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Memories of Japan III: Nishiki Market

This is the third article in my Memories of Japan series, we are still in Kyoto but we aren't going to any temple. Today, we are going grocery shopping to Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto.

Photo by susielomovitz

A narrow and covered, five-block shopping stree in downtown Kyoto hides more than the hundred shops and restaurants of Nishiki Market. If you want to enjoy Kyoto’s culinary delights, you have to visit it and enjoy the visual entertainment it offers.

You won’t only be fascinated in seeing food you have never seen before, you will also be able to taste the delicious food prepared right there! Don’t say no to free samples: surprise your palate and enjoy shopkeepers friendliness!

If you are going to the market, you will surely meet a weird racoon dog. Maybe you will be surprised by its testicles’ size but don’t be afraid, it’s Tanuki! This legendary creature, famous for its naughtiness, is a master of disguise, but somewhat naive and distracted.

It’s common to see Tanuki’s statues in Japanese restaurants, specially in noodle restaurants because they bring good luck. Often, they are wearing turtle shells as hats and carry a bottle of sake in a hand and an empty purse in the other. Tanuki’s statues always have big bellies. The size of their testicles is comically large, typically hanging down the grown, although this feature is sometimes omitted in contemporary statues.

Photo by susielomovitz

I hope to come back soon with another memory of Japan and breathtaking corner of this fascinating country!

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written by susielomovitz and translated by ladyfromthepast

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish. It is also available in: Deutsch.