Translated by Lester Somera
If You're In A Seafood Mood, Visit Osaka's Kuromon Market!
This article introduces the Kuromon Market in Osaka, with a special focus on the specialties that one can find there, such as fugu (blowfish) and other amazing seafood items, as well as vegetables and fruit that one cannot find but at this market.
Written by Keisuke Yamada
If you want to really experience the local cuisine and atmosphere of a place, the best places to go are the markets and shopping districts, not necessarily the sightseeing spots. This time, we want to introduce the famous Kuromon Market, with its wide array of delicious Osaka food options.
What Is The Kuromon Market?
The Kuromon (“Black Gate”) Market, located in Districts 1 and 2 of Nipponbashi in Chuo Ward, Osaka City, is an area where market stalls and small shops are gathered together. The market is known for its veritable treasure trove of food choices, which rivals the offerings at Higashinari Ward’s Tsuruhashi Market and Toyonaka City’s Hounan Market.
There are approximately 180 businesses in the Kuromon Market, and half of them sell seafood. In addition to seafood stores, other shops handle fruits and vegetables or dried foods, and there are even supermarkets with comprehensive food inventories. In other words, if you come to the Kuromon Market, you can buy any delicious thing you can imagine.
The Kuromon Market was formerly known as Enmyoji Market due to its proximity to Enmyoji Temple. It is thought that the current name was derived from the temple gate’s black paint scheme, as people always referred to it as the black gate market.
The Kuromon Market Is Famous For Fugu
Fugu (blowfish) is the Kuromon Market’s delicious specialty!! Fugu is known as an expensive seafood treat in Japan, and it’s said that Osaka is responsible for three-fifths of domestic fugu consumption. When you ask someone in Osaka where to get tasty fugu, the Kuromon Market will be the first place on their lips.
It’s actually said that Japan, China and Korea are the only countries with a culture of eating fugu. In the West, it is known as a poisonous fish and considered inedible.
In Japan, you need to be certified in order to cook with fugu, so you can rest assured that fugu served at restaurants will be safe to eat.
You Can Eat More Than Just Fugu At Kuromon Market!!
You can eat plenty of delicious seafood at Kuromon Market other than fugu. Walk through the market and you can find food like this delicious-smelling skewer of grilled squid.
You can see other spectacles like these scallops being grilled before your eyes. All of these shops handle the freshest ingredients, so drop in and try whatever takes your fancy.
As in the photo, if you choose what you’d like to have grilled, the shopkeeper will cook it right in front of you.
Another dish we recommend is oden. Everything in this simmering stew is delicious. If you have difficulty choosing what to eat first, how about starting with a slice of daikon radish?
This food is known as Imagawa-yaki (or obayaki) in the Kanto area, while people from Kansai call it kaitenyaki. While these wheat flour-based confectioneries - which are cooked on a metal griddle - may look simple, they’re packed with plenty of anko bean jam (or chocolate/cream, in some varieties) and are a real treat.
You Can Also Enjoy The Shopping
As mentioned before, the majority of the shops in the Kuromon Market deal with seafood. The goods for sale are on display at the front of the store, and here you can buy the best seasonal ingredients.
As we walked past a greengrocer, we discovered a very Japanese item for sale.
This is wasabi. Most city supermarkets don’t carry such large, thick wasabi roots; it’s the sort of thing you can only get at a local market.
There were also bamboo shoots, which are best in the springtime. The ones we saw here were splendid.
We also found white strawberries and other curious fruits.
Free Places To Rest
There are tables and chairs in the market for shoppers to sit down and take a break. Conveniently for tourists, there’s also free wi-fi service.
What do you think? The market is near Namba in Osaka, so after a stroll through that area, the Kuromon Market is an ideal spot to go have lunch. Come visit Kuromon Market to enjoy all the deliciousness that Osaka has to offer.
Kuromon Market (黒門市場)
Address: Osaka, Osaka City, Chuo-ku, Nipponbashi 2-4-1
Hours: Varies by store
Closed: Varies by store
Wi-Fi: In the rest area
Credit cards: Varies by store
Foreign language menus: English,Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean (homepage support)
Closest station: Nipponbashi Station (日本橋駅) on the Sennichimae Subway Line
Access: Directly outside Exit 10 of Nipponbashi Station
Price range: Up to 1,000 yen
Homepage: Kuromon Market