Monday, February 1, 2010

Omi-Cho Market: Kanazawa's Kitchen

Wow, I can't believe I have yet to write a post about the wonderful Omi Cho market in Kanazawa. This is a must for anyone visiting Kanazawa.

Omi-Cho has around 200 shops, stalls and restaurants so give yourself at least an hour. The atmosphere in there is fantastic; a chorus of "irasshes" (welcome) from the stall holders who follow up by shouting out their deals and whipping the customers crowds into a frenzy of buying.

These stalls overflow with seasonal Kaga veggies, specialised dry foods, tubs of fresh pickles and of course seafood. If you're only visiting Japan this is a great opportunity to see what the locals eat and even try food out for yourself. One stall owner was cracking open fresh oysters for passing customers at ¥300 a pop. If it wasn't for my stomach's turbulent relationship with shellfish I would have had one.

You can also eat some of the fresh seafood in Kanazawa both on the market floor (there's a couple of good sushi belt restaurants) and on the 2nd floor above the market (more upmarket) When mum was here we went to a really popular restaurant upstairs, just take the escalators to the 2nd floor, take a right and look for the restaurant with the live fish tank just inside the entrance (sorry Ive lost the photos) . The menus aren't in English but the waitresses are so friendly and can help you choose. This place must be a favourite for the locals as by 12.30pm the place was full with a queue forming outside. Our food was absolutely out of this world.

I have been to the market so many times but it was an amazing sight in December, snow crab season, where an eye boggling amount of fresh (some still live) crab were being sold everywhere you look.

Some crabs, with ridiculously long claws, were being sold for ¥8000 each (about £55) or is that a batch of 10? I'm not sure!

I had a great day taking pics, just wandering around the bustling market and marvelling at how lucky I am to have a fresh market to buys my groceries. Make sure you go if you're in Kanazawa.

NB Most of the shops at Omi-cho market are closed on Sundays and holidays.

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