Tucked away in Roppongi, a part of the city known for nightclubs, expensive hotels and high-end dining, is the Ark Hills Marche.
This weekly market pulses with the beats of the seasons as nearly fifty farmers and vendors from as near as Kokubunji and as far away as Hokkaido arrive with their wares. Throw in the occasional concert or holiday festivities, and it’s easy to see how the market turned into a hub of community and good food.
Going strong for 15 years, the Ark Hills Marche took root when a small group of farmers from Ibaraki began bringing in their produce to sell to residents. In 2009, the Mori Corporation offered them the use of the courtyard of the Karajan Plaza. Residents of the then-recently completed residential building soon flocked to the market at their center. The market has proven popular enough that a weekly Tuesday market has been added to take care of middle-of-the-week needs, too.
Visitors will find Amya Miller (a.k.a. The Pie Queen) on hand with her various pies that showcase whatever fruit is in season. An American perhaps best known for her work in Tohoku and the city of Rikuzentakata, Miller turned to pie as a way to bring balance back into her life. “I needed something a little less intense,” she said one Saturday morning between customers.
For those wanting a classic American treat, Miller’s table is the place to go.
Kosaka Farm is also on hand with fruits and vegetables direct from their Kokubunji fields. A functioning farm since the Edo Period, Kosaka Farms offers a selection of Japanese heirloom as well as modern vegetable varieties. Stop by for a sample or two, especially in summer when white sweetcorn is available and as tasty as one of Miller’s pies.
Sakamiko Organic Farm in Sagamihara, Kanagawa and Tan Farm from Chiba also come bearing their seasonal vegetables throughout the year, but summer is a perfect time to hunt for peaches, blueberries, and more. Nozawa Farm in Yamanashi charts the course of the season with cherries, plums, peaches, and grapes. However, visitors looking for jams, pickles and unique spice mixes will be pleased to see an excellent selection of creative concoctions available year round. Food carts are also sandwiched here and there around the market giving shoppers a chance to reenergize between rounds of the stalls.
Ark Hills Marche
Open: Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Nearest Station: Tameike Station, Exit 13