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Lunch at “Nishiki Market” the kitchen of Kyoto



Jane Singer

Associate Professor at Graduate School

The associate professor of Kyoto University graduate school of global environmental studies. Born in the United States. Started the study about sustainable development by recognizing the reality of environmental refugees. Engaged in practical field research mainly in Southeast Asia.


In the morning of one sunny summer day, we met Ms.Singer -our GENIUS today- and our participants at “Nishiki Market”. Participants were separated into groups and started buying lunch by the group. Since Nishiki market is a place that you rarely get to visit even if you are living in Kyoto, all the participants enjoyed shopping with surprises and discoveries.
Today’s table was set in Nishiki-Agaru, a refined Kyo-Machiya built in Taisho era which is about 100 years ago. To preserve the traditional food culture of Kyoto, it provides a place for tourists to with an eat-in space of food which was bought from Nishiki Market. We brought in the dishes which we just bought from the market, and GENIUS TABLE began here. Jane Singer is the associate professor of Kyoto University graduate school of global environmental studies, and is making researches on environmental refugees in Southeast Asia and education for resource governance and participatory development. The professor’s husband is Japanese, and he is a member of prefectural assembly. She told us with smile that she had been living in Japan for more than 30 years and that was longer than the time she spent in my home country United States. She also told us that she sometimes visits Nishiki Market and her study with sustainable environment. Participants enjoyed listening to her stories with the delicious food from the market. It became a special Kyoto experience.


No.12 Kyo Machiya Nishiki Agaru

Refined Kyo-Machiya built in Taisho era. Beside the usage as an eat-in space for foods from Nishiki Market, it is providing representative à-la-carte menu from restaurants in Nishiki Market for dinner. It is a community-based food culture venue which aims to be a new model for promoting local development.
No.13 Nishiki Market

Kitchen of Kyoto was built 400 years ago. It is located in Nishiki-Koji Street which is one block north to Shijo Street. There are various shops along the Nishiki-Koji Street. You can find seasonal ingredients of Kyoto and feel the unique food culture of Kyoto. The market is always lively and it was chosen as one of “77 thriving shopping street in Japan” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2006.


Fumika Hirata

University student

I had a wonderful time having local dishes from Kyoto while having a interesting conversation in this beautiful building. It was a very valuable experience to have an opportunity to have a casual talk with someone like Professor Singer.


University student

The idea of buying foods for lunch in Nishiki Market by ourselves was very interesting and unique. The lunch session with Professor Singer was great because it made me interested in a new field!