What better way to learn about life as a local than to visit a local market! There are several markets in Kochi bursting with delicious food, interesting people, and exciting things waiting for you to discover them.
The Sunday Market has been running for more than 300 years and stretches roughly 1.3km along the road towards Kochi castle. It’s held every Sunday between 5am and 3pm. There are more than 400 stalls, which sell an amazing variety of local specialty foods including, fresh fruit and vegetables, breads and sweets, and even bonsai and other plants, kitchen knives, and arts and crafts.
One of the advantages of the Sunday Market is that most goods on offer are sold directly by producers or farmers, and in case of fruits and vegetables, most of them are picked in the morning so are amazingly fresh. Kochi is famous for citrus fruits, especially YUZU. In fact, 50% of Yuzu sold in Japan is from Kochi and it’s also exported overseas! Another delicacy of the region which you cannot miss are the tomatoes produced in Kochi, which are referred to as ‘Sweet Tomato’ or ‘Fruit Tomato.’
It’s a great opportunity not only to enjoy fresh foods but also to chat with local farmers, producers and craftsmen. This is a must-visit spot on Sundays.
Hirome Market is the heart and soul of Kochi people. This is the food market where both locals and visitors love to visit to enjoy local cuisine. It’s located just 5 minutes from Kochi castle and the Sunday Market.
There are about 60 stalls inside the market, and Kochi-style food like katsuo no tataki (seared bonito) or local snacks that pair with Kochi’s sake are a great place to start. However, there are plenty of foods to choose from like sushi, rice bowl dishes, Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisine, breads and sweets too. Of course, there are plenty of drinks to choose from as well! Many locals come here for drinks with friends too. Shared tables are the norm and as the drinks flow and people become merrier, drinking groups often merge into one. This atmosphere is the very essence of Okyaku culture, which we mentioned in a previous article on Kochi.
Kure Taisho Town Market is located in Nakatosa—famous for its fresh seafood. Kochi prefecture is famous for Bonito fish and there are several cities and towns that claim to have the best bonito in the region. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Our bonito is the best in the world” and Nakatosa is no different. The market has been running for more than 100 years and has 16 stalls and restaurants inside the market. Most of the stalls sell fresh seafood which has just been caught that morning. You can choose your fish and ask staff to prepare it as sashimi or grill it for you (is your mouth watering yet?).
And finally, what we all need to accompany all that delicious food—some sake!! Nishioka Brewery makes sake that pairs well with Bonito and we do recommend you try some fresh bonito and sake when visiting Nakatosa.
Talk to our experienced consultants about how to get the best out of your visit to Kochi.