One of my favorite places to shop during my stay here in Tokaimura is a place called Nijinonaka. They call it a farmers’ market, but it’s quite different from the ones that I’m used to back in Vancouver. Instead of being open one or two days a week during the summer they’re open everyday, year-round, carrying produce and other locally made foods from neighborhood farmers and artisans.
Everything is extremely fresh and clean, and soo cheap! These huge heads of lettuce are literally twice as big as the ones I usually buy back home, and they’re all about the equivalent of one dollar.
The neatest thing about this place has been discovering all sorts of different local veggies that simply do not exist outside of Japan. Or, at least not where I live. For example, have you ever seen purple radishes like this? They’re about a foot at a half long, each weighing a couple of kilograms. They seem to be a variety of daikon, or white radish. I tried one out, and they’re awesome for hot pots or for pickling.
They don’t just carry fresh veggies, either. They also have a huge range of those dried sweet potatoes that I’ve been raving about, a bakery, and a tofu section. And, look at these locally made soy spaghetti noodles! So good.
Here’s a shot of my basket and all of the goodies I picked up. I had to stop myself from buying more because I need to make sure that I can haul all of this back home by hand. Luckily, it’s only a few kilometers away from where I’m staying so it’s a very easy and pleasant walk. The best time to get there is first thing in the morning. That’s when it gets crazy busy, but the quality and freshness of the vegetables is stunning. Makes me feel so sad about the shriveled up imported veggies that I’ve been buying back in Vancouver -_-