Japan 2012 - Nishiki Market Kyoto
Running parallel to the Shijo-Dori towards the Eastern side of Kyoto City is the famous Nishiki Market. The locals call it "Kyoto-no-Daidokoro" - Kyoto's Kitchen, because here you can find most of what you need to prepare a sumptuous Japanese meal.
The market has been around for hundreds of years. To a person who love's food it is fascinating and a great living lesson on Japanese ingredients. Not only will you see the usual stuff, but there are lots of shops selling things I've never seen before - for example smoked fish guts, sections of smoked Japanese carp filled with roe in the belly, all kinds of pickled vegetables, and chicken so good you are supposed to eat them raw like Shashimi !
Many of the shops here specialize only in one thing - like this tamago shop where everyone was making tamago.
To me Nishiki Market is a must visit in Kyoto. You will come away enchanted and definitely not hungry. The first time I went there I made the mistake of going too early - thinking I was going to catch the early morning crowd, but many of the shops were not yet open. Go after 10.00 a.m. when the place gets into full swing.