February 01, 2024

Are there any famous food markets I should visit in Japan?

Are you planning to travel to Japan? If yes, then this article is for you. We have listed the top 8 food markets in Japan that you must visit. 


Japan is well known for having a rich and varied culinary culture. Any visitor looking for a genuine culinary experience has to check out its well-known food markets. Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market is one such famous marketplace in Japan. It is frequently praised as the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. While Toyosu now houses the inner wholesale market, Tsukiji remains a hive of activity with its sushi stalls, fresh seafood, and traditional Japanese snacks. You will find such sushi stalls in different cities like Austin, Hawaii, Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles, etc., outside Japan.  

Travelers can enjoy the freshest sushi and sashimi, try out some unusual street food, and watch chefs skillfully prepare mouthwatering dishes in front of them. Another must-see location is Kyoto's Nishiki Market, sometimes referred to as "Kyoto's Kitchen." 

This five-block historic market highlights Kyoto's rich culinary history. Local flavors and specialties can be enjoyed on a delightful journey through Nishiki Market, which features narrow alleys lined with traditional wooden stalls. 

Discover the world-famous matcha (green tea) products, acquire distinctive ingredients for customary Kaiseki meals, and relish pickles, grilled skewers, and other Kyoto specialties. Any food lover visiting Japan should not miss Nishiki Market, which offers an immersive experience into the center of Kyoto's culinary traditions.

  1. Tsukiji Outer Market (築地場外市場) - Tokyo:

While the famous Tsukiji Fish Market has moved to Toyosu, the Tsukiji Outer Market remains a popular destination. It offers a variety of fresh seafood, street food, and traditional Japanese snacks. You can enjoy sushi, sashimi, and other local delights. It is one of the best Japanese food markets.  You will also find famous Japanese restaurants in this market. 

  1. Kuromon Ichiba Market (黒門市場) - Osaka:

In Osaka, Kuromon Ichiba Market is known as "Osaka's Kitchen." It features a wide range of fresh produce, street food, and local specialties. Visitors can try takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and various seafood dishes.

  1. Nishiki Market (錦市場) - Kyoto:

Nishiki Market is a historic market in Kyoto known for its traditional Kyoto cuisine and local products. It's often referred to as "Kyoto's Kitchen." Here, you can find fresh seafood, pickles, sweets, and other Kyoto specialties.

  1. Ameya-Yokocho (アメ横) - Tokyo:

Located in Ueno, Tokyo, Ameya-Yokocho is a bustling market area with a lively atmosphere. It offers a mix of street food, fresh produce, clothing, and various goods. The market is especially vibrant in the evenings.

  1. Kani Doraku Crab Market (かに道楽) - Osaka:

If you're a fan of crab, the Kani Doraku Crab Market in Osaka is a must-visit. It specializes in crab dishes, including grilled crab and crab sashimi.

  1. Hakodate Morning Market (函館朝市) - Hakodate:

Located in Hakodate, Hokkaido, this morning market is known for its fresh seafood, including the famous Hakodate squid. Visitors can enjoy seafood bowls, grilled fish, and other local specialties. Street foods in Japan are famous and you must try them here. 

  1. Kuwaetei Market (くわえ亭市場) - Kanazawa:

In Kanazawa, Kuwaetei Market is a popular spot to sample fresh seafood and local Kanazawa delicacies. The market has a variety of stalls offering sushi, sashimi, and other regional treats.

  1. Aritsugu (有次) - Kyoto:

While technically a knife shop, Aritsugu in Kyoto's Nishiki Market is famous for its high-quality knives. It's a great place for those interested in Japanese culinary tools.

Final Thought

A culinary adventure awaits you when you explore Japan's well-known food markets. the deep cultural immersion into the core of the nation's culinary customs. Two particularly famous locations are the Nishiki Market in Kyoto and the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Travelers can observe the Japanese chefs' exquisite craftsmanship here. Enjoy the freshest and most varied selection of seafood as well as special regional fare. 

These markets serve purposes beyond dining. They are energetic centers that capture the spirit of Japan's rich culinary history. Additionally, a genuine and enriching experience for tourists hoping to feel a deeper connection to Japan's spirit. These markets should make an appearance on your itinerary, regardless of your level of expertise with sushi or passion for street food.