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    • Spring
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

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    • Winter
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    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
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    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
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        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

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        Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

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        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

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    • Races and Events
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

        2022 Spring Tours and Travel

        Check out these green season tours and experiences across Japan!

        2022 Art Events in Japan

        Two of Japan's biggest art events return this year: the Setouchi Triennale on the Seto Inland Sea Islands and Niigata's Echigo Tsumari Art Field.

        2022 Spring Races & Festivals

        The start of the green season is a great time to start trail running, cycling and hiking. Check out these races, outdoor events and traditional festivals held this spring.
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        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!

Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

On the second Saturday of each month, the undercover parking area in front of Shishimai Ramen Café becomes a market plaza. Local growers and producers gather with their seasonal wares to entice customers to try their fresh produce, while artisans and entrepreneurs offer products that range from the decorative to the practical. Filled with fruits, vegetables, and a used item exchange, local residents, including children and pets, laugh, linger and shop.

Started a year ago by farmer Yoichi Miyakawa, florist Yoko Yahiro, and Shishimai owner, Toyoko Miyadai, this neighborhood market hosts anywhere from five to eight vendors and roughly 50 customers (not including pets and children, of course) from 8 a.m. to just before the ramen shop opens at eleven. While it may seem small, this little market packs quite a punch.

After farming part-time for a handful of years, Miyakawa’s fields offered enough that he could make the shift to full-time farming two years ago and start selling his surplus. His stall fills one corner of the space with a bounty of vegetables including some of the usual seasonal suspects such as daikon, carrots and satoimo, along with two kinds of potatoes, three kinds of kale, squash and Brussels sprouts. 

A few steps away, Masumi Aoki of Blue Tree Farm stands behind a table where the vivid reds and greens of tender lettuce greens and sprigs of broccoli are displayed in boxes made from recycled advertising flyers. Blue Tree Farm uses no plastic whatsoever, whether it is the plastic-robed greenhouses or black mulch that are common features of modern farms. Instead, Aoki relies on organic materials for weed protection and waits for the soil to warm before planting squash, tomatoes and other summer crops.

Sharing table space with Aoki’s delicious efforts are tidy rows of bottles of Junko Torikai’s local orange juice. Through the combined efforts of Torikai and her volunteers, the orchard that sat fallow for ten years is in production again. Harvested at different points in the season, the resulting juices have slightly different flavors that reflect varying stages of ripeness, although all 100 trees are the same variety. 

With its emphasis on local, organic, and plastic-free shopping in a bring-your-own-bag-and-container kind of venue, the Shishimai Marche is refreshing in every sense. Miyadai also sells hot breakfasts of curry rice or oden for takeaway before her shop opens. Come for the food, stay for the community. 

Shishimai Marche

Where: Oiso, Kanagawa
When: Second Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

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