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: Open late
: Open Sundays
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The World of Commerce
Here are a few notable food markets, imported grocery stores and well-stocked wine shops in the Kansai area.
Osaka: Honmachi -- Painduce
French-style pastries and fresh breads from this neighborhood bakery; there's also a miniscule cafe attached if you want to stop for coffee.
Awajimachi 4-3-1. Open 8am-7pm. Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Honmachi -- Paul
Excellent sandwiches, breads and pastries from this French bakery; there's also a spacious cafe behind the shop. (Paul also has retail branches in Daimaru and Hanshin department stores.)
Honmachi 2-3-14. Open 10am-10pm daily.
This tiny "bio and slow tea house" sells organic Swiss chocolates, German herbal teas, Austrian jams and honeys, and a few toys and knick-knacks.
Utsubo-Honmachi 1-14-11. Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays.
Beneath this ordinary-looking sake shop - through a hole in the floor and down a narrow ladder - is a hidden sake tasting cave with a big selection of premium sake from around the country, including many koshu (aged sakes). Tasting-size glasses are just Y200 each, and the only food is chunky miso from Wakayama and umeboshi (also Y200 each).
Itachibori 3-5-1. (1 blk E of Itachibori 3-minami crossing) Open 9am-7pm (6pm Sat). Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Namba -- Yamaya
Discount wines and liquors, plus a miscellaneous assortment of imported foods.
Minatomachi 1-4-1, O-Cat Mall 3F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
While it doesn't demand a special trip across town on its own, this mini-food theme park is worth a stop if you're off to the nearby aquarium or Suntory Museum. Eighteen quaint little shops sell everything from sembei crackers and roast chestnuts to gyoza, takoyaki and onigiri.
Kaigandori 1-1-10, Tempozan Harbor Village, Market Place 1F. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Wines by the glass at very reasonable prices (Y300-550) at this informal stand-up wine counter in Hankyu Sanbangai. Inside, the Ishii shop sells imported foods, a large selection of wines and liquors.
Shibata 1-1-3, Hankyu Sanbangai Minamikan B2F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
One of Umeda's biggest food floors is located in the basement of Hanshin.
Umeda 1-13-13. Open 10am-8:30pm daily.
Osaka: Umeda 2-chome -- Enoteca
Enoteca's wine bar corner is a convenient place to stop for a quick glass or two and a small snack to nibble on. Food includes wine-friendly fare like smoked duck, beef carpaccio, and cheese, and there are usually a dozen wines (mostly French) ready to pour at any given time. Tasting sizes (100ml) start at Y550.
Umeda 2-5-25, Herbis Plaza 2F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Kyoto: Gion -- Picasso
A wine specialty shop. The big selection here is strongest in French and Italian wines.
Benzaitencho 15, Space Shimbashi 1F. (W side of Nawate, 2 blocks north of Shijo) Open 2pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Kyoto: Karasuma -- Daimaru
Daimaru's food floor is huge, with a good selection of prepared foods from famous restaurants as well as imported items.
Shijo Takakura 79. (Shijo just east of Karasuma-dori) Open 10am-8pm daily.
Kyoto: Kawaramachi -- Aritsugu
A fantastic selection of chef's knives and cleavers, cooking pans, bamboo steamers, and more esoteric cookingware can be found at this 400-year-old retail shop.
Nishiki-koji-dori Gokomachi-nishi-iru. (along Nishiki Market street, north side) Open 9am-5:30pm daily.
Kyoto: Kyoto Station -- Isetan
The sprawling basement food floor of Isetan Department Store is a convenient place to buy bento boxes and other take-away food before you take the train.
JR Kyoto Station, JR Kyoto Isetan B1F. Open 10am-8pm. Closed some Tuesdays.
The fresh-baked sembei crackers here are perfect to munch on while you explore the nearby Tenryuji Temple, and they come in fun flavors like wasabi, red pepper, shiso and yuzu - 14 varieties in all.
Keifuku Arashiyama station. (in front of Keifuku Arashiyama station) Open 9am-8pm daily.
This small corner store looks like it's been transported from small-town America circa 1950. The shelves are jam-packed with American and European brands seldom seen in Japanese grocery stores.
Naka-Yamate-dori 2-19-2. Open 10am-7:30pm daily.
This Halal grocery store is a good place to find Indian and south Asian spices as well as various prepared foods.
Naka-Yamate-dori 2-17-3. Open 11am-8pm daily.
A German wine specialty shop with more than 300 varieties in stock; downstairs is a large wine bar and restaurant.
Kitanocho 4-9-14. (on Tor Road, N of Yamamoto-dori, after it's wound to the right and then to the left) Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays.
The basement food floor, right next to the station, is one of the better places to find a selection of local food products.
Onoe-dori 8-1-8. (just S of JR Sannomiya station) Open 10am-8pm daily.
The Food Gallery