Omicho Fresh Food Market, Kanazawa © touristinajapan.com
Chubu, Food, Kanazawa

Omicho Market, Kanazawa

Omicho Market ( 近江町市場 ) is a large food market in central Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. The market is home to more than 170 shops and restaurants, of which a lot sell seafood, fruits and vegetables.

Accommodation Kanazawa Tours Hokuriku Arch Train Pass 

If you want to experience Kanazawa’s amazing, fresh seafood then the highly atmospheric Omicho Market is definitely the place to go. In this indoor market you find all sorts of local seafood like fish, crabs, oysters, sea urchins etc. There are both shops and restaurants, making it a perfect location to drop by for lunch – something a lot of locals do. Being quite a popular lunch spot, the streets of the market are bustling and busy during the hours around noon. If you prefer to explore the many stalls without too big crowds, then come between breakfast and lunch. The lines to the over 40 restaurants will also be much shorter in the late morning.

 Food Tour: Omicho Market & Geisha District (3-Hour)

While seafood seems dominant, there are indeed many other shops in Omicho Market. There is a huge selection of vendors selling fruits and vegetables, as well as kitchen ware, flowers and ice cream. Why not try a soft-serve ice cream covered in edible gold leaf? Kanazawa is famous for it’s gold production, so what better way is there to experience that, than eating it on an ice cream?

All photos above © touristinajapan.com

About the name “Omicho Market”

The market was established in the middle of the 1700’s, and is thus over 280 years old. The name, “Omi-cho” reveals a bit about the markets history. During the first half of the Edo-period (1600-1700’s) traveling merchants known as “Omi Merchants” sold their goods to rural towns and farms, primarily along the Nakasendo post road. They would travel around on foot, with large backpacks selling special goods from their home region. The name “Omi” is derived from the old province “Omi” in modern day Shiga Prefecture, around lake Biwa. The merchants would often come from this area.

Eventually, as cities grew larger during the prosperous and peaceful Edo-period, it was difficult for the city communities to provide all the food and goods required for the city to function. The Omi Merchants, who were well known across the country, started setting up stores, and grew huge businesses.

The Omi-cho Market (Omi Street/Town Market) derives it name from the Omi-merchants, indicating that this might have been a place where the famous vendors sold their goods to the city’s inhabitants.

All photos above © touristinajapan.com

Planning your visit

Hours9:00 to 17:30
Closed on national holidays, January 1-4, August 15
Entrance feeFree
WebsiteOfficial Market Website
AccommodationKinjohro, UAN kanazawa, The Share Hotel Kumu and more hotels
Tours3-hour Omicho Market & Geisha District food tour

Getting there

By foot: from Kanazawa Station it is just an easy 15 minute (1km) walk to Omicho Market.

Loop bus: The left-loop bus stops at stop LL1 in front of the Omicho Market. The right-loop bus stops at stop RL15. One-way fare: ¥200. A day pass costs ¥500.
Official Bus website: hokutetsu.co.jp

Shuttle bus: the special shuttle bus that goes between Kanazawa Station and the main tourist attractions stops at S1 (from the station) and S12 (towards the station) in front of Omicho Market. One-way fare: ¥200 on weekdays, ¥100 on weekends and holidays.
Official Bus website: hokutetsu.co.jp

JR bus: if you have JR Pass, then you can take advantage of the JR Bus which runs through Kanazawa. It is free for holders of the Japan Rail Pass. The Korinbo Line, which departs from Kanazawa Station, stops at Omicho Market. Get off at stop #2 when departing from Kanazawa Station or stop #7 when driving towards the station.
Nishinihon JR Bus website: nishinihonjrbus.co.jp


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