Japan Kyoto Downtown

Nishiki Market

A culinary treasure trove with a history of over 400 years in the heart of Kyoto

Photo of Nishiki Market, Japan (京都 錦市場 by othree)

Nishiki Market, known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” is a historic marketplace that showcases Kyoto’s rich culinary traditions. Spanning a 400-meter-long shopping street, it has a history of over 400 years and has become an essential destination for food enthusiasts and culture seekers. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s famous flavors, including fresh tofu, Kyoto pickles, and matcha products.

About Nishiki Market

With its origins dating back to 782 as a fish sales locale, Nishiki Market’s significance is entwined with the story of Kyoto. In 1615, the market was officially recognized by the Bakufu government to operate as a fish market. The area’s cold groundwater helped maintain seafood quality, establishing the market’s reputation. Over time, Nishiki Market grew and diversified, and by the 20th century, it had become renowned for a wide range of foodstuffs.

The current cobblestone floor, installed in 1984, and the arcade canopy, added in 1993, contribute to the market’s traditional shopping atmosphere. The market features around 130 shops, offering a variety of local specialties. Renowned shops sell wares ranging from hand-crafted knives to Kyoto-style Tsukemono (pickles), and exemplify the market’s fusion of tradition and craftsmanship.

Nishiki Market’s prime location on Nishikikōji Street, bordered by Teramachi Street and close to Shijō Street, makes it a central spot in downtown Kyoto and a top choice for exploring Kyoto’s gastronomy.

For those keen to experience local culture, Nishiki Market offers a glimpse into the traditional shotengai (shopping street), a blend of commerce and community. The market embodies the coexistence of past and present, where modern establishments operate alongside family-run stalls.

Visitors are encouraged to sample a range of foods, such as yakitori and sashimi. While enjoying these delicacies on the spot is part of the experience, it is important to respect the local custom of not eating while walking.

Beyond its culinary delights, Nishiki Market also serves as a hub for Kyoto’s Downtown district, surrounded by other attractions and amenities. Its central location is ideal for those looking to further explore Kyoto’s offerings, whether for food, history, or the unique atmosphere. Nishiki Market is a cornerstone of Kyoto’s cultural heritage and its culinary prominence.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Nishiki Market

HK 86

Hankyu Kyoto-kawaramachi
 Hankyu Kyoto Main Line + 1 more

 about 5 minute walk (400m)
KH 39

 Keihan Main Line

 5-10 minute walk (700m)

Around Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

Shopping Street in Kyoto

open 9am - 6pm
closed Irregularly


錦市場, 京都

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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