Having tasty local food must be one of the things on your traveling to-do list. Omicho Market is the place where you can do this in Kanazawa! Here is our gourmet guide to help you enjoy Omicho Market!
What is Omicho Market?
Omicho Market (also known as Kanazawa’s Kitchen) has been loved by locals for over 300 years, as it dates back to the Edo period. Kanazawa City, which is in Ishikawa prefecture, is facing the Japan Sea and that is where all the fresh seafood comes from throughout Japan. At Omicho Market, you can enjoy seasonal seafood at reasonable prices. Seafood is not the only thing that you can enjoy at this market. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also available. There are vegetables that you can hardly find in Tokyo! If you are traveling to Kanazawa, Omicho Market is definitely the number one gourmet spot that you must visit!
How do you get to Omicho Market from Kanazawa station?
Omicho Market is 15 minutes’ walk from JR Kanazawa station. The way from the station is pretty easy and the road is nice and big but it’s still a 15-minute walk. If you want to save your energy by not walking from the beginning, there are buses to take you there. You can catch the bus at the East Exit of the station. Bus stops number 6, 7, 8 and 9 are where you need to go to catch the correct bus. Get off at “Musashi-ga-tsuji” and the market will be right there. There are also bicycles for rent if you want to move your body but still don’t want to walk.
Observe the market
What do you think of when you imagine a “market”? Omicho Market has all different kinds of food but seafood is what they are most famous for. Crabs, oysters, shrimps… they are all fresh from the ocean! The market is full of fresh seafood but is not a smelly place. There are quite a lot of vegetable shops, too. Some of the vegetables are called “Kaga-yasai”, which are only grown in the Ishikawa area. You may find something you have never seen or will never see outside of Omicho Market. Also, there is a wonderful sake shop. It’s a reminder of the fact that Kanazawa is also known as a sophisticated sake city. Some shops are closed on Wednesday, so be careful not to miss them when they are open.
Trying different food from various shops
Most of the seafood shops will let you eat their food right in front of the shop! You should try as many as you can while you are in the market! Oysters and shrimps are popular to eat raw. Among the fresh seafood, small white shrimp and Nodoguro fish are two things you should try. Crabs, oysters, and a range of other fresh seafood is also available but those two from Kanazawa will impress you. Absolutely delicious! We also recommend trying oden, which is a Japanese hot pot dish. We also recommend various flavored croquettes served straight from the kitchen and soft ice cream with local candy!
Minami is one of those amazing seafood shops where you can taste fresh shrimp right there in the shop. It’s situated in front of a croquette shop and you will see all different types of fish at the shop. You can just point out the shrimp to the master of the shop and he will give it to you on a plate straight away. As you put the shrimp in your mouth, the sweetness of it will spread all over your entire mouth. You can also feel how fresh the shrimp is from its texture. It will melt in your mouth, leaving you with unforgettable joy. Their famous Botan shrimp is 400 yen.
Minami Botan shrimp
Minami Seafood Shop
This croquette shop is very easy to find as there is always a long line. You won’t wait long though, as the line moves very fast, so don’t worry! They serve their croquettes just after they are fried so you will get them while they are still hot. It’s a perfect snack to eat in the market while looking around! The croquette selection features a variety of types, including seafood ones. It’s not easy to find seafood croquettes in other places but you can find them in Kanazawa. As you can imagine, their items often get sold out by the evening, so you better go there early. Their octopus croquette is 180 yen.
Omicho Croquette Shop
-Yugen-gaisha Shinriki Suisan: grilled Ayu fish
So you’re not a big fan of raw fish? Well, here is a shop where you can still enjoy Omicho’s fresh fish without eating it raw! Shinriki Suisan is a fresh seafood shop where they offer grilled fish at reasonable prices. They grill the fish at the shop and let you eat it right there. Ayu fish (sweetfish) grilled with salt is their most popular menu item and they grill the fresh fish whole! Bones, face, guts, meat, fins… everything! It is both Instagrammble and fun! Get wild and bite the whole fish! Charcoal grilled Ayu fish is 250 yen.
