Our fourth day in Japan was spent going around the famous Nishiki Market (Kyoto), a really long and narrow arcade that stretches for five blocks. It’s lined by over a hundred shops and restaurants. It’s known as The Kitchen of Kyoto because you can sample many of the city’s cultural delicacies all in one place. The history of the place is amazing:
Nishiki has a long history that originated about 400 years ago, but its true beginnings go back even further. When Japan’s capital was first transferred to Kyoto, the distribution network for goods was undeveloped and citizens couldn’t enjoy eating a wide variety of foods. In 1573, a lot of local merchants visited Kyoto’s Imperial Palace to dedicate local products, such as fresh fish and game for meat. Gradually, they got used to cooperating in order to keep these products fresh by utilizing the abundance of freezing underground water beneath Nishiki, which remains 15 degrees C even in summer. Even today, this water guarantees the freshness of fish sold in the market. (source)
Here are some photos I took that day.
But we had to eat lunch first and I read about a good okonomiyaki place right by Nishiki Market called Warai. Okonomiyaki is like a grilled pancake of whatever ingredients you want. Literally okonomi means “whatever you want/like” and yaki means grilled or cooked.
It was so nice just looking at all the cute things for sale
Then we found this store full of new and used military gear and we just had to check it out
We had to try the fish at the market so we went inside one of the restaurants and had fresh sashimi. UGH. Sobrang perfect.
I wanted to try authentic takoyaki balls because I got to try some in the Philippines for an episode of Taste Buddies and they were quite tasty!
Nishiki Market opens at 9AM and closes early at 6PM. We walked around to look for a place to have dinner. Grabe, puro kain lang ang ginawa??
We chanced upon this restaurant called Za Watami located on Sanjo Kiyamachi st.
We seriously had the best date ever in that restaurant. We ordered 3 different sakes to taste at the beginning of our meal and we ended up staying for about 3 hours just talking, laughing, and getting drunk on Kirin beer.
When we were deciding whether we should go home or get another drink, we ended up ordering another plate of beef and 2 more rounds of beer. We also came up with our future children’s names that night. Haha! Marrying this guy was smartest thing I ever did.