A Visit to Kanazawa’s Omicho Market

The city of Kanazawa is probably not on everyone’s Japan itinerary list.  Most people just use the city as a transportation hub heading to Takayama or Shirakawa-go.  Some include is as a day trip to visit Japan’s third most beautiful garden Kenrokouen.  If you spend more than a day here, you’ll realize the town is full of surprises and perfectly preserved because it escaped the air raids during World War II.  Kanazawa is close to the ocean and located in the Ishikawa prefecture.  It boasts with a wonderful fresh food market, Omicho.

Omicho market has been around since the Edo period and specializes in fresh fish.  This is a great place to head to if you’re looking for a good breakfast.  Rice bowls topped with delicious fresh seafood will make you think twice about the freshness of your fish at home.  I headed to a stall where many locals were lined up on the edge of the market to see what they were eating.  It looked too good to be turned down – braised pork belly in a light miso broth with mustard on the side and a giant shellfish/clam that I had to wiggle out of its shell.

Pork belly breakfast at Kanazawa's Omicho Market
Pork belly breakfast at Kanazawa’s Omicho Market

There’s many varieties of pickles to try out and giant oysters delicious and creamy and the best I’ve ever had.

Fresh oysters from Kanazawa's Omicho Market
Fresh oysters from the market
Fresh oysters at Kanazawa Omicho Market
Best oyster EVER!

Omicho Market is a 15-20 minute walk from the station, nestled in between two big concrete buildings.  I almost missed the covered entrance the first time.  It’s also possible to take a bus from Kanazawa Station.  Take the bus to the city center and get off at Musashigatsuji bus stop. It is served by most buses departing from the station’s east side, including the JR buses.  If you decide to walk from the station, you’ll reach a big crossing of four main roads.  The entrance to the market is on the right side.

Wasabi root at Kanazawa Omicho Market
Wasabi root
Fish stall at Omicho Market Kanazawa
Typical stall selling varieties of fish at the market