Exploring Nishiki Market

Dreaming of Kyoto
By Sol March in Travelogue

Tokyo, Aomori, and Nagoya all have shopping districts, but Kyoto’s Nishiki Market is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

This is something completely different.


As we head further south through Japan, we’ve noticed that different regions have their own unique way of doing things– even how shopping is done.

In Aomori, you have wide boulevards with shops lining both sides of the street. This is something you can only do in a place like Aomori where there’s room to breath and spread out.

Boulevards of Aomori

Tokyo is so immense and sprawling that they have entire cities— such as Ikebukuro and Akihabara– each devoted to a different type of entertainment and shopping.

Shopping in Ikebukuro, Tokyo

Head further south and you’ll find cities like Nagoya that take the shopping underground, with subterranean networks of tunnels full of shops.

Underground Shopping

Now we’re standing in front of Kyoto’s Nishiki Market, which might be best described as a shopping alley.

Entering the Market Shoppers

Natural light fills the narrow space and the high ceiling makes it feel like you’re still outdoors despite being fully enclosed.

Technicolor Sky

We walk down the market’s alley, where shops selling all manner of goods stretch out into the distance. High-fashion boutiques are neighbors with fishmongers selling the fresh catch of the day.

Here you can buy fresh veggies for dinner, or grab a counter seat at the ramen shop for a quick bowl of homemade noodles.


After being bombarded by such a variety of different sights and sounds in the market, the end comes as a shock as we step out on the other side of Nishiki Market. Once again, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and people walk along the streets as if nothing has changed.

Kyoto sure is interesting.


Dreaming of Kyoto

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