Asia Pacific | Japan | Kyoto | Travel

Jakuchu Museum And Wine Shop at Nishiki Market

While walking through the centuries-old market area in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market when stumbled upon a time warp. Crammed in among fish mongers, Tamago chefs, and vegetable hawkers is a tiny wine bar and museum colorfully claiming its presence.

Jakuchu Museum And Wine Shop at Nishiki Market
Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures

[In all honesty, I do not know if this is the accurate name for the shop, it was on FourSquare geo-located to the spot I was standing with no other winebars (and there aren’t any other winebars in the market, only a wine and sake shop) so unless someone can correct me, I am going with it!]

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Our Context Travel guide Daniel and I stopped in to have a look.

KYOTO-Nishiki_Market_Winebar_DanielAndi
Daniel and I checking out the art (excuse my jetlagged appearance!) Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures

We met with Tsuji Yuiko, a student from KIT (Kyoto Institute of Technology) who was working in the gallery area for the day. Inside were works from over 120 students. One of the projects is napkins (I can’t think of a better world to describe it) each one representing a different shop in the Nishiki Market.

KYOTO-Nishiki_Market_Winebar_Napkins
Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures

This is the one that Tsuji did (I made her point it out!):

Nishiki-WineArt
Tsuji points to her creation (sorry for sucky photo)

The colors are bold on the inside and out, it is a really great space that is juxtapositioned amongst stalls that have been there for a very long time, but somehow it works. . It was too early in the morning to try out the wine and I didn’t go back to try it as I was focused too much on eating every time I visited the market!

KYOTO-Nishiki_Market_Winebar3
Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures

According to Wikipedia: “Itō Jakuchū was a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world. Many of his paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly chickens and other birds.”

His work is celebrated all over Japan and his style is mimicked in the work of artists everywhere. Jakuchū worked in Kyoto and his works can be seen in temples all over the city.

So in reality celebrating his work, with a wine glass or two, doesn’t feel so out of place after all.

How about you? Have you ever stumbled upon a little gem in what you thought was an unusual place?

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18 Comments

  1. Wow that’s really cool. I am looking at doing a Context tour in Paris. I know you’ve done a couple before.
    Any thoughts on the market tours?

  2. This is gorgeous. Well. I do like a restaurant that is ugly both on the inside and out here in Richmond, VA and I never would have normally gone into it..But it had good reviews and is all vegan with handmade vegan mock meats. It is called Panda Veg and it is on Grace Street.

    1. @Shannon, sounds great, hard to find really good all veg food, but when you do, it is fantastic!

  3. Wonderful pictures. I felt like I was there ordering with you. Mr. Misadventures is a fab photog. I love the napkins.

  4. My favorite thing is learning about new places that people visit. You find so many gems you never would’ve discovered otherwise!

  5. I imagine being able to travel to Japan one day. Until then, I will live vicariously through this post. Awesome pics!!

  6. Thanks Andi for the great feedback about the tours. Plus your blog too- really interesting to read every week!
    Sadly this place has disappeared from the market. It was a part of a project to get young people involved with the market and bring some new creative life to it. As you know Kyoto is also a city of universities, so it is great that the city is trying to make use of their creative skills. Also, cooperative for small arcades across the city (and other parts of Japan), which are not very well known and are losing out to supermarkets, are trying to rejuvenate their arcades through bringing in young people and starting art projects. Another great example in Kyoto is the one near Higashiyama station – Furukawa shotengai – full of old shops and charm. Another is Horikawa shotengai- which has a summer festival and lightup next month for Tanabata. All the best,
    Daniel.

    1. @Daniel, thanks so much for sharing. I hope that space gets more students works soon. I love Kyoto!