Japan’s oldest lifestyle market from the Edo Era
Tosa’s Sunday Market has had a history of over 300 years, starting from the year 1690 in the Edo Era with the fourth feudal lord of the Tosa Domain, Toyomasa Yamauchi, deciding on the site and the date that the market would open. With the solar calendar being introduced in the Meiji Era, there would be markets from that point onwards daily. Even now, there are street markets open during the week all throughout Kochi City on Tuesday (4-5 Kamimachi), Thursday (in front of the prefectural government building), Friday (Atago-cho) and Sunday (Otesuji).
Japan’s largest street market spreading over 1.3km
Sunday Market which is one of Kochi Prefecture’s most famous tourist sites consists of about 500 stores lined up for 1300m on the main street by Kochi Castle, Otesuji. Not a morning market, it is notable for the fact that it is open from sunrise to sunset. Every Sunday, half of the market is closed off to vehicular traffic with shops on either side of the street selling local fresh vegetables and fruits, dried fish from the nearby port, metal utensils, cutlery and plants as about 15,000 people come to visit in just one day, let alone in a week. Local fresh foods only found in Kochi can be bought directly and safely from the manufacturers and growers at a reasonable price and you can enjoy shopping as you walk and eat at the same time.
Sample famous dishes at Sunday Market
You absolutely have to try inakazushi at Sunday Market. It is a type of sushi that is eaten in the Mt. Kochi area incorporating rice combined with yuzu vinegar along with seafood and food of the mountains. So, inakazushi stands out for the fact that it doesn’t just include fish but also bamboo, konnyaku jelly, maitake mushrooms and other ingredients from the higher areas. These ingredients will vary depending on the season and the tastes will also differ depending on the establishment which makes things very interesting. One famous dish at Sunday Market, imoten, involves sweet potato being deep fried in a tempura style so that it makes for a great snack as it is crispy outside while the inside is piping hot. Mt. Tosa ginger ale is also popular for its generous use of local ginger without any agricultural chemicals.