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5 Must-Try Foods at Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Fried fugu | Image Courtesy of Isolethetv / Flickr]

5 Must-Try Foods at Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan

Nishiki Ichiba (“market”) in Kyoto, Japan is known for all things food and Kyoto. It’s called “Kyoto’s Kitchen” because it’s where you can find everything for your cooking needs.

But when in Kyoto, what you shouldn’t pass up are the foods at Nishiki Market. From traditional sweets to poisonous pufferfish, you will find every imaginable food you need to satisfy your inner food whore. Here are five must-try foods at Nishiki Market:

1. Tako Tamago

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Tako tamago | Image Courtesy of Tjeerd Wiersma / Flickr]

Cute tiny bright red knickknacks often stand out from afar while walking down the streets of Nishiki Market. These are tako tamago (tako means “octopus;” tamago means “egg”), glazed and grilled octopuses with their brains stuffed with quail eggs. Typically on skewers, tako tamago is one of the most popular snacks at the market because of its distinctive mixture of flavors and textures. But in reality, it’s actually the vibrant appearance that often entices people to try this delicacy.

2. Takoyaki

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Takoyaki | Image Courtesy of yehnick / Pixabay]

Takoyaki is another popular octopus food at Nishiki Market. These are big dough balls stuffed with octopus inside often served in sixes. They come with condiments like sauce and cheese to add flavor to what is already palatable dish. Although Osaka is known for delicious takoyaki varieties, Kyoto will give it a run for its money, given the number of takoyaki stands and specialty restaurants within the city. In Kyoto, the most well-known takoyaki vendors are at Nishiki Market. We highly recommend trying Karikari Hakase’s take on this dish.

3. Soymilk Donut

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Soy milk donuts | Image Courtesy of Noelle Cruz]

The next must-try food at Nishiki Market is something inspired by western cuisine but definitely has a Kyoto taste in it. It’s soymilk donuts. Soymilk donuts are sweet donuts made from — you guessed it — soymilk. They are creamy and rich in flavor due to the abundance of the soymilk that makes up each piece of donut. They might be crunchy on the outside, but they are actually chewy on the inside. Many food stalls at the market have bags of soymilk donuts for sale, but you might want to avoid them as much as possible. The best soymilk donuts are freshly baked, right when they are taken out of the oil, while they are still piping hot.

4. Tamagoyaki

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Tamagoyaki | Image Courtesy of naotakem / Wikimedia Commons]

For some, nothing is out of the ordinary with eggs as food. But Japan has a variety of egg dishes with a twist, making this food staple an extraordinary one. Tamagoyaki is an omelet with a Japanese sweet and salty taste brought by the dashi stock. At first glance, it’s fluffy, smooth, and refined. That’s because it is. Although tamagoyaki is not necessarily a Kyoto specialty, it doesn’t hurt to try a Japanese omelet in Kyoto at all.

5. Fugu

Where To Eat In Kyoto | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Fried fugu | Image Courtesy of Isolethetv / Flickr]

Fugu (“pufferfish”) is a popular fish farmed in all of Japan. While popular to be eaten in winter, fugu is available all throughout the year. A variety of dishes come out of this poisonous fish to suit your taste, whether it’s karaage (“fried fugu”), teppi (“parboiled fugu”), or yakifugu (“grilled fugu”). It’s best eaten with sake (“traditional Japanese rice wine”). No matter the cooking style, fugu is definitely something you should put in your must-try foods in Kyoto


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.



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