Friday, March 1, 2013

March Farmers Markets in Tokyo

Representatives of a nifty soil project at the Earth Day Market!
March falls somewhere between winter and spring, blustery and cold one day and full of sweet balm another.  I both love and hate the month, as it signifies the end of my favorite season and the fast-approaching hottest time in Tokyo. Yet, I can't deny the beauty of a plum blossom, and I get as excited as the next person about seeds,  flowers, and starting a new season. The farmers markets will still feature many of the fantastic winter greens and cool weather vegetables, so chow down on those while they remain on the seasonal menu!

A few notes about this month's calendar:
The Earth Day Market is a bit earlier than usual this month, and there's a Shinonome Court Market on this month, too. The Gyre Market is only one time again, so bustle on down to see what's on offer.

Sunday, March 3rd
Sunday, March 17th
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,  March 23rd and Sunday, March 24th
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

Nippori Farmer's Market
Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th
10am to 5pm
Another great market in the city found with a little help from friends, this one is sure to not disappoint. My first visit was wonderful despite cold temperatures and a smattering of rain. Plus, Tohoku growers are on hand sharing their best-of-the-best, so come on out to be part of the recovery and get something good to eat.
No map, but just head out the east exit and look for the green awnings!

Koenji Farmer's Market
Saturday, March 16th
A new market I spotted while riding the train on a Saturday morning into the city center. That circle of red awnings in front of the Za-Koenji Public Theatre could only mean one thing! Sure enough, I found a small group of area growers and producers, and the bounty surely continues!
11am - 5pm

Saturday, March 16th
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?
5pm - 8pm

Sunday, March 17th**
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!
**Note the slightly different timing this month!

Earth Day Market - Shinonome Court
Saturday, March 23rd
A lovely little market held periodically in the midst of towering skyscrapers within sight of the Rainbow Bridge and a stone's throw from Tokyo Big Sight. Worth a trek to get a little quality time with the vendors and soak in a new part of the city!
10am to 4pm

Every Saturday and Sunday
A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, there's a most excellent selection of food trucks offering everything from salad to zingy curry to roast chicken to falafel!
10am to 4pm

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

Yurakucho Farmer's Market
Every Saturday and Sunday
Smaller than the UNU Market, Yurakacho features a particular region of Japan each week along with an excellent selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Growers from nearby Chiba, Kamakura, and Saitama are also on hand to help fill the larder.
11am to 5pm
Directions: Turn left out of Yurakacho station and cross the courtyard toward Tokyo Kouku Keitan. Look for the fun under the overhang!

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

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