Nishiki Market

Almost opposite our hotel in Kyoto is Nishiki Market. A sprawling warren of food stalls begging to be explored.

Known to locals as “Kyoto’s pantry”, Nishiki Market is one of the best traditional food market in the city.

There are plenty of traditional shops to give you a glimpse of what a traditional shotengai (shopping street) would have looked like.

There’s a wide varity of traditional Kyoto cuisine on display here including tsukemono (Japanese pickles), Kyo-yasai (Kyoto vegetables) and wagashi (Japanese sweets).

Below is an example of the ever popular Narazuke.

This refers to vegetables of the gourd family that are pickled in sake lees. It is said to have originated in the Kansai region of Japan.

Narazuke is usually made by soaking vegetables in sake lees for a long time and replacing the lees over and over until the vegetables mature.

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As well as a multitude of pickled vegetables there are also plenty of super kawaii (cute) items for sale including these adorbs purses.

Stacks of pumpkins and gourds are ready to get Halloween off to a cracking start as it seems to be a favoured holiday.

There’s also a lot of battered and fried ingredients above including shrimp, octopus, cheese, squid, quail eggs and burdocks.

Barrels of pickled vegetables line the street but still don’t seem that tempting to me . .

The other striking thing I spot in each market is the wide plethora of brightly coloured sweeties.

Below the tiny spiky balls are Konpeitō. The word “konpeitō” comes from the Portuguese word confeito (comfit), which is a type of sugar candy.

I think this cute little sign is advertising Mochi ice cream.

This is a small, round dessert ball consisting of a soft, pounded sticky rice cake (mochi) formed around an ice cream filling.

Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea.

Below the pastel chalk like sweets are Rakugan, which is a variant of Higashi, which is a type of dry Wagashi.

Below is a selection of jewel bright small traditional sugar candies known as Kyo-ame.

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