Eat Local Kobe Farmer’s market was established just over five years ago to give local organic growers a much-needed outlet. Eat Local is a community food hub featuring nearly 200 vendors serving up some of the area’s freshest local fare. All of the farmers, brewers, bakers, tofu makers and more on hand throughout the year have a Kobe address or come from within a 30-kilometer radius of the city. Those looking for local flavor will find this market a treasure trove.
Shingo and Maiko Nakano of Morning Dew Farm grow their rice and vegetables on the city’s west side. The two started working their land fifteen years ago using natural farming techniques that rely on composting and mulching without tilling. Each week, along with their heirloom rice and vegetables, they serve up tasty breakfast treats to hungry shoppers.
Michihiro Maruyama joined Eat Local Kobe shortly after establishing his farm five years ago. His organic vegetables, which are a combination of old and new varieties—as well as rice and seedlings—are popular. His whimsical display that tucks toy trucks and figurines between bags of vibrant produce, draws the youngest of customers over for a closer look while their parents shop.
Maruyama’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) partner Junko Oosara of Naturalismo Farm, runs a busy stand with an abundance of seasonal vegetables, rice, and flour. Other items she sells include koji, a mold grown on rice, for those who use this traditional fermenter to marinate vegetables and meats. CSA members can pick up their weekly box of seasonal produce sourced from six local farmers at the market or other pre-determined locations around Kobe.
Masaru Kitasaka makes his way from nearby Awajishima where his father started raising chickens and selling eggs fifty years ago. He added farm tours and an online store when he took over. Customers flock to his table each week for fresh eggs.
Those seeking to pause and rejuvenate visit Fumitaka Kono who happily discusses the intricacies of coffee roasting and brewing while carefully making cup by delicious steaming cup of coffee. Visitors hankering for a different kind of morning pick-me-up might enjoy In Tha Door Brewing’s seasonal beers sourced primarily from locally-grown ingredients.
While fresh or prepared food are the main attractions here, there are also workshops and events, including November’s annual Farm to Fork Festival. Those who miss the Saturday market can find the same items along with fish and meat at the Eat Local Kobe Farmstand seven days a week. A daily vegetarian-friendly lunch special in the café is well worth sampling as well.
EAT LOCAL KOBE
Kobe East Park, Hyogo
10-min. walk from Sannomiya Station
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.