21 January 2017

Japan Handmade Bicycle Show - - The ride home and Farmer's Market - Part 4

After leaving the bicycle show, it was lunchtime as I rode home down Aoyama Dori in sun and a warm (if windy) winter day.
In front of United Nations University, there was a big farmer's market. It seems to be a regular event both Saturday and Sunday.
It could have been straight out of Portland, Oregon. There were some people selling antiques anc crafts, but it was at least 80% food. Lots of food carts I had a "half and half" with two types of curry, quite spicy and not Japanese at all. Tasty, and there were plenty of other things that looked good.

I wandered and got some vegetables, leaf lettuce, and small jar of goat cheese/mushroom paté, tea from Shizuoka, etc. Some things were expensive, but others were no more, even less, than at the supermarket.
This was all I could carry -- no rucksack. Lots more looked good!
And there were lots of things you could not find at the supermarket, definitely - different types of apples, colored cauliflower, beets, yuzu jelly, and delicious raspberry jam. The jam REALLY tasted like fresh raspberries -- the berries are grown and jam made in Hokuto-shi in Yamanashi -- I had a nice conversation with the lady about the difficulty of growing and handling raspberries in Japan, using knowledge I got from Jerome on a bike ride long ago.

The goat cheese is from a goat herd near Otsuki, toward Sarubashi (here). She was surprised that I knew the place.

So was the lady who sold me the black tea from Shizuoka (north Tenryugawa).

So was the couple who selling an Australian variety of apples from Nagano.  I said "Nakano?" She was surprised I knew it was the apple capital of Nagano -- since Aomori and some other apples are better known in Tokyo. (I remembered a couple we talked with at Nozawa Onsen at the public footbath who said they came every year to buy apples at Nakano, down the valley.)  I told her I had been there on my bicycle.  She said "ahh, Shiga Kogen".  Of course!

Just a few examples. All thanks to riding my bicycle around this country.

Despite hearing this morning on the news about Donald Trump's dystopian view of the world as expressed in his inaugural address, the world does not look grim. In fact, it looks like a pretty nice place.

No comments: