Friday, December 2, 2011

Tokyo's December Farmer's Markets

I've said it before and I'll say it ad nauseum: Winter is Tokyo's season of bounty. My refrigerator drawer overflows with the fantastic greens, root vegetables, and fruit available now at my nearby vegetable stands. We're cleaning up fields (peppers and eggplant most recently) and I'm back at canning again. I'm almost afraid to go to a farmer's market as I know I'll not be able to resist the kaki, apples, yuzu, or the next heirloom daikon or kabu I see. I like to think of it as vegetable therapy, but mostly it's just plain fun. I can't recommend it enough. (Plus, pickles or marmalade make an excellent gift!) Grab a shopping bag and hit the road!

(Photo: Taken on a recent trip to Matsushima, a beautiful coastal town just north of Sendai, these little guys were too adorable to not photograph. Seriously, who can resist rubber duckies and kaki? The town, by the way, suffered comparatively little damage from the tsunami despite being so close to the epicenter. I'd recommend a trip up there any time of year!)

Saturday, December 3
11am to 3pm
A once-a-month outreach effort by the students running a neighborhood grocery featuring fruits and vegetables from independent farmers.

Sunday, December 4 and Sunday December 18
11am to 5pm
A nice sized market held on the terrace just in front of Ebisu Garden Place that will always be special to me for introducing me to dried natto and tea seedpods.

Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11
A gem of a market hidden away in one of Tokyo's high-end shopping districts offering seasonal favorites in a way that feels homey yet rather boutique-y.
11am to 5pm

Sadly, it seems this market no longer exists. I'm in the process of finding out more, and will keep folks updated. It seems a shame, although maybe some of our Mitaka-area farmers could move in and strut their stuff?

Another sad note here as C-Cafe's building is undergoing demolition shortly. The cafe will be closed for about a year, but may resurface periodically for fun food events. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

Sunday, December 18
I could go wax on forever about how great this market is and how important it is for the future of Japanese farming. Instead, I'll just insist that folks go and see for themselves what great things the market and these innovative growers are doing.
10am to 4pm, Rain or shine!

Every Saturday and Sunday in December
A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, the curry I had during my last visit from one of the vendors was plate-licking good. (I refrained, but only just.)
10am to 4pm

Saturday, December 16
A unique event in the heart of the city that a vegetable loving geek like me wouldn't miss for the world. What better way to get the healthy vitamins and minerals you need to sustain an evening of karaoke and izakaya hopping?
8pm - ?

Every Saturday in December
A recent first visit to this market was well worth the trip for the number of organic growers and getting to meet a Tokyo farmer from just down the tracks in Kokobunji.
10am to 2pm

Every Saturday and Sunday in December
Another nice market not far from the sumo stadium in Ryogoku it's worth casing out for the neighborhood as well as the vendors.
11am to 5pm

Know of a market? Give me a shout and we'll add it to the list!

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