Tokyos best new farmers market

Get a taste of autumn’s vegetables

Tokyo’s best new farmer’s market

Farmers’ markets make it possible to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in the centre of Tokyo, and they are thriving. In the wake of recent problems with false labeling of both the places of origin of food, and their expiration dates, the public has become wary of both food products and their manufacturers. Farmers’ markets offer a safe and secure alternative. Of course, that is not the only reason for their popularity. There is an increasing public health-consciousness and a growing awareness of food miles, as well as an interest in discovering new varieties of fruit and vegetables. But more than anything else, our bodies know how delicious fresh farm produce really is. If it’s possible for us to drop in on a farmers’ market in our lunch hour or on the way home from work, then why not?

This autumn Japan saw the creation of a new series of farmers’ markets called ‘Marche Japon’. They form a provisional system of direct selling in ordinance-designated cities across thirteen areas of the country. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is using the project to revitalize regional areas with ‘Iron Chef’ writer and food expert Kundo Koyama at the forefront. The markets offer a place where those who produce ingredients can interact with those who cook and consume them. The face-to-face aspect of the markets adds value to the interaction as consumers can show their appreciation directly to the producers, and the producers can feel the satisfaction of seeing happy customers.

Of course, ‘Marche Japon’ is expected to increase the amount of homegrown produce being eaten, as currently only 41% of food consumed in Japan is domestically produced. For that reason ‘Marche Japon’ is creating a booklet of vegetable juice recipes, written by celebrities and well-known chefs. It’s designed to encourage people to buy more fruit and vegetables. Among those who contributed is the chef Shuzo Kishida, whose French restaurant Quintessence in Shirokanedai was given three stars in the Michelin Tokyo 2008 guide, making him the youngest chef currently working to achieve the award. With names such as his involved, the recipes are definitely worth a look.

With the wide variety of farmers’ markets on offer this autumn - such as those where you can buy goods with local currency earned through volunteer work- take the opportunity to stop by and take a bite out of what the season has to offer.

Marche Japon: Aoyama, Omotesando Marche
This market offers vegetables from ‘Karuizawa Salad Farm,’ previously available to only the finest restaurants in locations such as Aoyama and Karuizawa.
Location: In front of the United Nations University
Address: 5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Times: Sat 24, Sun 25, Sat 31 Oct; Sun 1 Nov from 10am-4pm
Marche Japon: Aoyama, Omotesando Marche
Organic and pesticide-free fruit and vegetables, and other specialty foodstuffs are for sale.
Location: GYRE
Address: 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Times: Sat 24 – Sun 25 Oct from 11am to 5pm.
Marche Japon: Odaiba Marche ‘Happy Marche’
Featuring Asatori vegetables, produced by farmers in the Kanto area.
Location: Palette Plaza
Address: Palette Town, 1 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo
Times: Sat 24, Sun 25 Oct from 11am to 4:30pm
Marche Japon: Roppongi Marche ‘Hills Marche in Ark Hills’
The popular ‘Ibaraki-ichi’ market, which has taken place every week in Roppongi Hills for the last five years, will also be a part of ‘Hills Marche.’ Saturday October 24th, and Saturday October 31st will include the ‘Halloween Workshop’ and ‘Halloween Concert.’
Place: Ark Hills, Ark Karajan courtyard
Address: 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
Times: Sat 24, Sat 31 Oct; Sat 7, Sat 14 November from 10am to 2om
Tokyo Morning Earth Day Market
Starting with Tokyo, and gathering farmers and producers primarily from the Kanto area, this market sells various ingredients for cooking. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has been reduced to as little as possible. Beginning with the use of bamboo tents, and including the collection of used tempura oil, recycling, the collection of  used books, promoting the use of reusable shopping bags and donations to NPOs, this market positively contributes to the environment and society in many ways. Also featured is the information about, and sale of, fair trade products. Those who help with the recycling and the organization of the event can earn ‘Earth Day Money,’ a local currency that can be used to shop at the market.
Place: Yoyogi Park, Keyaki Namiki
Address: Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo
Times: Sun 22 Nov, Sun 20 December, Sun 24 Jan, Sun 21 Feb from 10am to 4pm (no postponement due to rain)
Toshiyuki Nagashima and the Aozora Market
Toshiyuki Nagashima, an actor who has made farming his life’s work, is on the executive committee of this market. It began in 2004, and has already taken place 34 times. Currently it takes place on the second Sunday of every month.
Place: Tokyo International Forum courtyard
Address: 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Times: Sun 8 Nov from 10am to 4:30pm
Marche de Noel de Strasbourg 2009
The oldest French Christmas market - the birthplace of the Christmas tree - has landed in Japan. Craftsmen from the actual market will bring with them the true culture and spirit of a Strasbourg Christmas. All kinds of goods will be for sale, not just those with a Christmas theme, including linen and ceramics. It will also be possible to enjoy foods such as Strasbourg’s famed tarte flambee and pain d'épices, as well as Christmas beer and hot wine.
Place: Tokyo International Forum courtyard
Address: 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Times: Fri 11 – Fri 25 Dec
Farmers’ Market Futako Tamagawa
This market sells vegetables and horticultural goods produced by farmers in the Setagaya area of Tokyo. The first floor offers the direct selling of vegetables and horticulture. On the second floor is the ‘Yukkurito Café,’ featuring a vegetable centered menu, which makes the most of seasonal produce.
Address: 3-18-8 Kamata, Setagaya Tokyo
Times: daily (except Mon), 9am-4:30pm (first floor), 9am-8:30pm (second floor)
This is a ‘Marche’ which supports the gastronomic wishes of those lucky enough to reside in Roppongi Hills. It features fresh vegetables sent directly from farmers in Ibaraki prefecture.
Place: Beneath ‘Residence D,’ Keyakizaka St
Times: Every Sat from 7am-9am (or until everything is sold out)
HOUSE Direct Sales
As well as selling Autumn produce, talks and workshops about zakkoku (cereal) rice, and new rice are held. This market is particularly notable for its direct sales of cereal and new rice.
Place: Marunouchi House
Address: Floor 7, Shin-maru bld., 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Times: Wed 21, Thurs 22, Wed 28, Thurs 29 Oct from 11am-6pm
By Kyoko Kitamura
Translated by Virginia Okno
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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