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Public markets make great tourist destinations around the world, and Japanese markets are no exception. Popular markets include fish markets in coastal regions, quaint morning markets in rural towns and large, busy metropolitan wholesale markets. Below are some of the more popular markets in Japan:

Kushiro Washo Market

Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 on Sundays)
The Kushiro Washo Market (Kushiro Washo Ichiba) opened in 1949 a short distance from Kushiro Station and is one of the three big markets that can be found in Hokkaido. There are about 60 stalls selling fresh seafood, dried products, meat and vegetables. A popular meal at the market is "Kattedon", a donburi dish where diners can personalize their rice bowl with seafood bought from the vendors.

Sapporo Nijo Market

Hours: 7:00 to 18:00 (restaurants: 6:00 to 21:00)
The Nijo Market (Nijo Ichiba) in Sapporo, nicknamed "Sapporo residents' kitchen", is another one of the three big markets in Hokkaido. The market has a history of over 100 years and occupies about one city block in central Sapporo. Nijo Market offers fresh seafood and local produce through multiple vendors, as well as a collection of restaurants and small drinking places along a narrow corridor called Noren Yokocho.

Sapporo Curb Market

Hours: 6:00 to 17:00 (restaurants from 7:00)
The Sapporo Curb Market (Sapporo Jogai Ichiba) is a public market consisting of nearly 80 stores and restaurants lined up along several blocks just outside of Sapporo's Central Wholesale Market. The market specializes in Hokkaido seafood and local produce. The best way to enjoy the market is to have a seafood donburi (kaisendon) at one of the restaurants in the market.

Hakodate Morning Market

Hours vary by shop, typically 5:00 to 12:00 (from 6:00 from January to April)
The Hakodate Morning Market (Hakodate Asaichi) started in 1945 near Hakodate Station and is third of the three big markets in Hokkaido. This public market spans about four city blocks with fresh seafood and produce on sale daily, and many restaurants offering fresh seafood breakfasts, like seafood donburi, can also be found in the market area.

Aomori Furukawa Fish Market

Hours: 7:00 to 17:00 (Nokkedon sales until 16:00)
Closed: Tuesdays and January 1 and 2
The Furukawa Fish Market, also known as the Aomori Gyosai Center, is a public fish market five minutes on foot from Aomori Station packed with vendors selling all sorts of local seafood, vegetables and pickles. The market is also known for "Nokkedon", a donburi dish that visitors can create themselves with seafood bought from the different vendors.

Aomori Auga Fish Market

Hours: 5:00 to 18:30
The Auga Fish Market (Auga Shinsen Ichiba) is a fish market located in the basement of Auga Festival City shopping center, not far from Furukawa Fish Market and Aomori Station. Fresh seafood is brought in from Aomori Port and there are also shops selling dried foods, prepared foods and vegetables. Restaurants in the basement also serve seafood from the market.

Miyako Fish Market

Hours: 6:30 to 17:30
The Miyako Fish Market (Miyako-shi Gyosai Ichiba) is one of Miyako City's public markets. There are about 40 vendors selling seafood freshly brought in from Miyako Port, and fruit and vegetables, as well as a couple of restaurants. In addition to larger stalls, the market also reserves one section to local farmer families to directly sell their produce to market visitors.

Shiogama Fish Market

Hours: 3:00 to 13:00 (weekdays), 3:00 to 14:00 (Sat), 6:00 to 14:00 (Sun and holidays)
Restaurants from 7:30 to 12:00 (until 13:00 on weekends and holidays)
The Shiogama Fish Market (Shiogama Suisanbutsu Nakaoroshi Ichiba) is a wholesale seafood market open to the public. In addition to over 140 stalls selling fresh, dried and processed seafood, there are also restaurants and areas where visitors can grill their seafood purchases as well as create their own seafood rice bowl (kaisendon).

Tsukiji Fish Market

Hours: outer market typically 5:00 to 14:00, wholesale area open to visitors after 9:00
Tsukiji Market (Tsukiji Shijo) in Tokyo is best known as one of the world's largest fish markets. The market consists of an inner market where most of the wholesale business and the famous tuna auctions are taking place, and an outer market whose retail shops and restaurants cater to the public. A visit to Tsukiji Market is best combined with a sushi meal at one of the local restaurants.

Takayama Morning Markets

Hours: Miyakawa Asaichi 6:30 to 12:00 (from 8:00 in winter)
Jinya-mae Asaichi 7:00 to 12:00 (from 8:00 in winter)
Held daily in two places in the center of town, Takayama's morning markets are considered one among Japan's three famous morning markets. Both morning markets have about 40-50 shops selling fruit and vegetables, pickles, miso and other homemade goods and craft. Either market can be reached in about a ten minute walk from the Takayama Station.

Wajima Morning Market

Hours: 8:00 to 12:00
Closed: Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, January 1-3
The Wajima Morning Market (Wajima Asaichi) is Wajima City's most famous attraction and also one of Japan's three famous morning markets. Vendors, including many elderly farmers, line the pedestrian street in the city center selling various goods, including fresh seafood, produce and local lacquerware.

Omicho Market

Hours: 9:00 to 18:00Closed: Varies depending on shop
Omicho Market (Omicho Ichiba), also known as "the kitchen of Kanazawa", has been Kanazawa's largest fresh food market since the Edo Period. There are about 200 shops and stalls specializing in local seafood from the Sea of Japan, produce, and general household goods. The restaurants inside the market tend to be quite busy during lunch time with tourists and locals alike, and it is not unusual to see long lines in front of the popular restaurants.

Nishiki Market

Hours: Varies by store, typically 9:00 to 18:00
Nishiki Market (Nishiki Ichiba), also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", is a narrow five block long shopping street with over 400 years of history lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants in Kyoto. Most shops specialize in a particular type of food and almost everything sold in the market is locally produced and procured, making Nishiki Market a great place to find Kyoto specialties such as Japanese sweets, pickles and dried seafood.

Kochi Sunday Market

Hours: 5:00 to 18:00 (April to September), 5:30 to 17:00 (October to March)
The Sunday Market (Nichiyo-ichi) in Kochi has a history of over 300 years and is held in the city center about ten minutes on foot from the JR Kochi Station. Locally grown produce and dried seafood, kitchen and household goods can be found at the sunday market and street vendors also sell all sorts of ready made delicacies, drawing locals and tourists every week.

Yobuko Morning Market

Hours: 7:30 to 12:00 (except January 1)
This public market is held daily along a 200 meter long street in the small port town of Yobuko outside central Karatsu. With over a hundred years of history, it is considered one of the best morning markets in Japan. Vendors line the street, selling dried seafood, vegetables and other local foods. Squid is a local specialty and can found prepared in various ways.
Page last updated: February 12, 2015