Although just three years old, the Oiso Market is as vibrant and bustling as its more established counterparts elsewhere in the country. Local growers, producers and fishermen are joined by a diverse array of artisans, musicians and performing artists to create a venue full of fun, tasty food and entertainment. Held on the third Sunday of each month at the Oiso port, the Oiso Market is a community and gastronomical event extraordinaire.
“We started with just 16 vendors and very few guests,” said Takuya Shioya, a member of Seisho Asobukai, a local non-profit focused on farming and community that helped found the market. Today, Shioya is one of more than 150 vendors.
Intended to showcase the wonders of the Shonan region of Kanagawa Prefecture, the market does that and more. Tables groan with different items as the seasons pass, each month offering something new.
Spring means seedlings, the last of the winter greens and the first of the sansai (mountain vegetables) for the year. Fresh heirloom and modern varieties of vegetables and citrus abound in summer, and locally grown rice is autumn’s centerpiece.
Lee Utsumi ventures over from Chigasaki year-round with her handmade breads as does Kazuhiro Ukegawa of La Terra, a small company that transforms local produce into gem-colored jams and tangy pickles.
Craft beer aficionados will find Atsugi’s Sankt Gallen Brewery on hand with their oh-so-sippable craft brews, while Shoya’s table offers samples of the group’s most delicious umeshu (plum wine).
Nearly 15 food trucks offer a diverse menu of scrumptious treats which include deep fried curry, anko (sweet bean paste), pizza-stuffed dorayaki (usually anko sandwiched between two pancakes), Indian curry, Yaad Foods’ spicy jerk chicken and Mexican.
The ramen truck serves up steamy noodles in shoyu, miso or shio broth or the zippy summer bowl of cold hiyashichuka.
Musical performances in the grassy area entertain crowds settled while smaller stages scattered among the vendors feature individual singers, musicians and artists. (Keep an eye out for the juggler’s flaming torches.)
In July, August and September, Oiso Market becomes a festive evening affair that takes advantage of cooler temperatures and ocean breezes. A much smaller version appears Saturdays in the port building from 10 a.m. until noon.
Third Sunday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Oiso Summer Night Market
Third Sunday of each month from 5 to 9 p.m.
Oiso Weekly Market
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Oiso Port Building