Our Favorite Local Market in Osaka

By PinpointTraveler | Apr 23, 2021
Asia > Japan > Kansai > Osaka

The Markets of Japan's Foodie City

Most market-seeking visitors to Osaka make a beeline to Kuromon Ichiba in the Namba area. However, once they get there and take a look around, it becomes immediately apparent that most they are rubbing shoulders with are fellow tourists. Where are all the locals? Not here. This is not to say that Kuromon Ichiba is a bad place to visit, but we've got somewhere a lot more local for you true market aficionados: Pulala Tenma. Here you'll most likely find no tourists at all (unless this travel tip takes the internet world by storm!!), but you'll also most likely find no one who speaks any English. Let's cover the pros and cons of both these markets.

Kuromon Ichiba

One of the "rare" bargains at Kuromon Ichiba.

There is no doubt that Kuromon Ichiba is long on a few key points. For one, there's a ready-to-eat spread of high end wagyu beef, top class seafood, unbelievably gorgeous and sweet fruits, and so much more. It's like a supercharged food court. Problem is that the prices are also supercharged, to the tune of 50% or much, much more than the price Japanese people would actually pay for these items. And then there's the question of authenticity, which you may or may not choose to burden yourself with! However, shall you accept the burden, you should know that the goods sold here are hyper-honed to be in the image tourists expect. The variety of foods on offer just isn't the same as the more plebian markets out there. Negatives aside, Kuromon is well located for most visitors, the vendors speak at least a bit of English (and Chinese, as Chinese speakers are here in great numbers), and if you choose carefully and are not, ahem, monetarily discerning, amazing flavors can be enjoyed.

Pulala Tenma

Vegetating.

Vegetating.

At Pulala Tenma, you'll find an astounding selection of all things foodie, from vegetables to seafood to the ingredients needs to make a proper Japanese soup stock. And of course everything in between. And at bargain prices. And why are you not already on your way? Plus, you'll get to mingle with the famously aggressive Osaka people. Don't worry, it's not dangerous. Unless you're emotionally fragile and would be upset by an old woman pushing you aside should you linger in one spot too long. But hey, that's what travel is for, right?

Seared bonito, known as katsuo tataki in English. Cheap and assertive.

Seared bonito, known as katsuo tataki in English. Cheap and assertive.

Make sure you check out both the ground level and the underground level where there's a proper supermarket too. Don't come to Pulala Tenma wearing shoes that can't get wet. The fish area can be a just a tiny bit sloshy at times. Do... do a thorough meander at Pulala Tenma and learn just about everything there is behind the Japanese foods you know, and probably a few you don't know yet. Sadly, there's no food court type thing going on here (Japanese aren't really into eating while milling about), but the neighborhood around Pulala Tenma (especially to the west, southwest, and north) eagerly awaits your glutinous arrival.

Food Market

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Written by PinpointTraveler
Hi, this is Kevin, the person at Pinpoint Traveler who absolutely loves to write and read about travel! As a company, we focus on day/night tours in Japan, but as an individual, I'm a huge fan of travel across the world.

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