Day 4 | Nishiki food market

For day 4, I wanted to go somewhere that did not take up too much time, since I had a quiz (cries) the next day, but refused to waste a day just studying. I was only going to be in Kyoto for 3 weeks, after all. My friends and I decided to take a bus back to Kawaramachi, as they wanted to do some shopping and I wanted to check out the very famous Nishiki food market. This ended up being one of my favourite days in Kyoto, as I ended up having way too much fun (what quiz?).

When we arrived at kawaramachi, we were immediately attracted to a small little shrine tucked away in one of the busiest shopping streets in Kyoto. We decided to take a look and gather up some good luck for the next day.

Little shrine on a busy street

The shrine was pretty crowded with curious tourists. We touched a lucky cow statue and my friends prayed for good results. I also stamped my notes with a good luck stamp (I ended up scoring well, I guess it works!)

We then went straight into the food market, which was drawing us in with wonderful smells. Before you enter, be warned- this street is really, really long and has lots and lots of food. If you love food, you’re going to be spending a ton of money here, so come prepared!

The beginning of a very long street

This place is extremely crowded, but this is not mean that it is not worth going to. It’s a wonderful cultural experience and allows you to try many local delights. It’s most famous for its extremely fresh and large variety of seafood. You can get almost anything- fish, prawns, squid, octopus etc. My friend ended up buying a little octopus on a stick.

So much food!

I decided to buy myself some matcha ice cream, best decision ever. Japanese soft serve matcha ice cream could and should be a national treasure. It’s not exactly cheap (350 yen), but worth every penny. This is not the last time I bought that delicious ice cream.

Take out me

We then saw a cute snoopy shop that sold all things with snoopy-fied, including the food! Very cute, but not what I was there for. We then bought small baked sweet potatoes, which were wonderful and warm on a particularly cold day (it was probably just the ice cream I had earlier).

Snoopy fans rejoice

We then stumbled across a little mochi shop with a sign on it saying that I could grill the mochi myself. Since it was only 200 yen, I decided to give it a go. This was probably where I had the most fun that day (chaos ensues)

The cute old lady tending the shop

The lady put 4 mochi on the grill and instructed me to keep turning them so they cooked evenly. She then went to the back of the shop to do something  (she was already doing something when we came), thinking that I would definitely be able to handle 4 little mochi sticks. What could possibly go wrong?

Seemed easy enough

At first, nothing happened. I didn’t know what to expect, and I just used one hand to rotate the mochi. Then, after a minute or two, the mochi started rapidly expanding. Before I could realise it the mochi was drooping everywhere and even though I was now using both of my hands, I couldn’t handle it. 3 of the 4 mochi had expanded too much and stuck together.

Mutant mochi

And then, my friends watched in horror as last free mochi touched the grill and basically caught on fire. I panicked and my friends called the lady but it was too late, I had already lost that one. Another also got slightly burnt at the top, but the lady was able to rescue my mutant mochi.

I wasn’t kidding

The lady was really nice and made another one for me to replace my fallen mochi, after having a good laugh herself. Definitely check out this shop if you plan on visiting, it’s a lot of fun! After eating the mochi we bought some hand made onigiri for breakfast the next day, and I bought some wagashi (traditional sweets).

We had already walked a lot, and it was getting late so we decided to find a place to get dinner before heading back

Curry rice

We decided to eat at Coco Ichibanya, a restaurant known for its Japanese curry rice. I ordered mine with an onsen egg (it’s jiggly!)

All in all it was a great day and I highly recommend Nishiki food market. I walked 15156 steps.

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