Fans of the Tokyo markets will surely know the Aoyama Farmers Market. Each weekend nearly 100 vendors fill the generous sidewalk space in front of the United Nations University.
Started in 2009 as part of the Marche Japon movement, a government campaign to help an ailing agricultural sector and soothe a citizenry on edge after a series of food scares, the Aoyama Marche is one of a handful still going strong.
Themes vary week by week, focusing on regions of the country or kinds of foods. Annual bread, sake, coffee, and wine events are popular as are the food truck weekends when thirty such delicious vehicles set up shop serving savory and sweet treats alike. The normal selection of food trucks is no slouch either. Visitors can refresh themselves with falafel, three kinds of curry (Japanese, Indian, and Thai), an assortment of pizzas, and sweets. Thirsty patrons preferring a sip of craft beer should keep a sharp eye out for Yuichiro Nakayama, a.k.a. the Tokyo Beer Porter and his 1963 Volkswagen van doubling as a craft beer bar.
Year-round, the third weekend of each month features a Night Market complete with many of the usual vendors with produce and products with a little live music as shopping soundtrack. (It is also worth noting that the Tokyo Night Pedal, another great monthly event for cyclists, starts and ends here that same weekend.)
Vendors do vary depending on the season and theme; however, you’ll find those such as Yatsutaka Ichizaki who brings along a fine selection of fresh vegetables from his Yokohama farm as well as Do-Re-Mi Farms who have a wider selection of pickles than you would think possible. Watanabe Farms arrive from Yamagata with sakuranbo (Western cherries) in the spring, and a bevy of other fruit throughout the year. And let’s just say it is difficult to beat the selection of freshly harvested rice come fall.
Like many markets, the Aoyama Farmers Market also features vendors selling more than just fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and a good pickle. Artisans of all types find a home here too. The Tokyo Craft Market, an annual event at the market, features ceramics, textiles, wood and glass creations. Those with an eye for the historical will be pleased to know a small group of antique sellers and antiques crafts are present every Saturday.
Aoyama Farmers Market
Every Saturday and Sunday
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Nearest Stations: Omotesando (5-minute walk) and Shibuya (8-minute walk)