2011/12/24

KYO: Nishiki Ichiba Market

Nishiki Ichiba Market
 


Kyoto streets are laid out in a grid pattern. I love to walk around the city of Kyoto. Without any purpose, I always enjoy just walking to the north, to the south, to the east, and the west. I believe the biggest reason is just because I was raised here, it is filled with memories, but I also believe that people from outside of Kyoto still enjoy the city, especially when walking. There are thousands of possibilities to meet “something” if you walk, and I the below is just a part of it. Each street has its own characteristic, old or new, open or hidden, boisterous or silent, and so on. I hope everybody finds out his/her own favorite.
 
Nishiki Icihba Market is on the Nishiki street from the Takakura street to the Teramachi street (those streets run from the north to the south). It has been very famous for travelers, so it is always crowded nowadays. I am excited when I walk through this market, and I feel I came to the city center. Honestly speaking, it may not be such attractive, because many of the shops said to be very expensive, not so stylish, and indeed, it is just a market. So, for the people who are not so interested in visiting markets, it would not be interesting at all. However, if you like a market, and would like to feel a part of Kyoto, it is a nice experience to visit there. Wide varieties of shops are there. Other than ordinary greengrocers, butchers, fish merchants, and flower shops, we can find Japanese pickles shops, Tofu shops, Tsukudani (foods boiled in soy sause) shops, Shichimi Japanese pepper which seem to be typical in Kyoto. It is also nice to stop by one of the restaurants like Udon noodle, Japanese style set meals, sushi, and so on. Or, you can find out groceries shops, or maybe you are interested in the cold steel shop like Aritsugu and feel the world of craftsmen. The smells, the crowds, the words of the people make the market vibrant.

By the way, for most of the time, I did nothing even I visited the market. I just wanted to walk through the street. For example, after I shopped in Karasuma area, but needed to meet friends in Kawaramachi area, then, I often choose walking through this market from the Takakura street to the Teramachi street. When I am in a hurry, I choose another favorite street, but when I have time, I tend to choose there to feel Kyoto. (When I was an university student, I lived around here, and I sometimes flash back to my experience at that time. For preparing dinner, I often came to buy something, and my favorite at that time was cooked fish at Uoriki!.)