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Place Category: Attractions
Nishiki Market is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto’s local specialties. The narrow street has much to see and lots of flavors, but it is also very crowded and can be difficult to move around for those with mobility disabilities.
Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki Market specializes in all things food related – from fresh seafood to knives and cookware. It is also a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto’s local specialties.
The market has several centuries of history behind it – starting in 1310 as a small fish market – but the stores are all relatively modern. Most stores specialize in only one type of food or product, and often give out free samples.
As an active market, it attracts locals preparing for their meal, and even though it is not a tourist site per se, lately it has started attracting foreign visitors hoping to get a better glimpse of everyday life in Kyoto – and free samples.
Nishiki Market is roughly 5-10 minutes from the following stations:
- Shijo Station (Karasuma Line, elevators at exit #1, #4, and between #5 and #6)
- Karasuma Station (Hankyu Line, elevators at exit #23 and #24)
- Kawaramachi Station (Hankyu Line, elevators at exit #3 and #7. Note that exit #7 requires using an adapted escalator to get to the subway platform.)
All stations have accessible toilets available. Click the name of a station to show the station map.
Nishiki Market is very popular for both locals and foreign visitors which leads to a very busy street! The street itself is only about 3 meters wide and people flow in steams. This makes it difficult to really enjoy things at a leisurely pace and changing directions can take time as you wade through other visitors. Those who use canes or have difficulties walking may find the crowds a challenge as well. The total length is roughly 500m and there is no place to easily rest.
While there are many shops that are too narrow for a wheelchair to enter, many more are too narrow for anyone to enter and instead sell things off of a table at the front of the shop and are approachable for wheelchair users.
The Nishiki Tenman-gu Shrine is at the eastern end of the market and has a small step to get in. The grounds are made of stone and can be a bit bumpy.
No accessible washrooms are available, so using a train station toilet is advisable.
If going down a small street with many people moving in every direction, then Nishiki Market should not provide any significant challenges. If it ever becomes a bit difficult, you can always just go down a side street to get a bit of space. Definitely enjoy this opportunity to enjoy a real taste of Kyoto.