Summertime temptations at Kyoto’s Nishiki Market

生ビール冷えてます。

Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool on the text I’ve transcribed just below the photo if you need help reading this sign.

It includes an often seen kanji/katakana pairing, so even if you’re still getting katakana down, this is a good chance to get some exposure in a natural context to a very high frequency kanji character and perhaps learn one of its readings and meanings.  Give it a try before continuing.

If you go out to eat or drink in Japan, this one will serve you well, in case you needed a bit more motivation. Asking for なまビール  will do the trick, or just say なま and save your energy for sipping! Your draft beer will appear in a flash.

I like the way the shopkeeper embellished the standard sign(you can often get this and others like it at the 100 yen shop,  the local version of a dollar store) with a glittery approximation of a cup of suds, with  bubble wrap quite capably standing in for the head.

Admittedly, I noticed these details only after considering buying one as it was a typically muggy August day, but it was only early afternoon, so I somehow resisted the urge.

I came across it when I was strolling through Nishiki Market,  which is a must do when you’re in Kyoto.  It’s a narrow, covered street with a 400 year history that’s home to a wide variety of traditional shops.  It’s packed with tourists on weekends and there’s a certain energy about that that can be fun, but weekdays allow for more elbow room and the chance to take things in at a more leisurely pace.

A great place to stroll and indulge your senses,  soaking up  sights, sounds, tastes and smells that will linger in your mind long after your visit. And a good number of shops, like this one, offer foods that you can eat or drink on the spot and on your feet,  to tide you over between meals.

But with possibilities like raw, skewered cubes of tuna marinated in olive oil and Italian spices along with more traditional delicacies in no short supply, why not go with the flow, graze your way from end to end and call it lunch?

Originally posted 2012-09-15 10:30:36.