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Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market

Just about the only thing, I knew about Osaka before my trip was the Kuromon-Ichiba Market, and I couldn't wait to visit! After five days in Kyoto, we headed to Osaka on the regional train. I didn't know what to expect of Osaka, quite frankly I had spent most of my time researching Kyoto.

kuromon ichiba market
Inside Kuromon-Ichiba Market in Osaka. Photo credit: Wasin Waeosri.

Osaka was mainly a transition point for us as that is where we flew in and out of. Except for the food market, you know, I have my priorities.

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After two and a half days in Osaka, I came to the conclusion that it is a mini-Tokyo. I apologize to all my friends in Tokyo and anyone in Osaka who might be offended by that statement, that was just my impression.

Osaka Shopping
Osaka – loud, crowded and noisy…

Compared to the relative calm and peacefulness of Kyoto, Osaka was frenetic. Loud, bright, crowded, again like Tokyo. Don't get me wrong, I love Tokyo. It was a matter of sequence. If I were to ever repeat my trip I would visit Osaka first and then head to Kyoto.

In the end, the one thing I did love about Osaka was Kuromon-Ichiba Market. Like Nishiki, it was just what a foodie needs. Food experiences for miles. New things to try, look at, touch, taste and of course, people watch. And like in Kyoto, we ate nearly all our meals in and around this market.

Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Entrance to the Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures

For instance, we didn't eat much sushi in Kyoto, it is just not something they have a lot of, they are more focused on seasonal foods and vegetables. With the river, their focus is on other preparations of fish and seafood.

Sushi is available, but not in the huge quantities that Osaka of Tokyo has. So when we saw this little “shop” servings huge bowls of tuna from different parts of the fish (maguro, toro, etc) for $20, we couldn't get our butts in one of the 5 seats fast enough!

Sashimi at Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Sashimi at Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures

The shop is a fish stall that happens to serve food – the sashimi is basically scraps from what they are butchering – damn good scraps and damn cheap.

Sashimi at Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Cutting sashimi at Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures

$20 may not sound cheap, but we shared the bowl and with the amount they gave us, it would be double in San Francisco!

Sashimi at Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
This would be $40 or more in San Francisco – it is just a big pile of very expensive tuna pieces

Most of the time we just grazed. Stopping here and there to pick up “snacks” as we went.

Oden Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Oden in Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

Seriously, there wasn't anything we didn't love!

Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

Well, maybe this guy. This is Shioyaki, which is grilled seabream (I think) and is saltier than all get out.

Shioyaki Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Shioyaki in Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

But otherwise, who doesn't love freshly cooked scallops or baby octopus or in the far right corner, Takoyaki which is a snack with a piece of octopus in the middle?

Scallops Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Scallops in Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

If you are thinking, “What's with all the fish, I need something substantial!” then the market has you covered as well. Pick out your Kobe steak and have it on your plate in 5 minutes! No middleman restauranteur here, you get it straight from the butcher!

Kobe Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Kobe in Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

Of course, there are plenty of vegetables as well. They have them preserved in miso paste like we saw in Kyoto.

Vegetables in Miso Paste Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Vegetables in miso paste in Kuromon-Ichiba Market, photo credit Mr. Misadventures.

Or fresh like these shishito peppers which I love!

Shishito peppers Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market
Shishito peppers Osaka’s Kuromon-Ichiba Market

The two days we were in Osaka we ate at least one meal at Kuromon-Ichiba. Eating in and around food markets is one of my favorite ways to explore a city's food scene. Plus it is fresh and far more inexpensive than a lot of traditional restaurants. For us, it is a win-win.

Address: 2-4-1, Nippombashi, Chuo-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka, 542-0073
Hours: Open every day 9 am to 6 pm
The Kuromon-Ichiba Market website and Kuromon-Ichiba Market blog are only available in Japanese, but you can translate it very easily into English (or other languages using their online tool).
Public Transportation: Near the Nippombashi Station on the Osaka Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line (K17) or Sennichimae Line (S17) OR from the Kintetsu Nippombashi Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line or Kintetsu Nara Line.

How about you? Do visit food markets at home or during your travels?

Of course, we did more than eat in Osaka! We also visited Namba Parks, and the Umeda Sky Building, people watched and took lots of photos!

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Osaka's Kuromon-Ichiba MarketOsaka's Kuromon-Ichiba MarketOsaka's Kuromon-Ichiba Market

Author Bio: Andi Fisher

Yes, I am a francophile, but after that, I love Japan, especially the food! I have been to Tokyo many times, and spent 2 weeks in Kyoto and a week in Osaka exploring and eating!

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  1. What gorgeous food and $20 isn’t bad at all considering you can share it with others at your table.

  2. Massimiliano Maruca says:

    it’s really cheap.

  3. Pam Shepherd says:

    The Food Looks So Good..

  4. Everything looks so yummy! I’d love to visit it some day. Wonderful photos!

  5. What an amazing post – I love the whole grazing way of eating, specially when traveling! Everything looks so good – and preserving veggies in miso paste? Yes please!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Marnely, it’s the best right? Little bites of everything…that way you don’t miss anything!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Lori, completely!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Stephanie, if we hadn’t already eaten a big breakfast we both would have done our own too!

  6. @Travelpanties says:

    Beautiful photos as always!!! This is my dream day! Love grazing through a market! Beautiful photos too! Mouthwatering!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @TravelPanties, glad you enjoyed it, definitely my favorite thing to do!

  7. What a great ‘taste’ you’ve shared of the local flavor! Cheap sashimi sounds like a dream to me. YUM!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Lindsay, it is rare indeed and something you should always take advantage of!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Kimberly, tuna is the best and it was such a luxury to eat so much for so little!

  8. That market looks amazing! I love to visit local markets on our trips, so much fun seeing what they have!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Amanda, markets are an amazing place to explore local foods and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy any place.