Charcoal grilled Ayu fish
-Kanazawa Oden Ippukuya
This is another choice for those who prefer to eat cooked food. Oden is a Japanese-style hot pot, with a soy-flavored dashi broth that will make you warm, both physically and mentally. You can even choose the ingredients to put in your broth. They have an English explanation and you can just point out what you would like to have. You can eat their oden inside but there are no seats, just standing tables. Easy and casual! Their Yaki-fu, a baked wheat, gluten steamed fish cake is 180 yen, while their Akamaki red and white fishcake is 130 yen. Both are Kanazawan items you must try!
Futaroku is a shop where you can get tofu-related products. They have quite a few types of yuba: a delicate, curdled soy milk that is formed in the process of making tofu. The timing of catching yuba changes depends on the humidity and temperature of the day. You need to be skilled to get a silky textured yuba. They also have soy milk desserts, so you can truly enjoy their desserts, even if you are vegan. Our recommendation from this shop is their soy latte. It brings the rich soy milk taste to your mouth. Their soy latte is available for 300 yen.
Tanatsuya is a grain shop that is run by the organic farm “Kanazawa Daichi”. Their specialty is jiro ame soft-serve ice cream, which you can buy for 400 yen. Jiro ame is a traditional candy made from barley and rice that originated in Kanazawa. It doesn’t contain any sugar at all but is a little sweet. If you have watched the Japanese TV drama “Hanzawa Naoki”, you might know that the main character loves this candy. Tanatsu-ya’s jiro ame soft-serve ice cream uses jiro ame and brown rice sweet sake as its sweetener. You won’t experience heaviness in your body or feel that it was too rich after eating this ice cream.
Jiro-ame Ice cream
- 石川県金沢市下堤町19-4 近江町商店街中通り十間町口近く
Try to get sushi at a sushi bar in the market!
Besides fresh seafood shops, sushi bars are also helping Omicho Market be a great place. Walking around and eating whilst standing can make you tired at some point. If you still have room in your stomach or you want to sit and eat properly, going to one of the sushi restaurants is exactly what you should do. However, there are so many restaurants that you might not be able to tell the difference between them. They are all unquestionably good places but you can still choose depending on what you would like to experience. Here are our recommendations with what you can expect at each restaurant!
If you want to have a regular, fresh seafood bowl and enjoy it with your eyes too, this is the restaurant for you! Yama-san has a beautiful kaisen-don: seafood bowl. The scallop shells and fresh sashimi on the rice are decorated in a drastic way, with the colors and visuals reminding you of jewelry. They use eighteen different fresh ingredients for this breathtaking bowl. You might have to wait in a line as this restaurant is pretty popular. Their kaisen-don, which will impress you just by looking at it, is 3000 yen.
Yama-san Sushi Kaisen-don
Iki Iki Tei
If you couldn’t get any kaisen-don or sushi on your first visit, you can try again with Iki Iki Tei the next morning, as it opens at 7 am! What you will appreciate about this restaurant is that they have mini-sized kaisen-don. It is their most popular menu item, especially among ladies. They can also adjust the quantity of rice upon request. Their friendly atmosphere is another attractive point. They can let you know via your cell phone in case you have to wait for a long time, so you can go check other places while you are waiting! Their mini-size kaisen-don is 1500 yen.
Iki Iki Tei
Ｍini size Kaisen-don
Mori mori sushi
If it’s your first Kanazawa visit and you want to make sure that you can eat what you expect at a sushi-go-round restaurant, Mori mori sushi can serve you the perfect meal! They have a tremendous choice of sushi, especially locally-caught seafood. They offer premium ingredients such as Nodoguro (Rosy seabass) and crab at reasonable prices, too. Large tables are available so you can visit in a group. Among their menu items, “Mori mori three assorted sushi” and “Omicho three assorted sushi” (which are only available at this branch) are the most popular. “Mori mori three assorted sushi” is 1300 yen.
Three Kinds of Sushi in Mori Mori
Mori Mori Sushi
Mori Mori Sushi