Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nishiki Market

I hesitate about posting about the Nishiki because oh my god, my experience with this awesome food-only market has only just begun, and threatens to evolve with every trip. Each time I walk down its long and narrow thoroughfare I am bombarded by different scenes, smells and sounds. If it isn't the pickle seller going Irrashayimasse! it's the samurai-looking young men pounding the mochi at the sweets stall.

My first trip was a sleepy afternoon when sporadic tourist groups roamed; the second was a bustling Saturday noontime frenzy, where it was a jostle through and through, but when I also felt much less shy about trying the different-flavoured mochi or pickles in their little boxes or bowls (above).

If I don't know what to do with 10,000 varieties of pickles, at least I know I'll be visiting Nishiki again (and again) if only for its flowers at wholesale prices, or the purple firmness of a basket of eggplants. Or the odd cuts of meat, the strangest flat fish to be seen this side of Kansai. Or really just for the heck of being there.

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