Skip to main content

The Romantic Market: Review

The Romantic Market in Shibuya.

I'm always on the hunt for new markets, and so when I saw a posting about something called The Romantic Market I made a note to visit. While the description made it sound more like an antique and craft market, there was also mention of organic food and produce. Those two items put it on the agenda for the weekend!

Just up the hill from Shibuya, but in the opposite direction from the UNU Market, The Romantic Market is tucked in a corner of the Shibuya Garden Tower Building. A well-placed sign on the sidewalk signaled where to turn in, and there I found a charming little set of tables and stalls.

The first grouping offered primarily crafty items of the artisanal sort. Beautiful jewelry that was very difficult to resist as well as an assortment of clever items made from textiles, ceramics, and wood. Further in were booths offering a fascinating array of Japanese and European antiques ranging from kimono and yukata to ceramics and a portable writing desk that I can't get off my mind.

There was one vendor selling produce - a lone grape farmer in the back corner - and one booth selling food that smelled amazing. I didn't stop at either, but like that portable writing desk, those grapes are something I wish I'd brought home with me. Ah, well.

So, while this market didn't offer exactly what I'd hoped (lots of produce, rice, and other foodly items), it was fun and full of tempting items. I'll be back next month perhaps to see about the desk and discover what else the farmer brings along.

The Romantic Market
Once a month
Shibuya Garden Tower Building
11am - 4pm
Nearest station: Shibuya


Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Kamakura Farmers Market: Giant Buddhas and Good Vegetables

Kamakura Farmers Market entrance A little more than an hour train ride south of Tokyo sits Kamakura. Like Kyoto and Nara, Kamakura is a former capital full to the brim with temples, shrines, and a bounty of historical sites lining its winding streets. Nestled in a cozy bay with beaches and a giant Buddha tucked amongst the rest, it's a city that invites multiple visits if not at least one. And those seeking a farmers market well-stocked with traditional vegetables, skilled growers ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, along with some nifty prepared foods to rejuvenate themselves after so many temples surely won't be disappointed, either. Kamakura Farmers Market - right side full of signs Started nearly twenty years ago, the Kamakura Farmers Market or Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, runs seven days a week nearly year-round. A ten-minute walk from the station, the market is located in what at first glance looks like nothing so much as a run-down w

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l