Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Anyhow walk in Japan - New year in Nishiki Market

To understand how a country's people spend their New Year is to have a visit to their markets, which is why it was a really right time for us to take a walk at Kyoto's Nishiki Market!

And just like our Chinatown New Year Pasar Malam, it was super crowded!

Shopping with the New Year crowd in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

While we are complaining how expansive the seafood will be during our Chinese New Year, the Japanese's auspicious fish cost them like 4,000yen or S$63!

New Year fishs in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

The Japanese hang ornaments on their doors during their New Year like we do, but instead of some o-bian gold ingots, red fire crackers and God of Fortune that try to act cute, they hang recyclable and environmental friendly leaves and oranges.

Shopping with the New Year crowd in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Here are some New Year kuay that the Japanese will pray with during the New Year then eat them up on the eleventh of January's 鏡開きの日.

New Year rice cakes in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Kyoto pickles are famous and so you'll expect to see big tubs of all sorts of pickles in the Nishiki Market. However they're not going to last through more days traveling in Japan before back to Singapore so I have to forget about the idea of buying some back!

Lots of pickles found in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Friend took a picture of a group of guests in the little Japanese cafe in Nishiki Market before we got ourselves a table.

A little cafe in Nikishi market

I ordered a bowl of red bean soup with BBQ mochi, which was really delicious! The red beans are big and tasty (meaning not just sweet, but also fragrant) and the mochi was crispy on the outside and chewy inside. The already very fragrant soup has gotten more character due to the charcoal taste from the BBQ mochi.

Red bean soup with rice cake eaten in Kyoto

There's a shop that sells just rice crackers but they have lots of different flavors and they'll BBQ it before serving to you.

Crispy rice cakes found in Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Kyoto tofu is famous and so we have to try out the tofu donuts and tofu ice-cream. The little tofu donuts were crispy on the outside and firm but not too hard inside, and very fragrant. It was 250yen, S$4 for 10, but we snapped them all up anyway!

Tofu donuts from Nishiki Market, Kyoto

On the other hand, maybe due to the strong taste of the tofu donuts, the tofu ice-cream didn't taste as strong and as good.

Tofu ice-cream from Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Right at the end of Nishiki Market is Nishiki Tenmangu shrine. Japanese students will pray here before exams because the shrine is a memorial of a very intelligent guy who used to serve the king.

Nishiki Tenmangu at Kyoto

Nishiki Tenmangu at Kyoto

It is said that if you touch the Nishiki Tenmangu shrine's bull's head, you'll become cleverer, and if you touch its body, you'll become healthier!

Bull statue in Nishiki Tenmangu

Inside Nishiki Tenmangu is a spring water point known as the 錦の水. Hey, we even saw an old uncle collecting bottles of it, so we couldn't be too wrong drinking a few big mouthfuls!

Nishiki Tenmangu at Kyoto

锦市场 (Nishiki Market) - Take city bus to 四条大仓, from the bus stop which is in front of Daimaru, walk down and Nishiki Market is hidden somewhere in a street inside the alleys.
锦市场 (Nishiki Market) Official Website

Read more (in Chinese) on "Go Travel with Cloudywind"!

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