Delicious sushi lunch at Omicho Market

Posted on 01/07/2015

Omicho Market was started in 1721 and has been loved by locals as ‘Kanazawa’s kitchen’, representing Kanazawa’s cuisine culture, for over 290 years. In 2009, it was reopened as ‘Omicho Ichiba-kan’, and since its renovation they are now open on Sundays too. As we were already hungry, we went straight upstairs to the restaurants. I could see a nicely arranged indoor market, like a theme park, but the shouts of sellers hoping to attract customers hadn’t changed. We decided to have our lunch at ‘Omiya-Denbei’, which offers fresh local seafood, mainly sushi. The restaurant has seats at the counter and tables on the Tatami-floor. Behind the immaculate counter, three chefs were busily handling orders from all the customers. We ordered a lunch set first – a standard assorted sushi plate, including salmon, deep-water shrimp, negi-toro (battleship roll - minced tuna with thinly cut spring onion on top), and tuna. Everything was fresh and tasted so delicious! We also ordered three pieces of shrimp sushi which you should definitely try in Kanazawa: Gasu-ebi, Ama-ebi, and Sira-ebi shrimps. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the Gasu-ebi shrimp. We also ordered three more pieces of sushi: Nodoguro (Rosy sea bass), Uni (sea urchin), and Toro (fatty tuna). I smiled when I saw small pieces of gold leaf sprinkled on top of the Nodoguro sushi, how luxurious it was! 

We left Omaya-jinja and wandered Hyakuman-goku street toward the Musashigatsuji area. Today is nearly the end of May so within a week the famous Hyakuman-goku festival will be taking place and the town will be bustling with tourists. Almost all the buildings along the street have set up posters and decorations for the festival. As it is the first Hyakuman-goku festival to be held since the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) line, I believe Kanazawa will be packed with tourists from all over the country.

After walking for a while, we arrived at Omicho Market facing the Musashigatsuji intersection. I was amazed at the renovated market with its impressive new building. When I lived here 30 years ago, there was no upstairs, which is now full of restaurants. 

Once we were full, we moved downstairs to the market. There were vegetables, fruit, flowers, and even nursery vegetable plants for sale but what you shouldn’t miss here is, of course, the local seafood. In the Hokuriku region where Kanazawa is located, rock oysters are caught on the coast during the summer. I’m not a massive fan of oysters but my wife regretted eating too much sushi while enviously looking at other tourists gorging on fresh oysters in the market. Beside oysters, you can try scallops, sea urchins and Botan shrimps in Omicho Market. The tourists who enjoyed fresh seafood were arranging refrigerated delivery services to send fresh seafood to their friends. As it was getting closer to our train time, we headed back to Kanazawa station. 

Omicho Market

Opening hours: 9:00 to around 16:00

Closed: Many stalls are closed on Wednesdays.

Address: 88 Aokusa-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0907

Admission: free

Closest bus stop: Musashigatsuji (武蔵が辻)

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