fbpx
    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • Summer
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
    • Winter
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

        Nestled in the ...
    • Near Tokyo
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Ark Hills Marche

        Tucked away in ...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.
    • Near Kyoto
      • A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...

        Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • River and Lake
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...

        Minakami Mofest

        Head up to Japan's outdoor mecca of Minakami for the country's biggest outdoor adventure festival!
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        The Reemergence of Arai

        Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

Akigawa Market

There is much to recommend on a visit to Akigawa Market. Located in far western Tokyo, it features produce and products from, quite literally, the surrounding fields and farms that fill the vast plain in all directions. Farms large and small are full to the brim in summer with sweet corn, squash, tomatoes, eggplant and the gaily waving greens of daikon, kabu and komatsuna in winter.

Wheat, soba and blueberries can also be found here, while a cheerful selection of flowers weaves ribbons of color throughout the patchwork during the year. A few direct sale stands appear here and there, but the Akigawa Market is the mother of them all. With a 20-year history, the market looks and feels like a supermarket, but one that features only fresh and local vegetables, baked goods, dried beans, assorted flours, pickles, meats, grains and preserves. Here customers can find local chicken from one of the last remaining poultry farms in the metropolis. Even here, a little more than two hours from Shinjuku with nary a skyscraper in sight, it is technically still Tokyo. It is, according to one friend, beyond belief in terms of taste and quality.

Close by is one of the last, if not the last, remaining dairy farms in Tokyo, and Akigawa customers can go home with a cold bottle of milk. Paired with one of the many alluring baked goods, it is the perfect market treat.

Local corn is renowned for its sweetness and flies out the door as fast as growers bring it. These same tables give way to sweet potatoes, satoimo (taro), chestnuts and delectable greens as the days shorten. Food vendors out front sell bento, grilled fish and okonomiyaki to shoppers waiting for their seasonal souvenirs to be boxed up.

Along with pickled mountain vegetables and a colorful assortment of daizu (soy beans), you’ll find whole or ground walnuts. Gathered from the foothills to the west, the kurumi are smaller than their European and American counterparts with a flavor that is more intense, more “walnutty.” Sprinkled over cold tofu and drizzled with soy sauce is the recommended method of eating, but anywhere sesame seeds fit, so will these.

Photos of the growers and producers who sell here line the wall near the checkout stand while labels on each jar of jam, bag of chestnuts or blaze orange bunch of carrots help customers match a name to a face. Many of them are old and all but one men. Their tanned faces make it easy to imagine that somewhere in the fields just outside the market doors they are already at work on the next day’s harvest.

Akigawa Farmers Market
Nearest station: Higashi-Akiru
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day
Directions: Turn right out of the station and head up the street that goes uphill. Turn left on the busy street and walk another five.

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories