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Goin’ Japanesque!

Osaka Minami: Eating on a Stroll at Bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market

The Air Is Filled with Conversations at Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba is a market located in Osaka Minami, and it is widely known as Osaka’s kitchen. Enmyoji Temple used to be near the market, and the market was called Enmyoji Ichiba during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). The temple’s gate was black, and the market’s nickname has changed to Kuromon (Blackgate) Ichiba over the years.

Spirited Osaka dialects fly like bullets, “Kouteya (Please buy)!” or “Maido! Okini! (Thank you again)”. Osaka local customers of middle-aged women fire back without missing a beat “Sonny, won’t you lower the price?”

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Writer’s Photo, A large monument in Kuromon Ichiba, Map

The Kuromon Ichiba here also has a large puffer fish like Dotonbori! This market is famous for conger eel in summer and puffer fish in winter.

The arcade expands 300m east to west and 80m south to north and it covers 150 stores, including fish stores, some focusing on puffer fish or soft-shell turtles, green grocers, fruit shops, pickle shops or flower shops. The place is always busy and crowded no matter when I come.

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Writer’s Photo, Store front of a puffer fish shop

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Writer’s Photo, A fish store

There is a customer munching on sea urchin freshly out of shell with a beer can in one hand. Some stores are equipped with small chairs at the store front.

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Writer’s Photo, A tuna shop

A tuna bowl is packed with fish, the price is reasonable and the taste is out of the world!

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Writer’s Photo, A fruit shop

Aren’t you sometimes dying for fruits and fresh vegetables? Eating fresh fruits on a trip makes me really happy.

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Writer’s Photo, A florist shop

Soft color combination reminds me of markets in Paris. It lures me to stay there a while and adore them.

The fun part of Kuromon Ichiba is its numerous offers of food that we can enjoy while walking. Yes we expect no less as this is Osaka, the town of “eat till you bankrupt”. I can get grilled skewered fish at a fish store, fresh juice at a fruits shop, soft-served matcha ice cream at a tea store. Tempted by delicious smells wafting through the market, I kept buying food here and there, on and on. When you come to Kuromon Ichiba, please be hungry and ready to charge!

 

Trivia Info: Recommended Soba Shop

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Writer’s Photo, Map

En route from Kuromon Ichiba to Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater, the central core of Yoshimoto Kogyo, there is a small soba noodle shop called “Shinano Soba” on a corner, which is packed with local people.

Yoshimoto comedians are frequent customers of this shop, and particularly Hitoshi Matsumoto of Downtown loves this place. I heard Hitoshi always stops by at this shop when he is back in Osaka on business.

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Writer’s Photo, Haikara Soba

This is Haikara Soba, Hitoshi’s favorite. In Osaka, soba noodle with tenkasu (crunchy bits of tempura) is called Haikara Soba (the same for udon noodle, too). According to Hitoshi, “The tenkasu of this shop is flavored and when I leave Osaka, I cannot help but crave for it.” If you are lucky, you may be able to bump into Hitoshi or young comedians of Yoshimoto here!?

Please try intense Osaka experience to the fullest. Let’s go to Minami, the unpretentious energetic town of Osaka!

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Atsuko

About the author

I am a licensed guide (in English) who was born and raised in Nara. I hope to convey the beauty of Nara and its history, the current Nara as well as the old and new of Kansai Area. Trust me to keep you in the know about Nara and the Kansai Area!

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