Kyoto is a great food and shopping city and there’s no better place to start than its famous Nishiki Market. Running five blocks of the city, the market is one narrow arcade with all manner of vendors, shops and restaurants lining the tight street. One of Japan’s best markets, Nishiki is always busy but that just adds to the atmosphere, as visitors move along the arcade and between vendors selling traditional food and snacks, vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood and more. The market is open every day from 09:00 to 18:00 with individual stores on their own chosen days.
Along with selling lots of tasty treats, the market is highly-photogenic and allows for fantastic photography of its colourful storefronts, eclectic vendors and of course, all that tempting food. Many vendors provide free samples and provide a couple of stools or a small table at which to sit should you wish to buy something and eat it on the spot. It’s important to note that in most circumstances, Japanese avoid walking and eating at the same time so should you wish to eat what you’ve bought, best to do so while at the vendor’s who will also then accept any disposable packaging (something that is an endless hassle in a country without many bins).
Regarded as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, Nishiki is also an excellent place to buy high-quality kitchenware including knives. When visiting Nishiki make sure to take an appetite with you and hit-up as many vendors as you possibly can before moving onto the intersecting Teramachi area, famous for its antique and vintage shopping.
Varies by store but typically from 10:00 to 18:00
Nishiki Market is open every day with individual stores typically closing on either Wednesdays or Sundays
Admission is free
To reach the market from Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Shijo Station - 4 minutes / JPY220 - or take the Hankyu Line to Karasuma Station - 7 minutes / JPY220 - or Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station - 8 minutes / JPY380. It takes just under 10 minutes to walk from Shijo Station to the market and around 5 minutes and 3 minutes from Karasuma Station and Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station respectively