I think it is fair to say that markets hold a certain fascination for travellers. Kyoto’s famous Nishiki is no exception, though it is different to the sprawling open-air markets that one generally comes across.
Nishiki is a narrow alley housing some hundreds of stalls that continues to resemble a traditional shotengai or shopping street. Not only does it retain a traditional feel, Nishiki can be accessed from Shijo-dori, which runs through the commercial centre of Kyoto and is home to banks and luxury stores. The contrast is fascinating! In the space of a few minutes, one can move from browsing designer labels in glitzy department stores to immersion in the sights, sounds and smells of a market that has occupied the site for around 700 years. Popular with locals and tourists, Nishiki is known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” and is the location of choice for the city’s top chefs given the range of fresh, seasonal produce to be found there.
I regret not spending more time at Nishiki, but I hope this selection of shots will give some idea of this old fascinating market.
(Please click on any of the following images for an enlarged view.)