April 27, 2014

Kachidoki Farmers Market

Marché of the Sun, otherwise known as the Kachidoki Farmers Market. It began only September of last year, and sells fresh produce and natural products from farmers all over Japan. 

The market is held one weekend a month in the newly-developing Kachidoki area of Tokyo. It is either sponsored or "supported" by Mitsui Fudosan Residential, a real estate giant that most likely wants to entice visitors to move to the area. 

The "marché" in the official name gives you an idea of how it wants to be perceived -- upscale and for a younger generation. Another indication is the impeccable official homepage. Its design and features are magazine-perfect. They even have a series that introduces participating farmers and their farming methods. 

Truth be told, Kachidoki is a lovely, very livable area. The historical Sumida River, which cuts through a large swath of Tokyo, is right nearby. And while Kachidoki itself screams "new area", immediately neighboring it is Tsukishima, which has a more traditional vibe.

To wit: to get to the market area from Kachidoki Station, you have the option of two bridges: a foot bridge or an automated escalator (to the left).

Contrary to what you would expect from a farmers market, though, the produce is far from cheap. A single strawberry cost 100 yen (1 USD)! This is definitely a market for those who can afford to be conscientious.
On the other hand, you get to see a lot of vegetables that you would never find in a supermarket, so simply going from stall to stall and browsing is a joy. For example, I'd never seen naganegi (Japanese bunching onion) so close to flowering before!

 A sesame stand that shows how sesame oil is distilled.

 Artisanal coffee.

 Yam babies, as tiny as a pinball.

This looks like goldfish but is actually chrysanthemum jam. 

 A stand selling shaved dried bonito, which you can use as a base for miso soup.

A handful of food trucks were out as well.

 Sour cream cheesecake.

One of the many nearby rivers that feed into Sumida River. 

 Jellyfish are a common sight.

The next market will be on May 10th and 11th!

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