Vegetables in the Markets: Japan

I loved going to food markets in Japan.

There was real wasabi in a Kyoto market stall.


Real-deal wasabi is picky about where and how it grows. It prefers a home in cool, shady, misty mountain streambeds, with high humidity. Go beyond its preferred temperature range of 46 to 70 degrees F, and you’re already in trouble. 

Daikon radish is everywhere….



There were many radish and cole family plants…the climate must be particularly suitable for them. Here are some splendidly stemmy greens.


Some well-contained sprouts.


Long, long, green onions were in almost every market .

The human hand in the photo, included to show size, is large and strong.


I want to know how you grow green onions like this.

There is lots of green. But other colors are not neglected.

Behold the sweet potato.


A friend of mine says you have not lived until you have had roasted japanese sweet potato, bought from a vendor on the street. 

Many items are carefully packed. I’d not seen individually wrapped onions before.

Here they were!


Individually wrapped onions, 78 yen each. (About $0.75USD)

How about an individually packaged celery stalk?


There were packaged fava beans. What’ so special about fava beans in Japan? Packages, each with four fava bean pods. For four dollars. One dollar per pod. That’s over twenty-five cents per bean.


At home, here at Wishetwurra Farm, we occasionally grow fava beans. We eat them, but not everyone is the house is fond of them, so we don’t plant them every year. Out west, in the great vineyards of California, favas are grown in swathes between the rows of vine. These favas are a cover crop, grown to improve the soil. They aren’t even eaten, but are plowed or tilled back into the earth. 

Japanese packing is often extraordinarily beautiful.


Water chestnuts.

We’ll look at some packaging in a future post.

Thanks for hanging out with me and the vegetables.







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