Tokyo probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re craving some fresh, seasonal produce. But locals flock to the farmer’s market outside the United Nations University in Aoyama every Saturday and Sunday. People slowly wander through rows of tents bursting with colorful produce or freshly prepared goodies. They share small talk with the vendors while sipping coffee or juice from one of the drink stands.
While Tokyoites may be keen on some kale or funky heirloom tomatoes, you might be more interested in unfamiliar Japanese veggies. For example, you’re bound to see some long lumpy, bumpy veggies in green or white if you go during the summer months. Those are goya, a veggie native to Okinawa and well known for their bitter taste. Great source of vitamin C, too.
In addition to fruits and veggies, you can also find a variety of other goods such as domestic honeys, oils, and spices (great souvenir ideas!), pickled salads, breads and cookies. If you work up an appetite, there’s a rotating selection of foods available on any given weekend from Indian to Italian to Japanese. On my most recent trip, there were vendors selling pizza baked in a brick oven installed in the back of a van. There are also stands selling coffee, local beers, and juices.
You’ll also get a chance to meet the people whose labor of love it is to grow these veggies, keep bees, bake breads, and everything in between. Sporting big smiles, the vendors won’t hesitate to give tips on how best to enjoy the tastes of the seasons. There’s also a good chance they’ll share a bite or two with you.
If you plan on being in Tokyo on a weekend, set aside some time to stop by the farmer’s market for lunch and a chat, then pick up a snack for later as well as some unique souvenirs.
Farmer’s Market @ UNU
5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
10:00am – 4:00pm every Saturday and Sunday
Approx. 5 min walk from exit B2 of Omotesando Station
http://farmersmarkets.jp/ (Japanese only)
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 11 11,2015 Author：Rachael Ragalye