Daimaru department store. The closest subway stations are Shijo Station on the Karasuma line and Karasuma on the Hankyu line, both around a 5-minute walk from the market.
When to Get There
The Nishiki Food Market is open daily, and the entire market is covered, so it’s a safe bet for a rainy day. Available produce and foods depend on the season, and some stalls may be closed on Wednesday or Sunday.
Dining at Nishiki Food Market
Among the heaps of fresh fish, pickled vegetables, and mushroom varieties, Nishiki also has plenty of options for lunch, from street food vendors to casual sit-down restaurants. Tuck into a tasty omelette or a steaming bowl of soup; order a platter of sushi, sashimi, and yakitori; or try something more adventurous such as tako tamago (quail egg embedded in octopus), candied kumquats, or pickled gourds. For snacks, pick up some roasted chestnuts, tofu donuts, mochi (rice cakes), and various wagashi (Japanese sweets).