There are the 3 largest markets in Japan.
Toyosu Shijo (market) of Tokyo and Nishiki Ichiba (market) of Kyoto, and do you know what market is in Osaka?
That is Kuromon Ichiba (market) that also is said as “Naniwa’s kitchen” and as “Osaka’s appetite”.
It has been loved by chefs of Osaka and by locals since the past.
The shopping street expands in a shape of “Ki” of Japanese Katakana letter, and of vertically about 600 meter length and horizontally about 300 meter, with about 170 shops and stores.
* “Ki” of Japanese Katakana letter is a shape like one vertical line with two horizontal lines in parallel across over the vertical lines(like this”キ”).
This time, I will introduce you the origin of the name of Kuromon Merket, and the status of the market that has been successfully changed in the flow of time.
Displays in the Arcade are a Crab and Fish
When stepping into the Kuromon Merket, and when you look up, the first thing that your eyes catch is the display of a crab.
In addition, when you go walking ahead, there continue displays of fish, including octopus, blowfish, and sea bream.
Kuromon Merket is, as the displays of the arcade symbolize, the market that is occupied of 70 % of the total with specialized shops and stores of seafood, including blowfish, tuna, prawns, and river fish.
At fronts of the shops, there are lined up fresh seafood that you may not have seen in supermarkets.
Why such many kinds of fish dealers have become active in Kuromon Merket?
The Origin and History of Kuromon Merket
Although today it is called as ”Kuromon Ichiba(Merket)”, Kuromon Merket was called as Enmyoji Temple Ichiba(merket) during the Meiji Period.
In late Edo Period, it is said that the market originally started from some fish dealers sold fish in front of the black temple gate of Enmyoji Temple, that was located in the west of market.
The market was authorized as an officially recognized market by Osaka Prefecture in the Meiji 35 (1902), but the temple and the gate were burnt down during the big fire in the Meiji 45 (1912).
As only the name of the black gate of Enmyoji Temple was inherited, so it became called as Kuromon(black gate) Ichiba from Enmyoji Ichiba.
As the market was started by gathering fish dealers of excellent production places of seafood, such as Senshu of the south part of Osaka and around Ise of Mie Prefecture and they started selling, so it is known and has always been known that there are many fresh seafood shops and stores in the market.
Popular Among Foreign Tourists! A Heaven of Luxury Food
When you strolling around Kuromon Merket, you will find menus and signboards written in English and in Chinese everywhere around.
Although Kuromon Merket has been loved by local chefs and by housewives for long, after the collapse of bubble economy, there were the time when the continuation of the market was in crises, as there were less customers because of declines of restaurants as well as advances of supermarkets.
In recent years, the market transformed to the shopping streets for foreign tourists, and it is now popular as the spot for eating around delicious Japanese food among foreign tourists.
It is said that shop owners are learning even English conversation for serving better to foreign guests.
The origin of the “eating around” in Kuromon Merket is the sample of food that the shops served to Japanese customers as free service.
At “eating around” of Kuromon Merket, it is attractive that you can eat around luxury foodstuff that have supported Naniwa’s kitchen.
It is also attractive that they also grill the food just in front of your eyes.
Not Just Eating Around, but Also Dining in
In Kuromon Merket, not only eating around, but also you can eat right away the food that you bought at the dining space equipped in the shop.
Sushi of fatty tuna, etc. is also sold.
There are also restaurants, and also, as there are restaurants specialized for blowfish dish that you can rarely eat usually, you can also taste the blowfish dish in full scale.
In addition, there are also Japanese Black beef, udon noodles, takoyaki, etc.
In Kuromon Merket, you can explore the taste of Osaka until you become full.
Let’s Eat Good Food at Kuromon Merket of Osaka
Kuromon Merket has successfully transformed to the market, which outgoes the history and the food culture of Osaka toward the world.
When you come to Kuromon Merket, I recommend you to taste finely selected foodstuff!
Only in here, you can enjoy wide varieties of tastes from eating luxury foodstuff around to the tastes of Osaka ordinary people.
As there is a roof as the arcade in Kuromon Merket, you don’t need to be worried even on a rainy day.
Besides food shops, there are also shops, including one hundred Yen stores, drugstores, and fruits and vegetable shops.
Recently, it is said that there are increasing the young Japanese who visit there for the first time, viewing the media report that targets to foreign tourists.
You, too, by all means, please try going there.
Address: 1 and 2-chome, Nipponbashi, Chuo-Ward, Osaka-City, Osaka Prefecture
Business hour:9:00 to 18:00
Access: Right from Nipponbashi station of Osaka Municipal Subway