Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Takayama Morning market

There are two morning markets held in Takayama on a daily basis, from around 6 am (7 am in winter) to noon: the Jinya-mae Market in front of the Takayama Jinya, and the Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River in the old town. Most stands sell local crafts and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flower.

One whole day free in Takayama!! At 7 am, while K was still asleep, I sneaked out of the hotel, armed with my camera and headed for the Miyagawa Market. I love markets especially this one because of its lovely setting by the river and the very many colorful and interesting food and crafts on display.



Takayama is famous for its apples and peaches.

This lady peels the apple without breaking the rind with her left hand. Her right hand is not very mobile.

Miso specialty stall

I love these stores because there is always a hugh pot of steaming miso soup ready for sampling. This store even have samples for Hoba miso, miso on magnolia leaves on top of a hot charcoal stove. Note the two leaves at the foreground.

Hoba miso is very famous from this region of Japan. The magnolia leave with miso is sometimes topped with leek, shitake mushroom and even chunks of Hida beef. So yummy it with a bowl of hot rice.

A very brisk sales for the lady in this pickle stall. As I stood there to shoot, housewives dropped by and just grabbed packets after packets of pickles without sampling. I knew I found my pickle stall! Bought almost a packet of each and came home with a suitcaseful of pickles-infused clothing but definitely worth the smell! Takayama is very well-known for its pickles and Leanne agreed whole-heartedly.

Another Takayama's pride is its wood craftsmanship.

Amazing paper crafts

Mitarashi dango - sticky rice flour balls skewered and charcoal grilled with a sweet sauce of mirin, soy and sugar. The aroma from this stall is so inviting.

Big and small chillies stringed on padi stalks to dry.

Look at the edamame (young soy bean pods)! I could not resist and bought 3 bundles.

Tomatoes in different colors and shapes.

A flower lady with home grown floral.

The only spice stall in the market. She will mix any combo you desired and pack it in the different canisters you chose - bamboo, wood, cardboard or plastic.

First encounter with these tiny eggplants, they are about the size of my little pinky.
They are used mostly for pickles.

Magenta okra
This lady has a display of the most unusually shaped pumpkins I have ever seen...



Terri @ hungerhunger said...

d Japs r no.1 in presentatn! they can make boring apples look delicious. wow, this is an eye-opener, love ur pics.tq for 'bringing' me on d tour.i must go to small towns like takayama one day n live there a while.

The Drool Team said...

We thought the same thing but were told by a Japanese tt Japan is nice to visit but not to live. She said Sabah is the best place to live...

Anonymous said...

I so agree, to visit, not live. I love the old style living, any minute, you'd expect a troupe of samurais to ride into the village.

I love the bit about the off shaped pumpkins and the weird coloured okras, the preetily wrapped chillis were quite interesting.

I don't think there are many such small villages left in Japan.