For me one of the exciting locations in Kanazawa was the Omi-Cho market, a small but perfectly formed local market. With the coastline a mere 5 km away, it is this nearby coast that provides most of the seafood for sale at the Omi-Cho market. Including a spectacular collection of crab, a particular speciality of Kanazawa.
It’s nice for me to see a local market with plenty of vegetable and fruit vendors, they stock some fabulous local produce including, fresh bamboo shoots, wasabi roots, fern fronds and lotus root to name some that I recognise. The fish section is phenomenal with a large number of vendors and some beautiful displays of incredibly fresh smelling fish. It’s easy to see that this market is for Japanese as most of the food here needs some degree of preparation and cooking, the pickle section is cryptic and although I’m slowly recognising more items I fear I’ll leave Japan without fully understanding most of these items.
There is a limited amount of vendors selling ready to eat foods at Omi-Cho, it’s mostly things on sticks, fried and/or crumbed items, not necessarily hot, there is limited sushi and sashimi supply and of course a few mochi shops. The canteen downstairs in the basement serves cheap local items, many of them looking very appealing, the dining space itself is less so. There are also a collection of restaurants the level above the market floor, but honestly I never ventured there and have no idea what they sell.
Obviously there are tourists here, but most, like me walk through, gawk at a few stalls, maybe buy some ready to eat, consume it and gawk some more. Leaving with a great feeling about a cool place they found or great image they captured. Some of the groups have activities arranged with a stall holder, like the Japanese group eating raw, formerly live prawns like they are going out of fashion.
With it being poor etiquette to eat and walk in Japan many of the places selling grab and go food have seating, not always comfortable, certainly not luxurious, but somewhere to park yourself while you eat the food you just purchased. In Omi-Cho this was quite a good option, not just because eating the stuff on sticks would be tricky when walking. As I ate I could watch some of the action, the men pushing carts, their white gumboots squelching audibly as the walk by, the fish cutter, still with his apron looks cold, in spite of his layers. These people are cursory glances, as are the groups marching by, when I look up from my peculiar breakfast One of the items I couldn’t identify, possibly octopus, it was tough, and fishy, the small fish was small enough to crunch the bones, the teriyaki shellfish was quite strong, and the giant meatballs were quite satisfying.