News from JNTO

Shopping for the Tastes of Autumn

With the advent of autumn, many foods start coming into their peak of flavor. Some of the best places to experience the mouthwatering bounty of autumn in Japan are local food markets. Here are four of the most well-known: Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, Omicho Market in Kanazawa, Nishiki Food Market in Kyoto and Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka. Remember, sampling is practically mandatory, so come hungry and don't feel shy about taking what's offered or asking for a taste!

Tokyo: Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji

One of the largest wholesale markets in the world, Tsukiji handles over 2,000 tons of marine product everyday. It is also a wholesale market for fruit, vegetables and flowers.

The tuna auction at Tsukiji is a major tourist attraction with first-come, first-serve hopefuls lining up to be a part of the coveted number of limited daily visitors. Visitors can watch the auction only in the designated area in the Tuna Auction Area from 5:00 AM to 6:15 AM. Registration starts at 5:00 AM at the "Fish Information Center" by the Kachidoki Bridge entrance. Visit here for more information about the Tuna Auction.

Along with the inner market (where the famed tuna auction takes place and most of the wholesale business is conducted), there is an outer market with retail shops and restaurants where Tsukiji caters to the public, offering food related items, knives, and seafood and produce in smaller quantities.

For more information about Tsukiji’s outer market, visit here.
For more information about Tsukiji’s inner market, visit here.

Kanazawa: Omicho Market

Located in Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture, the Omicho Market, originally an open-air but now covered market, dates back to 1721. Of the approximately 170 stores, many sell fish, but there are also stores offering fresh fruits and vegetables, marine products, groceries, clothing, as well as restaurants.

Around November the number of visitors surge as crab, yellowtail and small shrimp from the Sea of Japan come into season and take center stage at the market.

For more information, please visit here.

Kyoto: Nishiki Food Market

Nishiki Kyoto

The largest of Kyoto's traditional food markets with about 130 shops all snuggled together along a narrow street which is only about one quarter mile long, Nishiki is affectionately known as "Kyoto's pantry." Everything necessary for traditional Kyoto cuisine can be found here at the numerous old style shops which display their goods in a traditional style. While modern stores can be seen here and there, it is these older stores that give Nishiki, established more than 400 years ago the timeless air of an old-time shopping street. Many of these stores are run by 7th or 8th generation shopkeepers.

All manner of items for daily life can also be found here, and a nice array of dining options also awaits visitors. There are about twenty restaurants and eateries to help you refuel so you may continue on your culinary shopping excursion.

For more information, please visit here.

Osaka: Kuromon Ichiba Market

Osaka Kuromon

Another famous market with nearly 200 years of history behind it is Osaka's Kuromon Ichiba Market. As Nishiki Market is called "Kyoto's Kitchen," Kuromon is known as "Osaka's Kitchen." Running about one-third of a mile, it is crammed full with 150 or so shops selling mostly fish, meat and vegetables. Don't forget to eat as you sightsee; the prices are extremely reasonable for premium restaurant quality seafood, and you will weep if you arrive with a full stomach.

For more information, please visit here.

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