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Food

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Even though I left Kyoto a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to post about the wonderful covered market that I visited. Nishiki is a traditional Japanese market in Kyoto that has been in operation as early as 1311. It originally started as a fish market, but now sells many traditional Japanese food items that are locally produced.

 

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Japanese pickles are a favorite of mine (above right). At first, being a picky eater, I assumed I wouldn’t like them. I avoided the small pile that comes with certain meals. Now, I’ve learned that chopped pickles and rice are a perfect combination. Pickled plums are my favorite. Small octopi are cooked and served (above left) and I’m not exactly sure what this is (below left). I think it might be eggplant covered in miso. A basket of cranberries (below right) is very tempting.

 

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There are also small cafes that line the narrow street (above).

 

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Krill (above left) is a common addition to salads and other dishes. It can also be eaten as a dried snack. There are a few souvenir shops in between the food stalls and I pause at the frog purses (above right). They would certainly make unique gifts! Rice (below left) and smoked fish (below right) are on display.

 

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Expensive pieces of grilled fish (left) and more krill (right).

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Rumi takes me to her neighborhood for dinner. Tiny two story buildings line the narrow back streets in Setagaya.

 

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The atmosphere is reminiscent of Blade Runner.

 

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We sit and eat pork stew.

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Tsukiji is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. In fact, most of the seafood we eat passes through here before reaching our dining tables.

 

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We walk along the cobblestone aisles that are filled with every kind of seafood imaginable. It’s a dizzying experience with men on small vehicles zipping through the narrow lanes.

 

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Tsukiji is not for those that are squeamish about blood and guts. Large tuna lay on tables like cadavers that have been cut and sliced open. Blood pools around fish carcasses. Fishmongers lop the heads off live fish and throw them into buckets.

 

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The colors and shapes of the various sea creatures are extraordinary and inspiring.

 

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A truck rushes past carrying fish heads.