Seriously, I wanted to just go back to the hotel after that 90 minute bus ride to nowhere but cooler heads prevailed. Why sulk when the rest of Kyoto was waiting to be discovered?
So Jay and I got on the subway to try and find the next must-see destination on our itinerary -- Nishiki Market, also known as Kyoto's Kitchen.
This is one of Japan's oldest shopping streets dating way back to the 16th century. It originally started out as a fish market but has since expanded to sell all types of food and specialties of Kyoto.
For a self proclaimed foodie (how abused and over used that word is!) a visit to this temple of all things food was a must. This narrow 400 meter long alley is lined with over 100 stalls selling everything you could ever want -- raw ingredients, cooked food, utensils, even souvenirs.
Nothing can bring a smile back to my face than food! Rows and rows of seafood vendors and I lucked upon one that sold sashimi in skewers. Of course, I had to have a bite!
The tuna was lightly marinated in herbs and oil -- very fresh, very succulent, very tasty! And quite inexpensive -- one skewer for just Y280!
While I noshed on sashimi, Jay had his favorite soft ice cream -- in a delectable green tea flavor!
You can find all sorts of things to buy at the Nishiki Market -- how about dried fish and small shrimp?
We walked slowly through the passageway -- enjoying every minute of the experience.
I saw a lot of food items that I would have wanted to try and take home -- but regretfully, had to keep walking past.
Tsukemono!!! So tempting to buy some of my favorite Japanese pickles! But would they burst and spill all over my luggage?
So interesting! Marinated and fermented whole vegetables - done the old fashioned way and kept in large wooden kegs.
Since it has become such a tourist attraction, a lot of stalls in Nishiki Market sell souvenirs and dry goods. I found this shop selling beautiful hand painted Japanese fans and couldn't resist buying this one displayed in the window. Black with delicately painted white dragonflies -- it would be a good non-edible souvenir.
We had reached the very end of Nishiki Market. Just as you leave the covered passageway, you will find the Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine.
A small and lovely shrine illuminated with lighted paper lanterns ... so gratifying to find this oasis of calm and spirituality, right in the heart of a shopping street!