Osaka has a reputation throughout Japan for many things, but it’s maybe most famous for its food. Osaka, or ‘the kitchen of Japan’ as it is affectionately known across the land, is well respected for its vibrant food scene and also widely considered the culinary capital of the country. Visitors to Osaka can feel overwhelmed when they first arrive, not knowing where to eat, what to order or what the local specialties are. With so many great looking options available to you along all of the high streets, it is near-on impossible to know where to begin. The Kuromon Ichiba Market is as good a place as any!
The Kuromon Ichiba Market is one of Osaka’s most famous markets, where tourists and locals alike flock to experience firsthand the rich and very diverse “foodie” culture of Osaka. With options available to suit all palettes and tastes, there are a number of delicious treats for those that visit. If you’re looking for something local, something sweet, something to take home and cook later, or even something to take back as a souvenir from your travels, then this is a great place to start looking.
High grade Japanese wagyu beef lightly seared in front of your eyes
Mini octopi ready to snack on as you enjoy shopping in the market. Octopus is a much loved food in Osaka, also being the key ingredient in the local staple dish of Takoyaki, which is also available at several stores in the market.
Freshly roasted chestnuts at Kuromon Market
With a great selection of sweets and cakes on offer too, you will leave Kuromon Market feeling both full and satisfied!
With a range of boxed and packaged goods too, this is a great place to pick up souvenirs for your friends and family back home!
The Kuromon Ichiba Market is a covered shopping street that stretches about 600 metres in length, with a number of small side streets offering a number of local foods and teas, coffees and snacks. Chefs from all over Osaka come here to buy the freshest and best ingredients for their restaurants. While chefs do account for a lot of their sales, shops are of course also open to the public. The food available ranges from lowbrow comfort food to high end culinary specialties. A visit to the market is the perfect opportunity to sample a wide range of foods and ingredients without necessarily breaking the bank. They have a wide range of foods on offer, suitable for all. Including, of course, lots of options for vegetarians and vegans too.
A fishmonger at Kuromon Market with fresh produce, likely selling to a lot of the local sushi restaurants
Fresh sashimi salmon for sale at Kuromon Market, ready to eat on the fly or good to take home and cook
There are a lot of amazing restaurants and shops, but the area is most famous for its endless rows of food stalls. The sheer variety of what’s available keeps people coming back time and time again. Osaka’s proximity to the ocean means that stalls in the market have some of the freshest seafood you’re likely to taste during your trip to Japan. Don’t be surprised if prices at some of the stalls are what you would find in a restaurant; when the quality is this good, it’s what you’d expect. Where else in the world can you walk down the street while eating a freshly grilled lobster tail, a slice of freshly sliced sashimi or a freshly caught baby octopus?
A variety of fresh fruits are for sale, ready to eat now, drink now or take home
With a couple of stores also specializing in dried fruits, you are spoiled for options
Fresh coffee beans from around the world at Kuromon Market
The street stall culture of the area means that most places don’t normally try to fill you up. Most stalls just offer you a small, satisfying bite. This is ideal if you want just a light snack or want to try as many things as possible by visiting several places. Since you’re not sitting down for a full meal, explore as many places as your appetite can cope with. With over 180 places to eat, it’s safe to say that you will leave satisfied! Ans the places you didn’t get to try, will always be there the next day, or when you next visit Osaka.
Many stalls have 2-3 seats, allowing a small group of people to sit down and enjoy a snack before heading off and trying something else in the market
With stores specializing in delicacies from across Japan, you can try foods from areas you won’t get to visit, like the world-famous Kobe Beef
Ever heard of nikumaki onigiri? A riceball warpped in thinly sliced perk, it’s a firm favorite in towns up and down the country
Prices vary dramatically from shop to shop. If you’ve ever wanted to pay 2,000 yen for a super red apple or spend 20,000 yen on a perfectly ripe melon, then this is your chance. If however you’d rather spend slightly more sensible prices, there are plenty of options fo that too! Most of the street stalls here will offer snacks within a very affordable price range of about 300–700 yen.
Tuna is one of the most popular snacks here if you don’t mind dropping a few yen. On the cheaper side, Takoyaki, (battered octopus balls), is a more affordable Osaka specialty that’s well worth a try, at around 400-500 yen for a try of six. It’s safe to say that almost any Japanese food with a Holy Grail status can be found here if you look hard enough.
You’ll know when you’ve reached the market as the unmistakable red lanterns that hang from the ceiling are placed at all entrances and exits
Kuromon Ichiba Market is conveniently located just south of the Nippombashi Subway Station and Kintetsu Nippombashi Station. Once you leave the station, it shouldn’t be too hard to find your way there. Just follow the crowds! A lot of people will be going in the same direction! It only takes a couple of minutes to get there on foot, but the walk back after stuffing yourself may be a little bit slower!