Friday, March 16, 2012

Kyoto Markets & Food

As a foodie, one of my favourite spots to visit whenever I travel are the markets, be it indoor or street markets.

Nishiki market, also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen" in downtown Kyoto is a fascinating place to spend a few hours.

You can find all kinds of food here in this long narrow indoor market - from fresh seafood to black bean tea...

...traditional snacks to cute cafes.

Enterprising shopkeepers call out for you to try samples of their offerings with the hope of making a sale. Let's just say it's a very successful tactic. We could not resist the yummy goodies once we've had a taste. It's a great place to buy gifts for family and friends back home.

The other place I highly recommend is the street market at Chawan-zaka or Teapot Lane in Southern Higashimaya for more shopping and eating.

Walk along the charming cobbled pathway and pop into any shop that catches your fancy. Fancy a hand-painted T-shirt from a sidewalk artist?
Or maybe some Japanese green tea Kit Kat for folks at home?

If you're lucky (which we were), you might even catch a glimpse of a Geisha at work.

When your feet aches, pop by a cafe for a green tea soft serve ice cream or a cup of Japanese coffee, or if you prefer, Yebisu beer.

At the top of Chawan-zaka, you can visit one of the oldest temples in Kyoto, the Kiyomuzi-dera. So, you get food, shopping and heritage at one convenient location!

If you fancy some street-style food, try the Kyoto style Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake) called Issen-Yoshoku. We stumbled upon this restaurant at Gion and was first attracted by this cute figurine of a young man whose pants was being bitten by a dog.

Then we were hooked by the tantalizing smells as the chef cooked at the front of the shop. How could we resist?

What goes into Issen-Yosho? Thankfully, the restaurant had it written down in the menu.

This is what the Kyoto-style Okonomiyaki looks like...Delicious!

I think the restaurant is at Yamatooji-dori (Nawate-dori)...but if it helps, here is a picture of the restaurant. Happy hunting!

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