Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

walking northwards, we’d reached another unesco gazetted historical site, Chion-in Temple 知恩院, whose gateway boasts to be the larget wooden structure in all Japan.

知恩院 錦市場

The much-raved wooden gateway. And its more than just a gateway incidentally, there’s a “treasure chamber” on top which holds the “treasures” of this temple. The other interesting thing about this temple is its 7 “unexplained mysteries” 七个不可思议. we were too tired to go round hunting for them and only managed to locate a wooden umbrella stranded under the roof latch of one of the main temples. How did it get there, no one knows…

Chion-in Temple also houses the largest bronze bell in all Japan. And once has to climb a long flight of stairs to access it. 100+ steps in all. And after all that ordeal, we saw the humungous bell, which was… .well…. a bell. :/

知恩院 錦市場

walking northwards, we’d chanced upon the gigantic torii and we knew we’d finally reached our last destination for our walking tour, Hei’an Jingu 平安神宫, a major shinto shrine in Eastern Kyoto. The structure is huge!!!!! All that vermillon brillance against the blue skies, very uplifting sight indeed.

知恩院 錦市場

we had to stop to get watered and fed but there aint any eateries in the area. Had to settle for some takeaway bentos from a 7-eleven and I must say they tasted quite decent. this is J’s hamburger steak set which came with a potato croquette and some boiled vegetables.

知恩院 錦市場

And I had tori karaage set with pickled vegetables. Microwaved before eating so it was piping hot!

知恩院 錦市場

this place is huge… reminds of Meiji Jingu in Shibuya-Harajuku area in Tokyo. But it looks more “lively” since vermillon is the “in” tone here.

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

despite being really old, it looks really “new” as shinto shrines are generally revamped once in a while unlike buddhist monasteries which look rather dull and drab usually.

知恩院 錦市場

we headed northwards to Kyoto Handicraft Center which is just behind Hei’an Jingu. The place is quite dead, without many tourists. In fact, we counted less than 10, including us.

知恩院 錦市場

handcrafted Japanese dolls. Japanese people believe that spirits would be make these houses and cause the dolls to come to live, hair grow longer etc… er, let’s not go there.

知恩院 錦市場

patchwork wooden balls.

知恩院 錦市場

weathered hands hard at intricate work…

知恩院 錦市場

frankly speaking, Kyoto Handicraft Center was quite boring. they do serve a rather decent lunch buffet we’d read but we got there too late. having finished our itinerary for the day faster than scheduled time, we decided to “detour” to Nishiki Market. The staff at Kyoto Handicraft Center gave us really good directions and we got to Nishiki easy on bus.

知恩院 錦市場

Nishiki Tenmangu is a small shinto shrine located in the heart of Kawaramachi in downtown Kyoto. It is located at the junction of Teramachi dori and Nishikikoji dori and runs westwards.

知恩院 錦市場

bronze bull statue at the entrance of the shrine, being repeatedly “molested” by devotees and tourists causing its belly and forehead to shine!

知恩院 錦市場

pseudo-bamboo cups for the “cleansing” ritual before entering a shinto shrine. alas they are made of plastic nowadays…

知恩院 錦市場

we got back to the main shopping street of Teramachi dori and headed down to the market.

知恩院 錦市場

shop with a bohemian swing.

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

roasted Japanese chestnuts

知恩院 錦市場

very pricey though…350g for 1000 yen… and mind you, no discounts for “bulk purchases” i.e. 700g for 2000 Yen and 1050g for 3000 Yen… anal retentive if you ask me…

知恩院 錦市場

then there was seafood…

知恩院 錦市場

looked like it’s sleeping… lol

知恩院 錦市場

fresh scallops and oysters to be shuckled and grilled on the spot.

知恩院 錦市場

fresh octopus tentacles.. think tako pachi!

知恩院 錦市場

cooked ones… tako

知恩院 錦市場

alaskan king crab sold by weight/size.

知恩院 錦市場

moving on to another seafood speciality store, we find fresh sea cucumber

知恩院 錦市場

fish roe… think mentaiko!

知恩院 錦市場

fish milt. ewww…. that’s fish “sperm” for those who are not familiar!

知恩院 錦市場

cured fillets of a rather large species. not sure what it is though. quite cheap as well for only 600 yen. but we weren’t too adventurous to try.

知恩院 錦市場

another fruit and vegetable store

知恩院 錦市場

much more affordable fruits. and they had yuzu, and we didn’t buy it. DAMN!!!!

知恩院 錦市場

box of strawberries with a whooping price tag…individual ones at 1280 each… that’s 20 SGD for one freakin’ strawberry!!!!

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

japanese rice crackers in an assortment of flavours

知恩院 錦市場

Steamed Japanese sweet potato which we are all quite familiar with now. Just that the ones we get in Singapore comes from Vietnam and not the “real thing”.

知恩院 錦市場

井上 is an old name which has been associatedf with Nishiki Market for a long time. Its very well-known amongst housewives and working mothers for a very wide spread of dishes made in a very homely manner.

知恩院 錦市場

many of them are pickled or preserved vegetables while some are fresh but equally delicious eaten cold. A really large section of about 30 different dishes ranging from white radish to lotus root, bamboo shoot, baby yam,etc…

知恩院 錦市場

An assortment of soy beans edamame cooked in different ways. Being a housewife in Kyoto, one’s literally spoilt for choices.

知恩院 錦市場

more pickled vegetables from another store further into the market.

知恩院 錦市場

daikon pickled in so many ways!!! in miso paste, brine etc…

知恩院 錦市場

another shop selling an assortment of 薩摩揚げ satsuma age

知恩院 錦市場

large variety of surimi-based fish cakes, many of them familiar in oden.

知恩院 錦市場

pickled radish and cucumber

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

look at the carrots!!!

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

fruit and vegetable stall

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

知恩院 錦市場

parboiled bamboo shoots

知恩院 錦市場

assortment of pickled konbu 昆布, kelp

知恩院 錦市場

coloured pencils… quite a juxtaposition from the other food stalls in Nishika Market.

And so ends our tour of this place. Didn’t get any yuzu regrettably but we did walk away with some pickled sakura blossoms which I’d used in the sakura roll cake.

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10 responses

  1. Sugoi (^_^) Wonderful photos.
    Lucky u are to see those all things, places and food! PEACE

    August 16, 2011 at 2:18 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      arigato gozaimasu! I’m lucky to visit Kyoto and would definitely do it again whenever possible!

      August 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

  2. i was hoping you got a shot at the ‘bell’ in that temple since you said it’s the largest one in japan. Enjoyed looking at the all the photos, the carrots, the fish sperm! do they have an open market like the ones in malaysia?

    August 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      well, I did get a few shots but i must say its not the most photogenic thing in the world to shoot, all greenish grey. But its helluva big yeah…..

      the only semi-open market I saw in Japan is in Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market. But they do have some stalls selling vegetables and sundries…

      here are some photos from the 2009 trip https://travellingfoodies.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/japan-november-2009-day-2/

      August 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm

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