If you’re looking for other must see places in Kyoto that isn’t a temple, a shrine, or a castle, then head downtown and check out the Nishiki Market. A good walking distance from the Karasuma train station, the market is a long straight stretch of food stalls selling traditional street foods and ingredients.
Items here can be bought either raw or ready to eat. There are seated eateries here but I think that the best way to maximize the market experience is to stroll the entire stretch and try bits and pieces of different stuff from the wide array of vendors.
One of my favorites here is the Takoyaki. The lines can be a bit long for these goody balls though, but the wait is definitely rewarding.
If you want something quick and ready to eat, the Yakitoris and other on-stick snacks are instant gratifications.
You can have them reheated first…
Or eat them outright.
They come in different shapes and sizes from meats, seafoods, and vegetables. As long as it’s small enough to be skewered, you can probably find it there.
One of the oddest things I’ve eaten so far are those small octopus with quail eggs. The quail eggs are stuffed inside giving them their voluptuous figure.
Some stalls allow you to sample a few pieces first before you buy. This is one way of knowing what you’re getting into before you decide to dive in.
One of my personal favorite Japanese desserts here is the Matcha. These are green tea powder extracts, usually infused on drinks, pastries, rice cakes, or anything edible that they can make of. I love it when Matcha is infused on ice cream. There’s a stall here that lets you choose the intensity of the infused Matcha to your liking.
If you pick the highest matcha level, you will notice that the ice cream is much darker has a bit of a powdery consistency from all the infused matcha. This is something not for everybody as the matcha taste can become too strong and bitter, which I personally prefer. Note though that matcha comes from green tea, so those with caffeine issues should beware as too much can leave you jittery.
If you just want to buy something you’d want to prepare yourself, there is also plenty of fresh selections and raw ingredients to choose from.
You can also find other souvenir items such as trinkets and refrigerator magnets here.
Nishiki Market offers a fun food tripping experience. It’s the best way to experience the diversity of Kyoto’s street foods & snacks all in one place.
It’s open from 9AM to 5PM. Admission is free.