As summer turns to fall, so the offers of the seasonal table at farmers markets change. Zucchini and cucumber give way to pumpkin and chestnut; watermelon makes space for persimmon and apple. Perhaps most exciting is the arrival of the season’s first rice harvest, a somewhat touch-and-go affair this year given the long rainy season.
The following sample of markets are open and brimming with growers and producers eager to share their bounty. The majority have rules in place for social distancing, masks, and handling of produce. Some, like the Nagoya Organic Farmers Asaichimura, limit the number of visitors per market day. Many, like the UNU Market, no longer make plastic bags available to shoppers. Visit websites and plan ahead to make the most of your autumnal foodie endeavors.
Reopened in August at the Oval (the space in front of the United National University), Tokyo’s premiere farmers market is operating on a smaller scale but is still big on fresh and seasonal. Check out Momogi Farm’s excellent veg, including organic popcorn, or Ome Farm’s amazing honey. The Hot Sauce Bar keeps things spicy, while Yagisan no Kurimono (Gift from the Goat) will be touting their most amazing breads. Vendors vary from Saturday to Sunday, so check the schedule ahead of time.
Where: Aoyama, Tokyo
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Established in 1933 for the promotion of Kamakura’s unique produce, the market has run almost daily ever since. Stop by for a taste of the four seasons in this ancient capital while mingling with locals and tourists alike. Tasty pickles, fresh vegetables, cut flowers, seedlings, and some of the best fresh-baked bread in the area are all at the ready. Each day features one of four different groups of growers and producers, so visit often and shop well.
Where: Kamakura, Kanagawa
When: Every day, 8 a.m. to Sold out
Dedicated solely to organic farmers, this market sits in the center of Nagoya City in the futuristic Oasis 21 building. Founded by Takako Yoshino fifteen years ago, the market boasts a roster of more than 70 member growers that come throughout the year. Vegetables, rice, fish, tea, and meat are available every week, making this market an easy regular stop.
Where: Nagoya, Aichi
When: Every Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.