You don’t necessarily think of Japan as a place with a particularly abundant market culture. Of course there are the big operational fish markets but I mean like London’s historic food markets, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar or Malaysia’s big night markets packed with hawker stalls and so on. Japan does of course have incredible fresh food and a real variety of delicate and distinctive flavours; flavours that we miss terribly while we’re in London.
For over 700 hundred years, Kyoto’s Nishiki Koji, a covered street lined with specialist food shops and stalls, has been a bustling centre for fresh local ingredients and delicious cuisine. Atsuko especially couldn’t wait to wander the street and try some of the foods. It was a place that, despite extreme cold, had a warm sense of community and I enjoyed watching the people as much as I loved exploring produce, seafood and pickles. We particularly loved the supremely narrow egg shop and were fascinated by a man slicing eels that he had pinned to his board.