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Showing posts from July, 2013

Tokyo Farmers Markets: Saturday, July 27th and Sunday, July 28th

Garlic braids at the Sapporo Farmers Market. Hot weather Hokkaido dreaming continues... This weekend finds the standard round of markets that will surely be full to overflowing with summer fare and then some. Eggplants , a Japanese classic summer vegetable, should be there in abundance, as will tomatoes , cucumbers , and okra. Goya, too, should be making an appearance and string beans won't be far behind. Curry, anyone? UN University Market 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 Map Roppongi Market 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 Map

Tokyo Farmers Markets: Saturday, July 20th and Sunday, July 21st

Scrumptious vegetables at Sapporo's Farmers Market. I'm Hokkaido dreaming in this Tokyo heat. Soaring temperatures don't stop the vegetables, but they've slowed me down some. Or maybe it was the spate of cooler weather. Or that big project with ecotwaza . Or the incredible amount of work on the farm that always occurs in July and that knocks me flat by 8pm every night. Enough about me, though. Hit those markets this weekend to find the glory of the season displayed on every table. Plus, your visit will inspire the weary farmer who carted all that goodness in to the city for you to admire and eat. Pick up something delicious and give them the gumption they need to get back out there! Ebisu Market Sunday, July 21st 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 . Map Earth Day Market Sunday, July 21st I could go wax o

Tokyo Farmers Markets: July 13th and 14th

Yummy sweet corn at Kawaguchiko's vegetable shop. I'll be bike touring there this weekend. :) Hot enough for you? Yeesh, this week has been a roaster! But what that means is heaps of good vegetables are pouring out of fields, because if there is one thing a tomato , a cucumber , an eggplant, sweet corn, and even a lovely string bean have in common is delight in heat. I feel slightly differently, of course, but when I sink my teeth into that sweet, sweet, sweet corn I forget all my troubles. Head to one of the farmers markets and give it try for yourself! Gyre Market Saturday,  July 13th and Sunday, July 14th (Probably.*) 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 Map *The Gyre Market schedule has been a bit wonky of late, so I'll update this as I get confirmation. UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday A massive

Thursday Snapshot: Candy in China

Sweet delight on the second floor of a Beijing supermarket. While staying in Beijing last year we stopped at a local supermarket every day to pick up food for the day. We knew we would eat out most meals, but we also like to snack. It's a great way to keep up energy throughout the day and an excellent excuse to try new foods. I also have a sweet tooth, so when we spotted the bulk candy section on the second floor I made it my duty to try as many kinds as I could. In the process, we also made friends with the Night Candy Lady. We don't speak Chinese and she doesn't speak English, but we managed to communicate beautifully. She shared her recommendations  - scrunching up her nose for not so delicious and giving a vigorous nod of approval when it was good - which were always spot on. I should have left China with a cavity.

Why I Learn Japanese at Ann Arbor School Musings

Mita-san explaining his cool compost heated greenhouse.  One of the best parts about the Blogathon is meeting a variety of writers not just from all over the world, but on a number of different topics. What always surprises me, though, is who I connect with throughout the process. I met and connected with Lisa at Intralingo where she writes about all things related to translation, and Van Waffle at Speed River Journal who writes beautifully about nature and other topics as they arise.  This year, of course, proved the same. I met Nancy Thompson at Just a Backpack and a Rollie , and I met Ruth Kraut of Ann Arbor School Musings . Well, I should be clear. I met Ruth about seven or more years ago when I worked for a small and fantastic non-profit in Michigan. She and I have stayed in touch, and we reconnected during the 2013 Blogathon. Ruth and I swapped posts, which was a fun challenge for me. Ruth wrote about an exchange program between Ann Arbor schools and a small town in

Growing City: A Documentary

Nick Sugihara walks around with a video camera, a notebook, and some big ideas about what he sees around him these days in Tokyo. After spending a year studying at a Japanese university here in Tokyo, Nick decided to weave a few of those big ideas together to make a documentary . Nick is passionate about food, farming, food security, and Japan. His roamings this past year showed him much of Tokyo's concrete and steel side, but he couldn't help but notice those green edges where fruit, vegetables, flowers, and herbs grow. Farmers markets introduced him to growers and consumers alike who care deeply about the quality of their food, where it comes from, and how it is grown. As he met more and more urban farmers, read about urban farmers as well as worries over food security here in Japan and beyond, Nick felt the Tokyo's growing scene would make an excellent documentary. And it will.

July Farmers Markets in Tokyo

Sweet, sweet honey at the Sapporo Farmers Market - on now! Temperatures are slowly climbing as is the humidity, and rainy season is winding down for the year. The garden is near to bursting with greenery, and the farm almost literally spills over with produce. The plants, weeds included, grow at least a meter over night it seems. Farmers everywhere collapse at the end of the day surrounded by the bounty from their fields, destined to rise early and repeat the same tasks over again. Visit a farmers market, buy some of that scrumptious loot to take home, and help them out a bit won't you? Ebisu Market Sunday, July 7th Sunday, July 21st 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 . Map Gyre Market Saturday,  July 13th and Sunday, July 14th (Probably.*) A gem of a market hidden away in one of Tokyo's high-end shopping districts

Thursday Snapshot: Green Pea Ice Cream

Sweet green pea ice cream bar in China. Yum. The weather is turning hot here in Tokyo, which invariably puts me in the mood for ice cream. As I wandered through my vast selection of photos I spotted this one. Last year while traveling in China the weather was crazy hot. Like any reasonable culture, China offered ice cream often and in a fascinating variety of flavors. This one is green pea. Japan has taught me that beans can be done very well as a dessert. I love my anko stuffed mochi, manju, or whatever else one might decide to tuck those lovely little adzuki into with some added sugar. Peas didn't seem like such a leap. It was stupendous.

Tokyo Farmers Market Overivew at Just a Backpack and a Rollie

Daikon at the Ebisu Farmers Market. One of the great benefits of the Blogathon is meeting other bloggers and writers. This year was no different. I am so pleased to have discovered Nancy Thompson and her fantastic blog, Just a Backpack and a Rollie , during the event. Nancy is working on an enviable retirement scheme: fit everything into a backpack and a rollie and go! Nancy and I traded posts this year for the guest post exchange, and I hope to feature her trips in the future, too. Nancy covered the Portland farmers market for me this time around, but I suspect that wherever she and her luggage land next there will be a market that I hope she will be glad to tell me about. Meanwhile, here's my post about Tokyo's farmers markets for her!

Lessons Learned from my Fourth Blogathon

Our little Gooby. She didn't like change, either. Well, I'm tired. This year the Blogathon was great as always, but really hard. I didn't have much trouble coming up with posts, but somehow it felt like a struggle to get the posts up and ready. It started to feel like a chore, which is not usual for me. I love writing here, so I've been thinking some about what might have happened. Change. I suspect I was a cat in a former life, which means that I am not fond of change. That is an odd thing for someone who has lived in various foreign countries, likes to travel anywhere by almost any means , and eats just about anything except internal organs. I like my routines, though, and the switch from three posts a week to seven was jarring. I came up with content, but found my writing schedule was thrown off by the extra work. Result? I came up with a new regular feature that I think I'm going to keep: Thursday Snapshots . It is fun to use some of the photos I'