Sunday, December 11, 2016

Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 3 - Kyoto Dining (Nishiki Market Grazing)

On a rainy afternoon we went to visit the famous Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto.  This was a great option as the market is one of those covered Japanese shopping streets with no vehicles during shopping hours.  It kind of looks like a mall, but it has all the character that only a neighborhood street provides.  You know you have found the place when your see the blueish/green, red, and yellow skylights that run into the distance.

This is an awesome market that runs for six blocks, with most of the action taking place closer towards the Daimaru Department Store.  The other end of the street is towards Takashimaya Times Square.  The entire street is worth walking, smelling, tasting, and seeing.  It is a treat for all the senses.  It is a pretty vibrant market that is crowded with locals and tourists as it has such a great variety of food shops that do spices, pickling, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, knives, chopsticks, macha, prepared food, etc.  This successful formula might also be the thing that kills it as it is just so popular that I wonder if the locals might stop coming as it is hard to shop due to the crowds or if the street transforms into more tourist gift shops, which I did see some of along the street.
Entrance to Nishiki Market Street by the Daimaru.
The long long street with the distinctive roof.  The entire length of the street is roofed, even the intersections that cross the street.  You sometimes forget there is a cross street with cars!
Grilled fish for sale.
Fresh veggies.
This is a soy milk place that does soy ice cream and really tasty donuts that you need to eat fresh.
These are really tasty soy milk mini-donuts.  Everyone writes about this place and it is good.
Some fresh fish.  I think the silvery fish is Pacific Saurey, a fish that is supposed to be quite tasty and in season in the fall.
Dried seafood. 
Grilled squid and octopus on a stick.  Yummy.
Grilled fish that they can reheat for you.
Fresh seafood.
Kyoto style beef bun.  Look for the steamer tray in a glass case in this one shop on the street.
It is a mix of sliced beef and vegetables inside the steamed bun and it is quite good.
Mochi with strawberries.  Also quite tasty.
One of the gift shops along the street with lots of fabric sushis and dolls.
Florist with chrysanthemums which were in season.
Deep fried treats.
Dango, dango, dango.  Sticky rice balls in a savory sauce.
Japanese mushrooms.
Fermented cucumbers in sake lees (leftovers from making saki)
Fish cakes and tofu.
More prepared seafood.
Roasted chestnuts before and after they are shucked from their prickly exteriors.
It was chestnut season and we bought a roasted bag of  them to snack on.  Chestnuts are good.
Knives from a pretty famous knife store.  I only use stainless steel knives myself as I don't want to be bothered with the maintenance from regular steel knives, no matter what the quality is.
You gotta try Japanese croquettes.  So good.
Wasabi root and the famous floating apple display at the market where a trickle of water into the bucket keeps the apples swirling around.  The fresh wasabi is pretty cool, and I guess a lot of what we call wasabi for sushi is actually spicy horseradish and not this stuff.  I saw these same types of wasabi roots at Tsukiji Market awhile back.
The other end of Nishiki Market with the torii gate leading to the very nifty Tenmangu Shinto shrine at the very end of the street with all of its paper lanterns.
Lucky bull at the shrine.
Dragon fountain where you cleanse yourself.
Purification area with ceremonial saki casks behind it.
This shopping street was a great experience.  There was so much to see, buy, and eat, so it wasn't just sightseeing.  Most of the shop keepers are friendly and most don't mind photos too.  There was a really popular takoyaki joint that looked delicious, but I couldn't wait in the long line.  If you are grazing as you go in the mall, you need to stick around the shop you bought the food to dispose of any garbage as there are no public trash cans.  This was the same around the food vendors at the shrines.  Next time, I'm covering some more regular dining experiences around Kyoto.

Tokyo and Kyoto Trip Fall 2016 

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