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Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

Kochi City is a market lover’s haven. Whether you’re after food, gifts or just have a little time up your sleeve you can’t miss the chance to attend one of the area’s many popular markets. Established around 400 years ago, the Kochi City Sunday Market is the area’s most famous market. However, the smaller, more food oriented, Hirome Ichiba Market is also a great way to immerse yourself in Kochi culture. Here’s a guide.

  • Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    The city of Kochi is home to one of the oldest outdoor marketplaces in Japan. Originally opening in 1690, this market has been passed down through generations and generations of Kochi locals and still runs every Sunday to this day. Stretching between Otemon Gate, the entrance to Kochi Castle, all the way along Otesuji Avenue, the market strip is actually one kilometer long. The market is such a popular local icon that a number of offshoot outdoor markets have popped up on other days during the week.

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    The market houses around 500 stores, all offering something a little different. Populated by local farmers, artisans, and market sellers Outesuji, the street the market is on, transforms into a local shopping and community hub. Whether you’re after food, gifts, or hand crafted locally produced goods, you’ll find something here. Beginning in the morning and running all day long, you’ll want to put aside a few hours to properly explore.

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Though there are a diverse collection of sellers, arguably the market’s biggest feature is its locally grown produce. Fresh from the farm and at bargain prices it’s a popular place for Kochi locals to visit and stock up on weekly groceries. That said it’s also a bit of a culinary wonderland for hungry travellers. Be sure to try the small, sweet tomatoes, and the fried sweet potato snack imoten, both of which are Kochi specialties. The best way to get there from Kochi Station is to take a tram to Hasuike-machi Dori. From there you can walk along the streets dotted with palms with the market running all the way to Kochi Castle.

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Another market alternative is Hirome Ichiba Market. The market houses an impressive collection of over 60 stores each of which feature their very own unique traits including Tosa style food and the delicious katsuo no tataki. A little more of a food court market hybrid, this is a great place to stop off and really get a taste both figuratively and literally of what Kochi has to offer.

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Opening in 1998, the Hirome Ichiba Market was established to spread Kochi’s infectiously delicious food culture to the rest of the world. The entire Hirome Ichiba is comprised of seven blocks, which include Oshiroshita Hiroba and Ryoma-dori. If you spend a little time here you’ll soon realize how important this market is to the everyday community life of the Kochi’s local population and the people who visit. Filled with ex-pats, farmers, travellers, and those born and bred in the area it’s a true mixing pot of cultures.

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    Live Like a Local at the Kochi Markets

    One of the best ways to soak up the real atmosphere of the market and witness the daily life here in Kochi is to grab a beer or something to eat and set up camp for a little bit. Filled with communal tables throughout the area, guests are welcome to pick up whatever takes their fancy and eat it here on site. The market is easy to access from Kochi Station, just take a short walk to Kochiekimae Station and catch the Tosaden Sambashi Line to Hasuikemachidori Station; from there it’s a little under a 10-minute walk.

    Hirome Market
    Address
    Kouchi Pref. Kouchishi Obiyamachi 2-3-1
    Phone
    0888225287
    Kochi Castle
    Address
    Kouchi Pref. Kouchishi Marunouchi 1-2-1
    Phone
    0888245701
    Kochi(Kochi)
    Address
    Kouchi Pref. Kouchishi Kitahonmachi 2-chome
    Phone
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