Kuromon Ichiba is a food market located near Nipponbashi station south of Osaka. Sheltered under arcades, visitors stroll through more than a hundred stands of fresh produce and can taste all the richness of local gastronomy on site.
Kuromon's reputation is well established, even at the national level. The covered market in the Naniwa district, which bears on its shoulders nearly two hundred years of history, boasts impressive statistics. Along its pedestrian axis, nearly six hundred metres long, more than one hundred and fifty shops of all kinds line up cheerfully.
The various stalls are mixed with the shops located on the pedestrian street. If half of the shops are naturally linked to seafood products (there are several certified specialists in fugu, this deadly fish so poorly prepared), the market happily complements them with lots of meat, vegetables and condiments.
Kuromon has also built a more recent reputation thanks to the tastings it offers. Many stands allow you to taste the fresh products prepared on site; in addition to the classic sushi, scallops and sea urchins, you can also discover squid, jellyfish or even the famous grilled octopus sticks, which are emptied to be filled with a quail egg and dipped in soy sauce (see picture of one).
In addition, Osaka also offers its collection of more or less local grilled meats. We are obviously thinking of takoyaki, but they are largely joined by tempura, oden and taiyaki for the sweet touch. Finally, small supermarkets have just finished to decorate the picture, with their fruit at the top of the gondola at delirious prices.
Recently, however, the Kuromon market seems to be suffering from its success. Foreign tourists now disembark en masse, especially Asian buses that pour out their swarms of visitors. The fast food restaurants have not been mistaken, adapting their offer, but at the same time the place seems to have lost part of its good-natured atmosphere. As an off-topic witness, a few clothing stores even clung to the extremities of the market.
Wholesalers, who would represent half of the turnover, are then becoming increasingly discreet, even though they supplied some of Osaka's greatest chefs.