Kyoto Day 2 - Mitsui Garden Hotel and Exploring Nishiki Market

After a wonderful stay at Kikokuso on our first day in Kyoto, we head over to Mitsui Garden Hotel in the Sanjo area. At a much more pocket friendly stay of £60 per night (Kikokuso was £330 a night including a kaiseki dinner and traditional Japanese breakfast), this is going to be our hotel for the rest of our stay on Kyoto. 

The hotel is conveniently located 1 minute walk away from Karasuma Oike subway station, right in the heart of Kyoto. The Tozai line and Karasuma line connects here and with 2 subway lines, this made getting around Kyoto so much easier. 

Exit 6 and it's literally around the corner. Turn right at the exit, walk towards the Starbucks and turn right again, Mitsui Garden Hotel is on your immediate left. We loved our stay at this hotel, more on that later in the next posts.

After we checked into our room early, we have a quick freshen up and it's straight to Nishiki Market. I love browsing food markets whenever I travel and Nishiki was one not to be missed. From the hotel, the market is a short 10 minute walk away. 

Known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen', Nishiki market is a narrow shopping street/mall that spans a few blocks, selling all things food related. I went snap-crazy and took a ton of photos so I'll just let the photos do the talking (it was so hard to edit down!).

This pickle was delicious!

Beautiful Japanese sweeties.

This shop had me squealing. The buckets and buckets of pickled vegetables all taste so good from the samples we were offered. My love for pickles expanded 100 folds from this moment onwards.

It's lunch time and the snacking begins. These onigiri were not that great, but we got a kick out of eating them anyway.
Next up is a fried fish cake from this stall. It was your regular fishcake, nothing too special. We were going to have to dig harder for the treasures of this market.

This cake restaurant looked fun, so we grab a few sweeties. 

The grilled mochi is a Kyoto special and I'd had this on our Kyoto eat list. I love all things mochi and wanted to love this dessert. I didn't. The mochi balls were covered in a strange concoction of syrup and salty glaze, and it wasn't the sweet n salty in a good way. Still, I'm glad I ticked this one off the list! 

Filled with red beans, this one fared better, but still didn't wow us. I'm starting to think Kyoto isn't all that great for food. The snacky items we found on Day 1 were not as awesome as we had hoped either.

Miso marinaded aubergine.

This shop sold some kind of sweetened bean crackers which were made fresh. They were really good! We finally found something that was worth the calories.

So that was the end of our market wander. Whilst we didn't have a great time with our lunchtime snacking choices, the packaged foods we took home were another story.    

We brought back with us the most delicious sweet sake I've ever tasted, some amazing tiny fish sprinkles that turns a plain bowl of rice into something magical, cooking condiments and a few snacky items to share with friends and family. I so badly wanted to bring home all the pickles we sampled, but without a fridge and another week left in Japan, it wasn't going to happen. Such are the perils of travelling.  

As we reached the end of Nishiki market, we spot an interesting looking temple and go in for a browse. This was the first of the many temple tours of Kyoto that were about to come! 

And to finish off our mediocre lunch, we squeeze in a hotdog. We love a bit of junk food!

Beautiful origami flowers. 


  1. LOVE this post! It's inspiring me to travel more and also making me very hungry! Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. Would you like to follow each other on google+? Just follow me and I will follow back!

    Grace xxx

    1. Thank you so much Grace, Japan is most def a place to travel too, it's magical. I'd love to follow :)

  2. I absolutely love exploring foreign food markets when I travel too. It's a shame the snacks weren't as good as they could've been, but looks like a fun day of exploring anyway! I now seriously need to catch up with the rest of your travels!!

    Etta xx

    1. Foreign food markets are a must!! The foods we took home were amazing though, so still worth the trip =)
      Lots on Hong Kong already and more of Japan to come!! x

  3. Loving your Japan posts! So many interesting foods! :)

    Lyndsay |

    1. Thank you Lyndsay!! Yes, foreign food finds are always a mystery but tons of fun too! :) x


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