I can’t help but think of Koko’s Kitchen in Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game when I think about Nishiki Market, also known by locals as Kyoto’s Kitchen. The name, the place, they are so similar there is no way this is merely a coincidence.
► Ranking: #cleadiaper
〒604-8054 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 富小路通四条上る西大文字町609番地
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Nishiki Market is located near the Yasaka Shrine parallel to Shijō Dōri. It is a long, indoor marketplace that extends several blocks. It is full of every type of food that you can imagine, from beans to fish to candy and sushi, plus cookware, knives, and anything else that would go in your kitchen. Kids go bug eyed at everything there is to see! There are even a few restaurants. Nearly everything here is locally produced or obtained.
Several centuries ago, were talking 800 years ago, Nishiki Market began as a fish wholesale district. Some of the same families even operate the same stores generations later. Over time the district evolved to encompass more retail stores, but the legend remains.
We walked through from beginning to end. We loved seeing the variety of every fantastical item, and imagining how they cooked or ate certain ingredients. We stopped and got a few gummy candies because they were too pretty to resist.
► For Kids: Children will love seeing the huge variety of goods, and incredible amounts of different items. This place has a farmer’s market type feel, but with wholly different merchandise than you’d find the US. It’s a great opportunity to experience and learn about Japanese culture, norms and diet.
There did seem to be some repetition but more than not there was a lot to explore and enjoy the sights, sounds, and culture of Japan. True to Japanese tradition, there is even a shrine located at the end of the corridor.
► Nap-Time Version: An astonishing market that specializes in food related items. A staple of Kyoto, and should not be missed.