Nishiki Market: Kyoto, Japan
Being the adventurous foodie that I am, I of course sought out to find a night market in Kyoto, Japan. There really aren’t too many “night markets”; the closest I have found was probably the many izakayas in Tokyo. However, Nishiki Market was reportedly the one large market that tourists can peruse for various products.
It was fairly crowded when we went, as I had planned to go around the late lunch hour. Not to mention, I had to do some research as to where it is located. Truth be told, I spent about a month researching this 4-day trip, going so far as to write down step-by-step directions from Google Maps. I’ve found Google Maps to be quite helpful, especially since they give the actual platforms for various trains in Japan at specific train stations. They also write out the names of Japanese streets in both English and in kanji so you can reference if you are in the right location.
Nishiki is fairly clean for a market but then again, this is Japan. I’ve always liked Japan, this being one of the main reasons. SE Asia never sat with me too well given its “dirtiness” but in truth, it’s a market right? There’s supposed to be fish water pouring out onto the street. Well, I guess I wouldn’t mind it so much if I had my rainboots on but pardon me if I didn’t bring those to one of the hottest places on earth in May/June.
There are tons of stalls here, selling everything from freshly-ground matcha (yes, matcha is formed from finely grinding the tea leaves between two large rotating stone disks) to fresh fish. The photo blog recently spouts a few of my findings at Nishiki. I didn’t really find too many tidbits on sale, such as odeng (fish cake) on a stick. We did try a “squid-on-a-stick” though and it was ridiculously tasty. Perfectly cooked and tender, it was a nice snack to share (or not to share).
I did buy my first matcha ice-cream here, and it was the best that I’ve ever had in my life. We decided to choose the option with the “more-matcha” flavor and it was well worth the extra $1USD or 100yen. This thing was packed with antioxidants, but it was still super creamy and not overwhelmingly bitter like tea can taste. Matcha itself is very expensive, especially if you are going for a top-grade. To get ice-cream that is this laden with matcha, it must be quite expensive. I first thought about buying matcha to make into ice-cream at home since I know a few people who have ice-cream makers. However, the amount of matcha that I would need would not even justify the amount of ice-cream that would be generated to even out the cost.
I hope you enjoy the photos on the photo blog. More to come in a week or so as I will be going to Malaysia and will be limited to internet access and my laptop. Until then, I hope you have a great Memorial Day for those in the United States, and safe travels to you all!