In Kyoto, there is a market hall with beautiful stained glass ceilings that stretches on for six city blocks. Called the Nishiki Market, this place is a food lovers' paradise; row after row of the freshest Japanese produce, seafoods, meats, dried, bulk, and prepared foods you can find. Plus, there are pubs (izakaya) where you can have a few beers and pub snacks, takoyaki (fried octopus balls) stands, and so much more.
I spent four days in Kyoto, and I went to this market three times just to look, and eat, and drink - I think I would move to Kyoto to be near this market!
Bulk miso and sake
Crabs and dried persimmons
Tsukemono (Japanese pickles) and candies made from rice flour (mochi)
Potato croquettes topped with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise, and pickled ginger, plus anchovies prepared in soy sauce & rice wine.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)